Jane Rebuts Mrs. Greenspan’s CW with Mr. Bayh’s Conflict

Jane’s appearance on MSNBC today was pitch perfect punditry.

Not only was Jane beautiful, in control of the facts, and poised, but I especially love the way Jane smacked down Andrea Mitchell’s beltway Conventional Wisdom. When Mitchell started suggesting that the co-ops were the middle ground, Jane turned this onto supporters of the co-ops.

Mitchell: Kent Conrad and other more conservative Democrats who have been negotiating these compromises in Senate Finance say that there will be no bill if there’s a public option.

Hamsher: Well, with 76% of the country in favor of it, you’ve got Democrats like Joe Crowley, like Charlie Rangel, like Ed Markey who are going to have trouble going back to their districts that have 22% Democratic advantage and saying "I gave the farm away to the insurance companies."

Mitchell: So you’ve got the House that’s committed to this, that say they won’t do anything if it doesn’t have a public option, and you’ve got the Senate saying they won’t do it if there is a public option. Is there a compromise there that does involve those co-ops, or is it better to have nothing?

Hamsher: Well, the compromise is the public plan–that’s the compromise down from single payer. So that is the middle ground. And frankly I would like to see Democrats like Evan Bayh and like Max Baucus stand on the floor of the Senate and filibuster the Democratic program that 76% of the country …

Mitchell: But Jane that’s not gonna happen. It’s not where they are.

Hamsher: Uh, why not?

Mitchell: Because that’s not where they see their constituency. That’s not where Evan Bayh sees more conservative Democrats in his state of Indiana.

Hamsher: Evan Bayh’s wife is on the Board of Wellpoint. So I think that he’s going to have a problem doing something that tanks the Democratic plan that strongly favors something that he has a financial interest in. There’s a whole lot of insurance money going to these Senators and that’s going to be something that people are going to be looking into if that’s how this winds up.

Mitchell: Civil war?

Hamsher: I think that there’s going to be a problem. Read more

Why Isn’t Billy Tauzin at a Town Hall Meeting?

Digby and mcjoan both have good posts on the question of whether or not Obama made a deal with PhRMA for $80 billion in concessions for an agreement that negotiating on drug prices won’t be a part of health care reform. A short recap:

August 5: Deputy Chief of Staff and former Max Baucus Chief of Staff Jim Messina says there is a deal

August 6: Messina and David Axelrod tell Sherrod Brown there is no deal

August 6: White House spokesperson Dan Pfeiffer says there is too a deal

Pfeiffer, incidentally, suggests Brown may have misunderstood what he was told–which (according to Pfeiffer) is that Dems can negotiate price caps outside of health care reform.

Me, I suspect the real misunderstanding is that Pelosi and Brown and everyone else trying to do this right misunderstand that the White House has already decided that the Senate Finance Committee bill will be the bill, and the hard work they’ve been doing to come up with better bills has just been smoke and mirrors to make the progressives think they had some role in this process.

But aside from the question, Deal or No Deal, I’ve got another question.

Why the fuck isn’t Billy Tauzin, the head of PhRMA, sending out representatives to every town hall across the country to pitch the value of health care reform? Why hasn’t Bristol-Myers Squibb gotten Dick Armey to call off the violent hordes at the town halls?

If Billy Tauzin has really exacted the deal it appears he has, it means the pharmaceutical industry has turned health care reform into a giant government subsidy for their industry. Well, then, why aren’t they leading the way in supporting this crappy bill?