.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
The Expansionist
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
 
Reverse-Negotiating on Healthcare. It occurs to me that the Democrats should embark on the type of bargaining that some comics have shown in comedy skits. Instead of the ordinary get-closer approach, they go farther apart, to force the weaker party to accept an even less advantageous position than they started from. That is, Bob Smith offers to buy something from Randolph Jones but the two do not initially agree on price. Jones wants $100. Smith offers $50. Jones comes down to 90; Smith comes up to 60. Jones down to 80; Smith up to 70. They agree at 75. That's the way striking a deal is usually done. The comic version is Jones asks 100. Smith offers 50. Jones counters with 110. Smith offers 60. Jones demands 120! Smith jumps to 90. But Jones goes on to demand 150! Smith panics, and realizes that if he is to have any chance at all of buying something he really wants, he will have to grab it at 150, $50 higher than the first price offered!
+
That's what Democrats should do with Republicans on healthcare. To date, everything has been going down and down and down, to the point that Democrats have almost nothing left to give, because Republicans have gotten just about everything they wanted. The only step down that still remains is to abandon healthcare reform entirely for at least this year, and possibly for the remainder of President Obama's (first) term. It's time to reverse-bargain.
+
If the Republicans demand any further weakening, the Dems should retreat up one step higher toward their ultimate goal of single-payer, as to cooperatives organized by the Federal Government rather than by private parties. If Republicans are puzzled by that and still try to scuttle any measure, the Dems should go higher still, to a publicly owned, quasi-governmental health insurance corporation, the "public option". If Republicans don't grab that deal while they have the chance, but try to weasel out of that and down again toward no action this year, the Dems should raise the demand to single-payer! And if the Republicans don't cave in then, they should threaten full-scale "Socialized Medicine", Government takeover whereby all doctors, nurses, EMT's, hospital administrators, etc., are made Federal employees, to receive a fixed salary paid by Government check!
+
That's an outline of the way the Dems should work. (I initially mistyped that as "Demos". That's appropriate: Greek for "the people". That is whom the Democrats are supposed to represent: the people. They must never forget that.)
+
The steps I show are few and blunt, not finely gradated, because I don't know if there are proposals intermediate to the major points of contention I mention. If there are 10 or 15 points on the continuum rather than 5 (do nothing, private coops, public option, single-payer, full Governmental takeover of healthcare), each step of the reverse-negotiation can go a shorter distance toward the extreme, uppermost limit (Government takeover), and end up winning for the people the single-payer system they want or, at very worst, public option. The way Dems have permitted Republicans to play them, however, in phony negotiations — Republicans offer as the only consideration for Democratic concessions, Republican votes for the final legislation that they have no intention of delivering, no matter what proposal is offered — the Dems have almost nothing left of their original proposal, and thus nothing left to offer to try to get Republican votes except total cave-in and either total abandonment of legislation this session or a bill that is so watered-down as to be essentially useless and pointless, whereupon Democrats won't vote for it.
+
My way, the Democrats would play the Republicans, with an offer to let them in on the credit for a reform that Democrats are perfectly capable of passing over Republican objections. If Dems do have to pass reform over Republican stonewalling, Democrats will have a mace with which to smash the Republican Party in midterm elections and onward. Because real reform will save the typical family hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year, and the Democrats can use the refusal of Republicans to vote for the measure that saved them so much money, and even their house and car, to bludgeon the Republicans in 2010 and 2012.
+
It is absurd for Democrats to negotiate, in good faith, with people who are only pretending, in manifest BAD faith, to negotiate. It's time for Dems to reverse-negotiate and force the Republicans to go ever farther up the chain of alternative proposals toward single-payer. When they see that a real reform that will achieve striking change that the electorate will LOVE, can pass without them, the Republicans will have only one choice: sign on, or consign themselves to the trash heap of history, and face voters who will punish them for voting against the people.
+
At end, a great many Republicans will have to tell their masters in the healthcare megacorporations that they can't stop change, and if they even try, they will be thrown out of office. "We won't be able to help you at all, ever again in the future, if we lose our jobs trying to save your most extreme agenda. You are going to have to accept what we have to accept: when it's time for a sea change, you have to go with the flow or be drowned."
+
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,331 — for Israel.)



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

Powered by Blogger