Left Wing: Health-Care Reform, Mitt Romney, and Next Steps

Week in Progressive Media

Health-care reform is still dominating this week, with different progressive outlets falling over themselves to explain to readers what just happened in the House, how it will affect regular Americans, and what will happen next in the Senate. Conservatives, meanwhile are pledging to vote with their feet come November.

Chris Bowers headlines one concern—that Republicans may still find obstacles to slow down the bill—in a recent piece for OpenLeft: “Republicans still taking process to the extreme, Democrats need to respond in kind.” He argues that

"During most of March, Republicans declared that passing legislation with only 51 votes in the Senate was THE MOST TOTALITARIAN MOVE EVAH. Now, to no one's surprise, Republicans are voting to allow only 51 votes to change the reconciliation bill in many ways, including non-budgetary items that run afoul of the Byrd Rule, as long as they believe those changes help defeat the reconciliation bill. To put it bluntly, Republicans are willing to use any procedural means necessary to achieve their goals. As such, the best move for Democrats is try and get reconciliation instructions for as much as possible in the budget bill that will be passed next month."

Bowers concludes that when it comes to Democrats governing, reconciliation is about the only way forward.

To clear up further confusion about the health care that might upset Americans, Atrios, now Eschaton, links to a Media Matters piece that aims to assure readers that Obama is exempt from the new legislation, as reported in some outlets. “Media have falsely claimed President Obama, members of his administration, and certain congressional staff are "exempt" from the recently enacted health care bill. In fact, the bill subjects the White House, members of Congress, and their staffs to the same reforms and requirements as the rest of the American people.”

DailyKos’s Jed Lewison writes that Mitt Romney’s presidential ambitions will fall victim to health-care reform by posting a video that, he says, “Shows Romney repeatedly endorsing a central plank of what his Republican presidential primary opponents will derisively call 'ObamaCare.' " Even if Democrats never run this video again, his primary opponents will run it—and in the process, destroy Romney's presidential aspirations.

Between the DNC video and the above quote, it's clear that until 2010, Mitt Romney agreed with President Obama on a key pillar of health-care reform. Romney now claims he never supported that long-held position, but the video doesn't lie. The clips in this video will become Romney's own Waterloo. In today's Republican Party, absolute opposition to President Obama is a core litmus test—and on the issue that has most enraged the GOP base, Romney was utterly failed that test. See the video here.