The biggest part of the Blue Dog hold up of the health care bill was to keep a public plan from being tied to Medicare rates. Ross brags that the Blue Dogs "held the bill hostage in committee for 10 days":

We insured that if there is a government option, it will be just that — an option — and it won’t be mandated on anybody. If it had been based on Medicare rates, I can assure you that it would have eventually ended up resulting in a single payer-type system, because Medicare has really good rates, because they’re negotiating for every senior in America. Private insurance companies could not have competed with that. And so we would have at the end of the day ended up with single payer. Now we’ve leveled the playing field, if there is a government option they’ll have to go out again and negotiate with providers just like private insurance companies do. That was important to me to insure that we don’t end up with some type of single payer system.

Initially the single payer advocates on the Energy and Commerce committee had balked when the Blue Dogs insisted that a public plan not be tied to Medicare, but they backed down in exchange for a floor vote on single payer before the end of the year:

The decision surprised Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who was pushing such a plan to be a part of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s version of a healthcare reform bill. Now, Weiner will be able to present his alternative reform measure as its own legislation for the entire House to vote on. Committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) doubts the single-payer plan can garner sufficient votes to pass. But he said it’s important for the plan to be given a chance, in order to assuage the left-wing of the Democratic caucus.

So, the single payer advocates on the committee caved on tying reimbursement rates to Medicare, which Ross believed would have "led to single payer," in exchange for a vote on single payer on the floor — which everyone acknowledges will fail, and the Blue Dogs had no problem with.

Jan Schakowsky once again leads the "progressive" bail in an exercise in complete kabuki. If you don’t expect anything more than this from your "progressive" representatives, this all you’re going to get.

The biggest part of the Blue Dog hold up of the health care bill was to keep a public plan from being tied to Medicare rates.  Ross brags that the Blue Dogs "held the bill hostage in committee for 10 days":

We insured that if there is a government option, it will be just that — an option — and it won’t be mandated on anybody.  If it had been based on Medicare rates, I can assure you that it would have eventually ended up resulting in a single payer-type system, because Medicare has really good rates, because they’re negotiating for every senior in America. Private insurance companies could not have competed with that.  And so we would have at the end of the day ended up with single payer.  Now we’ve leveled the playing field, if there is a government option they’ll have to go out again and negotiate with providers just like private insurance companies do.  That was important to me to insure that we don’t end up with some type of single payer system.

Initially the single payer advocates on the Energy and Commerce committee had balked when the Blue Dogs insisted that a public plan not be tied to Medicare, but they backed down in exchange for a floor vote on single payer:

Committee chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) doubts the single-payer plan can garner sufficient votes to pass. But he said it’s important for the plan to be given a chance, in order to assuage the left-wing of the Democratic caucus.

So, the single payer advocates on the committee were "assuaged" and caved on tying reimbursement rates to Medicare, which Ross believed would have "led to single payer," in exchange for a vote on single payer on the floor — which everyone acknowledges will fail, and the Blue Dogs had no problem with.

Jan Schakowsky once again leads the "progressive" bail in an exercise in complete kabuki.  If you don’t expect anything more than this from your "progressive" representatives, this all you’re going to get.  

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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