Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bipartisan Wyden Encouraging Bipartisan Healthcare Backstabbing

The Hill reports:

Republicans are so impressed with Wyden’s bill that some are convinced he represents President Obama’s best chance for getting major healthcare reform signed into law this Congress.

And while Democratic Sens. Edward Kennedy (Mass.) and Max Baucus (Mont.) may chair the committees charged with shepherding the bill through the Senate, Wyden, a 6-foot-4 former college basketball player, has his own advantage: a standing invitation to play hoops with the president at the White House, which may come in handy when hashing out the final details behind the scenes.

For Wyden, the key to passing lasting healthcare reform is finding a legislative solution that can win at least 70 votes in the Senate — and he’s not shy about letting Democrats know that means dropping thoughts of a government-run public plan for the entire nation.

To make his case, he has met individually with more than 80 Senate colleagues to discuss his proposals. He has envisioned his role as neutral broker so vividly that during the height of the Democratic presidential primary, Wyden refused to back either Obama or then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

You know what's more important than getting seventy votes for a healthcare plan -- getting a good healthcare plan. Cutting out the public option essentially will leave the primary reason our healthcare system is so screwed up -- the inefficient, wasteful, for-profit insurance middlemen -- in the picture permanently.

Either Wyden just wants to try to get favors from other Senators, or it's the campaign finance, stupid.