There’s a mix of topics as bloggers watch the dust settle following Democrats’ passage of a health overhaul bill.
The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza examines “what we know — and what we don’t — about the past, present and future of health care politics.”
The Treatment’s Anthony Wright says health reform will continue to be a big issue as the government begins implementation of the new law: “[T]he work under health reform continues… or rather, it explodes. Instead of being concentrated in Congress for just over a year, health reform will spur frenetic activity over the next five years across the nation, at both the federal and state level, in venues both legislative and regulatory.”
FiveThirtEight.com’s Nate Silver tries to make sense of post-health care vote polls: “If we take an average of the four polls that have been conducted entirely after the health care bill passed the House, rather (those from Gallup, Rasmussen, Quinnipiac and CBS), they average out to 43 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed. Those are numbers that I think Democrats would gladly take relative to where health care has been in the past, but it’s not exactly as though the bill has become wildly popular — nor is it likely to do so in advance of the midterms.”
Economist Uwe Reinhardt recommends documents on the blog Economix to help readers “wrap [their heads] around the health bill.”
Heritage’s Rob Bluey says the House health care reconciliation bill contains more taxes than the Senate version: “By signing the legislation, Obama already broke his campaign promise not to raise “any form” of taxes on families making less than $250,000 per year. The reconciliation bill adds even more taxes for Americans — an estimated $52.3 billion over 10 years, according to a new analysis from Americans for Tax Reform.”
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, defends his health care position on Critical Condition: “It’s regrettable that instead of examining the legality of their health-care monstrosity, the administration and its allies are simply going on a smear campaign. From one experienced legislator, let me give Washington one very important piece of advice: Don’t think you are right 100 percent of the time with everything you do. Arrogance and are a terrible mix, and one the American people will not support.”
Elsewhere, bloggers look at reports of harassment and death threats to lawmakers after the heated debate on the bill.
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey points to comments about harrassment from Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., who said he has experienced harrassment and thinks lawmakers publicly discussing them are “fanning the flames.” Morrissey says, “I think Cantor put this very well. Threats of political violence come from the fringes of American debate, and represent no one and no movement except the lunatics who make the threats. The ‘I’m getting death threats’ has become a tired meme in the American media, and a handy way for politicians to avoid the responsible accountability that mainstream Americans demand. And it’s not just Democrats who have indulged in that avoidance strategy in the past, although they’re certainly the culprits of the moment.”
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein thinks public officials should be careful in their framing of issues: “Nuts are nuts. But there is a danger to the sort of rhetoric the GOP has used over the past few months. When Rep. Devin Nunes begs his colleagues to say “no to socialism, no to totalitarianism and no to this bill”; when Glenn Beck says the bill “is the end of America as you know it”; when Sarah Palin says the bill has “death panels” — that stuff matters. … But you can’t count on people to simply cower when they’re afraid, or write letters to the editor. Sometimes, they fight. It’s a dangerous emotion, and high as the stakes are, public figures need to be a lot more careful manipulating it.”
And The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent writes, “The whole thing is reminiscent of the summer, when Dem officials worked hard to elevate the town hall “mobs” in order to blame the unruly behavior on GOP rhetoric. It’s unclear, however, whether that effort did anything more than create a general sense in the public mind that the health care bill was deeply unpopular, and it’s equally unclear whether the current effort will accomplish anything more than that this time around.”