Original Link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-latt/republicans-in-league-wit_b_403942.html
By David Latt
Liberal bloggers have attacked the health care reform bill now in the conference committee. The all-but-eliminated-public option, the proposed taxes on so-called Cadillac health plans won by union workers over years of difficult labor negotiations, the attack on abortion rights, the lack of restraints of insurance company fees, the rejection of competition in drug pricing, all these and many more failings in the bill have been railed against on this site and others.
The amount of money spent by lobbyists on the campaign to influence the health care debate has been enormous. Their successes would appear to be the direct result of a massive PR campaign combined with seemingly unlimited political donations.
There is no doubt that health care reform has been weakened by these pressures. But let's not forget that in the end more Americans will be covered by health care and egregious practices such as being denied health care coverage because of a previous medical condition will have been ended.
Unfortunately, notwithstanding the tremendous efforts by the President and the Democratic leadership, the resulting bill will create a health care system as ugly and absurd as a gerrymandered Congressional district.
The blame for these defeats invariably is placed on the Democrat's lack of will in facing up to lobbyists. President Obama too is attacked for not sticking to his principles and caving in to special interests and big campaign donors.
I think there are failings a plenty on that side of the aisle, but let's not forget that the Republicans have entirely removed themselves from this process. The mealy mouthed Mitch McConnell, leader of the Senate Republicans, and his disingenuous side-kick in the House, Eric Cantor, have played the spoiler role. Offering up only the most cynical counter-proposals, they have stayed on the side-lines hectoring the effort.
Without a legitimate, elected opposition engaged in the process, lobbyists gained undue power. Did the Republican Party make a backroom deal with the lobbyists? Whether or not it was done covertly, the lobbyists did the Republican Party's dirty work.
Republicans opened the door to the lobbyists and they rushed in. If liberal bloggers want to attack the process, put the Republican leadership into their sights.