One thing needs to be crystal clear here as we are wavering through this health care reform MESS, Senator Max Baucus' Finance Committee is given some juice for whatever reason out of the Obama White House.
Good question, here is what I think. A very smart colleague dropped this on me and he is correct. Barack Obama must decide which way he will go with this health care legislation. It is either the Baucus/Grassley route or the Pelosi/Dean route.
That is the real question. This is why this debate is heated. As my colleague stated:
The problem, then, is that it's hard to persuade people to get passionate about the President's agenda when we honestly don't know whether his agenda is what Nancy Pelosi wants or what Max Baucus wants.
If he were to come down on the side of Pelosi, you would see his network energized and an outpouring of enthusiasm as people see themselves as having something to accomplish.
But, the lingering possiblity that he really prefers the least ambitious and meaningful proposal possible--BaucusCare--is going to leave a lot of people on the sidelines.
This is what is going on and that is why the "enthusiasm" is not there. Until we know what this bill will look like, read like, do for the American public, there is not much we can do but wait. Yes, OFA is asking folks to get engaged and do phone banking, attend home meetings, etc. But what are we talking about here? Again, what I do know about the bill is that Obama is not pulling the plug on grandma, the public option is not a government run take over and Obama is not Hitler. Other than that, I do not know any specifics about what the final bill will be.
And Olympia Snowe, the Gang of Six on the Baucus Finance Committee, are we really surprised here?
Olympia Snowe admitted to Andrea Mitchell that the Senate Finance Committee is not even considering a public option in their bill and never had it on the table. She said that the skyrocketing costs of health care are paramount to their bill which is why they are ogling co opts.
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