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Kraigmo's avatar

On the Health bill that passed... why did the Democrats compromise with Republicans even though only 1 Republican voted for the bill? What's the point of compromising then?

Asked by Kraigmo (8150points) November 8th, 2009

The recent health care bill, passed last night in Congress, makes several key concessions to the Republicans (AKA Insurance Companies), such as the watering down of the public option, restrictions on abortion, and other compromises.

Why did they bother “working with” Republicans at all, if all they got was 1 Republican vote? It seems to me, since they did not need actual Republicans to vote with them, why didn’t they just do America good, ram single-payer healthcare through and get it over with?

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13 Answers

drdoombot's avatar

Good question.

I think the answer is that, moreso than to the Republicans, they were pandering more toward right-leaning Democrats.

I’m thinking I need to redirect my distaste toward these so-called “Blue Dog Democrats,” as they seem to be the ones to gunking up the works.

ciaoxtina's avatar

@drdoombot Well, that’s actually interesting as many of the Blue Dog Dems voted against the HRA. Which makes the compromise – most notably on the Stupak Amendment – all the more frustrating.

NYT has an interesting graphic showing which Dems voted against it:

Well, it’s a step forward regardless – politics is the art of the possible, as the saying goes.

MagsRags's avatar

I think it’s likely that the Dems are also thinking about how to respond to independent and republican voters in their home districts – they can show they made a good faith effort toward bipartisanship and got their hand bitten off.

Judi's avatar

@ciaoxtina ; interesting stats. I am wondering if the Senate should be easier since it is a state wide election and not so regional. I guess we’ll see.

drdoombot's avatar

@ciaoxtina Another thing to take note of is that a lot of those Blue Dog Dems are up for reelection in next year’s midterm elections. They’re putting on a show for their conservative districts so they don’t lose their seats. Politics as usual, I guess.

gemiwing's avatar

I don’t know but I’m getting really sick of feeling like Republicans are the cranky two-year old on a trip to Disney Land. This could be amazing and wonderful, yet there they are, flinging themselves around on the ground having a tantrum

ekans's avatar

The way I see it, it is never good for one party to seem to be entirely in charge. If the Democrats just did exactly what they wanted, then they would be seen as having too much power. By at least attempting to reach out, the Democrats sent the message of “Hey, we know that we are in charge, and really don’t need you(Republicans), but, if we just ignore any opposition, then the process isn’t really working as it should. Yes, we got elected, but that doesn’t mean that nobody else matters.” I think that it is kind of smart, because, at least personally, having one group (even one that I share many ideas with) in charge scares me a lot.

Kraigmo's avatar

@ekans, but they don’t seem to be gaining anything from that? The Republicans still refuse to go along with anything the Democrats try to do in this issue, and on top of that, they are actively trying to disrupt and confuse the issue with contracted psychological operations on people who are susceptible to that. (Such as… sending a retired “4 star general and surgeon” who they pay $10,000 plus expenses to, to appear on Fox news and give an “expert” “analysis” of the health care bills). Or sending more of their “experts” out to appear on the AM radio talk show circuit. Or putting up horror stories on Youtube, pretending to be individual users.

Judi's avatar

@gemiwing ; My daughter actually did that on a trip to Disneyland when she was six!

ekans's avatar

@Kraigmo I don’t think that any democrat actually anticipated that the republicans would be very cooperative. The important thing is that the democrats are giving themselves a valid reason to blame the republicans. If the democrats had not talked to the republicans at all, then they would likely be having an even worse time. The republicans would complain that the democrats are too powerful, and they are entirely in charge and nothing can stop them and they hate america, etc… Now, however, if the republicans say that, the democrats can respond by explaining how they tried to reach out, but it was the republicans who refused to compromise. In this way, they can shift the blame onto the republicans.

proXXi's avatar

You’ve missed the point of compromise.

dpworkin's avatar

In order for the bill to pass, it had to garner the votes of the “Blue Dog” Democrats. They are called Blue, because they have turned their (formerly) conservative states Blue. They are called Dogs because they roll over for Big Healthcare and Pharma.

Psychedelic_Zebra's avatar

Because the definition of politics is “one politician scratches another politicians’ back while the tax payer continues to get screwed up the ass.”

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