Plan C: Obama set to introduce “much smaller” health-care bill on Wednesday

posted at 4:14 pm on March 1, 2010 by Allahpundit

This Fox piece seems like … huge news, but not only is it MIA on Drudge, it’s not even the lead story on Fox. Am I the only one who didn’t know that the giant bill The One dropped on America a few days ago is apparently already dead and buried? Was there some White House announcement about this yesterday, say, oh, halfway through the third period of U.S. versus Canada?

Things sure are moving fast lately, huh?

“In a matter of days, we will have a proposal,” Pelosi said, pointing to Obama’s forthcoming bill.

“It will be a much smaller proposal than we had in the House bill because that’s where we can gain consensus. But it will be big enough to put us on a path of affordable, quality health care for all Americans that holds insurance companies accountable.”…

Melody Barnes, a top Obama domestic policy adviser, did not dispute Pelosi’s characterization of the new plan as smaller in scope — and quite possibly in cost — than either the House or Senate health care bills…

“They (the summit participants) talked about medical malpractice reform and found possible areas of common ground there and so that’s something they (White House staff) will be looking at,” Barnes said. “They (summit participants) talked about purchasing insurance across state lines doing that, though, in a way to make sure people are treated fairly. So, I think we’ll look towards those issues and we will be drawing upon that. The conversation that took place at Blair House was important to us, because we wanted to hear what the leadership in Congress had to say.”

Remember Plan B? The Journal claimed last week, right before the O-Care summit, that Obama was preparing a scaled-down package as back-up in case it looked like the votes weren’t there for his comprehensive leviathan bill. The specs: 15 million insured, one-quarter the cost of Plan A. By shrinking the bill to more modest proportions, they figured they might finally get the votes from Blue Dogs that they need. The only problem? Progressives don’t want a modest bill, they want something ambitious, so Plan B was likely to lose liberal votes even as it picked up centrist ones. “It’s probably the big bill or nothing,” said one top Democratic aide a few days ago to Politico. So here comes Plan C, which I’m guessing won’t be much smaller than the bill Obama introduced last week but will, as Barnes hints, incorporate a few GOP ideas like tort reform. The hope is that liberals will be placated by its sheer size while Blue Dogs will be tempted by the inclusion of a few token conservative proposals to make their vote more defensible to red districts. Pelosi gave you a sneak preview of the new spin yesterday: The bill doesn’t need Republican votes to be “bipartisan,” all it needs are Republican ideas. And if it has Republican ideas, why shouldn’t it be rammed through with reconciliation, right? Voila — Plan C, the first “bipartisan” bill in history aimed at a party-line vote.

Here’s Serpenthead on GMA this morning insisting that Democrats must pass something to prove they can govern, which is just the latest rationalization in the left’s long, long line of self-delusion about the electoral consequences of this nightmare. Madam Speaker seems refreshingly candid by comparison: If you’re going to commit political kamikaze, do it with your eyes open.


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