Assignment, Political Science
Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements
Watch the documentary Obamas Deal and relate it to the readings on Interest Groups. In your own words, reply to the following prompt: Who was Obama making deals with? Why did/does the topic of health care elicit such passion in US politics?
After your initial post you are required to respond to two of your classmates postings. Your responses should include what you agree with or disagree with and why. Your responses may also include an elaboration upon what a classmate wrote.
Romy Saboo :
In the video, President Obama is making deals with interest groups through the medical insurance sector to see ways that he can make the cost of medicine to go down. If he is able to significantly reduce the cost, then making more affordable and national healthcare will be an easier accomplishment. Though, he has to make sure that he isn't directly benefiting anyone from making this deal because otherwise he will be viewed as corrupt.
Health insurance has been a huge topic for years and years because most americans simply can't afford it. The reason being that medical finiancial sectors make it so that the cost of healthcare is so high that business is obviously doing great as well. But as the businesses start making millions and millions, the common and simple citizen is barely able to make ends meet for whats supposed to be expected: their health.
All in all, I agree with affordable healthcare and I agree the nation is supposed to expect affordable ways to keep themselves healthy, but with all the talks about private sectors and finding out where that money will actually come from and the power given to that person the money is coming from scares me. Just because we fix one problem, does not mean that someone should gain from that, there should be another way about it and these deals just make America harder to trust.
In the video Obama's Deal, Obama was making deals with lobbyist. In the video, they state that it was not about healthcare but about seeing if we can still solve a big problem in this country. The video states, that to navigate “the process of health reform” , President Obama turned to his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, a consummate deal maker, who helped stock the West Wing with an all-star lineup Of congressional insiders. Soon after that the Sen. Ted Kennedy was forced to step down because he was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was a very important person to this reform, and then the hopes for reform rested on Senator Max Baucus, he was the powerful head of the senate finance committee. Baucus was encouraged by the White House to make deals with insurance lobby, drug companies and other interest groups. Most of the deals were often controversial. FRONTLINE investigates how, near the start of the health care reform process, Baucus and the White House negotiated a secret $80 billion deal with Billy Tauzin, the former Louisiana congressman who had become the pharmaceutical industry's top lobbyist.
“People who thought that the pharmaceutical industry was still reaping profits that were excessive were unhappy with that deal and were particularly unhappy that it got cut behind closed doors,” says the co-chair of Obama's transition team, John Podesta.
The pact with Tauzin was only the beginning of a series of deals designed to win over potential opponents. The most notorious agreement, known as the “Cornhusker Kickback,” was concluded only days before a vote on the health care bill in the Senate. In exchange for the support of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), the White House and Senate leaders agreed to spend $100 million to benefit Nebraska.
The administration argued the deals were necessary to secure health reform. But the deals backfired. “It's not a pretty process,” says David Gergen, who's been an adviser to four different presidents, both Republican and Democratic, over the last several decades. “There is deal making — that's the way it's been done for a long time. But those deals done in your front parlor can be pretty smelly. The public was already up to here with what they were seeing in Washington, and I think it just put them over the side.”