With Rep. Dennis Kucinich coming out now for the Senate health insurance bill going through the House, many Progressives are yelling "sell out". My question is different: Can't anyone on our side negotiate? Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, Blanche Lincoln and other CORPORATE Democrats issued ultimatums to the President -- and quite publicly -- and he knuckled under to them. Congressman Kucinich was in a position of maximum bargaining power. He could have said "the price of my vote is a REAL public option in the reconciliation bill -- put that in and I am with you". Apparently, he didn't do it. Why is it that only the corporate Democrats can negotiate? Anyway, here are my 11 predictions (plus one bonus prediction) on what will happen from here:
1) The Senate bill will pass the House;
2) There will be no public option or Medicare buy-in - now or EVER;
3) Many people will disobey the mandate;
4) The government will soft pedal enforcement;
5) The insurance companies will massively jack up rates AND PAY LOTS OF CLAIMS AND DEMAND HUGE SUBSIDIES (AND RECEIVE THEM);
6) The government will pay bigger than expected subsidies;
7) The cost curve will not bend, due to no public option, no Medicare buy-in, no competition, no repeal of the anti-trust exemption, no incentive to lower costs;
8) Lots more people WILL have access to insurance - but not all - this is NOT UNIVERSAL COVERAGE;
9) Deductibles and co-pays will remain a problem for many consumers;
10) The program will ULTIMATELY (years from now) be seen as better than before it was enacted because what we have now is SO horrible;
11) The whole thing will cost double what the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) estimated;
AND THE BONUS PREDICTION:
12) The moment this whole thing passes, in the next few weeks, all Democratic politicians will drop the issue like the hottest of hot potatoes and will use the excuse of "The bill is complex, many of the provisions don't kick in for years, we gotta give the thing a chance to work, we can tweak it later (when they are out of politics or dead) so we shouldn't do anything now."
After the 1994 Clinton health insurance war and this one, WHAT POLITICIAN IN HIS OR HER RIGHT MIND WILL WANT TO TOUCH THIS ISSUE EVER AGAIN?????
Those are my predictions. Let's see if I am right. Time will tell.