They’ve Heard Us
An understandably frustrated Karin commented to a recent post:
Does it really matter who yells and screams. They have no intention of changing the way they vote. The yelling is out of pure frustration that we have zero control over these guys.
One needn’t read Sunday’s Providence Journal article about our delegation’s backing off the public option to comfort Karin that the voices of opposition are making a difference. Of course, it helps to read such things:
For that reason, Langevin suggested that it was a blessing in disguise that both houses of Congress failed to meet Mr. Obama’s early-August deadline for passing a bill.
“I’m glad we had this break to slow this down a little bit,” Langevin said, adding that the prospect of historic changes in health care has provoked his constituents to a rare outpouring of deep and personal feelings. Langevin said a powerful theme of the public response has been, “We have to do this the right way. Don’t rush it.”
Yes, the community dinner hosted by Senator Whitehouse and Senator Reed was a bit more subdued than Langevin’s town hall the night before, and we’ll see how things go for Whitehouse and Reed in Johnston, tomorrow night But our elected political insiders and their staffs can see the wind shifting away from the hard left.
That’s no excuse, of course, for turning down the volume, if only to discredit such statements as this:
“If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan.”
But Langevin quickly acknowledged that it may not be possible to keep such a sweeping promise. “There is no guarantee” against at least some disruptions of health insurance coverage, he said.
For example, Langevin said, “It’s true that some employers could opt for a penalty” rather than let their workers keep their current health plans.
“Certainly there are always unaccounted for, unpredictable and unintended consequences,” in an enterprise as vast and complex as Mr. Obama’s planned health-care overhaul, Langevin said.
Similarly, Reed was unwilling to repeat Mr. Obama’s promise to the satisfied customer that “you can keep your health plan.”
“That is our goal and that is our purpose,” Reed said. “We will try our best.”
I’m not referring to the persistent statement about keeping one’s healthcare, which is a lie wherever it isn’t followed by the phrase, “for up to five years.” Rather, I mean to indicate the suggestion that consequences described by opponents of the plan are “unpredictable and unintended.” The fact is that hundreds of Rhode Islanders — thousands of Americans across the country — have been showing up at their representatives’ events explicitly to make such predictions, to the degree that not seeking to avoid the consequences would be strongly suggestive of intention.