Lots of good responses to our Question of the Day today, which was: Democrats are taking swings at the GOP, and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) in particular, for opposing health care reform. But does the GOP opposition matter? If moderate Democratic votes are what's needed, why the fuss?
Functionally, they are not relevant at all. Regardless of plans they will vote solidly against. I'd be surprised if Obama gets a single Republican vote in either the House or the Senate on any iteration of a health reform plan.
Optically it matters a little bit. Always useful to have a foil. Especially one that is so obviously insipid and unpopular. Honestly, what's easier: explaining and justifying a really complex and expensive program or showing that all the wrong people are against it?
Republicans are "relevant" to the Senate vote because Snowe and Collins potentially are equally gettable or even more gettable than Ben Nelson or other Dems from dark red states. Being torn between the politics of your party and the opposite politics of your state means you can go either way.
In the House, Republicans don't matter, and I don't think Democrats are acting like they matter. The focus probably is most heavily on purple-district moderates, probably still giving guys like Walt Minnick and Travis Childers a pass...although probably some conservaDems will vote for a liberal bill anyway, since for some of them their conservatism is often more cultural than economic and they are, after all Democrats for some reason or another and "pocketbook populist liberalism" could be it.
Yes. In fact, I wish the health care plan was written more along the lines of what Orrin Hatch talked about last night on Chris Matthews. Kent Conrad was good also. I think the NON-governmental public option of using credit union-like coops is a very good compromise.
Cost reductions in Medicare and Medicaid, along with more individually-oriented health insurance plans are most important to me. Expanding coverage should be done AFTER costs are brought under control.
The Pelosi/House health care plans are monstrosities. In fact, horrible sounding sections (government control, no choices) of the bills are being posted in online blogs by conservatives to influence people against the bills.
These were just a few--to see all the responses and to weigh in, see the Question of the Day post here.