WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Emerging deal to resolve Uncle Sam's partial shutdown/debt ceiling crisis: Victory for K Street lobbyists?

After all the huffing and puffing, after all the rhetoric, after all the anguish and real people suffering, Senate powerbrokers may have crafted a deal which not only rewards some big corporations - specifically, the big manufacturers of medical devices - but the K Street lobbyists who work 24/7 on their behalf.

This can't be good news for idealists on EITHER side of the political spectrum.

But, we could see the headlights of this locomotive coming down the track WEEKS ago. It would be the one major concession G.O.P. Congressional leaders could say they had extracted from the Obama Administration on the President's health-care overhaul -- no matter that this was hardly the concession sought by anti-Obama activists.

(Other possible concessions: A measure to verify the incomes of everyone who applies for subsidies and/or a one-year postponement of a tax to help insurers that cover a lot of sick people)

From Alec MacGillis in The NEW REPUBLIC on line...


Posted at 7:48am on October 15, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Tue, Oct 15, 2013 8:29am
I believe that source is mistaken. Democrats have since rejected the repeal of the tax on the medical device industry and have opted instead to delay the reinsurance tax and perhaps take a subsidy away from the insurance companies. This reinsurance tax is a tax that is levied on all larger health plans for a 3 year period from 2014-2016 (it decreases each year) in order to provide subsidies to insurance companies that operate plans in the exchange in order to defray potential costs if the initial exchange participants skew towards the higher cost customers (e.g. those with pre-existing conditions and those in the 55-64 age group).

It was first reported that organized labor would be the sole beneficiary of the exemption but other sources are now being quoted as saying all companies will benefit too. The medical device tax provides a bigger base of revenue to support the ACA and the lost revenue from the re-insurance tax does not appear to be as significant.

Bottom line: It is still a give-away to the Republicans but is one that doesn't undercut that much funding for Obamacare as would the repeal of the medical device tax.

Tue, Oct 15, 2013 10:35am
Just for fun here is a Huff Post compiled list of the sleasest things that have been done during the shutdown.

Grandstand at the World War II Memorial. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R)

Berate a Park Ranger for the effects of the shutdown. Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas)

Put on lab coats and chastise Democrats for not funding cancer research. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.)

Fundraise off the whole debacle. Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.)

Rub their "nice house" in the faces of 800,000 Federal employees they helped furlough. Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.)

Tell furloughed employees they shouldn't get back pay while they're prohibited from working. Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.)

Suggest furloughed employees take out loans if they can't pay the bills. Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.)

Accuse the president of "curb-stomping" people. Steve Stockman, Texas Republican

Keep the Congressional gym and other amenities open as essential services. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)

Complain that the gym is gross and doesn't have enough towels. Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.)


Kind of in a round about way, shows who is exactly at fault for this shutdown, doesn't it?

Meanwhile Breitbart is bashing Senate Republicans for working with Democrats and compromising and for not letting the global economy blow up....

Breitbart is mad, furious there will not be another global Recession and meltdown! ... Told you all they were not a real news source... Lol. lol. lol... And to think... some of you once quoted them as truth...especially on Benghazi... my, my...

Tue, Oct 15, 2013 11:07am
Allan, while you were gone were you aware of the Ginger Gibson flap that occurred. Al Mascitti wondered on air yesterday, if you could land a very interesting interview with her....

Tue, Oct 15, 2013 11:20am
Lots of posts, kavips...too much time on your hands?

Both sides of the political aisle have done the stupid political games...not only those with an (R) next to their names.

And yes, now that it looks like the "establishment-type" moderate Republicans (McCain, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell and Bohner) are about to cave and even allow a year postponement for unions to defer the ACA. Of course, Tea Party-types are disgusted with the same political game being played and the usual suspects (moderates) fold to the Democrat demands. That's why many Republicans are not giving any more money/support to the G.O.P. ...#defundthegop

And, yes Benghazi is still a big deal. Just because the press has dropped the story doesn't mean it's not real... same with the I.R.S., N.S.A., & "Fast & Furious" scandals. It only took one scandal to impeach Nixon...

Tue, Oct 15, 2013 12:23pm
Uhhh, no Earl. Time is constant... I have the same amount of time on my hands everyday. It is how I use it that differs... :)

Just in... Republicans are overjoyed. The House Republicans emerged from caucus and put forth a new proposal that states if their demands are met, they will, on bended knee, reopen the government....

Those demands provide clarity.....

Republicans now shut down our government; put 800,000 people out of work; closed innumerable businesses; and risked global economic annihilation for a 2-year delay of medical device tax and to take away health-care subsidies from members of Congress.

I dare anyone here to say we need more Republicans.....

Tue, Oct 15, 2013 12:27pm
I was poking fun above.... because actually, whatever Boehner ends up squeezing out of the House Republicans if he manages to get anything at all is irrelevant. If Republicans want to reopen government and avoid default, they are going to have to work with Democrats. And given that Democrats aren't asking for Republicans to do anything other than reopen the government and avoid default, the choice for Republicans is clear: Either they support the government shutdown and forcing default, or they don't.

Tue, Oct 15, 2013 7:12pm
Earl.. upon reflection, there are fewer of my posts than normal. If the thread was full at 40 or 50 comments, my few would fit right in. The problem is that Republicans are so sick in their stomach over what they've done, and how bad they are losing, and how horribly wrong they were, that in their embarrassment, they simply aren't doing their part in keeping this thing running....

Tue, Oct 15, 2013 9:03pm
TEA party Republicans need to keep the pressure on and not re-open the government until the left gets it right.

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 12:41am
Good thing no one listens to you about politics... Btw. What is the most popular flavor of pizza in downtown Chester? Mushrooms or pepperoni? Or plain cheese? If it is plain cheese, is that because it is usually cheaper, or do people prefer it for the taste?

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 6:52am
Kavips: Couldn't tell ya for sure, but I think pepperoni, which for whatever reason seems universal everywhere.

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 8:13am
kavips: I think the low post count for this topic is because everyone is sick and tired of Congress, the president and politicians in general "crying wolf". They have done this so many times that people longer believe there's any danger (wolf) and choose to ignore them...and let them "hammer out" a backroom deal at 11:59.

If anyone should be hiding and embarrassed, it should be anyone who still believes that ACA is going to fulfill any of the promises given...even NPR this morning was discussing the huge failure/embarrassment the system has been so far.
On WDEL's front page we see that the first Delawarean was able to sign up for the ACA Marketplace...any private company that launched this pathetically would be laughed out-of-business and for good reason.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Oct 16, 2013 8:23am
Mrpizza: Like Obama or Obamacare [ACA], it was legally passed by BOTH the House, and the Senate, plus the Prez signed it into law. The new House [after 2012 election] has tried 42 times to vote Obamacare off the island, but doesn't have the votes in the Senate to do this. Even if they did, the Prez isn't going to sign that bill, so both House and Senate would need a super-majority to override his VETO [definitely not happening in the Senate at this point and probably not even the House has that super-majority needed].

So bottom line is, there's nothing the TEA folks can really do to end Obamacare unless they have a major win in 2014, in both House and Senate races. More probable is the TEA folks really won't be able to do anything unless they win the White House in 2016.

Like it or not, the 2012 Presidential election results seem to point to the idea that most of the nation is NOT willing to allow the TEA folks to run the nation or Romney would be Prez today, not Obama.

Keeping all this in mind, explain to me how all this ciaos the TEA folks are bringing our nation via their actions in the House with this shut down and endless crap that's become "the DC way" is going to inspire folks WHO ARE NOT TEA FOLKS to vote for your guy come 2016?

What it seems like to me, is the TEA folks can't accept they lost and be gracious losers. So instead have a national temper tantrum. Reality is, the TEA folks are totally afraid that once people start getting the benefits of Obamacare you'll never be able to get the nation to give it up, which is what happened with Social Security from the 1930's and Medicare from the 1960's. Thus this crazed frantic three ringed circus we've been experiencing via the TEA folks in DC.

Well if you and your co-TEA folks are so against these benefits, then put your talk to where your walk is and don't accept YOUR Social Security and Medicare benefits when your time to get them comes. That would show true conviction to your beliefs. Pay the fine each year rather than buy healthcare insurance via Obamacare once you retire and no longer have a medical plan via your employer.

So if you really hate those "evil government" programs that are designed to help folks, then by all means, reject YOUR benefits. THAT would be real statemenship.

Just like the TEA clowns in Congress, I don't see ANY of them doing that either. All talk, no walk. They don't care if YOU or I end up in poverty in our old age, they've got theirs, too bad for the rest of us. The Bush Jr. analogy fits, all hat no cattle.

You truly can't believe Jesus would agree with the TEA attitudes on this sort of issue of helping the lesser than thee, which is what Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicare all are designed to do. Yep it's a mild form of Socialism, sort of like getting a Flu shot, you get a mild form of Flu virus so you build up an immunity.

This way we have the best of both worlds, mostly market driven where it works best and some mild very few things that are more socialized, just enough, but not too much. Kind of the Goldilocks formula. Think about it. The best of both systems Capitalism and when needed some Socialism.

If your wife and family were not able to get healthcare insurance, or have a prexeisting condition where your family couldn't get healthcare insurance, you might be singing a different tune. So why would you and Jesus say to these folks, too bad for you, die. THAT isn't found in any version of Jesus' words I've ever seen. Ask yourself What Would Jesus Say and Do [WWJSD].

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 9:47am
Earl. Computer meltdowns completely stymied Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy XIV. That did nothing to stop their popularity which was based on how great the games were to play.

Saying Obamacare is horrible over the website being swamped with its popularity, is a pretty silly thing to do...

And putting silly stories of people who are shocked at Obamacare without publishing the millions of stories of people who are so happy to get insurance....

one versus millions.....

Is seen by most of us as being futile over sour grapes....

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 9:49am
Mike. it is pretty obvious the Tea Party really doesn't care about Obamacare anymore than they cared about Ambassador Stevens... Who's he? No one in the Tea Party even knows.

They only care about taking over the Republican Party...Nothing else matters to them...

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 10:55am
kavips: ACA isn't horrible only because of its sorry website that is only a piece in the huge bureaucratic puzzle of government-run health-care.

Even some of your DailyKos brethren (after seeing how they are personally affected) are turning against this beast...


Mike from Delaware
Wed, Oct 16, 2013 11:31am
EarlGrey: This issue will be ACA's Achilles' Heel, the additional cost to those of us who already are paying for our healthcare insurance via our employers. Mine policy will cost me far more, require more up front deductibles than in previous years. The reason is, Obamacare [ACA] requires some things that my employer provided plan didn't offer such as yearly physical exams [ours has been every 3 years]. Birth Control, Abortion stuff now free, no co-pay, no deductible.

So as I'd assume my employer isn't willing to pay more to provide our policy, they've simply passed that cost on to the employee.

My point is, as this happens to folks, this could provide the GOP/TEA folks the ammunition to sweep 2014/16 elections or to get those forced requirements that are costing all the rest of us far more in our premiums removed, no longer being required to be provided free.

Frankly I don't believe anyone should pay for someone's birth control or abortions. THAT is part of being an adult who is having sex. That couple and definitely the woman should be the one's taking care of that.

So rather than all this mess the TEA/GOP has brought on our nation now, they'd be better served to wait, be cool and then once folks finally see the "pig in a poke" they ended up with, THEN the TEA/GOP will have far more wide spread support to either modify Obamacare, or eliminate it with a better GOP plan [key is the GOP would need a real plan that actually is better].

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 11:38am
Mike: When the ACA crumbles...the Tea Partiers are going to have a very good 2014/2016 election cycle. Everyone knows where these Republicans stood on this issue and voters will punish those who forced this on the entire nation.

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 12:01pm
One of the important points the DailyKos blogger brought up as he was pummeled by the rest of the posters was this.

He offered the analogy of going car shopping...he and his family knew that a Nissan was what worked best for his family and it was in their budget and best fit their needs...so, he signed the paperwork for the Nissan only to find out the car salesman (ACA) sold him a Mercedes because (in order for the dealership to stay in business) he only sold people Mercedes...so he and his family are now stuck with a car they can't afford and it isn't what they wanted.

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 12:04pm
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz..."~Janis Joplin

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Oct 16, 2013 1:14pm
EarlGrey: a big assumption that the ACA will fail. My guess is, it won't. Just as with Social Security and Medicare.

However, that doesn't mean the ACA can't be tweaked to make it better and more cost effective. Again, why should folks pay for someone else's birth control pills or their abortions? What will be next, we pay for their wine and beer that led up to the reason they needed birth control pills or that abortion. The problem is women love this, so good luck getting these two thing unfunded.

So my guess Earl is the ACA is here to stay.

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 7:55pm
Hey Mike from Delaware: We at the TEA Party ain't going away. Get used to it!

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 8:21pm
By the way, Mike, I'm not falling for your guilt trip and WWJD and how I'd be singing a different tune, yada yada yada.
You don't even believe the bible outside of John 3:16 and Acts 16:31 and a few scriptures about helping the poor that you take out of context. You speak evil of the prosperity message and anybody who believe it or preaches it, yet you claim to care about the poor. No, you only THINK you care about the poor. If you truly cared about them, you wouldn't have people in your church that have been unemployed for 3 or 4 years. Personally, if I was in that situation, I'd be looking for another church that actually had some answers to my problems. What you do in reality is defend the devil and through your words give the devil permission to hold them hostage. You think that God needs government to enforce his will in the earth. What if he decides instead to use one of those "evil" corporations?

What would Jesus do? I'll tell you what he'd do. He'd say sow seed and believe God. In fact, this country is under so much of a threat because of this fraudulent health care scheme that people ain't gonna make it without God.

Finally, I want to make it emphatically clear that my health insurance is not there for the government to tamper with and redistribute to the poor. This isn't about helping people in the first place. This is about the federal government amassing power over the people and transforming America into a godless communist state. I don't need to sacrifice my health insurance to "help" others. I tithe and I give to institutions that help the poor as well as volunteer my time and effort. I already do what Jesus says to do, so don't give me that WWJD nonsense about health care. It's time you stop listening to that Babylonian nonsense and get some faith teaching.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Oct 16, 2013 9:34pm
Mrpizza: We both are brothers in Christ, but understand the words of Christ differently (that's what motivated Martin Luther to try to reform the Catholic Church, getting excommunicated & then starting the first Protestant church - the Lutheran Church). So growing in our walks with Christ is part of that. So that means we're at a different place in our journey with Jesus. I think that means we'll just have to agree to disagree & pray for both of us to grow in understanding (the smoked-colored glass thing). Be at peace.

Wed, Oct 16, 2013 9:45pm
Mike: I think ACA was set up to fail...the blame will be placed on Republcans/Tea Party..and the only "logical" solution is single-payer system.
Now that the debt ceiling "catastrophe" has been avoided...on to the next battle...immigration. If the Republicans fold on this one there won' be a Republican president ever again...or at least not any time soon.

Thu, Oct 17, 2013 2:37am
Earl, cherry picking one's comments out of Daily Kos is a dangerous thing to do. For to that one to which you refer, decrying his increase in his cost, there are 30-40 testimonies of people who are overjoyed how the ACA is helping them....

I heard snippets of Allan's interview this noon, with someone describing the rollout as such... (Hope Allan can update with the name of the source and his affiliation):

Most people will pay around $10,000 a year. That is like a used-car purchase, or the down payment on a house. One doesn't walk in to a house and sign on the first day. One shops around. Same with a new car. That is a big purchase with a lot of implications to decide on in one day, or one week. I feel the deadline will be the peak in traffic.

Furthermore before, one didn't have choices. Now one does. Oh, I want this option. Oh! I want that option. Then the sticker-shock... Huh? Most people never read their insurance packets until they get turned down on a procedure because what they purchased didn't cover it...

The Mercedes analogy makes it sound like that is what happened to that writer on the Kos; he could have gone with catastrophic-only and saved money. But when presented with options, it becomes harder to say "no". Do you want the dental plan that cleans your teeth once a year, or one that pays 85% of a root canal?

One nice point is that one's employer always made that decision for you. Now, people get to make that decision for themselves...

And finally, when something new comes out, most people wait to see how it looks before jumping in. Those who jump in usually have something to prove. Perhaps they want to prove it works well; perhaps they want to publicize how horrible it is...

Even if there were a program giving away free cars, those people first in line would be the ones complaining the loudest.... "Can you believe it? they'd say. "In my free car you have to roll the windows up yourself... This is junk!"

Social Security was pummeled by the wealthy back in the 30's. But regular people loved it then; they love it today...

If enough love Obamacare, it will get tweaked every time it needs it, just as Social Security and Medicare were tweaked, but those people doing the tweaking will be held accountable to voters every election cycle.

That is the good part of this whole deal. Those in charge of our health are accountable to us... finally.

Thu, Oct 17, 2013 2:53am
Earl, the Republican Party can win in 2016, if it does some certain things.

One, it splits from the Tea Party. That has to happen. If it doesn't, your predictions are correct. The Tea Party weakens the moderate Republicans in their districts by direct association, and the moderate Republicans weaken the Tea Party likewise.

One can see the appeal of Republicans who don't have Tea Party baggage. Chris Christie comes to mind. If you watched the polls a year ago, you probably know that one or two teabaggers sank the entire Republican ticket with their choice remarks over rape and women's reproductive cycles.

Imagine the outcome had those comments been made by another party and not by anyone even remotely connected to the Republicans? 2012 could have been a totally different ball game. At best, the score would have been a lot closer. But Democrats were very effectively able to use the Tea Party to paint the Republican Party as the Tea Party, and Romney sort of ran from what he was in Massachusetts, and followed that lead, and that is what caused him to lose.

Make the break... If you are a RINO who likes moderation and compromise, you stay in the Republican Party. If you are not, you need to be a Tea Pot head.

if this divorce happens, when the Democrats in just 3 years say... "Look at the damage the Republicans did over Obamacare" the Republican party can say. "that wasn't us; that was those nuts in the Tea party. We're the normal party now." Voters have short memories.

Thu, Oct 17, 2013 7:40am
kavips: Why would that political formula work in the Republicans' favor this time? That is exactly what the G.O.P. keeps doing...and losing.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.-Einstein

We will have to see what happens over the next few years to see which of us is correct on this one.

Thu, Oct 17, 2013 7:54am
kavips: It only takes one honest blogger to set a site like the DailyKos into chaos. I read the whole exchange between the original poster and the follow-up attacks on the guy... some going so far as to call him a "secret Republican mole" (quite the insult at the DK)... a very entertaining read to see how quickly anyone who dares tell the emperor he has no clothes is demonized and attacked to save the leader's greatest "accomplishment".

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