John McCormack writes that Rep. Bart Stupak's inexplicable an unprincipled late cave-in on taxpayer-funded abortion -- so senseless and bizarre after he held out so nobly for so long -- represents "an odd moment of agreement in a debate over health care that's been filled with factual disputes," as all sides agree that Stupak's late deal with President Obama for an executive order does nothing to change the legislation and will be essentially useless in practice. But that's not the only point of agreement about the outcome of the vote. In eschewing the normal legislative process of collaboration and compromise -- not to mention the notion of incremental change -- and instead insisting on a one-party comprehensive bill and a rush to the finish line at all costs, President Obama has managed to craft a bill that essentially no one likes.
Firedoglake founder Jane Hamsher, writing at the Huffington Post, notes that while President Obama claims that his bill would bring down costs, stick it to insurance companies, and thwart special interests, the reality is much nearer to the complete opposite of those claims. Hamsher writes:
This bill is almost identical to the plan written by AHIP, the insurance company trade association, in 2009....The original Senate Finance Committee bill was authored by a former Wellpoint vice president....Since Congress released the first of its health care bills on October 30, 2009, health care stocks have risen 28.35%....This bill will mandate that millions of people who are currently uninsured purchase insurance from private companies, or the IRS will collect up to 2% of their annual income in penalties....The bill was written so that most Wal-Mart employees will qualify for subsidies, and taxpayers will pick up a large portion of the cost of their coverage....In 2009, health care costs were 17.3% of GDP [but] in 2019 [under the] Senate bill [they'll be] 20.9% of GDP....This bill does not bring down costs...
Of course, this assumes that the legislation will ever really go into effect. As Hamsher also notes, "Most provisions in this bill...do not take effect until 2014." The American people will have a lot to say about Obamacare, and the composition of government, before then.