ChrisWeigant.com

Archive of Articles in the "Health Care" Category

Friday Talking Points -- The GOP's Double Standards

[ Posted Friday, February 26th, 2021 – 18:31 UTC ]

In the past week, two of the biggest political stories have been which way the Senate parliamentarian was going to rule on an arcane rule in the chamber, and how one of President Joe Biden's nominees might be in trouble because in the past she had (gasp!) tweeted such mean things as: "vampires have more heart than Ted Cruz" (a statement that is not provably true only because vampires are mythical creatures while the heartlessness of Ted Cruz is, sadly, all too real).

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Manchin Is The New Lieberman

[ Posted Wednesday, February 24th, 2021 – 17:57 UTC ]

While everyone agrees on the obvious truism that President Joe Biden is now the most powerful Democrat in Washington, the person next in line in this new partisan power structure isn't as obvious. Because it is not actually Kamala Harris, Chuck Schumer, or Nancy Pelosi, despite them being (respectively) vice president, Senate majority leader, and speaker of the House. No, instead the biggest power player in Washington after Biden is now Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. He has now set himself up to be "the next Joe Lieberman." Under President Barack Obama, Lieberman acted as a virtual caucus of one, determining what was allowably "centrist" enough for him to support and vote for. Manchin has now thrust himself into exactly the same position, and by doing so will hold the keys to Biden's ultimate legislative success or failure for at least the next two years.

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Democrats Hold The Winning Hand On COVID Relief Bill

[ Posted Tuesday, February 23rd, 2021 – 17:31 UTC ]

Joe Biden's first major legislative initiative is going to be a winning one for Democrats, and (hopefully) a big anchor around the neck of all the Republicans in Congress who vote against it (which, as of this writing, looks like it's going to be "all of them"). It's rare that a bill this popular doesn't have bipartisan support, because most politicians on either side of the aisle know full well that voting for something wildly popular -- even if your party didn't propose it -- is usually good politics. It's something to brag about in the next election campaign, in normal times.

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Friday Talking Points -- Ted Fled!

[ Posted Friday, February 19th, 2021 – 18:44 UTC ]

After one short month in office, President Joe Biden has already achieved his biggest goal. The country is united again. We all universally agree on one thing, with true bipartisan spirit. What is this unifying belief which all Americans now share? That Ted Cruz is an awful excuse for a human being.

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Biden Brilliantly Redefines Bipartisanship

[ Posted Thursday, February 18th, 2021 – 17:28 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has had his ups and downs in his first month in office. His biggest down to date has been his propensity to telegraph much too early that he knows his bargaining position isn't going to carry the day -- before the bargaining is even really close to being over. He's done this on the push for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and now he's doing it on the immigration bill just proposed, by hinting that it might have to pass in several pieces instead of a comprehensive bill. Signaling what he'll ultimately accept too early undercuts Democrats fighting for the strongest bill possible, so this could be the start of a worrisome trend. However, Biden did hold rock-steady on the size of his COVID-19 relief bill, even in the face of faux bipartisanship, where Republicans offered an opening bid of less than one-third of what Biden wanted (proving it was really nothing more than the old "stall and obstruct" Republican tactics, in "bipartisan" clothing). So we'll have to wait to see which tendency becomes more prevalent in Biden, over the next few months.

But on the up side, Biden has already accomplished one brilliant political bit of jiu-jitsu. He has totally redefined "bipartisanship" in a way that bodes well for many progressive agenda items in the near future. This move was absolutely brilliant, even though few have realized it yet.

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Returning To Normalcy

[ Posted Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 – 16:58 UTC ]

I had a choice of topics for today's column, one of which was weighing in on the debate over the possibility of earmarks returning to Congress. I say this to make a point -- American politics may not be back to normal by a long shot (since the Republican Party obviously hasn't quite returned from their Looney Tunes vacation yet), but in his four weeks in office, President Joe Biden has moved us all a significant way down the road to normalcy once again.

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Friday Talking Points -- Republicans In Disarray

[ Posted Friday, February 5th, 2021 – 18:59 UTC ]

This week we were treated to the spectacle of the Republican Party largely voting in support of an advocate of using deadly violence towards her political opponents. How the mighty have fallen -- since this used to be the party that dearly loved to sanctimoniously lecture everyone on how high morals were an absolute necessity in politics, and that even the concept of "moral relativism" was evil. That all went out the window when they nominated the most amoral man imaginable for president, of course, but it's still rather shocking to see this once-publicly-righteous party wallow in the filth of QAnon and flirt with ideas like advocacy for assassinating political opponents.

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Biden Stands His Ground

[ Posted Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 – 17:19 UTC ]

One of the concerns many Democratic voters (especially progressives) have had about President Joe Biden was that he has had a propensity to compromise too much when dealing with congressional Republicans (as he did as vice president on several Obama initiatives) and that he just wasn't bold enough (too incremental), and would therefore prove to be a rather wishy-washy president. Well, the jury's still largely out (after all, it hasn't even been a full two weeks yet), but I have to say that the earliest indications are surprisingly good. Biden is holding firm in his first big legislative push, and he's refusing to get sidetracked into some miasmic swamp of some promised bipartisan compromise that never actually materializes.

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Friday Talking Points -- Let Boredom Ring!

[ Posted Friday, January 29th, 2021 – 18:29 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has now spent his first 10 days in office. All told, it's been fairly boring. Which is exactly what millions of Americans voted him into office to achieve. Journalists everywhere are writing absolute paeans to boredom. Throughout the land, a joyous cry is raised: "Let boredom ring!" Well, OK, that may be overstating it a tiny bit. But not by much.

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Biden's First Week

[ Posted Thursday, January 28th, 2021 – 16:14 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has been in office a little over a week, and so far he has exceeded expectations. Now, to be fair, these are still the earliest of days. Biden is still enjoying his "honeymoon" period with the public, with the press, and (largely) with Congress. That will fade, undoubtedly. Also, Donald Trump left so many egregious messes lying around that cleaning up the worst of them was pretty low-hanging fruit indeed. But, so far, Biden has not disappointed in a big way once.

None of his cabinet choices raised any huge alarm with even the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, and they've been getting steadily confirmed with huge bipartisan votes. There will be a few later on that will be more contentious, no doubt, but so far Biden's track record on putting together his administration is a pretty admirable one.

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