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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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2 Responses

  1. Avatar Zach says:

    I think it would be more effective rhetorically to just lay out exactly what needs to be in a bill or he’ll veto it. It would make him look like an enforcer keeping the less-trusted Congress in line. Now and then Obama could pop up and point to provisions in bills coming out of committee that would be deal breakers to show how serious he is. If I were writing his speech and crafting his plan I would done two things:
    1. Make a bill that’s totally worked up and scored by the CBO and health experts for cost and effectiveness
    2. Promise to veto any bill that: taxes people under $250k, subsidizes care for illegal immigrants, lowers Medicare/caid benefits, doesn’t lower the cost curve, isn’t 10-year deficit neutral by the CBO, doesn’t provide insurance to anyone who wants it, raises the cost of insurance for middle-class families, or allows preexisting condition discrimination

    Use his speech to announce that he’s providing Congress with such a bill, but that they don’t have to take it and he’ll sign anything that meets those criteria if they have ideas about how to do it better.

    This allows him to say “my plan” without drawing Hillarycare comparisons. Anyway, “lie” is way too harsh here; by “my plan” Obama clearly means he’ll sign a bill that does these things, and that these are the broad outlines that he’s providing Congress. I mean we know what’s actually being debated here, and what Obama’s describing are features shared by all of the bills under debate. There’s not much value in this sort of rhetorical gotcha stuff, and Obama would draw exponentially more heat if he was forcing a plan down Congress’s throat.Report