Posts Tagged ‘Tom Harkin’
September 15th, 2014 at 7:02 pm
Harkin Lashes Hillary to ObamaCare

In what some observers presume is an early sign of a presidential run, over the weekend Hillary Clinton spoke at a high-profile political event for Iowa’s retiring Democratic U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.

Though Clinton had her own gaffe, the biggest surprise was how much credit Harkin heaped on her for passing ObamaCare – even though she wasn’t even in Congress!

“One of the things she always worked on was advancing this concept, this idea that health care should be a right and not a privilege in this country,” said Harkin. “So, Hillary was not there when the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, she was of course secretary of state, but I want you all to know that her fingerprints are all over that legislation. It would not have happened without her strenuous advocacy in that committee all those years.”

Any hopes Clinton had of distancing herself from a law that only gets more unpopular is gone. All opponents have to do is show her smiling behind a gushing Harkin to make the connection.

Don’t like ObamaCare? Blame HRC.

No conservative could have said it better.

February 1st, 2010 at 11:51 am
Before Scott Brown, Democrats Had a Deal
Posted by Print

According to The Hill newspaper, Democrats reached a tentative compromise on health care just days before Massachusetts elected Scott Brown.  Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) stated that an agreement was reached on January 15. 

Of course, it is an indictment of this Administration’s transparency pledge that you’re reading about this news in February and didn’t watch the discussions live on C-SPAN.  Senator Harkin’s revelation underscores just how deceptive the White House was in negotiating the future of health care behind closed doors and how important Scott Brown’s victory was in defeating ObamaCare.

A few million Americans in Massachusetts made their voices heard loud and clear, but judging from last week’s State of the Union Address, the White House is still not listening.

December 30th, 2009 at 6:20 pm
Tom Harkin, the Heath Care Homebuilder

If there is anyone still clinging to the notion that Democrats have relented in their pursuit of a single-payer healthcare system, yesterday’s op-ed by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) should help to pry those fingers free.  Among the shinier pieces in his gleaming collection of fool’s gold is this nugget:

I think of the current health reform bill as something of a “starter home.” It is not the mansion that some might want. But it has a solid foundation, giving every American access to quality, affordable coverage. It has an excellent, protective roof, which will shelter Americans from the worst abuses of health insurance companies. And this starter home has plenty of room for additions and improvements.

Earlier in the article Harkin gives some examples, like promising to eventually ban the current practice of refusing to cover people for pre-existing conditions.  Forget the fact that insurance companies are businesses that make profits by insuring low risk patients.  The more companies pay out in medical expenses means there is less money there to pay employees and shareholders.  For Harkin though, solving the problem of profitability means prohibiting sellers from choosing their buyers.

But the health care “reform” bill does more.  It also requires every American to purchase health insurance.  It is aptly named the “individual mandate”.  If the goal of reform was to end up with a government-run, single-payer health care system, but such a plan didn’t have the votes to achieve it directly, one way to get there would be to require both buyers and sellers to contract with each other.  Next, remove the incentive (then the ability) to make a profit.  Finally, declare that since the private health insurance companies “failed”, it’s time for the federal government to step in and take over.

It’s curious that Senator Harkin would liken the Democrats’ “reform” bill to a housing project being readied for additions and improvements.  After all, when most Americans hear “government housing project” they think of areas overrun with crime, corruption, and poor quality.  If Democrats pass their bill into law Senator Harkin may live long enough to complain about the shoddy locks, paper-thin walls, and lack of central heating in his dream home for other people.  That is, assuming his golden years aren’t cut short by a government cost-control panel.

December 28th, 2009 at 3:24 pm
A Schiff in the Making?

Upon officially entering the Republican primary to face Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) in next year’s U.S. Senate race, Peter Schiff vowed to “filibuster until I die” if that’s what it takes to convince members of Congress how horrible are their economic policies. However, if Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) gets his way, theoretically Schiff could find himself in a silenced minority of 49 out of 100.

As trial balloons go, Harkin’s idea to eliminate the filibuster is getting more discussion than most. First there was an interview and weekend op-ed via Ezra Klein in The Washington Post. Today, Jay Cost at RealClearPolitics provides a detailed critique (including a graph!) defending the moderating device. While Klein bemoans the “paralysis” caused when the majority party refuses to negotiate, Cost correctly points out the Framers didn’t intend to make governing easy, only possible.

Beyond original intent, though, Klein would do well to remember that not everybody saw light at the dawn of the Age of Obama. In fact, people like Schiff are so angry at the leftward lurch of the federal government that they are willing to stand up in a town hall meeting or the well of the United States Senate and tell their peers why it’s wrong.

Truth be told, the funny thing about filibusters is that they are so rarely forced. In reality, it’s not the use of filibusters that upsets Klein and Harkin, it’s the threat of using them. Announce you’ll filibuster and the governing elites seethe, condemn, and then capitulate. Had then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) called the Democrats’ bluff to filibuster George W. Bush’s judicial nominees there is little doubt a true round-the-clock filibuster would have run its course within a week; all the while Democratic surrogates would be getting killed on television trying to explain why imminently qualified attorneys shouldn’t be allowed the courtesy of an up-or-down vote.

At bottom, what Klein and Harkin hate isn’t filibusters – it’s any indication that a Democratic majority in Congress doesn’t necessarily reflect America’s majority opinion. With the Tea Party movement gaining steam with the likes of Peter Schiff and Rand Paul, one hopes the filibuster can survive until they arrive in the U.S. Senate. If they bring a majority, maybe Klein and Harkin will rethink their support of the filibuster.