Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blue Team's Health Care Conflagration

Health care reform sat on the burner so long, all the water boiled out. The public noticed the burning smell and turned its attention to deals cut in smoke filled, back rooms. The fire department hosed down the twisted pan. It now sits on a trash can behind the Capital.

First responders ignored the politicians, lobbyists, campaign consultants and media professionals responsible for the giant mess. Jim Messina, White House Deputy Chief of Staff, was one of the cooks..

Jim was supposed to sprinkle his Obama campaign magic on health care reform. He gathered dozens of pollsters, campaign gurus, and health representatives (doctors, nurses, hospitals) in his White House digs. They spent millions on ads, benefiting the people and firms that helped President Obama get elected. Bloomberg reported:

Two firms that received $343.3 million to handle advertising for Barack Obama’s White House run last year have profited from his top priority as president by taking on his push for health-care overhaul.

One is AKPD Message and Media, the Chicago-based firm headed by David Axelrod until he left last Dec. 31 to serve as a senior adviser to the president. Axelrod was Obama’s top campaign strategist and is now helping sell the health-care plan. The other firm is Washington-based GMMB Campaign Group, where partner Jim Margolis was also an Obama strategist.

The two firms did $12 million in work for Healthy Economy Now, followed by $12 million more for Americans for Stable Quality Care. Numerous representatives from these two groups (and their lobbyists) visited the White House. At one time, the White House was proud to list their names. But times change.

With the loss of Ted Kennedy's former seat, health care went from the number one to third, according to Rahm Emanuel, Jim Messina's boss. With only nine months left before the 2010 midterm elections, there likely will be little to no action. Might this be part of the campaign? However, blackened pans don't sell. Other images are needed.

The Red team cut their Benjamin Button teeth on their party label, "Don't. I won't, you can't make me!" Republicans have a long record of standing by while America's uninsureds grew by legions. They were joined by numerous Blue Corporacrats, who helped turn the bill into an inducement nightmare.

The Blue team's "Party of Charlie Brown" cried out "Aaarrgghhh," after missing the reform football, yet again. The Blues will frame election opponents as "Lucy." I can hear their campaign consultants. "You tried hard, put forth your best efforts. Lucy pulled the football."

Like Charlie Brown didn't know that would happen. Ironically, both parties will likely be the "party of no" in the permanent campaign, full of paid messages. How much will those ads cost?

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