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Dartmouth Debate Workshop 1 Olney Politics Politics – DDW Politics – DDW..............................................................................................................................................................1 Strategy page .................................................................................................................................................................5 Health care DA 1NC......................................................................................................................................................6 Health care DA 1NC......................................................................................................................................................7 Health care DA 1NC......................................................................................................................................................8 Cap and trade DA 1NC ..................................................................................................................................................9 Cap and trade DA 1NC ................................................................................................................................................ 10 ***LINKS ................................................................................................................................................................... 11 Poverty programs unpopular........................................................................................................................................ 12 Poverty programs popular............................................................................................................................................ 13 Social services unpopular ............................................................................................................................................ 14 Conservatives support poverty programs .................................................................................................................... 15 A2: Conservatives support poverty programs.............................................................................................................. 16 Welfare controversial .................................................................................................................................................. 17 Welfare popular with Dems ......................................................................................................................................... 18 ***GENERAL INTERNALS ..................................................................................................................................... 19 Capital finite ................................................................................................................................................................ 20 Capital finite ................................................................................................................................................................ 21 Controversial policies drain capital ............................................................................................................................. 22 Popularity key to agenda ............................................................................................................................................. 23 Flips flops kill agenda .................................................................................................................................................. 24 Agenda focus IL .......................................................................................................................................................... 25 A2: Winners win .......................................................................................................................................................... 26 Popularity not key to capital ........................................................................................................................................ 27 Popularity not key to capital ........................................................................................................................................ 28 Winners win................................................................................................................................................................. 29 Winners win................................................................................................................................................................. 30 Environmental lobbies strong ...................................................................................................................................... 31 Concessions key to agenda .......................................................................................................................................... 32 Concessions fail ........................................................................................................................................................... 33 AT: Bottom of the docket ............................................................................................................................................ 34 No spillover/vote switching ......................................................................................................................................... 35 Yes spillover/vote switching........................................................................................................................................ 36 ***HEALTH CARE UNIQUENESS .......................................................................................................................... 37 Yes health care – general ............................................................................................................................................. 38 Yes health care – predictive ......................................................................................................................................... 39 Yes health care – Obama ............................................................................................................................................. 40 Yes health care – Obama ............................................................................................................................................. 41 Yes health care – reconciliation ................................................................................................................................... 42 Dems will use reconciliation ....................................................................................................................................... 43 Yes health care – moderates ........................................................................................................................................ 44 Yes health care – bipart ............................................................................................................................................... 45 Yes health care – Franken............................................................................................................................................ 46 Yes health care – lobbies ............................................................................................................................................. 47 Yes health care – A2: GOP .......................................................................................................................................... 48 Yes health care – Walmart ........................................................................................................................................... 49 Yes capital ................................................................................................................................................................... 50 Obama pushing health care .......................................................................................................................................... 51 Now key....................................................................................................................................................................... 52 Now key....................................................................................................................................................................... 53 ***HEALTH CARE INTERNALS ............................................................................................................................ 54 Dartmouth Debate Workshop 2 Olney Politics Capital key to health care ............................................................................................................................................ 55 Capital key to health care ............................................................................................................................................ 56 Capital key to health care ............................................................................................................................................ 57 Capital key to health care ............................................................................................................................................ 58 Capital key to health care ............................................................................................................................................ 59 Bipart key to health care .............................................................................................................................................. 60 Moderate Dems key to health care .............................................................................................................................. 61 Baucus key to health are .............................................................................................................................................. 62 ***HEALTH CARE IMPACTS ................................................................................................................................. 63 ***ECONOMY ........................................................................................................................................................... 63 Health care key to economy – debt spirals .................................................................................................................. 64 Debt spiral impact short-term – signal ......................................................................................................................... 65 Health care key to economy – general ......................................................................................................................... 66 Health care key to economy – general ......................................................................................................................... 67 Health care key to economy – general ......................................................................................................................... 68 Health care key to economy – general ......................................................................................................................... 69 Health care key to economy – most important factor .................................................................................................. 70 Health care key to economy – state budgets ................................................................................................................ 71 Health care key to economy – small businesses .......................................................................................................... 72 Health care key to economy – chronic illness ............................................................................................................. 73 Health care reform key to solve chronic illness ........................................................................................................... 74 A2: Raises prices ......................................................................................................................................................... 75 ***ENTITLEMENT SPENDING ............................................................................................................................... 76 Health care key to economy – entitlement spending ................................................................................................... 77 Entitlement spending threatens economy .................................................................................................................... 78 Entitlement spending threatens economy .................................................................................................................... 79 Health care reform saves money – prevention ............................................................................................................. 80 Health care reform saves money – generics ................................................................................................................ 81 Health care reform saves money – A2: big upfront cost.............................................................................................. 82 Generic drugs key to econ ........................................................................................................................................... 83 ***SPACE ................................................................................................................................................................... 84 Space module 2NC ...................................................................................................................................................... 85 Space module 2NC ...................................................................................................................................................... 86 Health care solves budget crowd-out ........................................................................................................................... 87 Health care solves budget crowd-out ........................................................................................................................... 88 Health care solves spending/budget ............................................................................................................................. 89 Budget crunch NASA cuts ...................................................................................................................................... 90 NASA cuts kills space exploration .............................................................................................................................. 91 A2: VSE not key to exploration ................................................................................................................................... 92 VSE key to whole space program ................................................................................................................................ 93 Space key to human survival ....................................................................................................................................... 94 Space exploration key to heg ....................................................................................................................................... 95 Got to Get off the Rock by 2050 ................................................................................................................................. 96 Space Colonization Solves War................................................................................................................................... 97 ***DISEASE/HEALTH/POVERTY .......................................................................................................................... 98 Poverty module 2NC ................................................................................................................................................... 99 Pandemics module 2NC ............................................................................................................................................ 100 Health care reform key to solve epidemics ................................................................................................................ 101 Pandemics kill ........................................................................................................................................................... 102 Bioterror module 2NC ............................................................................................................................................... 103 Health care reform key to solve bioterror .................................................................................................................. 104 Health care key to biotech ......................................................................................................................................... 105 Health care key to pharma ......................................................................................................................................... 106 A2: Generics hurt innovation..................................................................................................................................... 107 Obesity module 2NC ................................................................................................................................................. 108 Dartmouth Debate Workshop 3 Olney Politics Health care solves cancer........................................................................................................................................... 109 Health care key to solve AIDS .................................................................................................................................. 110 Health care good – moral imperative ......................................................................................................................... 110 ***OTHER IMPACTS.............................................................................................................................................. 111 Competitiveness module 2NC ................................................................................................................................... 112 Health care key to competitiveness ........................................................................................................................... 113 Health care permanent Democratic majority ........................................................................................................ 114 Health care whole agenda ..................................................................................................................................... 115 ***AFF ANSWERS .................................................................................................................................................. 116 No health care – general ............................................................................................................................................ 117 No health care – cost ................................................................................................................................................. 118 No health care – Dems............................................................................................................................................... 119 No health care – A2: reconciliation ........................................................................................................................... 120 No health care – A2: Franken .................................................................................................................................... 121 No health care – lobbies ............................................................................................................................................ 122 No health care – both sides ........................................................................................................................................ 123 Obama won‘t push health care .................................................................................................................................. 124 Capital NU – Sotomayor ........................................................................................................................................... 125 No capital................................................................................................................................................................... 126 No capital................................................................................................................................................................... 127 Obama pushing DADT removal ................................................................................................................................ 128 Health care reform increases costs............................................................................................................................. 129 Health care reform increases costs............................................................................................................................. 130 Health care reform increases costs............................................................................................................................. 131 Health care reform increases costs............................................................................................................................. 132 Health care reform increases costs............................................................................................................................. 133 Health care reform undermines health ....................................................................................................................... 134 SQ health coverage is excellent ................................................................................................................................. 135 Health care hurts biotech ........................................................................................................................................... 136 Health care hurts biotech – generics .......................................................................................................................... 137 Health care hurts pharma ........................................................................................................................................... 138 Poverty turns health care ........................................................................................................................................... 139 ***CAP AND TRADE UNIQUENESS .................................................................................................................... 140 No cap and trade ........................................................................................................................................................ 141 No cap and trade ........................................................................................................................................................ 142 No cap and trade – Obama pushing ........................................................................................................................... 143 No cap and trade – Dems ........................................................................................................................................... 144 Obama pushing cap and trade .................................................................................................................................... 145 Now key..................................................................................................................................................................... 146 ***CAP AND TRADE INTERNALS ...................................................................................................................... 147 Capital key to cap and trade....................................................................................................................................... 148 Capital key to cap and trade....................................................................................................................................... 149 Moderate Dems key to cap and trade......................................................................................................................... 150 ***CAP AND TRADE IMPACTS ........................................................................................................................... 151 Cap and trade bad – prices/Depression ...................................................................................................................... 152 Cap and trade bad – prices/Depression ...................................................................................................................... 153 Cap and trade bad – prices/Depression ...................................................................................................................... 154 Cap and trade poverty ........................................................................................................................................... 155 Cap and trade bad – tariffs (economy) ....................................................................................................................... 156 Cap and trade bad – tariffs (China) ............................................................................................................................ 157 Cap and trade will have tariffs ................................................................................................................................... 158 Cap and trade bad – derivatives market ..................................................................................................................... 159 Dartmouth Debate Workshop 4 Olney Politics Cap and trade bad for climate .................................................................................................................................... 160 Cap and trade doesn‘t solve climate .......................................................................................................................... 161 No modeling .............................................................................................................................................................. 162 Modeling fails ............................................................................................................................................................ 163 ***AFF ANSWERS .................................................................................................................................................. 164 Yes cap and trade – predictive ................................................................................................................................... 165 Yes cap and trade – reconciliation ............................................................................................................................. 166 Obama won‘t push cap and trade ............................................................................................................................... 167 Cap and trade solves warming ................................................................................................................................... 168 Cap and trade solves warming ................................................................................................................................... 169 Cap and trade key to the economy ............................................................................................................................. 170 Cap and trade key to the economy ............................................................................................................................. 171 Cap and trade solves poverty ..................................................................................................................................... 172 A2: Cap and trade derivatives market ................................................................................................................... 173 Now isn‘t key to cap and trade .................................................................................................................................. 174 Capital not key to cap and trade ................................................................................................................................ 175 Cap and trade won‘t have tariffs ................................................................................................................................ 176 Tariffs don‘t cause trade conflict ............................................................................................................................... 177 Tariffs good – modeling ............................................................................................................................................ 178 Dartmouth Debate Workshop 5 Olney Politics Strategy page This DA works against any of the affs. It works best as a net benefit to a counterplan that avoids the link (states for example). As discussed in the negative presentation, reading the Health Care DA likely will require you to read evidence that the plan is unpopular or controversial, while the Cap and Trade DA may link regardless of whether the plan is popular. The health care DA has good impact arguments for engaging or turning a variety of the affirmative impacts. Diseases, poverty, leadership/competitiveness, economy, terrorism. The cap and trade impacts are mostly limited to the economy. The generic links in this file are relatively weak. If you are reading a politics DA, you will almost certainly want to gather the politics link evidence from the case negative. I would personally recommend reading Health Care because the file is more extensive, the impacts are more flexible, and the uniqueness arguments are more diverse. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 6 Olney Politics Health care DA 1NC Health care reform will pass – Obama is pushing Kansas City Star, 6/28/2009 (http://www.kansascity.com/444/v-print/story/1293562.html //ZE) Despite the strains of sky-high costs and public skepticism, the government is moving steadily toward a vast health care overhaul that would at least partly fulfill a six-decade quest for universal coverage and could rein in soaring costs for everyone else. The White House is ramping up its behind-the-scenes lobbying of Congress. President Barack Obama is signaling that he could drop some key principles of his campaign if necessary to jump-start negotiations, opening the door to broad tax increases and a plan that could, he now concedes, push people into a government-run insurance program against their will. Senate Democrats also said last week that they were heading toward agreement again after a momentary stall. "We have a lot of hard slogging to go, but ... I think that we are in good shape," White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel said Thursday. Republicans, too, concede that the Democrats who control Congress and the White House are back on track to push an overhaul into law. "They're going to be pushing their version of reform through. And they probably will get it done by the end of the year," said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. "Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it's going to be a bipartisan health care reform, or the kind that we've been proposing, because Democrats, quite literally, they have the votes." [insert specific link, or…] Poverty programs are extremely unpopular. It’s a wedge issue Ezra Klein, staff reporter at The Washington Post, The American Prospect, January 16, 2006, http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=10833 But for conservatives, halting attempts to eradicate poverty slowly gave way to more successful efforts to vilify it. Conservative leaders kept a dark (literally and figuratively) picture of the underclass visible to the nation‘s white middle class. The faces of poverty became more sinister: the Willie Hortons and the Linda Taylors (Linda Taylor was Reagan‘s ubiquitous welfare queen whose ill-gotten payouts totaled no more than $8,000). These visages transformed a discussion over alleviating economic despair into a subtly racist wedge issue that resonated with white males. And so it was easier, after that, to suggest that, irrespective of the facts, the Great Society was a disaster, poverty the intractable affliction of an unsocialized underclass. Egghead liberals with more good intentions than common sense had surrendered to instinct and offered cash prizes to every unwed black mother able to bear a child, creating a culture of government dependency that fostered criminality, broken families, and joblessness. Conservatives, deciding government involvement had created the problem, concluded that government withdrawal would solve it. But Clinton‘s ascension and Democratic sympathy for the poor wrecked that plan, and the two sides eventually compromised on a sort of political detente they termed welfare reform. Welfare reform, while about poor people, was never about poverty, it was about politics. It made the impoverished a little less galling to the better off, ensuring that the government‘s incentive structure didn‘t reward the out-of-work and thus offend the gainfully employed. Meanwhile, crime was plummeting and the streets, thanks to Bill Clinton‘s 1994 Crime Bill, were flooded with new police officers. Come the late 1990s, the poor were neither dangerous nor ideologically maddening. A handful of urban politicians continued pleading for inner-city aid, but with electoral power shifting away from metropolitan centers, few listened. After 9-11, no one did. Poor blacks were no longer the threat; poor browns had taken their place. And so America‘s impoverished became something new: forgotten. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 7 Olney Politics Health care DA 1NC Pushing through controversial legislation burns political capital Mark Seidenfeld, Associate Professor, Florida State University College of Law, Iowa Law Review, October 19 94 In addition, the propensity of congressional committees to engage in special-interest-oriented oversight might seriously undercut presidential efforts to implement regulatory reform through legislation. n198 On any proposed regulatory measure, the President could face opposition from powerful committee members whose ability to modify and kill legislation is well-documented. n199 This is not meant to deny that the President has significant power that he can use to bring aspects of his legislative agenda to fruition. The President's ability to focus media attention on an issue, his power to bestow benefits on the constituents of members of Congress who support his agenda, and his potential to deliver votes in congressional elections increase the likelihood of legislative success for particular programs. n200 Repeated use of such tactics, however, will impose economic costs on society and concomitantly consume the President's political capital. n201 At some point the price to the President for pushing legislation through Congress exceeds the benefit he derives from doing so. Thus, a President would be unwise to rely too heavily on legislative changes to implement his policy vision. Political capital key to health care – failure to get full support now kills momentum Chris Frates, Staff Writer for Politico, 7/2/2009 (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/24479.html //ZE) President Barack Obama told top congressional Democrats Thursday that he was putting his political capital behind health care reform and reminded them that it was crucial for both chambers to pass legislation this month, according to three sources familiar with the conversation. The mid-afternoon conference call with the nation's top Democrats came as Obama prepares to leave the country next week to attend the G-8 summit and served as a reminder that Congress cannot let momentum slow. Obama acknowledged that the House and Senate would likely pass strikingly different bills. "Obama made a very firm pitch that they need to get the bills out of the House and Senate, and we'll worry about the details in September," said a health care insider. The president also stressed the importance of keeping critical ads that could undermine momentum to a minimum, particularly among liberal groups, and indicated that he was already working to curtail them, said a source involved in the call. The high-powered call included Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.); House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.); Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.); key Senate health committee member Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and the three committee chairmen shepherding health reform in the House: Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and George Miller (D-Calif.). Dartmouth Debate Workshop 8 Olney Politics Health care DA 1NC The impact is a new Great Depression. Reform is key to signal long term fiscal solvency and prevent spiraling sell-offs of US debt Boston Globe, 2-23-09 Budget analysts are worried that a continuing economic crisis will make it impossible to raise sufficient funds from foreign markets to finance the nation's debt. In the last four years, about three-quarters of US debt was purchased by foreign interests, most prominently by China. If other nations lose confidence that the United States will pay its debts, however, some economists fear an international financial crisis could escalate and turn into a worldwide depression. In any case, it is widely expected that debt purchasers will soon demand higher interest rates, which would translate into higher costs for US taxpayers. Obama is being urged by some analysts to start moving toward a balanced budget as soon as possible to send a signal to the world that deficit spending will abate. Yet some analysts are offering Obama conflicting advice, warning him not to repeat what they regard as the mistake of President Franklin Roosevelt, who launched the New Deal but eventually heeded calls to curtail deficit spending, only to see a new recession batter his presidency. A key player in the summit will be Senator Judd Gregg, the New Hampshire Republican who backed out of his commitment to be Obama's commerce secretary and then voted against the stimulus bill. Despite the embarrassment caused by Gregg's about-face, the White House believes that he could be one of its most important allies in the overhaul of Social Security, Medicare, and tax policy. That is because Gregg is the co-sponsor of the measure that would create a bipartisan commission to put together far-reaching recommendations for an up-or-down vote by Congress. In an interview, Gregg said that under such a procedure, the measures could be passed within a year, as long as most of the benefit cuts and tax increases were not slated to take effect until well after the recession is over. "We need an up-or-down vote on a package that will be unquestionably bipartisan and fair," Gregg said, a reference to criticism that Obama's stimulus bill was too partisan. Asked about his hopes for the summit, he said, "It can either be very nice public relations or move the ball down the road on what is an impending fiscal tsunami." Some budget specialists are skeptical. Robert Reischauer, former head of the Congressional Budget Office, said Obama should have seized the opportunity to pair the stimulus bill with the overhaul of Social Security, Medicare, and the tax code. "When you are shoveling out the goodies, you have a greater probability of getting people to sign on to some fiscal diet," said Reischauer, who has been invited to the summit. He said he is worried that nothing will happen on the most difficult issues until political leaders "have a gun at our heads. The system tends to respond only in the face of unavoidable crisis." Analysts across the political spectrum agree that the current path is unsustainable. Unless there is a major budgetary change, federal spending will go from being about 20 percent of the nation's economy to 42 percent in 2050, according to the Concord Coalition. The major reason is that entitlement programs for older Americans are running short of funds. Social Security is slated to pay out more money than it receives by 2017. Obama suggested during his campaign that he might support changing the level of income at which Social Security taxes are calculated. Another frequently mentioned option is raising the retirement age. But any measure will be even more controversial than usual because so many Americans have seen their private retirement plans pummeled by the stock market collapse. Medicare, the government-run healthcare program for older Americans, is already running a deficit, which is expected to increase quickly as baby boomers retire. That is why many analysts are urging Obama to link changes in Medicare with an overhaul of the health system. Global nuclear war Mead, 2009 (Walter Russell, the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, ―Only Makes You Stronger‖, The New Republic, February 4, 2009) History may suggest that financial crises actually help capitalist great powers maintain their leads--but it has other, less reassuring messages as well. If financial crises have been a normal part of life during the 300-year rise of the liberal capitalist system under the Anglophone powers, so has war. The wars of the League of Augsburg and the Spanish Succession; the Seven Years War; the American Revolution; the Napoleonic Wars; the two World Wars; the cold war: The list of wars is almost as long as the list of financial crises. Bad economic times can breed wars. Europe was a pretty peaceful place in 1928, but the Depression poisoned German public opinion and helped bring Adolf Hitler to power. If the current crisis turns into a depression, what rough beasts might start slouching toward Moscow, Karachi, Beijing, or New Delhi to be born? The United States may not, yet, decline, but, if we can't get the world economy back on track, we may still have to fight. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 9 Olney Politics Cap and trade DA 1NC Obama will push for cap and trade but it won’t pass Globe and Mail, 6-29-09, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/obamas-willing-to-spend-political- capital-on-climate-change-why-isnt-harper/article1201317/ Who knows what will emerge from Congress? The Obama administration is already fighting for health-care changes and a new system of financial regulation. The U.S. system might be suffering from legislative overload. Getting something signed and sealed before the Copenhagen negotiations in December might not be possible. But at least Mr. Obama speaks of the imperative of reducing greenhouse gases. He's prepared to talk directly to his fellow citizens, and he's assigned the issue a high priority. He evokes visions of a better future, as in the Gretzky analogy. And he's prepared to spend some political capital. Obama needs a win to revitalize his agenda and rebuild capital Chris Stirewalt, Political Editor for the Washington Examiner, 7/2/2009 (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/Morning-Must-Reads-49696192.html Thus far in his presidency, Barack Obama has exert his political will in a dramatic fashion only once, and that was in pushing a cap-and-trade bill that barely passed the House. The special interest hodgepodge of a bill also infuriates the kinds of conscientious liberals who helped give Obama his victory over Hillary Clinton last year. Writer Edward Luce takes a insightful look at the end of Obama‘s long campaign, which lasted five months into his presidency, and the beginning of the governing phase. Luce argues tat if Obama accepts a similarly pale compromise on his healthcare plan as he did on global warming, the president‘s base will start to leave him. After running a campaign against cynicism and about changing Washington, Obama is instead governing in the kind of pragmatic fashion that so pleases political journalists and Washington tastemakers who sneer at idealists. Luce‘s assumes Obama wasn‘t always a cynical pragmatist who learned in Chicago politics that what you say on the South Side and what you do in Springfield often bear little relation to one another. Did Obama ever intend to honor his promises on transparency and ethics? Probably only as far as they were convenient. Obama‘s image as a reformer is at stake and to preserve it, Obama is going to have to start spending some political capital with moderate middle voters. If he doesn‘t, he may lose his brand. ―‗We are entering the post-declarative and post-positioning stage of the Obama presidency,‘ says David Rothkopf, a former Clinton administration official. ‗How he handles healthcare in practice will be a defining moment.‘ White House officials say they want to enact all of their priorities in 2009 – including cap- and-trade, financial sector reform and healthcare. From next January, electoral calculations in advance of the mid-term congressional elections in November 2010 are likely to dictate caution.‖ Political capital key to cap and trade Matt Dernoga, 6/30/2009 (Newstex. ―It‘s Getting Hot In Here: Navigating a Minefield Part 1.‖ Lexis //ZE) The Obama Factor: Barack Obama didnt make his energy legislation a very public issue at all until the day before the vote in the House. Although his administration did some furious work behind the scenes leading up to the vote, there was no full court press in the media. No town hall events like there are with healthcare. The media was busy covering healthcare while the climate bill snuck through like a trojan horse. Although this certainly frustrated environmental groups, Obama has saved up political capital to use on the Senate side if he intends to use it(and if he has any left after healthcare). There are some signs already that Obama is looking to take a much more aggressive approach on the Senate. When the House bill passed Obama changed his Saturday radio address from the subject of healthcare to the energy bill. This past Monday, he sought to keep the focus on energy by announcing new lightbulb standards, while recounting what his administration has done so far on energy, and about how important it is the Senate acts on the climate/energy bill. One big disadvantage we face with the public is theyve had to withstand 8 years worth of climate denial and delay by the Bush Administration. If Obama used his oratory skills and popularity to highlight the issue of global warming, and more importantly the economic benefits of a strong energy/climate bill, he could shift some public opinion. For the bill to have any chance of strengthening, Obama needs to go on the offensive publicly, and trade political favors with swing vote Senators privately. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 10 Olney Politics Cap and trade DA 1NC Cap and trade collapses the economy – rising energy prices and job losses Investor's Business Daily, 6-26-09 Its centerpiece is a ―cap and trade‖ provision that has been rightfully derided as ―cap and tax.‖ It is in fact a tax on energy everywhere it is consumed on everything it is used to make or provide. It is the largest tax increase in American history — a tax on all Americans — even the 95% that President Obama pledged would never see a tax increase. It‘s a political bill that could come to a vote now that a deal was struck with farm-state legislators concerned about the taxation of even bovine flatulence. As part of the agreement reached Tuesday night and announced by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Beverly Hills, agricultural oversight for cap-and-trade was transferred from the Environmental Protection Agency to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farmers hope the USDA will be less intrusive. The EPA has been tasked by a Supreme Court ruling to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from your nostrils to your lawn mower. This even covers the emissions of barnyard animals, including the methane from cows. The American Farm Bureau warns that cap and trade would cost the average farmer $175 on every dairy cow and $80 for beef cattle. So farm-state politics trumped climate change. We all know about farmers paid not to grow food. But now, American taxpayers apparently will be paying companies not to chop down trees. The Washington Times reports that as part of the legislation, the House will also be voting Friday on a plan to pay domestic and international companies around the world not to cut down trees. Such offsets ―would be a transfer of wealth overseas,‖ said William Kovacs, vice president for environmental affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. So if a tree falls in a Brazilian forest, does a U.S. taxpayer make a sound? As we‘ve said before, capping emissions is capping economic growth. An analysis of Waxman-Markey by the Heritage Foundation projects that by 2035 it would reduce aggregate gross domestic product by $7.4 trillion. In an average year, 844,000 jobs would be destroyed, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by almost 2 million (see charts below). Consumers would pay through the nose as electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket, as President Obama once put it, by 90% adjusted for inflation. Inflation-adjusted gasoline prices would rise 74%, residential natural gas prices by 55% and the average family‘s annual energy bill by $1,500. Global nuclear war Mead, 2009 (Walter Russell, the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow in U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, ―Only Makes You Stronger‖, The New Republic, February 4, 2009) History may suggest that financial crises actually help capitalist great powers maintain their leads--but it has other, less reassuring messages as well. If financial crises have been a normal part of life during the 300-year rise of the liberal capitalist system under the Anglophone powers, so has war. The wars of the League of Augsburg and the Spanish Succession; the Seven Years War; the American Revolution; the Napoleonic Wars; the two World Wars; the cold war: The list of wars is almost as long as the list of financial crises. Bad economic times can breed wars. Europe was a pretty peaceful place in 1928, but the Depression poisoned German public opinion and helped bring Adolf Hitler to power. If the current crisis turns into a depression, what rough beasts might start slouching toward Moscow, Karachi, Beijing, or New Delhi to be born? The United States may not, yet, decline, but, if we can't get the world economy back on track, we may still have to fight. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 11 Olney Politics ***LINKS Dartmouth Debate Workshop 12 Olney Politics Poverty programs unpopular Poverty programs are extremely unpopular. It’s a wedge issue Ezra Klein, staff reporter at The Washington Post, The American Prospect, January 16, 2006, http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=10833 But for conservatives, halting attempts to eradicate poverty slowly gave way to more successful efforts to vilify it. Conservative leaders kept a dark (literally and figuratively) picture of the underclass visible to the nation‘s white middle class. The faces of poverty became more sinister: the Willie Hortons and the Linda Taylors (Linda Taylor was Reagan‘s ubiquitous welfare queen whose ill-gotten payouts totaled no more than $8,000). These visages transformed a discussion over alleviating economic despair into a subtly racist wedge issue that resonated with white males. And so it was easier, after that, to suggest that, irrespective of the facts, the Great Society was a disaster, poverty the intractable affliction of an unsocialized underclass. Egghead liberals with more good intentions than common sense had surrendered to instinct and offered cash prizes to every unwed black mother able to bear a child, creating a culture of government dependency that fostered criminality, broken families, and joblessness. Conservatives, deciding government involvement had created the problem, concluded that government withdrawal would solve it. But Clinton‘s ascension and Democratic sympathy for the poor wrecked that plan, and the two sides eventually compromised on a sort of political detente they termed welfare reform. Welfare reform, while about poor people, was never about poverty, it was about politics. It made the impoverished a little less galling to the better off, ensuring that the government‘s incentive structure didn‘t reward the out-of-work and thus offend the gainfully employed. Meanwhile, crime was plummeting and the streets, thanks to Bill Clinton‘s 1994 Crime Bill, were flooded with new police officers. Come the late 1990s, the poor were neither dangerous nor ideologically maddening. A handful of urban politicians continued pleading for inner-city aid, but with electoral power shifting away from metropolitan centers, few listened. After 9-11, no one did. Poor blacks were no longer the threat; poor browns had taken their place. And so America‘s impoverished became something new: forgotten. Zero political will for addressing poverty Ezra Klein, staff reporter at The Washington Post, The American Prospect, January 16, 2006, http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?articleId=10833 It might have been a moment for progressives to step forth. After all, Katrina offered an instant of true moral outrage at economic inequality, and no one thought Bush was serious about tackling racism or poverty himself. The trouble was, progressives were not ready to respond. The important question is why. The obvious, and easiest, answer is that they lacked the power. But while electoral defeats help explain why Democrats couldn't implement a comprehensive antipoverty strategy, they don't account for why they couldn't propose one. It's not just that Democrats couldn't bring policies onto the Senate floor. In this case, the backstage was empty too. The Democratic National Committee's issues page never mentions the word ―poverty.‖ Nor does Harry Reid's, Nancy Pelosi's, the House Democratic Caucus, nor the Senate Democratic Caucus. Not a single one identifies poverty as an issue the Democratic Party cares to solve. That's largely because, politically, poverty hasn't proven a winning issue for Democrats over the past couple of decades. Reagan and Gingrich brandished it as a weapon and Clinton's welfare reform almost tore the Democratic Party apart. So it's little wonder that when the moment came to address it, the party was caught unprepared. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 13 Olney Politics Poverty programs popular *Strong support for social services and poverty policies Robert Weissberg, Public Interest, June 22, 2002 While wording details and the menu of alternatives vary, the poll's paradigmatic question is generally "Do you want the government (usually federal government or 'Washington') to spend more (or less or the same) to solve the problem of X?" Decades of applying this polling formula have confirmed that Americans are fervently attached to the social-welfare state. This is true both at the general level, for example, for spending more for education and health care, as well as for narrower, more controversial issues such as increased funding for AIDS research. Even Republican electoral victories cannot undermine this consensus regarding the public's generosity, though, to be sure, numbers do fluctuate with events. Strong support for anti-poverty programs Jon Perr, 3-21-09, http://crooksandliars.com/jon-perr/red-state-socialism-and-politics-stimulus None of which is to suggest that there is anything untoward or inappropriate in the underwriting of red states by blue ones. On the contrary. After all, many of these Republican states are home both to key defense contractors and military bases which help ensure U.S. national security. Just as important, Americans nationwide want to provide the funding and resources for the education, health care and anti-poverty programs their red state brethren badly need - and deserve. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 14 Olney Politics Social services unpopular Social service spending is controversial – it’s seen as creeping socialism Washington Times, March 10, 2009 "What is this rubbish?" he asked, posing the question that some conservatives at the Heritage Foundation were probably thinking Monday, as they listened to the former chairman of Britain's Conservative Party. "Social justice is an abomination to most conservatives," said Mr. Duncan Smith, now chairman of an independent think tank, the Center for Social Justice, in London. Conservatives consider social justice as left- wing buzzwords for more spending on poverty programs that fail, for redistributing wealth for socialist goals or for excusing illegal conduct in pursuit of the "root causes" of crime. Anti-poverty spending is extremely unpopular when budgets are tight New York Times, January 2, 2000 It is true that discretionary domestic spending has been shrinking. In theory, there ought to be room for the next president to advocate some increased spending for anti-poverty programs, schools, environmental improvement, law enforcement and other areas, without provoking a political firestorm. But the costs of federal retirement programs and health care are exploding. The Congressional Budget Office projects that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, now 45 percent of the federal budget, will grow to 65 percent by 2030. Public assistance has always been controversial. Michael B. Katz, University of Pennsylvania, 2006, The American Welfare State The welfare state is how a society insures against the risks inherent in human life - unemployment, poverty, sickness, and old age - that in one way or another confront everyone. The term welfare state refers to a collection of programmes designed to assure economic security to all citizens by guaranteeing the fundamental necessities of life: food, shelter, medical care, protection in childhood and old age. In the United States, the welfare state confronts universal problems with a distinctive architecture - much broader and more complex than is usually realised. It is not usefully described as either public or private. Instead, its economy is mixed, and its composition reflects American federalism - the division of powers between the federal government and the states. The American welfare state consists of two main divisions, with subdivisions in each. Each of the subdivisions is rooted in a different location in American history and, to some extent, has followed its own trajectory over time. The first division is the public welfare state. Its subdivisions are public assistance, social insurance and taxation. Public assistance, the oldest form of 'welfare', consists of means- tested programmes. Its origins lie in the Elizabethan poor laws, which the colonists brought with them in the 17th century. Embodied in 'outdoor relief', aid given to people in their homes rather than in an institution, public assistance has a long and controversial history. Although subject to state law, public assistance, with a few exceptions, was administered locally, usually by counties. In the early 20th century, state governments introduced a new form of public assistance, mothers' pensions, small amounts of money given to a limited number of worthy widows. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the federal government for the first time introduced two public assistance programmes paid for with matching state-federal funds. They were Old Age Assistance, by far the largest until it was eliminated by the growth of Social Security (discussed below) and Aid to Dependent Children, a federalisation of state mothers' pensions, which became Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or what most Americans referred to as 'welfare'. In 1974, Congress bundled public assistance for the indigent elderly, blind, and disabled, into a new programme, Supplemental Security Income. Then, in 1966, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) replaced AFDC. With TANF, the federal government eliminated the partial entitlement to public assistance, added work requirements, and time-limited benefits. As a result, the size of the welfare rolls - but not the prevalence of poverty - went down. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 15 Olney Politics Conservatives support poverty programs Anti-poverty spending is popular with conservatives Martin Edlund, Slate, June 26, 2006 Wallis, on the other hand, is more focused. He wants to influence two voting blocs that will be critical to the 2008 election, moderate evangelicals and Catholics. His plan is to focus on poverty, an issue he believes all Christians can get behind, rather than ceding the floor to gay marriage and abortion, which the religious right uses to estrange Christians from the Democratic Party. Wallis may be on to something. A 2004 Pew poll found that most evangelicals support increased spending on anti-poverty programs, rigorous environmental protection, and the fight abroad against HIV and AIDS. Groups like the National Association of Evangelicals (which represents some 45,000 churches and 30 million members nationwide) and the Evangelical Environmental Network have become increasingly vocal in their support of these Democrat-friendly faith issues. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 16 Olney Politics A2: Conservatives support poverty programs Focusing on poverty fails to appeal to evangelicals Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 22, 2006 Tom Minnery, who is the vice president of the influential Focus on the Family, said he raised a red flag in front of the National Association of Evangelicals last year when it appeared the group was putting too heavy an emphasis on environmental protection, which he said "does not fairly reflect the concerns of most evangelicals today." "Most evangelicals today are concerned with the much more basic issues of marriage and family . . . and the right to life for unborn children," Minnery said. "It seems those are the issues we should be addressing because they are under attack and the chief concern of most evangelicals." Some evangelicals worry that broadening the agenda will dilute their influence on crucial core issues like abortion and marriage, Green said. Others are suspicious that such activism would lead to a new welfare state that will only perpetuate poverty. Still others view any political activism as a distraction from the primary purpose of the church, he said. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 17 Olney Politics Welfare controversial Welfare is emperically controversial. West's Encyclopedia of American Law, 9-16-04 ―welfare‖ (http://www.answers.com/topic/welfare-1) Government benefits distributed to impoverished persons to enable them to maintain a minimum standard of well-being. Providing welfare benefits to poor people has been controversial throughout U.S. history. Since the colonial period, government welfare policy has reflected the belief that the indigent are responsible for their poverty, leading to the principle that governmental benefits are a privilege and not a right. Until the Great Depression of the 1930s, state and local governments bore some responsibility for providing assistance to the poor. Generally, such assistance was minimal at best, with church and volunteer agencies providing the bulk of any aid. The New Deal policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt included new federal initiatives to help those in poverty. With millions of people unemployed during the 1930s economic depression, welfare assistance was beyond the financial resources of the states. Therefore, the federal government provided funds either directly to recipients or to the states for maintaining a minimum standard of living. Between 1935 and 1996, federal programs were established that provided additional welfare benefits, including medical care ( Medicaid), public housing, food stamps, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). By the 1960s, however, criticism began to grow that these programs had created a "culture of dependency," which discouraged people from leaving the welfare rolls and finding employment. Defenders of public welfare benefits acknowledged that the system was imperfect, noting the financial disincentives associated with taking a low-paying job and losing the array of benefits, especially medical care. However, defenders of the system pointed out that millions of children are the prime beneficiaries of welfare assistance, and that removing adults from welfare affects these children. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 18 Olney Politics Welfare popular with Dems Democrats like increasing access to welfare Steven Malanga, 2-3-9http://www.city-journal.org/2009/19_1_welfare-reform.html Yet no one knows how Barack Obama‘s White House—which brings with it a whole new set of administrators at the Department of Health and Human Services under the new secretary, former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle*—will carry out the law. As a senator, Daschle opposed the original 1996 welfare reform and then stalled its reauthorization from 2002 through his 2004 electoral defeat. Obama, meanwhile, turned down several opportunities during the presidential campaign to say whether he would have signed the welfare-reform act if he had been president in 1996; he preferred not to look back, he said, but forward. During the campaign, he did run ads crediting the 1997 Illinois law that he helped write—which brought the state‘s welfare system in line with federal changes—with Illinois‘ decline in welfare caseloads. Congress‘s most powerful Democrats have also opposed welfare reform. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi voted against both the 1996 legislation (calling it ―punitive and unrealistic‖) and the 2005 bill. Harry Reid, the current Senate majority leader, has used language strikingly similar to that of social-services advocates to criticize welfare reform. On its tenth anniversary, he declared that ―many welfare recipients face significant barriers to employment‖ and that states need ―flexibility‖ in aiding them. At the very least, such statements suggest that a Reid-and-Pelosi-controlled Congress could unwind some key elements of the 2005 law, such as the restrictions on counting certain kinds of job training or substance-abuse counseling as work, when welfare reform again comes up for reauthorization in 2011. Such moves would almost certainly inflate work-participation rates artificially and blunt some of the effectiveness of the 2005 reforms. Whether Congress would attempt to go further, digging into the original 1996 legislation and curtailing some of its mandates, is hard to predict at this stage. But the fact that Obama and his new HHS secretary have hardly been enthusiastic in their support for welfare reform suggests that we may have to fight the battle for it all over again. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 19 Olney Politics ***GENERAL INTERNALS Dartmouth Debate Workshop 20 Olney Politics Capital finite Political capital is finite LIGHT 99 Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Service [Paul C., the President‘s Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton, 3rd Edition p. 157]//ZE Resources and the Need for Priorities. Priorities are central to the conservation of both internal and external resources. For the liaison staffs, the critical resource was presidential capital. ―The President cannot expect Congress to act on every proposal,‖ one Nixon assistant argued. ―He must give them a lead on the top items. Otherwise, he will spread his momentum over too many issues.‖ A second Nixon assistant agreed: ―When you look at the situation we faced, the need for priority-setting was even more important. We had a very slim electoral margin; we faced a hostile Democratic Congress; the executive branch was not particularly interested in our ideas. Without a firm statement of priorities, we could not focus our energy. That was the primary reason for the repeated reference to the Six Great Goals in 1971. It was an attempt to concentrate our political strength.‖ It is to the President‘s advantage to provide some statement of priorities. With increased competition for agenda space, the President must focus his scarce political support on the most valuable proposals – at least that is what the liaison staffs believe. As on Carter assistant apologized, ―I don‘t mean to simplify a very complex process, but Congress no longer offers that many opportunities for the President to set the agenda. Unless the President gives Congress a firm list of priorities, the Congress will drift to other business. That was a lesson we learned quite early.‖ Political capital is finite LIGHT 99 Senior Fellow at the Center for Public Service [Paul C., the President‘s Agenda: Domestic Policy Choice from Kennedy to Clinton, 3rd Edition p. 36-37] The impact of resources on opportunities can be best described as a problem of policy cycles. Certain resources decline over the term, while others grow. ―The more we seemed to learn about the domestic system,‖ one Nixon aide complained, ―the less we could do. We had out best shot at the start oaf the term but didn‘t have the organization to cash in. By the time we had the organization, the opportunity was closed.‖ This ebb and flow of presidential resources creates two basic cycles within the domestic policy process. The first pattern might be called the cycle of decreasing influence. It is based on declines in presidential capital time, and energy. Presidents can usually anticipate a midterm loss of party seats in Congress and a streaky erosion of public approval. At least for the past fifty years, all Presidents, whether Democratic or Republican, have faced a drop in House party seats at the midterm election. Johnson lost forty-seven Democrats in the House in 1966; Nizon lost twelve Republicans in 1970. And at least since George Gallup first began measuring public approval, all President have experienced some decline in their public support over the term. In the last twenty years, however the declines have been more severe. Today the President can expect a near-linear drop in his approval rating in the first three years of office, with a slight rebound at the end of the term As one Ford aide remarked, ―Each decision is bound to hurt somebody; each appointment is going to cut into support. There‘s really now way that the President can win. If he doesn‘t make choices, he will be attacked for being indecisive. If he does, he will satisfy one group but anger three others. Declines in capital eventually bring the domestic process to a halt. Toward the end of each term, the President must spend increasing capital just trying to unclog the legislative calendar. Unless the President is highly successful with early requests, the agenda becomes dominated by the ―old‖ business. Of the five most recent Presidents, excluding Reagan, only Lyndon Johnson was able to sustain a consistently high level of agenda activity into the second an third year‘s. The other four President were force to begin repeating their domestic requests by the end of the first year in office. Even Johnson recognized the problem. As one aide remarked, ―You have to start backtracking almost from the first day. Unless the programs move off the agenda, you have to start investing your time trying to bump them off. You have to devote your energies to the old items before replacing them with your new ideas. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 21 Olney Politics Capital finite Must use political capital before it dissipates Wall Street Journal, 7/6/2009 (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124682940240297211.html#printMode //ZE) WASHINGTON -- Lawmakers return to the Capitol on Monday for a five-week blitz that will help determine the fate of President Barack Obama's agenda. The Senate will be occupied for much of the summer with confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, beginning July 13, followed by a floor debate on her nomination. Democratic leaders also hope to push health plans through the House and Senate before their summer break begins Aug. 8. It is a daunting schedule, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) are keeping lawmakers in Washington for five-day workweeks in July, rather than their usual Tuesday-through-Thursday routine. This will be one of the most challenging periods in the legislative session," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said. "But with a little bit of cooperation from the Republicans -- cooperation that has been mostly absent -- we can get all of our work done." Republicans say they have objected to the Democrats' initiatives because they involve massive spending with little benefit. Several factors put pressure on Democrats to accomplish their major goals this year. Mr. Obama outlined an ambitious agenda upon taking office, in addition to programs to tackle the financial crisis and the ailing economy. A president's political capital often dissipates over his tenure, and legislative compromise is harder in election years. In addition, the Democrats may lose seats in Congress in 2010, as a president's party often does in midterm elections. That means Democrats need to make big progress this month. Congress is pressing forward on the dozen must-pass spending bills for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, and Senate committees will tackle the climate-change bill recently passed by the House. Winners lose Mark Seidenfeld, Associate Professor, Florida State University College of Law, Iowa Law Review, October 19 94 The cumbersome process of enacting legislation interferes with the President's ability to get his legislative agenda through Congress much as it hinders direct congressional control of agency policy-setting. A President has a limited amount of political capital he can use to press for a legislative agenda, and precious little time to get his agenda enacted. These constraints prevent the President from marshalling through Congress all but a handful of statutory provisions reflecting his policy vision. Although such provisions, if carefully crafted, can significantly alter the perspectives with which agencies and courts view regulation, such judicial and administrative reaction is not likely to occur quickly. Even after such reaction occurs, a substantial legacy of existing regulatory policy will still be intact. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 22 Olney Politics Controversial policies drain capital Pushing through controversial legislation burns political capital Mark Seidenfeld, Associate Professor, Florida State University College of Law, Iowa Law Review, October 19 94 In addition, the propensity of congressional committees to engage in special-interest-oriented oversight might seriously undercut presidential efforts to implement regulatory reform through legislation. n198 On any proposed regulatory measure, the President could face opposition from powerful committee members whose ability to modify and kill legislation is well-documented. n199 This is not meant to deny that the President has significant power that he can use to bring aspects of his legislative agenda to fruition. The President's ability to focus media attention on an issue, his power to bestow benefits on the constituents of members of Congress who support his agenda, and his potential to deliver votes in congressional elections increase the likelihood of legislative success for particular programs. n200 Repeated use of such tactics, however, will impose economic costs on society and concomitantly consume the President's political capital. n201 At some point the price to the President for pushing legislation through Congress exceeds the benefit he derives from doing so. Thus, a President would be unwise to rely too heavily on legislative changes to implement his policy vision. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 23 Olney Politics Popularity key to agenda Popularity key to political capital Bond & Fleisher, professor in Political Science - Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. Fordham - 1996 (Jon R. and Richard. "The President in Legislation" p.23-24)//ZE The belief that presidential popularity affects support in Congress is widely accepted among Washington insiders. President Johnson, for example, recognized the importance of popular support. Shortly after his landslide victory in the 1964 election, he told one of his aides, "I keep hitting hard because I know that this honeymoon won't last. Every day I lose a little more political capital" (quoted in Valenti 1975, 144). More recently, a Carter aide echoed the sentiment: "No president whose popularity is as low as this president's has much clout on the Hill" (quoted in Edwards 1980, 87). The president's popularity may influence congressional decisions to support his preferences for two reasons. First, the desire for reelection might lead members to adjust their support for the president in response to his popularity -- i.e. members of Congress support the president when it is in their self-interest to do so. Neustadt (1960,46) argues that "the essence of a President‘s persuasive task with congressmen ... is to induce them to believe that what he wants of them is what their own appraisal of their own responsibilities requires them to do in their interest, not his” (emphasis in original). The president's "public prestige" affects those subjective calculations of self-interest because ―most members of the Washington community depend upon outsiders to support them .... Dependent men must take account of popular reactions to their actions. What their publics may think of them becomes a factor, therefore, in deciding how to deal with the desires of a President. His prestige enters into that decision; their publics are part of his‖ (Neustadt 1960, 86, emphasis in original). Similarly, Edwards (1980,88) makes the point as follows: "Members of Congress may choose to be close to or independent from the president. depending on his popularity, to increase their chances of reelection." Second, role theory provides a plausible explanation of why a president's popularity might influence support for his preferences in Congress (Edw ards , 1980, 88). Many members of Congress believe that their role as a representative is to reflect constituency opinion. For example, Roger Davidson I 1969. 1 18- 19) found that about one-third of the House members in his study agreed that "a representative ought to work for what his constituents want even though this may not always agree with his personal views." Representatives who hold this role orientation should increase or decrease their support for the president in response to changes in his standing with the public. Thus electoral self-interest and role perception provide a theoretical basis for expecting that a president‘s popularity will affect support for his policy preferences in Congress. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 24 Olney Politics Flips flops kill agenda Flip-flops kill the agenda FITTS 96 Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School [Michael A., ―THE PARADOX OF POWER IN THE MODERN STATE,‖ University of Pennsylvania Law Review, January, 144 U. Pa. L. Rev. 827] < But as the president becomes increasingly able to perform these functions, that is, as he becomes more modern, unitary, and formally and informally powerful, he can become less able, as a structural matter, to perform many of the mediation and agenda control functions described above. The reasons for this development are related to his visibility and singularity, which can undermine the president's ability to avoid issues, control the agenda, and mediate conflict. Unitary, visible presidents have greater difficulty claiming that it is the "administration" or some neutral precommitment process of decisionmaking that led the executive branch to a particular position. n126 Under the theory of the unitary presidency, he alone must bear responsibility. For the same reason, the president may be less able to take inconsistent or vague positions on different issues or to refuse to take positions on the ground that inconsistencies should be left to stand. n127 While the president's singularity may give him the formal ability to exercise agenda control , which public choice scholars see as an advantage of presidential power, his visibility and the influence of the media may also make it more difficult for him to exercise it. When public scrutiny is brought to bear on the White House, surrounding such issues as n128 gays in the military or affirmative action, the president must often take a position and act. This can deprive him of the ability to choose when or whether to address issues. Finally, the unitary president may be less able to rely on preexisting congressional or agency processes to resolve disputes. At least in theory, true unitariness means that he has the authority to reverse the decisions or non-decisions of others - the buck stops [*866] with the president. n129 In this environment, "no politician can endure opposition from a wide range of opponents in numerous contests without alienating a significant proportion of voters ." Two types of tactics illustrate this phenomenon. First, presidents in recent years have often sought to deemphasize - at least politically - their unitariness by allocating responsibility for different agencies to different political constituencies. President Clinton, for example, reportedly "gave" the Department of Justice to the liberal wing of the Democratic party and the Department of the Treasury and the OMB to the conservatives. n131 Presidents Bush and Reagan tried a similar technique of giving control over different agencies to different political constituencies. n132 Second, by invoking vague abstract principles or "talking out of both sides of their mouth," presidents have attempted to create the division within their person. Eisenhower is widely reported to be the best exemplar of this "bumbling" technique. n133 Reagan's widely publicized verbal "incoherence" and detachment from government affairs probably served a similar function. n1Unfortunately, the visibility and singularity of the modern presidency can undermine both informal techniques. To the extent that the modern president is subject to heightened visibility about what he says and does and is led to make increasingly specific statements about who should win and who should lose on an issue, his ability to mediate conflict and control the agenda can be undermined. The modern president is supposed to have a position [*867] on such matters as affirmative action, the war in Bosnia, the baseballstrike, and the newest EPA regulations - the list is infinite. Perhapsin response to these pressures, each modern president has made more speeches and taken more positions than his predecessors, with Bill Clinton giving three times as many speeches as Reagan during the same period. n135 In such circumstances, the president is far less able to exercise agenda control, refuse to take symbolic stands, or take inconsistent positions. The well-documented tendency of the press to emphasize the strategic implications of politics exacerbates this process by turning issues into zero-sum games. n136 Thus, in contrast to Congress, the modern president's attempt to avoid or mediate issues can often undermine him personally and politically. > Flip-flops kill political capital Wall Street Journal, 4/1/2002 These sellouts of principle can be excused, if you have the right tastes, by crass politics. Vetoing the campaign finance bill would be throwing down the gauntlet to John McCain, who might decide to play Ross Perot in the 2004 campaign. The steel decision is aimed at a few congressional seats in Pennsylvania and West Virginia deemed crucial to continued Republican control of the House in this fall's elections. I tend to doubt this rationale even on political grounds. Public reversals on principle, even if less dramatic than renouncing a "read my lips" pledge, erode a president's standing and credibility. But at least the campaign- finance and tariff decisions have an element of calculation, however low. Other presidential setbacks seem to result from sheer passivity. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 25 Olney Politics Agenda focus IL Plan ruins agenda order – kills political strength Derek Thompson, Staff Writer, The Atlantic 7/6/2009 (http://politics.theatlantic.com/2009/07/the_politics_of_a_second_stimulus.php //ZE) Third, I expect that the politics of shifting attention away from one of the three big issues of the docket -- health care, climate change and bank regulation -- are dangerous. Conservative Democrats -- and a solid majority of Americans -- are getting nervous about deficits at a time when the Obama administration is pressing them to help pass a trillion-dollar health care reform bill and a potentially even more costly climate change bill to cap carbon emmissions. Say what you want about the long-term impact of climate change and health care reform, but they're going to cost an intimidating sum over the next few years. If Obama presses for a second stimulus, I expect he'll meet plenty of resistance from his own party. Politicians should be nervous about these job losses, but come 2010, they'll be most worried about losing their own. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 26 Olney Politics A2: Winners win Winners don’t win - statistics Bond & Fleisher, professor in Political Science - Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. Fordham - 1996 (Jon R. and Richard. "The President in Legislation" p.223)//ZE Presidency-centered variables, however, provide an even weaker explanation of presidential success. We found little support for the thesis that the weakness of legislative parties increases the importance of presidential skill or popularity for determining presidential success on roll call votes. Our analysis reveals that presidents reputed to be highly skilled do not win consistently more often than should be expected given the conditions they faced. Similarly, presidents reputed to be unskilled do not win significantly less often than expected. The analysis of presidential popularity reveals that the president's standing in the polls has only a marginal impact on the probability of success or failure. Winners don’t win for long Mark Seidenfeld, Associate Professor, Florida State University College of Law, Iowa University Law Review, October, 1994 In addition, the propensity of congressional committees to engage in special-interest-oriented oversight might seriously undercut presidential efforts to implement regulatory reform through legislation. On any proposed regulatory measure, the President could face opposition from powerful committee members whose ability to modify and kill legislation is well-documented. This is not meant to deny that the President has significant power that he can use to bring aspects of his legislative agenda to fruition. The President's ability to focus media attention on an issue, his power to bestow benefits on the constituents of members of Congress who support his agenda, and his potential to deliver votes in congressional elections increase the likelihood of legislative success for particular programs. Repeated use of such tactics, however, will impose economic costs on society and concomitantly consume the President's political capital. At some point the price to the President for pushing legislation through Congress exceeds the benefit he derives from doing so. Thus, a President would be unwise to rely too heavily on legislative changes to implement his policy vision. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 27 Olney Politics Popularity not key to capital Popularity not key to political capital – statistically insignificant Bond & Fleisher, professor in Political Science - Texas A&M and Professor in Political Science. Fordham –‗ 96 (Jon R. and Richard. "The President in Legislation" p.25-27) The empirical evidence presented by researchers seeking to demonstrate a strong relationship between public approval of the president and support in Congress is mixed. Even those studies that purport to find a strong relationship have problems that raise doubts about the evidence. Although Edwards (1980) reports some high correlations, as Rivers and Rose (1985. 184) observe, his results are "decidedly mixed." Edwards found some negative partial correlations, yet he tends to ignore the inconsistent findings and to emphasize the strong positive relationships for his conclusion about the importance of presidential popularity. Rivers and Rose (1985), however, also fail to provide convincing evidence that public approval is a more important source of presidential success than indicated by Edwards A reexamination of (1980). They use highly sophisticated methods in 3D attempt to show that simpler methods fail to reveal the true (strong) relationship. Rivers and Rose's results (1985, 192), however, reveals that they clearly overstate the importance of public opinion. They note that Edwards did not report significance tests or standard errors. As result, we cannot judge the reliability of Edwards's parameter estimates. They correct this deficiency and use the lack of statistical significance to conclude that some variables in their model are not important. Yet they argue that the president's Gallup approval rating has a "substantial effect" on success in Congress (193), even though the coefficient for popularity is not statistically significant. A significance level of .05, of course, is an arbitrary line. But Rivers and Rose argue that significance tests are appropriate criteria to determine the reliability of parameter estimates, then fail to apply consistently the criteria they establish to interpret their results. The evidence from the Ostrom and Simon (1985) analysis is also ambiguous. Their study also seeks to analyze the simultaneous relationships between public approval and presidential legislative success. They use Gallup polls to estimate public approval each month from January 1953 to December 1980. The measure of presidential legislative success, however, is the ―cumulative proportion of of domestic policy votes…in which the position advocated by the president was The summation of presidential success is restarted at the beginning of each new Congress (341 ). In the model victorious" (340). of public approval, including the president's cumulative legislative success as an explanatory variable makes theoretical sense: It seems reasonable to suppose that public approval of the president in a given month might be influenced by his legislative successes in previous months. But analyzing the cumulative legislative success rate as a function of the current month‘s public approval makes little theoretical sense. It is hard to imagine how the level of public approval in December could affect the cumulative rate of successes over the previous eleven months, because most of the victories occurred before the observation of popularity. Consequently, it is unclear what Ostrom and Simon's analysis tells us about the effects of public approval on presidential success. We see therefore that there are problems with the evidence from these studies purporting to show that public approval has a strong effect on presidential success in Congress. Furthermore, other studies present evidence that the effect of presidential popularity is marginal at best. Paul Light's analysis of congressional action on presidential proposals from Kennedy to Carter finds that popularity has a significant effect on congressional action. But the strength of the relationship is much weaker than that reported by Edwards (1980). The correlations between presidential popularity and congressional action on presidential programs are .28 for spending programs .27 for large programs, and .19 for new programs (Light 1981 -82. 731). Similarly, our study of presidential support from members of the House between 1959 and 1974 (Eisenhower to Ford) reveals limited and indirect effects for public opinion. We found that, controlling for ideological conflict between the president and a member of Congress, overall presidential popularity is related to support, but partisan forces condition the relationship . Presidential popularity is directly related to support from members of the president's party and inversely related to support from members of the opposition--that is, popular presidents tend to receive more support from members of their party but less support from members of the opposition (Bond and Fleisher 1980, 75). Dartmouth Debate Workshop 28 Olney Politics Popularity not key to capital Public popularity doesn’t create Congressional success Mark Peterson, professor of policy studies and political science at the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, 2000, The Presidency and the Political System, Ed. Michael Nelson, p. 493-494. Media accounts often note the importance of another unstable feature of the political environment, one that can vary dramatically during a single president‘s term: presidential popularity, or, more precisely, the proportion of the public that approves of the president‘s job performance. Presidents are believed to do better with Congress when the people like them. Thus a certain amount of surprise underlay the Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report headline in September 19 that reported, ―Clinton Prevails on Capitol Hill Despite Poor Showing in the Polls?‘ Consistent with this conventional wisdom, some studies have identified a significant relationship between a president‘s public approval public and effectiveness in Congress. Competing studies, however, conclude that popular support has an extremely limited or inconsistent effect. The apparent confusion has many possible explanations. First, although one would anticipate that a president who is way down in the polls, as Nixon was following the Watergate scandal, will encounter a less accommodating Congress, more typical fluctuations in popular support are insufficient to alter legislative politics already shaped by party orientation, ideology, policy preferences, and constituency interests. Second, levels of presidential job approval must be substantively relevant to members of Congress for them to affect their decision making. After the victory against Iraq in the Persian Gulf War, President Bush‘s public approval rating soared to an unprecedented height—89 percent in one Gallup poll. The popular accolades, however, had little effect on how Congress reacted to Bush‘s domestic initiatives. Legislators could distinguish between public acclaim for the president‘s actions as commander in chief and the electorate‘s considerable reticence about his performance on the domestic (largely economic) front. Third, a popular president may be emboldened to challenge opponents in Congress, leading to intensified legislative conflict rather than enhanced success. Although public support probably strengthens the influence of presidents with their partisan allies, members of the opposition party may react quite differently. Finally, uncertainty exists about the direction of causality. Does public support breed legislative success, or does legislative success stimulate favorable ratings? Probably some of each. All that we can safely conclude, then, is that truly unpopular presidents are likely to encounter stiff congressional resistance. Harry S. Truman, Nixon, and Carter faced this test more severely than other recent presidents. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 29 Olney Politics Winners win **Winners win – winning on controversial issues is key to Obama’s agenda Jonathan Singer, JD candidate at Berkeley and editor of MyDD, 3-3-09, http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/3/3/191825/0428 Peter Hart gets at a key point. Some believe that political capital is finite, that it can be used up. To an extent that's true. But it's important to note, too, that political capital can be regenerated -- and, specifically, that when a President expends a great deal of capital on a measure that was difficult to enact and then succeeds, he can build up more capital. Indeed, that appears to be what is happening with Barack Obama, who went to the mat to pass the stimulus package out of the gate, got it passed despite near-unanimous opposition of the Republicans on Capitol Hill, and is being rewarded by the American public as a result. Take a look at the numbers. President Obama now has a 68 percent favorable rating in the NBC-WSJ poll, his highest ever showing in the survey. Nearly half of those surveyed (47 percent) view him very positively. Obama's Democratic Party earns a respectable 49 percent favorable rating. The Republican Party, however, is in the toilet, with its worst ever showing in the history of the NBC-WSJ poll, 26 percent favorable. On the question of blame for the partisanship in Washington, 56 percent place the onus on the Bush administration and another 41 percent place it on Congressional Republicans. Yet just 24 percent blame Congressional Democrats, and a mere 11 percent blame the Obama administration. So at this point, with President Obama seemingly benefiting from his ambitious actions and the Republicans sinking further and further as a result of their knee-jerked opposition to that agenda, there appears to be no reason not to push forward on anything from universal healthcare to energy reform to ending the war in Iraq. Spending capital builds more – the House energy bills proves Liz Sidoti, Associated Press, 6-29-09, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/economy/ap/49383237.html Facing a rare defeat, President Barack Obama put a big dose of political capital on the line and scored a major victory just when he needed one. In private telephone conversations and last-minute public appeals, Obama leaned heavily on House Democratic holdouts to support the first energy legislation ever designed to curb global warming. The measure ended up passing in dramatic fashion. In the end, the president's furious lobbying — coupled with a final push by allies including former Vice President Al Gore — carried much weight. To a certain extent, the victory validated Obama's governing style — and that could bode well for his other top domestic priority, health care. He faces an even more difficult test in shepherding the energy and climate legislation through the Senate. Winners win – one victory builds the habit for future wins Norman Ornstein, Roll Call, May 27, 1993 2. Winning comes to those who look like winners. This only sounds redundant or cliche-ish. If power is the ability to make people do something they otherwise would not do, real power is having people do things they otherwise wouldn't do without anybody making them - when they act in anticipation of what they think somebody would want them to do. If a president develops a reputation as a winner, somebody who will pull out victories in Congress even when he is behind, somebody who can say, "Do this!" and have it done, then Members of Congress will behave accordingly. They will want to cut their deals with the president early, getting on the winning team when it looks the best and means the most. They will avoid cutting deals with the opposition. Stories that show weakness, indecisiveness, or incompetence in the White House - and there are always lots of them - will go unreported or will be played down because they will be seen as the exception that proves the rule of strength and competence. But the converse is also, painfully, true. If a president develops a reputation for being weak or for being a loser - somebody who says, "Do this!" and nothing happens, who is ignored or spurned by other interests in the political process - he will suffer death by a thousand cuts. Lawmakers will delay jumping on his bandwagon, holding off as long as possible until they see which side will win. Stories about incompetence, arrogance, or failure will be reported always, and given prominence, because they prove the point. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 30 Olney Politics Winners win Looking strong is key to future success Norman Ornstein, Roll Call, May 27, 1993 1. A president's power is defined by his relations with Congress. A president must exercise power in many arenas, persuading many audiences at home and abroad. But the key test for a president's clout or success is how he is judged in dealing with Congress: Does he master them, or do they master him? The successful president, I suggested in these pages in March, comes across like animal tamer Gunther Gebel-Williams: He gets into the ring with the Congressional lions and tigers, cracks the whip, and, although they growl and roar, they still get up on their tiny little stools and perform. But if a president looks like Gulliver, a pitiful, helpless giant dominated by Congressional Lilliputians, then watch out. Must use political capital or lose it LINDBERG 04 Editor of Policy Review Magazine, Research Fellow at the Hoover Institute [Tod, ―Spending political capital,‖ The Washington Times, December 7. Pg. A21] Now, in the usual metaphor of political capital, presidents who have it often make the mistake of trying to "hoard" it. They put their political capital in a safe place in order to bolster their personal popularity. They do not "risk it" in pursuit of political victories, whether on their policy agenda or for controversial judicial appointments, etc. And therein, in the conventional application of the metaphor, lies peril. For political capital, when hoarded, does not remain intact but rather diminishes over time through disuse. It "wastes away" - and with it, a president's popularity and reputation. Therefore, again in the conventional use of the metaphor, it is mere prudence for a president to "invest" his political capital. Only by seeking political victories and winning them by such judicious investment can a president maintain and even increase his political capital. Who dares wins. Capital can’t be saved. Obama needs to spend it now or lose it forever Lincoln Mitchell, Assistant Professor of Politics at Columbia University The Huffington Post, 18 June 2009 Political capital is not, however, like money, it cannot be saved up interminably while its owner waits for the right moment to spend it. Political capital has a shelf life, and often not a very long one. If it is not used relatively quickly, it dissipates and becomes useless to its owner. This is the moment in which Obama, who has spent the first few months of his presidency diligently accumulating political capital, now finds himself. The next few months will be a key time for Obama. If Obama does not spend this political capital during the next months, it will likely be gone by the New Year anyway. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 31 Olney Politics Environmental lobbies strong Environmental lobbies strong Mayer, 7 – Money-in-politics reporter for Center for Responsive Politics (Lindsay Renick, PBS, ―Big Oil Big Influence‖ 11-23-2007 http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/347/oil-politics.html ) Environmentalists, who had very little influence in Congress when Republicans were in control, are now seeing the lawmakers seriously consider their positions. This includes environmentalists' support of fuel efficiency standards, a mandate for electric utility companies to produce 15 percent of electricity from renewable sources and their opposition to coal-to-liquid fuel development. Nowhere is this change in tides more evident than in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, which is heavily involved in energy legislation. California Sen. Barbara Boxer, considered one of the environment's biggest champions, has chaired the committee since her party assumed control of the Senate in the 2006 election. Boxer replaced Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican who has received $572,000 from the oil and gas industry since President Bush took office—more than all but three other members of Congress. Since 2001, Boxer has received less than $13,000 from the industry and nearly 69 times more from environmental policy groups than Inhofe . "The oil and gas industry, like almost every other industry, will shift some donations from Republicans to Democrats," says Eric Smith, a political scientist who researches environmental policy at the University of California-Santa Barbara. "It's clear that the industry strongly prefers to have Republicans in power, but industries generally focus on short-term advantages. In the short term—now and presumably after the 2008 elections—Democrats hold congressional majorities. So to win the short-term battles, the industry must try to persuade Democrats in Congress to go easy on them." Big Oil, which has always contributed heavily to Republicans, isn't likely to defensively switch its contributions to favor Democrats. But so far this year, 27 percent of the industry's contributions have gone to Democrats, up from 18 percent in the 2006 election cycle, when Republicans were still in power. In the presidential race, the Democrats' share is even higher—Democratic hopefuls for president have so far received 30 percent of the industry's contributions. Among Republicans, presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has so far collected the most from the industry, while presidential candidate Hillary Clinton raised the most from the industry among Democrats. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 32 Olney Politics Concessions key to agenda Now is key time for action – compromises key Julian Zelizer, Professor of History @ Princeton, 7/6/2009 (http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/07/06/zelizer.democrats.franken/ //ZE) Now, the new generation of Democratic leaders is enjoying a perfect moment once again. In the next two months, Democrats will try to push three major bills through the Senate and then through conference committee -- financial regulation, health care and environmental regulation -- that could create the basis of a new compact with Americans that helps ensure economic and environmental security. But to do so Democrats on the left and center will have to compromise, finding what is possible rather than perfect, so that this moment is not a blown opportunity. Moderates will have to agree to some form of public insurance option in health care. Liberals will have to accept an environmental bill that does not include the carbon tax long believed to be crucial to protecting the atmosphere. All Democrats will have to agree to a financial regulatory system that is far from perfect but which would begin to reimpose certain ground rules in the marketplace to prevent fraud and abuse. The good news is that the divisions within the Democratic Party today are much less severe than they were in 1965 or 1935 when Democrats were able to come together over very sweeping agendas. Without compromise by both sides, a moment of unusual opportunity can quickly disappear. Johnson feared this and saw it happen. As the 2010 midterms move closer, Democrats must realize these are the best legislative conditions that they might encounter in the next four to eight years. Concessions key to agenda Columbus Dispatch 1/7/07 lexis Gridlock is not an inevitable consequence of a Democratic Congress dealing with a Republican president. With the right dose of consensus, Congress and President Bush could accomplish a lot in the final two years of his presidency. Regardless, the 110th Congress is likely to achieve more than the Republican-led 109th, which failed to act on a number of Bush's priorities, including Social Security reform and immigration. Bush is right to extend his hand to Democrats, who will control both houses of Congress for the first time in 12 years. In an opinion piece on Wednesday in The Wall Street Journal, Bush wrote that if congressional Democrats take a conciliatory tone, "The next two years can be fruitful ones for our nation." Also necessary will be compromises by the Bush administration. And the new Democratic majority will have to be more inclusive of the minority party than Republican leaders were during their years in power. Among the inherent advantages of having the executive and legislative branches in the hands of opposite parties is that neither side can dominate the other. Meaningful ideas then can emerge from the middle of the political spectrum, where consensus usually is built. In the 1990s, a GOP-led Congress and a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, achieved welfare reform and, aided by a robust economy, set the stage for budget surpluses that vanished after Bush took office. Bush said he agrees with the new appropriations-committee chairmen that congressional earmarks that bloat government spending should be scaled back. Bush said that voters made clear in November they wanted to end "the secretive process" in which pork-barrel projects totaling billions of dollars are slipped into spending bills without congressional review. On immigration policy and shoring up Social Security and Medicare, a bipartisan government would seem to have a better chance of getting something accomplished. Reform of entitlement programs, especially Social Security, is highly politicized. But changes need to come soon to make the programs sustainable beyond midcentury. Bush contends that his fiscal proposals will lead to a balanced budget in 2012. The burden will be on his administration to explain to Congress and the nation how that will be achieved if tax cuts enacted early this decade are extended. Congress' new leaders say members will be working more and longer days. The agenda is full; there will be plenty for them to do. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 33 Olney Politics Concessions fail Concessions fail – they just piss off the base Andres 06 - Vice Chairman of research and policy for Dutko Worldwide, former White House senior lobbyist [Gary J., 11/16, lexis] Yet, despite its apparent popularity with voters, mixed government causes a variety of challenges and headaches for the White House and both parties in Congress. It muddies the political waters in numerous ways, creating conflicting motivations that often strain the bonds of trust between the branches while presenting a host of communications difficulties for both parties. A Republican White House walks a fine line in divided government. In the lawmaking process, much of the negotiating occurs with the Democrats. Republican members of Congress consequently often feel left out and unappreciated. The White House must carefully coordinate the information flow between the president's staff and both the majority party Democrats and its natural political allies on the Republican side of the aisle a complicated dance that often bruises egos. When I worked in the legislative affairs office of President George H.W. Bush between 1989 and 1992, Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. Negotiating with the majority without alienating Republicans was a constant challenge. Often Republicans were unhappy not only with the content of the compromises the Bush administration struck with Democrats in Congress, but also in the way these deals were communicated. Most Republicans found out about the infamous 1990 budget agreement where President George H. W. Bush agreed to raise taxes when the White House issued a press release noting it would put everything on the table to secure a deal, "including tax revenue increases." Many Republicans never regained trust in a White House they believed undercut them both in substance and in the communications style. The majority in Congress faces similar challenges. Does negotiating with a Republican president anger the Democrat base? Does fighting the president, passing legislation that is subsequently vetoed, hurt with swing voters who are looking for accomplishments? These questions are part of the political calculus Democrats face next year. Negotiating bipartisan agreements with Republicans and Mr. Bush might help with some voting blocs but anger others. Recall that when President Clinton signed welfare reform after negotiating with Republicans on Capitol Hill, many liberals were furious and bitterly rebuked the White House. Democrats in Congress will no doubt face similar charges of political treason from their base every time they compromise with Mr. Bush. But doing so may also prove positive among swing voters. Which constituency matters more? Finally, the minority party faces its own issues in the mixed-government world. Do they "get along and go along" with the major legislative compromises between the White House and congressional Democrats? By doing so do they help the president and themselves, or do they guarantee the success and popularity of the Democrat majority in Congress? Pre-1994 Republicans were often criticized for being satisfied with the "crumbs" from the Democrats' table, while post-1994 Republican "revolutionaries" were sometimes disparaged for exercising too much partisanship and ushering in a new era of polarization. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 34 Olney Politics AT: Bottom of the docket If the plan is at the bottom of the docket, 9000 other bills get debated ahead of it. The plan never gets passed and dies at the end of session NAACP accessed in 07 [NAACP WASHINGTON BUREAU FACT SHEET: What happens to bills when the Congress ends?, accessed October 18, http://www.naacp.org/pdfs/Advocacy_Tools.pdf] //ZACK ELIAS A very small number of bills introduced actually become law. In the 107th Congress, which ran from 2001 to 2002, 8948 bills were introduced in the US House and Senate. Of these, 377 laws were enacted. This means that just over 4% of the bills introduced in the 107th Congress actually became law. In the United States, a ―Congress‖ or congressional term lasts two years. Most recently, the 108th Congress began on January 7, 2003, and will adjourn before the end of 2004. Each Congress is comprised of two sessions; the first session, which encompasses the first year, and the second session, which is comprised of the second year. At any point when Congress is in session, a sitting member of Congress may introduce legislation: members of the House of Representatives introduce bills in the House and Senators introduce bills in the Senate. This legislation can cover almost any issue conceivable. Once a bill has been introduced, it is alive and may be considered at any time during the Congress. Once a Congress adjourns, however, at the end of its two-year cycle, all bills that have been introduced in either the House or the Senate that have not made it through the entire legislative process and signed into law are dead. This includes bills that may have passed both the House and the Senate but were never finalized and sent to the President for his signature; bills that passed one house (either the House or the Senate) but not the other; bills that were the subject of committee or subcommittee hearings but were never considered by either house; and bills that never got more action after being introduced. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 35 Olney Politics No spillover/vote switching Senators don’t vote based on capital – it’s all about ideology and representing their local interests Matt Yglesias, Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, 6-15-09, http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/06/the-limits-of-political-capital.php I think the answer to the puzzle is simply that ―political capital‖ is a pretty misleading metaphor. The fact of the matter is that the Senate is what it is—to wit, an institution with an enormous status quo bias, that‘s also biased in favor of conservative areas. On top of that, the entire structure of the US Congress with its bicameralism and multiple overlapping committees is biased toward making it easy for concentrated interests to block reform. Between them, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Chuck Schumer, Kristen Gillibrand, Bill Nelson, Dick Durbin, Roland Burriss, Arlen Specter, Bob Casey, Sherrod Brown, Carl Levin, Amy Klobuchar, Kay Hagan, Bob Menendez, Frank Lautenberg, Mark Warner, Jim Webb, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and Evan Bayh represent 50 percent of the country‘s population. But that only adds up to 22 Senators—you need thirty-eight more to pass a bill. Meanwhile, the fact of the matter is that in recent years plenty of incumbent Republicans have been brought down by primary challenges from the right and as best I know zero Democrats have been brought down by primary challenges from the left. This has been a huge advantage for the Democrats in terms of winning elections—it‘s an important part of the reason Democrats have these majorities. But it also means that when it comes to policymaking, Republicans have a lot of solidarity but Democratic leaders have little leverage over individual members. In other words, nobody thinks that Collin Peterson (D-MN) is going to lose his seat over badly watering down Waxman-Markey and that matters a lot more than airy considerations of capital. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 36 Olney Politics Yes spillover/vote switching Political capital spills over – 107th congress proves LEE 05 The Rose Institute of State & Local Government – Claremont McKenna College – Presented at the Georgia Political Science Association 2005 Conference [Andrew, ―Invest or Spend?:Political capital and Statements of Administration Policy in the First Term of the George W. Bush Presidency,‖ http://a-s.clayton.edu/trachtenberg/2005%20Proceedings%20Lee.pdf] The idea of investing political capital also supports the notion that the chief executive specializes in foreign and defense policy. The president may increase his domestic capital by cooperating on domestic legislation and then spend it implementing foreign policies. In executing foreign policy, the president will not issue SAPs on his own foreign policy. For example, if the president signs a treaty, Congress may or may not ratify it, but there is no opportunity for veto. Therefore, the president‘s use of foreign policy is a spend maneuver, whereas his domestic policy is an invest maneuver. The 107th Congress, during which the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began, supports this theory. President Bush may have spent his political capital towards executing those wars and attempted to invest his capital by cooperating on domestic legislation. Yes vote switching – no real impact to ideology Bond & Fleisher, Professor in Political Science - Texas A&M & Professor in Political Science - Fordham 1996 (Jon R. and Richard The President in Legislation) pg 54 In a previous study of presidential-congressional relations from Eisenhower to Ford, we found that ideological conflict between the president and members of Congress was associated with lower support. In general, as ideological differences increase, the president tends to lose support from members of both parties at about the same rate, although support from the opposition is lower at all levels of ideological conflict (Bond and Fleisher 1980, 75). Thus ideological forces in Congress often cause the formation of bipartisan coalitions to support or oppose the president's policy preferences. These ideological forces help explain why majority presidents have only a limited advantage over minority presidents in building majority support for their positions in Congress. Majority presidents inevitably experience defections of partisans who have ideologies in conflict with theirs. Minority presidents, on the other hand, can frequently build working majorities composed of their partisan base and like-minded members of the opposition. While political values shared between the president and members of Congress provide an important linkage source, the effects of ideology are limited for several reasons. First, most members of Congress are pragmatic politicians who do not have views and preferences at the extremes of a liberal-conservative continuum. Because the typical American voter is not strongly ideological, most representatives' electoral self-interest is probably best served by avoiding ideological extremes. As noted above, ideology is a less important voting cue for moderates than it is for ideological extremists (Kingdon 1981, 268). Second, many votes that may be important to the president do not involve ideological issues. Distributive or "porkbarrel" programs, for example, typically do not produce ideological divisions. Even conservatives who want to cut domestic spending and liberals who want to reduce defense spending work to protect domestic and defense programs in their districts. Presidents who attempt to tamper with these programs are likely to find few friends in Congress, as President Carter discovered when he opposed several water projects in 1977, and as President Reagan discovered when he vetoed the highway bill in 1987. Finally, ideological voting blocs are relatively informal coalitions composed of individuals who have similar values. The "conservative coalition" of Republicans and southern Democrats, for example, appears on certain votes and sometimes has a significant influence on the outcome of floor votes (Shelley 1983; Brady and Bullock 1980; Manley 1973). But this coalition of conservatives has no formal organization with elected leaders to serve as a communication and information center. Although there are several ideologies. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 37 Olney Politics ***HEALTH CARE UNIQUENESS Dartmouth Debate Workshop 38 Olney Politics Yes health care – general Health care will pass National Journal, 7-1-09, http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/no_20090630_7955.php Certainly, the White House feels a sense of urgency. Last week, after Obama pledged that he would "absolutely" pass reforms this year, Dianne Sawyer asked, "If you don't, is it over for four years?" Obama bristled. "We're gonna get it done, so I won't engage in hypotheticals in which we don't." Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Obama's original choice to lead the push on reform, told NationalJournal.com in April that a bill must be passed this year if it is to happen at all. But those who observe the current push for health care reform and see déjà vu all over again for a young Democratic president may be overlooking some important inconsistencies in the parallel. Lawmakers are still trying to find common ground on the shape of the legislation, but polls show public support remains squarely behind health care reform, and there are now 60 Democrats in the Senate, many of whom campaigned on passing it. No matter the bill's final language, the bottom line is unchanged: Congress will almost certainly pass some sort of bill, and Obama will almost certainly sign it. Health care will pass Carol Gee, 6-12-09, http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/carol_gee/2009/06/health-care-overhaul---- get-on.php?ref=reccafe Health Care Reform will happen this year, in my opinion. The train has already left the station. In fact change is already happening. The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is now the law of the land. Health Information Technology reform is being funded by the President's Stimulus monies. And the President will soon sign the bill to mandate tobacco regulation by the FDA. If all of us work hard, a new era can emerge. But it could also easily get derailed. It is going to be an interesting ride. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 39 Olney Politics Yes health care – predictive Dems will unite to pass health care – prefer our evidence because it predicts how they’ll eventually VOTE, not just what they say now Ramsey Baghdadi, managing editor of "The RPM Report", a publication devoted to prescription drug regulation, In Vivo, 6-22-09, http://invivoblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/health-care-reform-too-big-to-fail.html The first, 79, is the margin Democrats enjoy in the House. The second, 59+1, is the number of Democrats (we'll count independents who vote with Democrats) plus Al Franken, who could be seated as the junior Senator of Minnesota at anytime, in the Senate. The sum of the equation gives Democrats the filibuster-proof 60 votes they desperately need to move forward. That's not the same "60" we mean by the last number. That 60 is Obama's approval rating; 60% of all Americans approve of the job he's doing, according to an average of polls from Real Clear Politics. Now, there is the strong argument that Democrats themselves don't all agree on health care reform and certainly wouldn't vote in lockstep along party lines to pass sweeping legislation that impacts one-sixth of the economy. Presently, that's absolutely the case and was reinforced by comments on the Sunday morning talk shows. However, we bet that health care reform--particularly universal coverage--is so important in defining the future of the Democratic Party that they will have no other choice than to come together. If they don't, Obama will make that case to them in the final stage of the legislative process. And if those three numbers (79, 59+1, and 60) aren't enough, there's always a fourth number, 51. That's the simple majority it would take to pass reform as part of the budget reconciliation process in the Senate, with healthy margins assured in the House. Democrats themselves point to 51 as a course of last resort. But the only way to get to 60 votes in the Senate may be to make sure you have 51--a threat of inevitability that would persuade conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans to sign on to a sweeping health reform bill. We believe the 51-vote strategy is one of last resort, but one Democrats will resort to if necessary if the choice is between that and no health care reform. Put simply, Democrats have placed too much of the Party's future in the health reform basket to abandon it now. Trends are toward compromise. They’ll get a bill Trish Turner, 6-23-09, http://congress.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/06/23/senate-makes-progress-on-health-care/ Senators are making progress on health care reform behind the scenes with one key committee beginning to make progress on the stickiest of problems, getting the cost of a bill under control, though challenges remain. The Finance Committee, where a bipartisan product is being crafted, has found $400 billion in additional savings this week, bringing the total bill ―in the range of $1.2 trillion,‖ according to Sen. Kent Conrad, D- ND. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which tallies the cost of legislation for members, has been working with the committee for some time, throwing a wrench into the gears just last week with an exceedingly high price tag that sent members back to the drawing board on a number of issues. Conrad said that CBO estimates that the bill will now cover 96 percent of Americans with a coverage comparable to that of Medicare. ―I am increasingly confident that we will get a bipartisan bill…We‘re still not there yet,‖ Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-MT, adding, ―We‘re getting much closer.‖ The chairman has set a goal of getting the final price tag under $1 trillion. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 40 Olney Politics Yes health care – Obama Yes healthcare – Obama is pulling out all the stops Charlie Cook, National Journal, 6/16/2009 (http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/ot_20090616_5955.php //ZE) This week President Obama and his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill begin to get down to the short strokes, unveiling details that will transform the concept of health care reform into a specific proposal. Simultaneously, the administration and congressional Democrats are offering incentives to very interested parties, encouraging their support wherever possible and, failing that, their silence. They are also brandishing a cudgel, warning would-be adversaries in the medical-provider community that going too far in opposition might make for tough years ahead. On Monday, Obama traveled home to Chicago to address the highly skeptical American Medical Association on his health care proposal. It's hard to imagine that too many of the AMA's 800,000 members would find a lot to like in a proposal designed to restrain spending on health care. But a story that morning in the New York Times suggesting that the president would be open to making changes in the area of medical malpractice liability had to give the physicians waiting to hear the president at least some reason to hesitate before unleashing their opposition. For Democratic leaders, the biggest challenge might well be determining just how much compromise is necessary, and worth it, to achieve the bipartisan legislation they say they want. For years, physicians and health care executives, as well as many of their Republican allies in Congress, have pointed to the payment of medical malpractice insurance premiums and the costs of practicing defensive medicine as major drivers in the soaring costs of health care. One could have a weeklong symposium on what role medical liability has had in the rising costs of health care, but the president certainly arrived at the AMA convention with a carrot in hand. It is hard to know just how far Obama and congressional Democrats would be willing to go in antagonizing trial lawyers, one of the party's more loyal allies. But, if this gesture is sincere, it could conceivably create an important opening in this debate. It's hard to ask, ask, ask without a bit of give, give, give. Given Obama's sky-high job approval ratings among Democrats, particularly self-described liberals, he certainly has the capital within the party to spend on winning what has come to be his legislative centerpiece. Health care will pass – Obama is spreading goodwill in Congress National Journal, 7-1-09, http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/no_20090630_7955.php Either way, Obama has bought himself an insurance policy in the event that legislation fails or falls short of what his supporters are hoping for, argued Chris Jennings, a member of Bill Clinton's health care team in the early 1990s. Clinton drafted a 1,300-page bill without consulting lawmakers and then drew a line in the sand and declared a public insurance option non-negotiable. His total ownership let critics label the plan "HillaryCare" and left him holding the bag when the reforms failed. "I think the lesson from 1994 is not to craft a bill in secret that affects one-sixth of the economy and dump it on Congress," said David Mermin, a partner at Lake Research who has done polling for Health Care For America Now. "It's becoming an American solution -- not an Obama solution, or a [Max] Baucus solution, or a [Edward] Kennedy solution," said Jennings, who now runs a health policy and advocacy consulting shop. "If you personalize it to one person, it's far easier to attack and malign." By leaving the details up to Congress, Obama also increases his chances of getting bipartisan support. The tone Obama has set has already sparked some aisle-crossing: Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Bob Bennett, R-Utah, have enlisted Democrats and Republicans behind a bill that would eliminate employer-provided health care coverage in an effort to make the insurance market more competitive. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 41 Olney Politics Yes health care – Obama Obama is making all the right moves – he’ll use his popularity and lessons of 94 to get health care Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6-10-09 President Barack Obama visits Green Bay on Thursday, as his administration begins a final push toward the most sweeping changes in the nation's health care system since Medicare was introduced in 1965. With Congress working to pass legislation by early August, the once-improbable goal of significant health care reform stands a chance of becoming a reality. "The big story here is how far and how fast health care reform has come in 2009," said Jonathan Oberlander, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who has written extensively about the obstacles to such reform. Obama has outlined only guiding principles for reform and left the details to the five congressional committees crafting legislation. Among the possibilities: • Prohibiting health insurers from turning away new customers who have pre-existing medical conditions. • Providing a subsidy, perhaps in the form of a tax credit, for people who can't afford health insurance, and requiring everyone to buy health insurance. • Creating a government health plan, perhaps limited to small businesses and individuals, that would compete with private insurance companies. • Capping the tax deduction for employer-provided health benefits and mandating that large employers provide health benefits or pay a penalty. • Paying hospitals and doctors for efficiency and quality rather than the volume of services they provide. When legislation emerges, parts are certain to provoke opposition, and the obstacles to health care reform should never be underestimated. Also, Republican opposition is likely to swell once details become public. "The hard stuff is still left," Oberlander said. "There is going to be a tremendous amount of fighting over the details." But Democrats control the Senate and the House, and the leaders of key committees in both are committed to reform. The Senate also has passed a budget resolution that gives it the option of using "reconciliation" with the House to pass health reform. That would enable legislation to pass with 51 votes instead of the 60 needed to overcome a filibuster. "These guys are playing a chess game," said Stephen Parente, a professor at the University of Minnesota and a former adviser to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. "They are simultaneously looking at multiple moves and fallback positions." The Obama administration in many ways has drawn on the Clinton administration's failed bid for health care reform - and used it as a model of what not to do. The administration worked to bring different interest groups, such as the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, to the table. It held off on releasing details that could be attacked. And it has tried to link health reform to the economic crisis. More than anything else, the administration has moved quickly, recognizing that Obama's popularity might never be higher than in the first year of his presidency. Republicans contended that the legislation could pass before people realize its implications. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 42 Olney Politics Yes health care – reconciliation Health care will pass via reconciliation AP, 6-29-09, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hsKP5waZIVYrxEZ6VNvOxw- 9a79QD994J7780 Mainstream Democrats close to Barack Obama are warning Republicans about insisting on too many changes to the president's health care overhaul, saying the Democratic-controlled Congress will move ahead without GOP input if they do. A strong-arm partisan approach may be unpleasant, these prominent Democrats say, but it is better than letting Republicans dictate spending cuts and insurance rules that many Democratic voters oppose. For weeks, staunchly liberal groups have complained as key Senate Democrats insisted on a bipartisan approach, especially in the Finance Committee. The strategy is giving Republicans more clout than their minority status deserves, these critics said. Now, similar comments are coming from veteran, pragmatic Democrats who have worked closely with Obama and his top aides. They reject the notion that a controversial Senate tactic — "reconciliation," which essentially bars the minority party from using filibusters to block legislation — is unworkable or politically unacceptable in the health care debate. "I would not hesitate to use it" if efforts at genuine bipartisanship fail, former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle said Monday. The price that Senate Republicans are demanding so far is too high, said John Podesta, a White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and now head of the Center for American Progress. "There is a point at which you have to move on," Podesta said, and reconciliation can be the vehicle when that time comes. Reconciliation ensures passage J. Taylor Rushing, Staff Writer, The Hill, 6/8/2009 (http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/fight-over-public-plan- intensifies-2009-06-08.html //ZE) At the same time, Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa), the third-ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which shares jurisdiction over the healthcare overhaul, said Monday that Democrats reserved the right to use special budget rules to push through the legislation without GOP senators, and that the proposal only needs a handful of Republicans to be considered ―bipartisan.‖ Senators are raising their rhetoric on an issue that is expected to be the fault-line in the debate one week before the HELP Committee begins marking up the healthcare overhaul, which Harkin said will cost $1 trillion. ―The key to a bipartisan bill is to not have a government plan in the bill — no matter what it‘s called,‖ McConnell told reporters this month. ―When I say no government plan I mean no government plan. Not something described some other way, not something that gets us to the same place by indirection — no government plan.‖ In their letter to Obama, the Finance Committee Republicans said a public option would result in ―a federal government takeover of our healthcare system, taking decisions out of the hands of doctors and patients and placing them in the hands of a Washington bureaucracy.‖ The only Republican senator on the committee not to sign the letter was Olympia Snowe (Maine). Harkin, who has assumed a leading role in the absence of ailing HELP Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), made clear that Democrats really don‘t need McConnell or the bulk of Republicans to pass the legislation. Using reconciliation rules remains an option for Democrats, Harkin said, and that would allow leaders to pass a bill with a simple majority instead of the much more difficult threshold of 60 votes. Democrats currently control 59 seats in the chamber, with Al Franken representing the 60th vote, should he prevail in his court challenge in Minnesota. Harkin met with Obama last week and said the president asked for a bill to be ready for his signature by mid-October. ―If we have a few people who just want to block it, but we have a majority of the Senate that wants this bill, we can do it,‖ Harkin said. ―We just can‘t have a majority of the Senate, and a substantial number of Republicans, support something that one or two people want to stop.‖ Harkin said Republicans are simply pushing the ―government-run‖ phrase on the advice of pollsters, suggesting that the party cares more about politics than policy. ―But the polls really show the American people want a public plan, overwhelmingly,‖ Harkin said Monday while promoting draft legislation that the committee began circulating earlier this month that includes the public option. Health care will pass – they’ll fall back on reconciliation if necessary USA Today, 6-29-09 The month of July looms as "the most consequential period for health reform perhaps in all of history," Daschle said. Podesta said: "This is the time real decisions are going to have to be made." Both put the odds of the House and Senate passing a bill before the August recess as somewhat better than 50-50. They called for flexibility and compromise to reach an agreement, but neither seemed particularly optimistic about the chances of drawing significant Republican support. Asked to define "bipartisanship," Daschle replied, "The involvement of one or more Republican." He said the use of a parliamentary procedure known as reconciliation was "certainly a viable fallback." Using reconciliation would prevent opponents from threatening a filibuster, meaning a plan could pass with Democratic votes alone. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 43 Olney Politics Dems will use reconciliation Dems will use reconciliation – claims to the contrary are just political management Washington Examiner, 7-2-09, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway- confidential/Got-60-Who-Cares-49684612.html So how can reconciliation be used now? Frankly, any way the Democrats want to use it. Disregard the rhetoric you hear this summer about the White House or Congress "preferring regular order" -- you might have heard it from Robert Gibbs on Monday, but don't believe it. Watch instead how Obama and the Democrats in Congress prepare for this fall. They can save themselves a lot of arm-twisting if they just use reconciliation for health care, or for cap-and-trade -- or for both. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 44 Olney Politics Yes health care – moderates Healthcare will pass – pressure on moderates John Fritze, Staff Writer for USA Today, 6/12/2009 (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=7789528&page=1 As Congress considers an overhaul of the nation's health care system, pressure is mounting on a small circle of Senate moderates who helped advance President Obama's economic stimulus this year. Centrists in both parties, including Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb. both of whom played a critical role in shaping the stimulus are being courted by interest groups and the White House as lawmakers seek a way to provide health care to 46 million uninsured people. "On the Senate side, there is more outreach & to Republicans than was the case during the early days of the stimulus," said Collins, who said she has heard frequently from the administration and Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a key architect of the health care effort. "It's in everyone's interest to try to advance a bipartisan bill." Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said he hopes to have a draft bill this month. A separate proposal by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., began circulating last week. Lawmakers have negotiated for weeks over controversial provisions such as a government-run insurance program and how to pay for the more than $1 trillion the proposal may cost. Democrats, including Baucus, say they want Republican support, but the effort has been strained as the White House has pushed aggressively for a government plan. Nine Republicans on the Finance Committee sent a letter to Obama, released Monday, arguing that such a plan would lead to "a federal government takeover of our health care system." The only GOP member of the committee who did not sign the letter is a moderate: Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine. If Democrats want Republican support, they will probably need 60 votes, the threshold required to stop filibusters and proceed to a final vote. Democrats can count on 59 votes, but it is not clear whether all Democrats will vote for whatever proposal emerges. "I assume they'll place a great emphasis on trying to get to 60 votes, in which case moderate support will be very important," said Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., who formed a coalition of centrist Democratic senators in March. "That's the ideal situation." Interest groups have been airing advertisements in states represented by moderates, including Maine, Nebraska, Indiana and Pennsylvania, where Sen. Arlen Specter abandoned Republicans to become a Democrat in April. MoveOn.org, a group that raises money and organizes for liberal causes, used a series of radio ads to seek support for the government-run insurance option. Those ads ran in six states, including Maine and Oregon. "We made a conscious decision to put that argument in front of senators who have a real role to play in securing this public health care option," said Ilyse Hogue, a MoveOn spokeswoman. One group, the Consumers Union, knocks on doors in Maine to talk with constituents about health care. Conservatives have also focused on centrists. The Americans for Prosperity Foundation has aired ads in Indiana, Arkansas, Montana and Nebraska, among other states, likening Democratic proposals to state-run health care in Canada. "We're bringing education to & where the education is going to matter," spokeswoman Amy Menefee said. Approval of the $787 billion economic stimulus bill in February hinged on the Senate's ability to find 60 votes. Three Republican senators, Collins, Specter and Snowe, voted for the bill. If bipartisanship fails, moderates may not be as important because Democrats can rely on a tactic known as reconciliation. If used, supporters could pass a bill with 51 votes, meaning Republicans might not be needed. Baucus and other Democrats have said they would prefer to find a compromise. "The moderates will be very important," said Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager for Health Care for America Now, which has run ads in several states represented by moderates. But, he added, Democrats have significantly more leverage because of the reconciliation option. Reconciliation, though, could be thorny. Democrats would have to secure fewer votes but "there's a huge, capital letter B-U-T," said Robert Dove, a former Senate parliamentarian. The minority party can put up roadblocks, some of which require 60 votes to overcome. The threat of reconciliation will keep the moderate Dems in line Jay Cost, Real Clear Politics, 7-1-09, http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2009/07/what_does_60_votes_mean_1.html So what does 60 votes mean? Franken should be one of the most liberal members of the Senate. This helps move the chamber to the left. Additionally, when all Democratic senators are unified against all Republican senators on a particular issue - 60 votes means there is nothing the GOP can do. However, considering the moderates in both caucuses - Collins, Landrieu, Nelson, Snowe, Specter, etc. - I think the number of such cases will be relatively small. That's why I suggested procedural stuff that favors one party over the other. On climate change or health care - if they cannot write a bill that pleases Nelson and Landrieu, they'll have 58 votes, not 60. Don't expect them to toe the line, if toeing the line means voting against their constituents and putting their reelection at risk. My intuition is that this is why Obama hypocritically put budget reconciliation on the table in the Spring. He wasn't simply worried about Republicans filibustering legislation he supported. Considering that at the time the GOP coalition included Collins, Snowe, and Specter - all of whom are quite moderate (and who joined up on the stimulus bill) - what were the chances that the President could not get at least one of these votes while still getting all of the Democrats? I'd say fairly slim, at least on the big stuff. My feeling is that budget reconciliation was put on the table to get around the effective veto of this moderate, bipartisan bloc, which used to sit in the middle of the entire chamber, but now with two big Democratic wins sits closer to the "filibuster pivot." Dartmouth Debate Workshop 45 Olney Politics Yes health care – bipart Gestures toward bipart will ensure Obama gets the moderate votes AP, 6-29-09, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hsKP5waZIVYrxEZ6VNvOxw- 9a79QD994J7780 Some centrist Democrats say Obama is wise not to give up on bipartisanship too soon. As long as it appears possible, groups representing doctors, hospitals, drug manufacturers and others are making concessions that will boost the overall goal of better and more efficient health care, said Jim Kessler of the centrist group Third Way. Bipartisan consensus says health care reform is a necessity. U.P.I., June 28, 2009 ―Obama: Current healthcare 'unsustainable'‖ U.S. President Barack Obama said Saturday the status quo on healthcare is "unsustainable" and "if we don't act, things will get worse." In his weekly Oval Office address, Obama said his administration has worked for months with interests "on all sides of the debate" and he said he has seen "willingness to cooperate and compromise" to reform healthcare. He told listeners Saturday, as he has done in other recent forums, healthcare reform is imperative. "If we don't act, things will get worse," Obama said. "When it comes to healthcare, the status quo is unsustainable. If we want healthier families and a healthier economy, reform that brings down costs and provides quality, affordable health care for all is the single most important thing we can do right now." The president said all sides in the negotiations have recognized that healthcare reform "is no longer a luxury, but a necessity we can't postpone any longer." Obama reiterated that he is committed to paying for healthcare reform without adding to the federal deficit. "About two-thirds of the cost of reform will be covered by reallocating money already in our current system," he said. "Much of this money adds nothing to quality of care for patients, but rather fattens the bottom lines of insurers and other health care providers." Obama said insurance companies are set to collect $177 billion in excess payments during the next decade. "These are your tax dollars, and you deserve better in return," he said. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 46 Olney Politics Yes health care – Franken Healthcare will pass – Franken victory Edward Luce, Financial Times, 6/1/2009 (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e94d8600-65d4-11de-8e34- 00144feabdc0.html //ZE) Mr Franken's victory, after eight months of recounts and legal appeals by Norm Coleman, the defeated Republican senator, brings the formal Democratic number of seats in the Senate to 60 - the level at which they can shut off an opposition filibuster. His victory, by a margin of 312 votes on the 2.4m cast, was greeted particularly warmly by liberals, who are increasingly worried by the sway of centrist Democrats over Mr Obama's legislative agenda. Mr Franken is a supporter of a strong public option in healthcare reform and backs a bill that would make it easier for trade unions to recruit members. "Working families should be encouraged by the addition of Senator-elect Franken to the growing pro-worker majority in the Senate," said Kimberly Freeman, director of American Rights at Work, a pro-trade union group. However, Mr Franken's expected arrival in the Senate may not be as transformative as the numbers suggest. Among the 60 are two senators - Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert Byrd of West Virginia - who have been too ill to vote. Mr Kennedy, 77, is having treatment for brain cancer. Mr Byrd, 90, was released from hospital yesterday after six weeks of treatment for an unspecified infection. In addition, one of the 60 is Arlen Specter, a former Republican senator for Pennsylvania, who swit-ched parties this year and made it clear he would not be treated as cannon fodder for the Senate Democratic leadership. But Mr Franken's victory will add a counter-balancing vote to the 16 centrist Democrats who form the centre of gravity on Capitol Hill. Next month's session, which breaks up for recess in August, might well prove to be a defining stretch of Mr Obama's presidency. The White House is pushing hard for Congress to enact healthcare reform, the centrepiece of his domestic programme, by the end of the month. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 47 Olney Politics Yes health care – lobbies Healthcare will pass – major lobbies are switching sides The Day, 7/5/2009 (Connecticut Newspaper. http://archive.theday.com/re.aspx?re=bdc5c556-443b-401a-b128- b890f7bef5b9 //ZE) The health care debate is changing. Groups that once sought to forestall any dramatic change in the health care system are now positioning themselves to influence the change they see coming. President Barack Obama deserves much of the credit for this. He has put his considerable political capital at risk to fix America's health care system. The president has set the tone that this time it will get done. With a solid Democratic majority in the House and filibuster-proof numbers in the Senate, he has considerable political advantage. Americans spend about one dollar in six on health care, double the number in other industrialized nations. Yet too many Americans are obese and infant mortality, heart attack recovery and life expectancy rates compare badly with other rich countries. Major players are recognizing they had better be part of the solution, or the solution they end up with may prove unpalatable. The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), long fearful of drug price controls, announced last month that its members will cover up to 50 percent of the cost of name-brand drugs for seniors caught in the so-called ―doughnut hole,‖ the gap in Medicare Part D drug coverage. PhRMA joined with Families USA - a consumer-oriented advocacy group devoted to health care reform, including price controls - in a media campaign supporting numerous key lawmakers pushing for reforms, including Connecticut Sen. Christopher J. Dodd. PhRMA and Families share a common goal ―to make health care more affordable.‖ This past week Wal- Mart Stores Inc. informed the president it supports his proposal requiring all major employers to provide health insurance to workers, quite a departure for a company that long resisted calls to boost worker access to health benefits. Stranger yet, also signing the letter to the White House was the Service Employees International Union. The biggest union and the non-union Wal-Mart formed the group ―Better Health Care Together,‖ to fight for lowered costs. What gives? Recognition, apparently, that out of control health costs and lack of coverage is bad for all - consumers and business. Controlling costs will be the biggest challenge. Begin basing fees on medical results, not the number of tests or procedures ordered. Reform a sue-happy legal system that drives up malpractice insurance. Better manage health care with greater emphasis on prevention. A tough fight remains for the president, but it appears change is in the air. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 48 Olney Politics Yes health care – A2: GOP Republicans are weak. They won’t be able to block reform National Journal, 7-1-09, http://www.nationaljournal.com/njonline/no_20090630_7955.php Assuming lawmakers take a share of the blame for any failure, could that hamstring the Democratic- controlled Congress, which already boasts a 33 percent approval rating, heading into the midterm elections? Maybe. Conventional wisdom holds that Clinton's health care debacle helped fuel the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 and Bush's Social Security failure helped the Democrats recapture Congress in 2006. But this isn't 1994 or 2006, and today's GOP simply doesn't appear poised to capitalize on any Democratic health care fumbles. House Republicans recently unveiled an alternative "plan" topping out at four pages but have yet to coalesce behind many specifics. And that's to say nothing of the GOP's leadership crisis: Fifty-two percent of Americans in a recent USA Today/Gallup poll couldn't name someone who speaks for the party, and among those who could, the top response was a radio personality. More broadly, the number of self- identified Republicans has plummeted since 2001. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 49 Olney Politics Yes health care – Walmart Support from Walmart will bolster health care US News and World Report, 7-1-09, http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/bulletin/bulletin_090701.htm The Wall Street Journal reports in a front-page article that "in a major break with most other large companies," Wal-Mart has told the White House -- in a letter co-signed by Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union and John Podesta, who led President Obama's transition team and is head of the Center for American Progress -- "that it supports requiring employers to provide health insurance to workers, a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's effort to provide near-universal coverage to Americans." The "support of Wal-Mart, the nation's largest private employer, could give momentum to one of the most-contentious aspects of legislation taking shape in Congress to fix the health system." The Hill reports that the employer mandate is "adamantly opposed by...virtually every major business trade association in Washington." Wal-Mart's support, however, "could give a big boost to President Obama and Congress's effort to levy such a requirement on companies." The Washington Post says Wal-Mart's shift comes "after years of strenuous opposition." Dartmouth Debate Workshop 50 Olney Politics Yes capital Political capital high Rachel Bloom and John Cranford, CQ Staff, 7/6/2009 (http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?docid=news- 000003158549 //ZE) As his presidency approaches the half-year mark, Barack Obama is on pace to be the most successful Oval Office occupant in more than half a century when measured by his ability to get Congress to vote his way — even though he shows signs of carefully picking his fights on Capitol Hill. Almost without exception, presidents start strong in their contests with lawmakers, and their success rates falter over time. Typically, presidents win most often in their first or second years in office on House and Senate roll call votes in which they take a clear position. So far, Obama has taken clear positions on relatively few floor votes — 26 in the House and 37 in the Senate, including 20 votes to confirm his nominees. Still, his success score of 95.2 percent, if it continues for the rest of the year, would be the highest for any president since Congressional Quarterly began this measurement in 1953. That‘s true not only for the first year of a presidency, but also for any year. The following are a few statistics about Obama‘s success on floor votes held through the start of the July Fourth recess and the degree to which lawmakers are voting with him. • Obama has secured victories on 24 of the 26 House votes where he‘s staked out a clear position in advance and 36 of 37 votes in the Senate. One of his two House defeats came on a meaningless vote two days after he took office to block continuation of the $700 billion financial bailout effort begun in September. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 51 Olney Politics Obama pushing health care Obama adamant about passing health care- drug companies and AARP support prove New York Times, 6/22/2009, ―Obama reverts to campaign motto for health care agenda.‖ http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/22/obama-reverts-to-campaign-motto-for-health-care- agenda/?ref=business President Obama dusted off a campaign slogan on Monday, sharply dismissing those who have expressed skepticism that the nation‘s health care system will be overhauled by Congress this year. ―Yes we can,‖ Mr. Obama said. ―We are going to get this done.‖ In an appearance in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Mr. Obama praised an agreement reached last week by drug companies to help close a cap in Medicare‘s prescription drug coverage. He said the pharmaceutical industry‘s pledge to spend $80 billion over the next decade to reduce the cost of drugs would pay for a portion of his health care plan. ―This is a significant breakthrough on the road to health care reform,‖ Mr. Obama said, ―one that will make a difference in the lives of many older Americans.‖ The president said the move will help solve the ―doughnut hole,‖ the gap in coverage that requires people to pay the full cost of prescriptions after they surpass $2,700 before the catastrophic coverage of $6,100 kicks in. ―It‘s a reform that will make prescription drugs more affordable for millions of seniors and restore a measure of fairness,‖ Mr. Obama said. The brief remarks by the president were intended to highlight that AARP, a politically important group of 40 million Americans, endorsed the plan. Before the president spoke, Barry Rand, the chief executive of AARP, vowed to support the health care overhaul moving through Congress. Despite distractions, healthcare reform is Obama’s priority The Huffington Post, 7/1/2009, ―Obama Poll Watch [June 2009] -- Obama v. Clinton (Second Term)‖ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-weigant/obama-poll-watch-june-200_b_224424.html But before we do that, let's examine Obama's month in detail. June was scheduled to be the beginning of the healthcare fight in Congress, and it lived up to its billing. Well, actually, the month started off with critics trying to tear down Obama's first Supreme Court pick, Sonia Sotomayor. The car companies continued their march to bankruptcy (except for Ford, it should be noted). Obama gave a speech in Cairo, Egypt, which showed (once again) that America has changed its face to the world, for the better. Analog television went off the air permanently. Obama was criticized by gay rights groups for not moving fast enough (or far enough) on gay rights, and backed it up by hitting Democrats where it hurts -- fundraising. But even after boycotts were called, the fundraiser in question went off without much of a hitch, and raised a million bucks (more than last year's event). Obama met with gay rights leaders in the White House later, and tried to assuage their fears a bit. Iran had an election, and the aftermath captivated the world, but in the end accomplished little towards the goal of "regime change" or even just "presidential change." The theocrats are still firmly in power, which would also have been true even if the challenger had won, it should be noted. Obama, once again showed that he was "not on a 24-hour news cycle," much to the frustration of the news media (who do live on a 24-hour news cycle). A cap-and-trade bill made it through the House (barely), and faces a stiff headwind in the Senate. But, among all of these distractions, the main story all month was healthcare reform. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 52 Olney Politics Now key Now or never for health care reform – if it doesn’t pass by August it will never happen Ramsey Baghdadi, managing editor of "The RPM Report", a publication devoted to prescription drug regulation, In Vivo, 6-22-09, http://invivoblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/health-care-reform-too-big-to-fail.html First, for Democrats, it is imperative to have one bill done by the month-long August recess deadline imposed by Obama. We wrote about this in "The Pink Sheet" and The RPM Report. Here's an excerpt: "Democratic leaders are trying to move quickly to meet a deadline imposed by the White House to have a bill passed before Congress leaves for its month-long August recess. "We've got to kick that deadline down the road," said Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski. Republicans repeatedly referred to the deadline as "arbitrary." Democrats' fear is two-fold: First, lawmakers fear that the lag in itself will slow momentum for health care reform. Significantly more important, however, is fear among party leaders that the recess would give Republicans a full month in their home states rallying support against Democratic proposals, as well as time for other opposition groups to conduct grass roots campaigns and public polling. Moreover, if a clear-cut agreement isn't reached by the recess, Democrats themselves will be left to answer tough questions from their constituents on the fence about the legislation, or multiple pieces of pending legislation, without being able explain the reforms, benefits, cuts, or revenues contained in a final bill. Now key – health care will be determined in July AP, 6-29-09, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hsKP5waZIVYrxEZ6VNvOxw- 9a79QD994J7780 Their comments come at a crucial time in the debate. When the House and Senate return from a one-week recess on July 6, they will shift into overdrive to try to complete the outlines of a health care overhaul before the August break. Debate in the Senate could be particularly fierce, with liberals insisting on a robust public option for health insurance, and Republicans fighting it. Whether true bipartisanship can emerge, or whether Democrats decide to bulldoze their way past Republicans, should become clear in what Daschle says will be a historic month. This month is key to health care CSM, Christian Science Monitor, 7-1-09 It‘s July 1, and the bell has rung for perhaps the most crucial month yet in Barack Obama‘s presidency. By the end of the month, it should be clear whether President Obama‘s top legislative initiatives – healthcare reform and climate-change legislation – are on track. They don‘t need to be signed and sealed, but both require significant progress in Congress during this next stretch before the August recess, analysts say. This month key – health care doesn’t pass if it’s derailed this month Naftali Bendavid and Greg Hitt, Wall Street Journal, 7/6/2009 (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124682940240297211.html?mod=googlenews_wsj //ZE) In the Senate, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) is pursuing a centrist bill in hopes of winning Republican support. Rather than a public plan, Mr. Baucus is considering a network of nonprofit health cooperatives. He is also weighing other financing options for the health overhaul, such as a tax on employer- provided health benefits for upper-income workers. Even if Mr. Baucus can forge a bipartisan deal, it isn't clear that Democratic leaders can get a health bill through the Senate this month. That is because the Baucus bill must be melded with a more-liberal alternative pushed by Sen. Chris Dodd (D., Conn.). Those negotiations could take days or weeks. And Democratic leaders have left themselves a narrow window for floor action on health care -- the two weeks between Ms. Sotomayor's confirmation hearing and the Aug. 3 floor debate on her nomination. If a bipartisan deal emerges on health care, "the prospects for that are rapidly improved," said Sen. Evan Bayh (D., Ind.). But he is dubious about the notion of quick passage. "If history is any guide," he said, "it'll take longer than we expect." Dartmouth Debate Workshop 53 Olney Politics Now key It’s now or never for health care Patrick Yoest, Staff Writer for the Wall Street Journal, 6/30/2009 (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124639908644375915.html?mod=googlenews_wsj //ZE) The Senate Finance Committee is taking a key role this year in putting together health-care legislation. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which lumbered a week-and-a-half on its own bill without resolving key controversies, has ceded considerable influence to the finance panel. The Senate finance panel also was a central player in Clinton-era health-care debate. But the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D., N.Y.), the former finance chairman, was as disinterested in the Clinton proposal as current committee chairman Sen. Max Baucus (D., Mont.) is engaged in the legislation this year. "Moynihan was not receptive," said Judy Feder, a Georgetown Public Policy Institute professor. She is a former Department of Human Services official who drafted health-care plans in the Clinton administration. Former Moynihan aide Charles Konigsberg, now chief budget counsel of the Concord Coalition, said Mr. Moynihan would have preferred to tackle welfare legislation before a health bill, but noted that the finance panel under Mr. Moynihan passed health legislation in July 1994 with the support of some Republicans. That bill, which wouldn't have required mandatory employer insurance payments, wasn't what the Clinton White House had in mind. "[Moynihan's] major concern was really that the Clinton plan… was developed at the White House and submitted to Congress without much input from the Hill," Mr. Konigsberg said. Mr. Obama has outlined broadly his goals for health-care changes, but left many of the details to lawmakers. The ability of the White House to project power in the debate has also changed. Then-President Clinton received 43% of the vote in 1992 and had some of his lowest approval ratings during his first two years in office. Mr. Obama, by contrast, is a president "elected by a good strong majority, whose popularity is fantastic and who is putting health-care at the top of his agenda," Ms. Feder said. The two presidents share a common dilemma: how to pay for a health-care overhaul. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office put the estimated cost of the preliminary draft bill from the finance panel at $1.6 billion over 10 years. Mr. Baucus has sought to revise his bill and lower its price tag. In February 1994, the CBO estimated the Clinton plan would grow the deficit by $74 billion over six years. Mr. Clinton had claimed the bill would reduce the deficit. That report caused Georgia Republican Newt Gingrich, then the House minority whip, to declare that "With this analysis, the Clinton plan is indeed dead." Even with support from Congress and the president, the effort to pass legislation is a battle against time. Robert E. Moffit, a health- policy expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation who was an architect of the opposition to the Clinton health- care plan, said Democrats' best hope is to quickly pass a bill without giving the public a chance to pick it apart. House Democrats hope to pass health-care legislation in July. Health care moment of opportunity is now The New York Times, 7/1/2009, ―Obama steers health debate out of capital‖ http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/health/policy/30health.html?ref=health ―The main thing,‖ David Axelrod, Mr. Obama‘s senior adviser, said, ―is to involve as many people as possible and demonstrate in a variety of ways the level and degree of intensity of support that this has.‖ Of Mr. Obama‘s supporters, Mr. Axelrod said, ―There‘s no issue that motivates them more than health care.‖ While this outside-the-Beltway strategy lets Mr. Obama stay out of Democrats‘ internal fights — for now at least — there are risks. If Mr. Obama waits too long to exert his presidential muscle to forge consensus on Capitol Hill, his moment of opportunity could pass. He could also lose control of the final outcome if lawmakers cut backroom deals he dislikes, for example, by deciding to pay for the expansion by taxing employee health benefits, a move that worries Mr. Obama‘s political advisers because it could cause the president to break a campaign promise. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 54 Olney Politics ***HEALTH CARE INTERNALS Dartmouth Debate Workshop 55 Olney Politics Capital key to health care Political capital key to resolve intra-party battles AP 6/29/2009 (Associated Press. ―Analysis: Obama Scores Major Victory on Climate.‖ Lexis. //ZE) It was a win Obama certainly needed. Congress was getting ready for a weeklong holiday break and already health care was hanging in the balance. While his popularity remains strong, Obama's overall ratings have slipped a bit. This restive nation also is wary of some of his proposals, including deficit spending as Obama pumps an enormous amount of money into the economy and elsewhere. The narrow House vote suggests potential trouble ahead with the Democratic rank-and-file as the White House seeks to tackle more big-ticket issues in Obama's first year in office; health care tops the list. As Congress tackles that contentious issue, Obama's left flank is beating up him and his allies over the effort to overhaul the costly and complex U.S. medical system. Moderate Democrats are looking to forge compromises to pass a measure; liberal critics are dug in over elements they want to see in any legislation. Liberal groups are running ads against senators who won't publicly support a government program to compete against private insurers. Democrats have a comfortable House majority. But the climate legislation pitted Democrats who represent East Coast states that have been cleaning up their act against Democrats in the Midwest and other places that rely heavily on coal and industry. They have a longer, more expensive path to meet requirements in the measure. Senate passage is far from certain, given that Democrats lack the 60 votes needed to cut off a likely filibuster. Obama's personal touch and another dose of his political capital will be required again. Must use political capital Bernie Becker and Kate Phillips, Staff Writers, New York Times, 6/30/2009 (http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/30/the-early-word-looming-health-care-battles/ //ZE) With President Obama holding another town-hall meeting on health care this Wednesday in northern Virginia, his push to see the system overhauled moves once again beyond the Beltway. The White House has been soliciting video responses and questions online from those who want to take part in the event, through the White House Web site, its Facebook page and through Twitter (#WHHCQ). (We‘re checking to see whether there‘s a cutoff deadline for submissions to be asked at the town-hall.) While Mr. Obama sells his plan to the public in several of these events, his administration also has developed a multi-pronged strategy to try to persuade elected officials, including some states‘ governors, outside of Congress to help act as his emissaries, according to The Times‘s Sheryl Gay Stolberg. It‘s a strategy that poses many risks, as lawmakers on Capitol Hill will begin wading through some of the thorniest issues (like how to pay for an extensive overhaul) when they return from recess next week. She cautions: ―If Mr. Obama waits too long to exert his presidential muscle to forge consensus on Capitol Hill, his moment of opportunity could pass. He could also lose control of the final outcome if lawmakers cut backroom deals he dislikes, for example, by deciding to pay for the expansion by taxing employee health benefits, a move that worries Mr. Obama‘s political advisers because it could cause the president to break a campaign promise.‖ For his part, David Axelrod, senior adviser to the president, says the White House‘s goal is to ―involve as many people as possible‖ in the discussion over reforming health care. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 56 Olney Politics Capital key to health care Obama pushing healthcare but opposition remains – political capital is key Reuters 6/21/2009 (http://www.reuters.com/article/vcCandidateFeed7/idUSN21458868 //ZE) WASHINGTON, June 21 (Reuters) - Growing worries over budget deficits and government intervention could jeopardize President Barack Obama's proposed healthcare overhaul in Congress as lawmakers bicker over costs and strategies for covering the uninsured. Obama and his fellow Democrats, who control Congress, have enormous political capital invested in succeeding at providing affordable medical coverage to the millions of uninsured Americans, after decades of failed efforts by others, including the previous Democratic president, Bill Clinton. But opposition is building even as a group of senators tries this week to negotiate a proposal they hope will quiet critics and win support in both parties. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus said he was confident he could craft such a bill. "We're working together and we're getting closer and closer to a deal every day," Baucus said in a statement. "I'm as confident as ever we'll deliver a bipartisan health care reform bill to the President this year." But Baucus is working with few Republicans and there are no guarantees he will succeed. "I'm certainly willing to try to do something and do it right, but we're a long way from that," Republican Senator Orrin Hatch told reporters. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said it was not clear if Obama currently had enough support to get bill through in the time frame he wants. "I don't know that he has the votes right now," she said on CNN's "State of the Union" program. Public drafting sessions by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee have been marked by partisan bickering over costs and the role of the government. Democrats want a new government plan to compete with insurance companies and "keep them honest." Republicans say that would drive insurers out of business and lead to a government-run healthcare system. Republican Senator Lamar Alexander, a member of the health committee, said in a Senate speech last week the bill was "so flawed and expensive it cannot be fixed." Political capital key to Health care (By Julian E. Zelizer [Julian E. Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School. Zelizer writes widely about current events. ], June 30, 2009, ―Commentary: Polls don't make a president‖; http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/30/zelizer.obama.polls/) The question right now for Obama is not what the national public likes but what Congress likes, and in particular the Senate. Right now the three big proposals that might very well define his legacy -- financial regulation, health care and environmental regulation -- are facing an institution that has buried many bills in recent decades. If presidential approval ratings don't impress Congress, what might? The first is that President Obama must help undecided senators by visiting their states in July and August. He must invest some of his political capital in convincing constituents why these measures are essential. Second, he must allow one or two legislators, perhaps Montana's Sen. Max Baucus on health care, to become the kingmaker in the final deliberations. Both Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson allowed key proposals to be "owned" by members of Congress, such as New York Sen. Robert Wagner with the Wagner Act (1935) or Arkansas Rep. Wilbur Mills with Medicare (1965). This requires credit-sharing and shedding some political ego. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 57 Olney Politics Capital key to health care Political capital is key – now is the last chance he’s going to get Leon Hadar, Washington Correspondent, Business Times Singapore, 6/24/2009 (―Obama using political wealth for health reform; The President is intent on getting the healthcare legislation passed by Congress this year.‖ Lexis. //ZE) IT'S beginning to feel as though the American political system is reverting to an election campaign mode. Is President Barack Obama running for re-election? That was at least the impression of journalists who were covering Mr Obama's announcement on Monday that he was going to use all the weapons in his political arsenal to win the coming fight in Congress and around the country over his plan to reform the nation's ailing healthcare system. It was clearly one of the major opening shots in what are expected to be long and costly political and legislative battles over health care. 'Yes we can,' Mr Obama told reporters at the White House as he discussed the decision by the drug companies to put a price ceiling on prescription drug coverage for the elderly that is offered through the federal government programme Medicare. 'We are going to get this done,' he said, referring to his healthcare programme, suggesting that the agreement by the pharmaceutical companies could serve as a model for similar cooperation between government and the medical industry on reducing healthcare costs. 'This is a significant breakthrough on the road to healthcare reform,' Mr Obama said, 'one that will make a difference in the lives of many older Americans.' The launch of the White House's campaign for healthcare reform is taking place at a time when Mr Obama is beginning to slip in the public opinion polls and as both Democrats and the media are becoming more sceptical of his policies. While most opinion polls suggest that Mr Obama continues to enjoy wide public backing for his leadership, Americans seem to be much less supportive of his key policy initiatives, including the effort to save General Motors and Chrysler, and are worried about the increasing fiscal costs of his programmes to fix the American economy. Hence concerns over the growing budg``et deficit seem to be rising to the top of the public's agenda. In that context, while most Americans are in favour of ensuring that every citizen has access to health care, they are much less enthusiastic about the notion that reforming the system could require new and huge government spending. In fact, leading Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill are worried that Mr Obama may not be able to win approval on Capitol Hill despite the fact that his party now controls both the House of Representatives and the Senate. 'To be candid with you, I don't know that he has the votes right now,' Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California said on CNN on Sunday. 'I think there's a lot of concern in the Democratic caucus.' Which explains why Mr Obama is trying to revive some of the passion exhibited by his supporters during the presidential campaign which helped get him elected last November. Mr Obama explained during the 2008 election campaign that, taking into consideration the strong political opposition, he would not propose a single-payer system like the one that operates across the border in Canada. In fact, the Obama administration has not put forward a very specific healthcare plan. Instead, it is proposing a general direction for reform and leaving the details of the plan up to Congress where debate over the issue is expected to begin this week. According to the broad parameters of Mr Obama's plan, the current private insurance programme will continue to exist with the government exerting more regulation over their operations by imposing practice guidelines on providers. Coverage would be mandated for employers and individuals and a government-run plan would be set up in competition with private insurers. Americans would be able to choose either private insurance or the public plan, but the private insurance would face a host of new regulations that are expected, among other things, to prohibit pricing premiums on the basis of risk. And on the top of all of that, the government would offer financial aid to low-income people to purchase insurance. Most experts agree that the rising cost of health care in the United States poses a long-term threat to the country's fiscal health. And critics of Mr Obama's ideas for reform argue that it will not bring down the cost of health care and, if anything, could end up costing more than US $1 trillion over the next 10 years (according to estimates by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office). This burden will probably fall mostly on the middle class through direct and indirect taxes. Moreover, many lawmakers are worried that the government-backed healthcare programme would force private insurers to raise their premiums and make them less competitive. Mr Obama and his aides have indicated that they are ready to work together with Congress to reach a compromise on the healthcare legislation. But as Mr Obama made it clear on Monday, he was intent on getting the legislation this year when the White House still has quite a lot of political capital to spend and before Washington starts getting ready for the midterm Congressional elections next year when the incumbent party could start losing Congressional seats, making it even less likely that Congress would support reforming health care. Mr Obama was clearly encouraged by data in a New York Times report that showed strong public support for a government-run insurance plan that would compete against today's private plans. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 58 Olney Politics Capital key to health care Political capital key – need to get legislators on board D-Day 6/23/2009 (Newstex. ―Obama‘s Role in the Healthcare Debate.‖ Lexis //ZE) Michael Tomasky says it's time for Obama to knock skulls over health care reform, and he's right. Congress will find this issue difficult to steer unless the President uses some of his political capital, because of the peculiarities of that institution. Simply put, legislators are rarely courageous. They're not leaders. They're followers. They don't like doing risky things. They like doing things they know are popular. Think about it. When a case emerges that puts a new twist on, say, child molestation, legislators rush forward with new laws meant to address the problem. The public will back them, and child molesters don't have a lobby. But changing the country's healthcare system? That's big, and terrifying. It requires taking chances, doing things a new way. Legislators hate that. In the healthcare case, we can add an ideological element to this. Democratic legislators currently in Congress now have served almost their entire careers during an age of conservative dominance. They've been trained over the course of two or three decades to hear and respond to certain dog whistles. Lower taxes. Breathe out. Good. More regulation. Tense up. Risky. Free market. Smile. Good. Government. Clench teeth. Scary. I'm telling you, legislators "reason" in those flash-card sequences. Then, the next thing they think of is their district or state, and they rarely think about the new votes a courageous stand might win them. Instead, they focus nervously on where they might lose votes (and local political, financial and editorial support) as a result of doing something out of the ordinary. Third, they think of their Washington donor base, and exactly how much money taking an unorthodox position will cost them. Most of them know down to the dollar. I don't think it's quite as bad as Bill Maher puts it, but yes, it's pretty bad. So Obama clearly has to get involved. And he's starting to do that, with a press conference coming up today, the ABC town hall (although that may come at the issue from the right), and generally a longer shadow cast over the debate. Whether he takes charge now or later, clearly he's edging in to take charge at some appointed moment. For now, the White House should have as little to do as possible with the various legislative products. Let the committees absorb the blows of the bad weeks. Let the early coalitions present themselves. Let the Republicans show their strategy in the mark-up sessions. Let the CBO score all the different options. Let the legislature familiarize itself with different revenue options. Wait. Wait and wait and wait. Wait until Congress has pushed this as far upfield as it's able. Then open up the White House. Then have Obama on TV. Then have Rahm on the phone with legislators. Then take Olympia Snowe for a ride on Marine One. The White House can exert explosive force on a piece of legislation, but it can only do so effectively for a short period of time. That was the mistake Clinton White House made in 1994. By the time their legislation was near reality, administration officials were so deeply involved that they couldn't add external momentum. It is not a mistake that Rahm Emmanuel, who watched it all happen firsthand, means to repeat. But what form will this take? I don't see him as the guy saying "I will veto any bill that doesn't include X," which is what's needed at some point. I think this is a very innovative way to drive the debate, with thousands of horror stories that can be deployed to rebut conservatives or inform the press. In a major new effort to throw Obamas campaign apparatus into the push for health care reform, the White Houses political operation is set to launch a massive new online data bank of thousands of health care stories, which will be spread around the country via Obamas extensive email list, officials familiar with the project tell me. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 59 Olney Politics Capital key to health care Political capital key – democrats, republicans and lobbies Michael Tomasky, Editor of The Guardian America, 6/11/2009 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2009/jun/11/obama-healthcare //ZE) President Obama officially started withdrawing chunks of his political capital in behalf of universal healthcare as he hosted a town-hall meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on Thursday afternoon. It's not too much to say that it's the project, more than any other single thing, that can make or break his first term. "I'm not doing this because I don't have enough to do," Obama told his Green Bay audience, which giggled in recognition of the many fronts on which the administration is moving. "We need healthcare reform because it's central to our economic future." He didn't say, but could have, that it's central to his political future as well. This will be a huge fight that will play out over the summer and culminate in congressional votes any time between September and November. If something passes, even if it's not everything Obama or liberal healthcare advocates want – and it won't be – Obama will be able to make a claim that has eluded every one of his predecessors: he passed universal (or, more like, "universal") healthcare reform. And if nothing passes, Republicans and conservatives will be able to claim that they won again. Obama will have been just as weak and beatable on this issue as the Clintons. After their defeat in 1994, the Clintons vastly reduced the ambition of their agenda. Obama would probably be forced to do the same. The same thing is true today, in other words, that was true in 1994, which is that both sides understand full well that healthcare is both (a) a major thing in and of itself, since health care costs soak up around 15% of the US economy and (b) a harbinger of a larger shift leftward, because people tend to like benefits once the government passes them, and those benefits then become awfully hard to dislodge. Paul Starr, a leading US expert who worked on the Clinton plan, wrote two years in the American Prospect that conservatives grasped this fully. Bill Kristol, then advising Capitol Hill Republicans, wrote a memo instructing them of any Clinton proposal: "Sight unseen reject it." Kristol and his allies understood, as Starr wrote, that "if it succeeded, it might renew New Deal beliefs in the efficacy of government, whereas a defeat of the health plan could set liberalism back for years." We needn't dig too deeply into the policy questions at this point. We'll have all summer to do that. Instead, let's ask what seem to me to be the three important political questions – three things that will loom as crucial if a major piece of legislation is going to pass. First, can congressional Democrats agree on a bill? This will be very difficult to pull off. You have some Democrats insisting that they won't support any bill that doesn't have a so-called "public option" – a government-run insurance plan to force competition on private insurers. You have other Democrats, especially in the Senate (two so far), who say there's no way on earth that they'll back a bill that has a public option. Second, will Democrats be able to persuade some Republicans to back the bill? There's reason to believe that this isn't necessarily like the stimulus matter from earlier in the year, when the GOP (with three Senate exceptions, one of whom is now a Democrat) put up a united front against Obama. Some Republicans represent districts and states where a major healthcare bill will be popular. Mitch McConnell, the Senate GOP leader, says a public option is a deal-breaker. It's not clear whether he speaks for every single Republican in saying that. Third, will the powerful lobbies (especially the insurance lobby) put everything they have into killing any legislation, as they did in 1994? Obama had their representatives to the White House for a nice show-and-tell press conference in May. That was taken as a sign at the time that they were resigned to the idea that some kind of healthcare bill will pass, so they might as well play ball and make it something they could live with. But will they stay resigned or decide they have a little fight in them after all? I'd put money on the latter. The answers to these questions will come down to the political skill of Obama and his team. They have the right idea and have begun with the right approach. Read this piece (especially the first three pages) by Matt Bai from the New York Times magazine last Sunday for interesting detail on the question of how this White House is working Congress (and how different it is from 1994). Dartmouth Debate Workshop 60 Olney Politics Bipart key to health care Bipartisan cooperation is key to getting health care Patrick Yoest, Staff Writer for the Wall Street Journal, 6/30/2009 (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124639908644375915.html?mod=googlenews_wsj //ZE) What happens in the Senate will depend largely on the Finance Committee, which left for this week's recess without an agreement. A bipartisan group of seven senators in that committee have been trying to craft an agreement that would bring some Republicans into the fold. Senate Democrats said they wanted to pass health legislation before a month-long break in August. In 1994, Democrats abandoned their efforts not long after efforts to find a bipartisan compromise in the Senate that would meet Mr. Clinton's goals proved elusive. A similar fate could await them this year if the bipartisan talks in the finance panel fail. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 61 Olney Politics Moderate Dems key to health care Conservative Democrats are key to passing health care MSNBC, First Read, 7-1-09, http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/07/01/1983751.aspx It lasted 238 days beyond Election Day and eventually entered all four seasons, but the never-ending Minnesota Senate race finally came to a conclusion yesterday, after the state Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Al Franken's favor and after Norm Coleman conceded hours later. Most significantly, yesterday‘s developments resulted in Democrats obtaining a filibuster-proof majority -- 60 votes -- in the Senate, and Dems want to have him seated by as early as Monday. Having 60 votes will shift the balance of power from the Republican Maine-iacs (Collins and Snowe) to the Joe Liebermans, Ben Nelsons, and Mary Landrieus, meaning that the upcoming fights over health care and energy will be on Democratic turf. Remember that stimulus debate back in February? Does anyone doubt it would have been different (in size and composition) had Franken been in the Senate then? As Rahm Emanuel told the New Yorker then, ―No disrespect to Paul Krugman [who wanted a larger bill], but has he figured out how to seat the Minnesota senator?‖ Dartmouth Debate Workshop 62 Olney Politics Baucus key to health are Baucus key to healthcare Edward Luce, Financial Times, 6/1/2009 (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e94d8600-65d4-11de-8e34- 00144feabdc0.html //ZE) Next month's session, which breaks up for recess in August, might well prove to be a defining stretch of Mr Obama's presidency. The White House is pushing hard for Congress to enact healthcare reform, the centrepiece of his domestic programme, by the end of the month. The key to Mr Obama's success might lie in his relationship with Max Baucus, the centrist Democratic chairman of the Senate finance committee, which will have great sway over the package. The White House has taken pains to woo the senator from Montana. It has appointed two of his former aidesas deputy US trade representatives - one in Washington and one as ambassador to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 63 Olney Politics ***HEALTH CARE IMPACTS ***ECONOMY Dartmouth Debate Workshop 64 Olney Politics Health care key to economy – debt spirals **Failure on health care reform collapses international support for holding US debt, causing quick economic collapse Michael Scherer, 2-23-09, http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1881223,00.html As daunting as the obstacles to reform are, Obama is banking on a number of recent developments to allow him to succeed where Bush and Clinton failed. For one, there is significant appetite in the Democrat- controlled Congress for providing more health care to the growing ranks of the uninsured. It's a campaign promise that Obama made, which he now intends to pair with a demand to reduce long-term health-care inflation in what some observers have called a grand bargain. "We would not do an expansion of health care without a lot of savings," one high-level White House official told TIME last week. In practice, this will mean giving uninsured Americans good news, while at the same time telling patients and health providers that bad medicine is on the horizon. "Someone is going to have to tell people you are not going to get the care you want," says Howard Gleckman, a research associate at the Urban Institute. "Covering the uninsured is easy compared to that." The companies that depend on federal and state health largesse are already mobilizing to fight back against spending reductions that could hurt their balance sheets. One industry front group, called the Partnership to Improve Patient Care, mobilized last month to water down a House plan for more than $1 billion in the stimulus bill to study the relative effectiveness of certain medical treatments, a widely recognized first step in controlling costs. The provision passed, but not before its language was changed to decouple the effort from evaluating the costs of competing treatments. In the meantime, other provisions of the stimulus bill, like money for new health-information technologies and preventative disease spending, have effectively jump-started the move to a more cost-contained health-care system. Early last week, Obama made no secret of his pride in these measures, declaring at the bill signing in Denver, "We have done more in 30 days to advance the cause of health reform than this country has done in a decade." The effort to reform Social Security, which is generally seen as a less complex problem, is likely to take a backseat over the coming months to health-care efforts. This is partly because of resistance by many House liberals to the idea of reducing Social Security benefits. This group includes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was able to take over the reins in Congress in part because of the resentment caused by Bush's failed reform effort. Although Administration officials don't like discussing the problem on the record, the White House has not yet ruled out the idea of establishing an independent commission (outside the congressional committee structure) to look at creating a specific reform plan, an approach supported by many experts as the best way to break the political deadlock. Tennessee Representative Jim Cooper, a centrist Democrat, recently discussed his proposal for such a commission during a White House meeting with Obama and other moderate, so-called Blue Dog Democrats. "We have to approach the topic very gingerly," Cooper said in an interview, noting the concerns of certain congressional leaders that they will lose jurisdiction with an independent commission. "The key is going to be a required congressional vote, so we can't duck the problem any longer." Perhaps the biggest advantage that Obama has as he prepares to tackle entitlement is the financial crisis, which has forced everyone in Washington to focus on the nation's long-term fiscal problems. The recent explosion of government spending to handle the banking collapse and housing crisis has concerned nations like China, which buy government debt. A drop in international interest in U.S. debt could lead to a spike in interest rates, which would have a damaging impact on the U.S. economy. On Sunday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Chinese leaders to continue their investments in U.S. debt. "We are truly going to rise and fall together," she warned. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 65 Olney Politics Debt spiral impact short-term – signal *Action to resolve entitlements sends a signal that prevents imminent collapse of US fiscal credibility J. D. Foster, Ph.D., Senior Fellow in the Economics of Fiscal Policy at Heritage, 1-31-09, http://www.speroforum.com/a/17955/Obama-leading-world-into-debt-bubble Take immediate action to reduce future spending in the major entitlement programs, especially Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. President Obama has stated his intention to take action on these wildly unsustainable programs. In the past, entitlement reforms have been couched in terms of improving the long- term fiscal picture. Taking action on these programs today by aligning tomorrow's promised benefits with available resources would be another powerful signal to credit markets, thereby restoring the credibility of United States government's fiscal policy and further relieving the upward pressure on interest rates. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 66 Olney Politics Health care key to economy – general Health care reform is the only way to resolve the core economic problems and prevent certain collapse – health costs drive foreclosures and kill small businesses Jim McDermott, McClatchy-Tribune, 1-23-09, http://tallahassee.com/article/20090123/OPINION05/901230323/1006/OPINION Some say we cannot afford health-care reform during this time of economic upheaval. But I say that we cannot afford to delay any longer and that this is precisely the time to act. If we hope for true economic recovery, we have to address the crisis in our health-care system. This is not just about covering the uninsured. This is about providing real health-care security for all Americans. Whether we like it or not, our health-care financing structure is directly tied to our employment structure. To truly understand why health- care reform must be part of an economic recovery plan, one only needs to look at the reasons our economy is in free fall. First it was the housing crisis. As more and more homeowners went into foreclosure, the value of our housing stock plummeted, which negatively affected all homeowners. The trickle-down effect of the housing crisis is well documented; first housing, then banks and here we are. But health-care costs have had a direct impact on foreclosures. A recent survey estimates that 25 percent of people entering foreclosure said that their housing problems resulted from medical debt. Health care is an expense that you cannot postpone or shop around for when you need it. If you have a heart attack, you go to the nearest emergency room. If your child has a fever, you go to the doctor. An estimated 1.5 million families lose their homes to foreclosure every year because of unaffordable medical costs, and many of these families are insured as well. Today, being insured does not mean access to affordable health care. Another contributing factor to our economic recession has been the growing inability of our large and small businesses to afford health care. General Motors cannot compete with foreign car companies that do not have the health-care costs burden facing GM. How could GM possibly compete when it is facing double-digit increases in the cost of health care? Health insurance costs also have resulted in a stagnation of wages for all workers — giving them less discretionary income to spend. Workers are now paying $1,600 more in premiums annually for family coverage than they did in 1999. Health insurance premiums have risen nearly 6 percent a year over the last several years, yet wages have not kept pace. *Current health care damages businesses, costs skyrocketing Philadelphia Inquirer, 6-21-2009, ―Fixing health care- Democrats: We must hold down costs for families and provide meaningful coverage.‖ http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20090621_Fixing_health_care.html Health-care reform is the number-one issue my constituents raise with me, and a leading concern of business owners. For Democrats in Congress, health-care reform is a moral and an economic imperative. American families are facing inadequate health coverage, mounting bills, and lack of access to care. They like their doctors and appreciate the quality of care provided by their hospitals. But, they have deep worries that their current coverage may change suddenly and limit access to their doctor or to needed benefits. Business owners are struggling to pay for health benefits for their workers, forcing them to pass greater costs to employees or drop coverage. Increasing costs for the federal government are neither sustainable, nor producing the health outcomes they should. Taxpayers pay 46 percent of our nation's $2.5 trillion health-care costs. And, just as in the private market, costs are skyrocketing. The share of our GDP devoted to health-care spending has doubled in the last 20 years, threatening our budget stability. The status quo is unacceptable and unsustainable. We must do a better job to contain costs for families, businesses, and the government, and to ensure meaningful, affordable coverage for all Americans. Economic recovery impossible without health care reform CNN, 2-24-09, http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/24/obama.health.care/index.html The president's health-care message was applauded by Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a national organization for health care consumers. "President Obama is absolutely correct that the nation's economy and the federal budget deficit cannot be fixed without meaningful health-care reform," Pollack said in a statement. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 67 Olney Politics Health care key to economy – general Health care reform key to the economy Nancy H. Nielsen, President, American Medical Association, 2-25-09, http://healthcare.nationaljournal.com/2009/02/obamas-fiscal-responsibility-s.php We agree that there is an urgent need for action on health system reform. There is broad recognition that we cannot let this opportunity slip by. We applaud President Obama for heralding his commitment to making health system reform a reality this year. I was honored to be included in Monday‘s White House economic summit, and the AMA pledges to work constructively with President Obama and Congress to improve the health care system for all Americans. Health care reform can play a role in jumpstarting our economy by making private health care affordable and providing coverage to all, regardless of employment. Health care reform would save the economy Harrop 2008 (Froma Harrop,November 27, 2008, ―Health Care Reform Must Start Now‖; http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/11/health_care_reform_must_start.html) This would seem a heckuva time to unfurl a national health plan. Washington has big fires to put out in the financial markets. Taxpayers, meanwhile, face a zillion-dollar bill for economic stabilization on top of already soaring deficits. Can we afford a big new government program right now? We have no choice. Health care is part and parcel of the economic crisis. Costing $2.4 trillion this year, our chaotic system drains the economy of resources that could go elsewhere. It straps ankle weights onto American businesses competing with foreign rivals whose governments have contained health-care spending. The bright side is that comprehensive health-care reform could save Americans major money in the long run. You can't say "comprehensive" too many times. The goal isn't just finding more dollars to cover America's 46 million uninsured. Reformers must venture deep into the machinery of the health-care megalopolis and change a slew of perverse incentives that drive up medical costs. We're not talking about the easy things, such as computerizing medical records or better managing chronic illnesses. Even covering the uninsured is simple to fix, according to Alan Sager, a health policy expert at the Boston University School of Public Health. Health care is key to the economy Mandel 2008 (Michael Mandel, November 7, 2008, ―Health Care: The Economy's Lifeline‖; http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/nov2008/db2008117_727014.htm Call this revenge of the health-care economy. For years politicians and economists have denounced health spending for being out of control. But now health-care hiring is one of the few things keeping the economy from collapsing completely. The federal employment report released Nov. 7 shows that the private health-care industry added 26,000 jobs in October, while the rest of the private sector lost 289,000 jobs. Over the past year the pattern is even starker— health-care employment rose by about 350,000 while the rest of private-sector employment plunged by a stunning 1.7 million. These health-care organizations, such as hospitals and physicians' offices, are paying, on average, a lot more than the minimum wage. The average compensation per full-time equivalent worker in health care was $57,000 in 2007, about equal to the average pay for all private-sector jobs. Indeed, total payrolls in health care actually exceed compensation in finance and insurance, despite the higher pay in those industries. What's more, the hiring in health care should continue. For one, this is a continuation of a long-term pattern. Over the past eight years, the private sector has generated 3 million new jobs, and 2.5 million of those have come from health care. The reason: The population is aging, and there's no way to outsource most health-care jobs. By comparison, employment in finance and insurance is up only 400,000 over the last eight years, despite the boom, because many of the back- office and IT jobs were created overseas. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 68 Olney Politics Health care key to economy – general Health care is key to the economy David Martin, ―Obama calls for health-care reform in 2009‖ 2009, http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/02/24/obama.health.care/index.html) Obama's prescription for health-care reform included making "the largest investment ever" in preventive care, rooting out Medicare fraud and investing in electronic health records and new technology in an effort to reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy and save lives. "I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process," the president said, adding that he was scheduling a gathering next week of "businesses and workers, doctors and health- care providers, Democrats and Republicans.""The cost of health care has weighed down our economy and our conscience long enough. So let there be no doubt, health-care reform cannot wait, it must not wait and it will not wait another year," Obama said to a standing ovation. Current health care cripples business, causes bankruptcy in medical crises The Pickens Sentinel, 6-23-2009, http://www.pickenssentinel.com/pages/full_story/push?article- Health+care+reform+is+long+overdue+%20&id=2776715- Health+care+reform+is+long+overdue+&instance=secondary_opinion_left_column They realize that healthcare costs are straining family budgets to the breaking point, They've experienced the fact that in the last eight years healthcare premiums have increased four times faster than wages. For a majority access to healthcare is dependent on the security of their employment, therefore a shift in working status has far reaching consequenses for the family's medical wellbeing. They realize that a catastrophic medical situation could devour everything one has spent a lifetime building. It's estimated a healthcare related bankruptcy occurs in America every 30 seconds. Those having health coverage find that increases in deductibles make it difficult to use except in extreme situations. Instead of utilizing the cost saving advantages of preventive medical care most opt to wait until they have no other choice before accessing their coverage. Many fear having their insurance provider deny services, thus abandoning them when their situation is most critical. Along with the stresses placed on the family, our current healthcare system has a crippling effect on business. Out of control healthcare cost consume much of the profit margin within American industry. It undercuts the competitive ability of American business within the world economic community. The fiscal health of companies is directly connected to their ability to absorb rising healthcare cost. Small business in particular cannot retain quality employees because they are unable to afford health benefits essential to working Americans. A recent report by the consulting firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers estimates business related healthcare expense will increase by 9% next year alone. There are over 46 million Americans who are uninsured in this country. With the current economic climate that figure will continue to increase. It's estimated that an additional 9 million Americans have fallen into the ranks of the uninsured over the last 8 years. The cost of emergency room care necessary for this group is being shouldered by everyone. Beyond these economic justifications for reform there lies the moral question. In the greatest nation on the planet, should basic healthcare be considered a privilege or a right available to all? The United States is the only industrial nation where elected leaders are guaranteed excellent coverage at taxpayer expense while millions of their fellow citizens find themselves without the most basic safety net. The majestic words "the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" rings hollow when one faces a medical crisis without healthcare security. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 69 Olney Politics Health care key to economy – general Current health care is broken- spiraling costs, burden on budgets and small businesses Washington Post, 6-6-2009, ―Obama Says Congress Must Act to Fix 'Broken' Health-Care System‖ http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2009/06/06/obama_says_congress_must_act_t.html?wprss=44?hpid=sec- politics Stepping up his push to enact legislation to reform the nation's health-care system, President Obama today declared, "The status quo is broken," and he warned that the current system could eventually collapse if nothing is done to control spiraling costs. With Congress poised to debate sweeping health-care legislation in the coming weeks, Obama warned that if "we do nothing, everyone's health care will be put in jeopardy." Speaking in his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said that the fast-rising cost of health care is placing an unsustainable burden on personal budgets, small businesses and the federal government. "Within a decade we'll spend one dollar out of every five we earn on health care -- and we'll keep getting less for our money," he said. "That's why fixing what's wrong with our health care system is no longer a luxury we hope to achieve; it's a necessity we cannot postpone any longer." High health care costs contribute to economic downturn John Sweeney, president of the 11-million-member A.F.L.-C.I.O., the umbrella organization of the labor movement, 6-23-09, http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/americas-health-care-priorities-i-consumers- patients-workers/ Some will say we can‘t fix health care until the economy is back on its feet again. But in fact, it‘s more the other way around. Excessively high health care costs are a drag on economic recovery as working families put more and more money into health care instead of consumer purchases. Working people are falling further and further behind and too many wind up bankrupt when they‘re sick — the leading root cause of personal bankruptcy in our nation is a major health care crisis. Meanwhile, companies that provide adequate employee health care benefits are at a severe competitive disadvantage against companies that do not. We simply will not be able to fix our economy for the long term until we fix our health care system. So what should health care reform look like? We have heard it repeatedly: We must lower health care costs in order to provide affordable options for families. Lower costs will go a long way toward expanding access to more people and relieving the pocketbook pressures on even those with insurance. Our current system is unaffordable. With a system with a price tag of $2.3 trillion a year, we are spending more and more money and getting less and less health care for our dollars. This model is shutting people out of the system: people like Karen from Florida, who recently told of an insurance deductible that equals four to five months of her take-home pay each year even though her insurance bill is split with her employer. Karen feels she can‘t even afford to see a doctor. Health care providers have to do their part to eliminate inequities in health care and all employers must be required to pay their fair share. Changing the way we pay for health care must also be a part of the solution. We cannot continue to pay for expensive technology and treatments that have no evidence of effectiveness. Health care providers should be compensated for the quality – and not the quantity – of health care they deliver. As the technology revolution continues to sweep our country and change the way we communicate, our health care system has fallen behind. We must streamline and modernize the way we access medical records and eliminate inefficiencies and flaws in the system that cost money and cost lives. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 70 Olney Politics Health care key to economy – most important factor Health care reform outweighs all other economic problems David Cutler, professor of economics at Harvard, Brad DeLong, professor of economics at University of California, Berkeley, and Ann Marie Marciarille, adjunct law professor at McGeorge School of Law, September 16, 2008, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122152292213639569.html The big threat to growth in the next decade is not oil or food prices, but the rising cost of health care. The doubling of health insurance premiums since 2000 makes employers choose between cutting benefits and hiring fewer workers. Rising health costs push total employment costs up and wages and benefits down. The result is lost profits and lost wages, in addition to pointless risk, insecurity and a flood of personal bankruptcies. Sustained growth thus requires successful health-care reform. Barack Obama and John McCain propose to lead us in opposite directions -- and the Obama direction is far superior. Sen. Obama's proposal will modernize our current system of employer- and government-provided health care, keeping what works well, and making the investments now that will lead to a more efficient medical system. He does this in five ways: - Learning. One-third of medical costs go for services at best ineffective and at worst harmful. Fifty billion dollars will jump-start the long-overdue information revolution in health care to identify the best providers, treatments and patient management strategies. - Rewarding. Doctors and hospitals today are paid for performing procedures, not for helping patients. Insurers make money by dumping sick patients, not by keeping people healthy. Mr. Obama proposes to base Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements to hospitals and doctors on patient outcomes (lower cholesterol readings, made and kept follow-up appointments) in a coordinated effort to focus the entire payment system around better health, not just more care. - Pooling. The Obama plan would give individuals and small firms the option of joining large insurance pools. With large patient pools, a few people incurring high medical costs will not topple the entire system, so insurers would no longer need to waste time, money and resources weeding out the healthy from the sick, and businesses and individuals would no longer have to subject themselves to that costly and stressful process. - Preventing. In today's health-care market, less than one dollar in 25 goes for prevention, even though preventive services -- regular screenings and healthy lifestyle information -- are among the most cost-effective medical services around. Guaranteeing access to preventive services will improve health and in many cases save money. - Covering. Controlling long-run health-care costs requires removing the hidden expenses of the uninsured. The reforms described above will lower premiums by $2,500 for the typical family, allowing millions previously priced out of the market to afford insurance. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 71 Olney Politics Health care key to economy – state budgets Lack of health care reform kills state budgets The New York Times, 6-29-2009, ―In a crisis, rethinking fiscal federalism‖ http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/in-a-crisis-rethinking-fiscal-federalism/ Take health care, for example. States and localities are intimately involved in delivering, financing, administering and monitoring health services, and are responsible for wide national variations in access and quality. Serious health care reform at the federal level must address two intertwined realities: First, Medicaid is killing state and local budgets. Second, legally and fiscally constrained states lack the capacity and administrative tools to spend health care monies well. Adjusted for inflation, state and local health expenditures have more than tripled since 1980 and continue to grow. The ranks of the uninsured have swelled, and include increasing numbers of immigrants and Americans with costly needs. Local safety-net providers traditionally bear much of the resulting burden. It is not surprising, then, that states and localities are groaning under the load, or that they are cutting services at precisely the moment of greatest need, when elementary macroeconomics suggests that service cutbacks most harm the overall economy. Lack of health care leads to chronic illness that drains state funds The Boston Globe, 7-2-2009, “The recession is making us sick” http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/07/02/the_re cession_is_making_us_sick/ ―Recession obesity‘‘ is the term du jour for the unhealthy side effects of people who lose their jobs and health insurance, then drop their gym memberships, delay medical care, and eat cheaper but less healthy meals. One discouraging sign of the times: The consumption of fast food is actually increasing during the downturn - because it‘s cheap and it‘s filling. Massachusetts residents are particularly vulnerable to these unhealthy trends. As the Boston Foundation and the New England Healthcare Institute pointed out in their 2007 report ―The Boston Paradox: Lots of Health Care, Not Enough Health,‘‘ the Bay State‘s population is comparatively old, with significant health disparities and weak income growth, and with more than half of all residents either overweight or obese. Combine all of this with increasing unemployment and we have a recipe for accelerating the vicious cycle of rising (but preventable) chronic disease driving ever-higher healthcare costs. Chronic illness currently costs Massachusetts $34 billion annually, a drain that is crowding out investment in other priorities that are also key to good health like education, public safety, and environmental protection. But it doesn‘t have to be this way; we can do something about it, and we should start now. Much chronic disease could be prevented if we could find ways to eliminate the unhealthy behaviors causing these illnesses. Poor diet, inadequate physical activity, smoking, alcohol abuse, and poor sleep habits are all behaviors that create risks for obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 72 Olney Politics Health care key to economy – small businesses Expensive health care kills small businesses ( JOAN VERPLANCK, July 05, 2009 ―Not all health care reform‖; http://www.nj.com/opinion/times/oped/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1246901112150170.xml&coll=5) An employer mandate would cripple small companies that are not able to afford health insurance. As a result, they may have to lay off employees or invest less in the business. Employers nationwide already voluntarily pay $500 billion annually for health benefits for employees. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has testified before Congress that a minimum benefits package might force all health plans to be expensive "Cadillac" plans. Health reform needs to be affordable, or it will not be successful. Finally, ERISA allows large companies to offer health benefits to their employees that are specifically designed to meet their needs. We oppose any change to the ERISA pre-emption so that employer-provided benefits continue. The number of people who are provided insurance through small New Jersey companies -- firms with between two and 50 employees -- has shrunk by 111,667 in the past 10 years, including a staggering 36,000 in the past year, according to the state Department of Banking and Insurance. Today, at least 1.3 million state residents are uninsured, and the numbers are growing. The lack of affordability has resulted in roughly half of the state's uninsured being full-time workers. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 73 Olney Politics Health care key to economy – chronic illness New solutions for chronic diseases key to health and economic security Billy Tauzin, the president and chief executive of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and former US congressman from Louisiana, 6-23-2009, http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/americas-health-care-priorities-i-businesses-competition-and-innovation/ A flurry of activity is taking place on Capitol Hill as Congress explores ways to hold down the cost of health care reform. President Obama has repeatedly stressed that as a nation, we spend more than $2 trillion a year on health care yet many patients are not getting the quality care they need to better fight their disease. While many proposals have been put on the table to help address these concerns, one extremely promising topic must stay front and center in the debate: reducing the devastating impact of chronic disease. Collectively, chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease are the greatest drivers of health care spending in the United States. They hurt the American economy and, most importantly, they affect the health, well-being and productivity of millions of Americans. If we don‘t act soon to better equip ourselves to win the fight against the growing epidemic of chronic disease, our health care security – and economic security – will surely continue to be threatened. This is the problem: 75 percent of all health care spending in the United States involves the treatment of chronic disease. In America, more than 162 million cases of seven chronic diseases were reported in 2003. The annual cost of treatment for just those seven chronic diseases was $277 billion. The costs associated with lost productivity were even greater: $1 trillion, for a total cost of $1.3 trillion. We now live in a country where more than half the adult population is overweight, and obesity is an ever- growing problem. Current obesity trends are frightening: If they continue — to cite just one shocking example –– one of every three children born in 2000 will get diabetes in his or her lifetime. It is well-known that exercise, healthy eating and medicines can help prevent and manage diabetes. The good news is that there are chronic disease management programs that are gaining more traction around the country – like the Diabetes Ten City Challenge – that offer free screenings and medicines to participants suffering from diabetes. These programs are modeled from the Asheville Project in North Carolina, a diabetes management program that helped patients bring their blood sugar under control within a year and yielded an average 34 percent savings in health care costs. Such innovative initiatives bring together public officials, local businesses, health care professionals and patients. The value differs for each participant, but they all share a common goal: reducing the effects of disease. If pursued on a nationwide scale, such approaches offer great promise to significantly improve patient care and decrease costs. At this point in the health reform process, it‘s all about the numbers. While the Congressional Budget Office has begun to score health reform proposals to help calculate the price tag for reform, it hasn‘t scored the potential savings to the federal government of chronic disease prevention and management programs. It‘s admittedly difficult to quantify the long-term impact of prevention initiatives, but we are seeing more and more evidence from smaller-scale programs like the Ten City Challenge of the potential economic impact of such coordinated approaches. We believe such programs are critical long-term investments that will help bend the curve and also improve and save lives. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 74 Olney Politics Health care reform key to solve chronic illness Current health care is causing more chronic illnesses and diseases The Huffington Post, 6-17-2009, (Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D) ―The Biggest Problem With U.S. Health Care -- And How To Fix It!‖ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ken-dychtwald/the-biggest-problem-with_b_216446.html While most of the current healthcare debate has focused on how to cover the tens of millions of uninsured Americans and who should pay (granted, these are critically important issues), after thirty-five years working at the intersection of gerontology and healthcare, I'm convinced that we have the WRONG healthcare system for our aging nation. If your train is headed in the wrong direction, it doesn't help to give everyone a seat. And, since the U.S. currently spends nearly twice as much per capita on healthcare as all the other modernized nations, while our national life expectancy ranks a humiliating 42nd worldwide, it's not that we throw too little money at the problem, but that we may not be spending it in the wisest ways. Until recently, most people died relatively young of infectious diseases, accidents, or in childbirth. When the first US census was taken in 1790, half the population was under the age of 16 and less than 2 percent of the 4 million Americans were 65 and older. As a result, society rarely concerned itself about the needs of its aging citizens. The elderly were too few to matter. However, during the past century, advances in medical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, surgical techniques, and nutrition have eliminated many of the problems that once caused most people to die young. And so, the irony is that our medical successes have produced tens of millions of long-lived men and women who now struggle for decades with debilitating chronic illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, COPD and Alzheimer's -- that our system is absolutely NOT prepared to handle -- causing immeasurable suffering and trillions of misspent tax dollars. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 75 Olney Politics A2: Raises prices Health care reform won’t raise prices. The Associated Press, July 1, 2009 Wednesday ―Obama argues against taxing health benefits‖ President Barack Obama says he doesn't want to see people have to pay more for health care as part of his health care overhaul plan. And he says that's why he's not backing the idea of taxing health care benefits. He told a town hall forum in Annandale, Va., on Wednesday that the proposal would help pay for health care reform but that he thinks a better way to pay for it is to cap itemized deductions. Obama says his "bottom line" is that people who now have health care shouldn't see their costs go up as part of health care reform. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 76 Olney Politics ***ENTITLEMENT SPENDING Dartmouth Debate Workshop 77 Olney Politics Health care key to economy – entitlement spending *Current health care will collapse US economy due to high costs Congress Daily, 7-2-2009, ―Entitlement programs put growing pressure on the budget‖ http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0709/070209cdpm3.htm Social Security spending will increase from less than 5 percent of GDP today to about 6 percent in 2035 and then roughly stabilize at that level through 2080, the report estimated. "In the long run, the path we are on is unsustainable," Horney said. Under the assumptions used for CBO's long-term projections, government spending on activities other than Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the federal debt -- such as national defense and a wide variety of domestic programs -- is projected to decline or stay roughly stable as a share of GDP in future decades. "If we don't bring the long-term deficits under control ultimately all the programs in the federal government will be squeezed, certainly appropriations will be among them, particularly since you've got to consider the appropriations bills every year, so you have easy targets out there," Horney said. Brian Riedl, a senior policy analyst on budget issues at the Heritage Foundation, said: "If lawmakers do nothing the U.S. economy would eventually collapse under the weight of the debt from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. And every year we wait the cost goes up by trillions of dollars." Dartmouth Debate Workshop 78 Olney Politics Entitlement spending threatens economy *Current spiraling economy will hurt future generations with taxes and federal cuts The Heritage Foundation, 6-30-2009, ―Entitlement Reform Is Necessary for Long-Term Fiscal Stability‖ http://www.heritage.org/Research/SocialSecurity/bg2291.cfm The U.S. faces a fundamental budgetary challenge that will have severe economic implications over the long term. However, the scale of these challenges and the severity of an attendant economic collapse demand a near-term approach to bring the U.S. fiscal situation back into balance. Entitlement spending seriously threatens U.S. fiscal solvency. Left unchecked, it will contribute to a crippling national debt burden, which will stifle economic growth and force later and thus, less fortunate, generations to bear the cost of these imbalances through severe federal cuts or draconian tax increases. Health care will collapse economy- Medicare and Medicaid costs The Washington Post, 7-1-2009, ―Obama Addresses Health-Care Reform at Virtual Town Hall Meeting‖ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070102149.html It's also not too soon to reform our health care system, which we've been talking about since Teddy Roosevelt was president. We are at a defining moment for this nation. If we act now, then we could rebuild our economy in a way that makes it strong, competitive, sustainable, and prosperous once more. We can lead this century the same way that we led the last century. But if we don't act, if we let this moment pass, we could see this economy just sputter along for decades, a slow steady decline in which the chances for our children and our grandchildren are fewer than the opportunities that were given to us. And that's contrary to the history of America. One of our core ideas has always been that we leave the next generation better off than us. And that's why we have to act right now. I know that people say the costs of fixing our problems are great. And in some cases, they are. The costs of inaction, of not doing anything, are even greater. They are unacceptable. And that's why this town hall and this debate that we're having around health care is so important. Let me just give you a few statistics. Many of you already know these. In the last nine years, premiums have risen three times faster than wages for the average family. I don't need to tell you this because you've seen it in your own lives. If you -- even if you've got health insurance, and 46 million people don't, if you've got health insurance, you have senior costs double. They've gone up three times faster than wages. If we do nothing, then those costs are just going to keep on going higher and higher. In recent years, over one-third of small businesses have reduced benefits and many have dropped coverage altogether since the early '90s not because small business owners don't want to provide benefits to their workers but they just simply can't afford it; they don't have the money. If we don't act, that means that more people are going to lose coverage and more people are going to lose their jobs because those businesses are not going to be competitive. Unless we act, within a decade, one of out of every $5 we earn will be spent on health care. And for those who rightly worry about deficits, the amount our government spends Medicare and Medicaid will eventually grow larger than what our government spends today on everything else combined -- everything else combined. The Congressional Budget Office just did a study that showed that when you look at the rising costs of entitlements, 90 percent of it is Medicare and Medicaid. It's not Social Security. 90 percent of it comes from the federal share of health care costs. So if we want to control our deficits, the only way for us to do it is to control health care costs. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 79 Olney Politics Entitlement spending threatens economy Entitlement spending will swamp the economy The Heritage Foundation, 6-30-2009, ―Entitlement Reform Is Necessary for Long-Term Fiscal Stability‖ http://www.heritage.org/Research/SocialSecurity/bg2291.cfm The most current long-term projections of growth in Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare (often referred to as entitlements) paint a bleak fiscal picture, which emphasizes the need for reform. Left unchecked, entitlement spending is projected to exceed 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2060. Viewed in isolation and from the distance of 50 years, this may not seem altogether daunting--distressing perhaps, but hardly alarming. However, the federal budget would also need to expand to include discretionary spending and the other mandatory outlays. Even more important, mandatory outlays would include spending a crushing 22 percent of GDP to service the debt accumulated from five decades of debt-financed federal spending. The projections beyond 2060 reflect the snowball effect of compounding debt and dwarf the nearer-term estimates. Regardless of the time horizon, addressing U.S. fiscal straits will require increasingly drastic measures. The projections demonstrate the futility of attempting to finance entitlements with debt . On its present course, this debt and the accompanying interest will swamp the U.S. economy, harm U.S. standing in world capital markets, damage capital formation and productivity growth in the United States, and reduce future standards of living. The problem needs to be addressed soon, but some proposed solutions will not work. Raising taxes to match the growth in the spending would dramatically harm economic growth and competitiveness. Similarly, it is unrealistic to expect sustained GDP growth sufficient to afford this spending. Instead, addressing the long- term fiscal challenges confronting the United States will require fundamentally reforming entitlement spending. Current Medicaid and Medicare will drain the federal economy Democracy Now, 6-25-2009, ―Headlines for June 25th, 2009‖ http://www.democracynow.org/2009/6/25/headlines Obama: Healthcare Costs Untenable President Obama, meanwhile, continued his push for healthcare reform with a televised forum from the White House. Obama said current healthcare costs are unsustainable. President Obama: ―If we don‘t do some of the things that we‘ve talked about tonight, you know, changing how we pay for quality instead of quantity, making sure that we are investing in prevention, all those game- changers that I discussed earlier—if we don‘t do those things, Medicare and Medicaid are going to be broke, and it will consume all of the federal budget. Every program that currently exists under the federal budget, except defense and entitlements, all that would be swept aside by the cost of healthcare, if we do nothing.‖ Dartmouth Debate Workshop 80 Olney Politics Health care reform saves money – prevention New preventative care will save money on health costs in the long run Signa, 6-23-2009, ―Private Sector‘s Experience in Prevention and Wellness Can Benefit Health Reform‖ http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/23/americas-health-care-priorities-iii-insurers-and-insurance-systems/ Other proposals call for implementing innovative, evidence-based prevention and wellness programs at the local level that employ best practices. Experience shows that this approach can bring about real and measurable results; coaching and other interventions that help shift individuals from the high category of dangerous risk combinations to the low category can save more than $4,000 in annual costs. Toward that end, at Cigna we have developed intensive on-site group coaching programs targeted at improving coronary and metabolic health — in other words, patients with metabolic syndrome or diagnosed diabetes, hypertension or heart disease — that have been shown to help patients significantly lower cholesterol, improve their glucose levels and lose weight in just 30 days. The point is — there are many positive studies and a wealth of private-sector experience demonstrating how targeted approaches to prevention and wellness can work and prove cost-effective. However, Congress needs to recognize and continue to incorporate these innovative private sector experiences when evaluating alternative health care policies. As a result and most importantly, the American taxpayer and all consumers of health care will benefit from these real world experiences. We can save money and lives by making prevention and wellness a key part of comprehensive health reform; it has worked in the private sector and can work across the health care system, too. Preventative health care drives down prices Creston News Advertiser, 7-3-2009, ―Prevention- the cheapest medicine‖ http://www.crestonnewsadvertiser.com/articles/2009/06/30/r_y3tac8zsvwiiftbbcklja/index.xml We agree entirely that preventative care is the cheapest medicine and it is a shame that insurance companies do not include more preventative services in their coverage. We also believe that Americans should take initiative and seek out preventative care on their own. Although this approach will cost consumers money in the short term, long-term health care savings would drive down insurance prices and save individuals money in premiums. With the current focus of medical professionals on diagnosing and treating conditions that have occurred due to a lack of preventative care, doctors have become accustomed to treating those who are already sick. While medical doctors would no doubt love to discuss preventative care for their patients, patients rarely schedule an office visit to talk about the lifestyle changes they need to make. Therefore, a large part of preventative care falls into the hands of other specialists: massage therapists, dietitians, physical therapists, athletic trainers, chiropractors or mental-health providers. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 81 Olney Politics Health care reform saves money – generics Health care bill would promote generic drug production- key to saving millions of dollars Silicon Valley Mercury News, 7-3-2009, ―Big push underway for generic biotech drugs‖ http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_12744099?nclick_check=1 Biotech drugs were largely excluded from the 1984 landmark law that permitted the sale of generic medicines. But a push is underway to correct that omission — a move supporters say could boost access to vital treatments for cancer, heart disease and other ailments, saving consumers billions of dollars a year. White House officials recently disclosed that they are working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin approving so-called generic biologics "as quickly as possible," if a bill is enacted. And with President Obama promoting the idea to help trim the country's staggering health-care costs, experts on both sides of the issue say pressure is building to pass such a measure. "This is a huge issue," said David Sloane, senior vice president of government relations and advocacy for AARP, noting that drug costs are the number one issue for his organization's 40-million members. "There are enormous health implications and there are enormous cost implications." But many biotech industry leaders and some consumers, including 59-year-old cancer patient Jack Aiello of San Jose, fear the legislation could make it so hard for companies to profit from biologic treatments that it could discourage them from creating new drugs, which could wind up hurting consumers. "I'm all for cheaper drugs when the generic versions become available," said Aiello, a former marketing executive diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1995. "I just don't want the research efforts to be discouraged because of that." That concern is acute in the Bay Area, which has the world's biggest cluster of biotechnology companies. Once generic biologics hit pharmacy shelves, those firms may find it harder to obtain financing to develop drugs, some executives fear. "I think you would find a lot of questioning among people in this industry whether this is worth investing in," said Dr. David Lacey, a senior research executive at Amgen, the world's biggest biotech company, which is based in Thousand Oaks and also has Bay Area operations. If a bill is passed, biotech executives want to make sure it keeps their confidential drug data from being made available to generic drug makers for at least 14 years after their medicine is marketed. But with the White House proposing to protect that data for only seven years and some lawmakers favoring only five years, some drug industry officials fear they soon could get stuck with a law that decimates their businesses. "There is a lot of momentum building to pass something in this Congress," said Marie Vodicka of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which represents biotech and other drug companies. "What it's about in this legislation is getting it right." Generics tend to be cheaper than the medicines they copy because they do not have to undergo the same testing as the originals. The savings from the Hatch-Waxman Act, which permitted the sale of generics 25 years ago, has been enormous, according to an analysis in May by the market research firm IMS Health. Commissioned by the Generic Pharmaceutical Association, it concluded that generic drugs saved the U.S. health-care system $734 billion over the past decade. The Hatch-Waxman Act only permitted generic versions of chemically synthesized drugs regulated under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. Biologic drugs, covered under the federal Public Health Safety Act, were excluded. And many people say its time that changed, given the growing numbers of biologics being approved for sale. In 2007, about $40 billion of the nearly $287 billion that U.S. consumers spent on prescription drugs were for biologics, according to the Federal Trade Commission, which threw its support behind generic biologics in a report last month. Some people say generic biologics are especially needed because some biologic drugs carry a high price. Avastin, a cancer drug made by the Genentech division of Roche in South San Francisco, can cost a patient more than $8,000 a month, although the company provides it free to some patients. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 82 Olney Politics Health care reform saves money – A2: big upfront cost Even if the upfront costs are huge, the savings will be big in the long run New York Times, 7-7-09 The first task is to find savings. Some respected analysts suggest that as much as 30 percent of all health care spending in this country — some $700 billion a year — may be wasted on tests and treatments that do not improve the health of the recipients. If even half that money could be recaptured, the amount saved would be more than enough to finance health care reforms. Overspending, however, permeates the system and would be devilishly difficult to eliminate in any systematic manner that reaped savings within the decade. Most of the truly ―game-changing‖ innovations that could slow the rate of increase in health care costs — electronic medical records, research comparing the effectiveness of treatments, restructuring the way doctors organize themselves — will take years to affect costs and quality. Still, it is important to push ahead quickly. Even if the benefits won‘t show up for two or three decades, it is imperative to slow the rise in costs to a more affordable rate. And some respected analysts believe the big long-term reforms could yield some relatively quick savings. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 83 Olney Politics Generic drugs key to econ Generic drugs are part of Obama’s health bill- key to reducing costs Bloomberg News, 6-25-2009, “Biotech Drugs Need Only 7 Years Protection, U.S. Says” http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aUvylSy1iI8Q June 25 (Bloomberg) -- Biologic drugs should be subject to generic competition in the U.S. after seven years, the Obama administration said, calling it a ―generous compromise.‖ Access to cheaper copies of medicines made by Amgen Inc., Roche Holding AG and other biotechnology companies is ―a key element‖ in reducing health-care costs, White House officials said in a letter to Representative Henry Waxman obtained today by Bloomberg News. Brand-name companies have lobbied for 12 to 14 years of exclusivity, while Waxman proposed only five. Americans spend more than $60 billion a year on biologic drugs to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and other serious illnesses at a cost of as much as $200,000 for each medicine, Ernst & Young estimates. Unlike conventional pills, biologics can‘t be copied even after patents expire. Patient groups, payers and generic drugmakers have battled biotechnology companies for more than two years over how to allow competition. ―Lengthy periods of exclusivity will harm patients by diminishing innovation and unnecessarily delaying access to affordable drugs,‖ wrote Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the Office of Health Reform, and Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget, in the letter dated yesterday. Obama has urged lawmakers to rein in record health-care spending, expand coverage to the 46 million uninsured and modernize record-keeping. His proposed budget in February called for legislation allowing generic biologics after a period ―generally consistent‖ with the 1984 law that provides five years of protection to most conventional pills and seven years of protection to so-called orphan drugs for rare diseases. Health-Care Overhaul Waxman, a California Democrat and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, sent a letter to Obama earlier this month asking him to discuss the potential savings from generic biologics and what can be done to prepare the Food and Drug Administration to regulate this new category of products. The White House is conducting ―a serious review of FDA‘s existing authorities‖ to ensure that the agency can quickly take on the role of approving generic biologics once legislation is passed, DeParle and Orszag wrote to Waxman. Generic biologics may be included as part of the Senate health committee‘s plan to overhaul the $2.5 trillion U.S. health-care system, but lawmakers haven‘t agreed to specific details for their proposal. The panel passed a bipartisan bill in 2007 that called for 12 years of exclusivity. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 84 Olney Politics ***SPACE Dartmouth Debate Workshop 85 Olney Politics Space module 2NC Health care reform is key to prevent budgetary collapse from entitlement costs Jason Rosenbaum, Deputy Director of Online Campaigns, Health Care for America Now, 2-23-09, http://healthcare.nationaljournal.com/2009/02/obamas-fiscal-responsibility-s.php As pointed out by others here and elsewhere, Medicare and Medicaid are in fact set to rise in cost dramatically, and this is indeed a problem. And it's not just Medicare and Medicaid. Our entire health care system is set to rise in cost, a cost that's projected to reach almost 20% of GDP by 2017 if current trends continue. So it's not just the federal government that has a problem. With one out of every five dollars in our economy writ large projected to be spent on health care, every person in this country has a problem. The cost of health care must be brought under control to claim fiscal responsibility, and not just the cost of Medicare and Medicaid but the cost of health care for everyone. So, how do we control costs? We control costs first and foremost by getting everyone in America affordable coverage with benefits that meet their needs. We do this by giving people a choice to keep their private health insurance plan or the option to buy into a public health insurance plan, filling in the gaps in private insurance so everyone can have coverage. When people are covered by insurance, they get the care they need, not just catastrophic care at the emergency room when their health problems become dire (which is much more expensive). This prevention lowers cost and improves health outcomes. As this chart from the Center for Economic and Policy Research shows, if we can get our health care costs in line with other countries (the "Low Health Care Costs line) as opposed to our projected exponential growth, our budget deficit will stabilize. Fiscal responsibility therefore means controlling all health care costs, not just Medicare and Medicaid. President Obama understands this problem, and though it may require an upfront federal investment, in the long run it's the only way to use taxpayer money wisely. Failure to fix entitlement costs kills funding for NASA, ending space exploration Charles Miller, President of Space Policy Consulting, Inc., and Jeff Foust, editor and publisher of The Space Review, April 14, 2008, http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1106/1 Obviously, these long-term trends in Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare are not sustainable, and our national leaders will be forced to do something about it. This is our point. A near-term fiscal crisis is emerging in the next decade, and solving it will be the responsibility of the next President of the United States and the US Congress. Recent history provides a taste of what NASA may be facing in the very near future. During the Bush Administration NASA has done reasonably well in terms of spending: its budget, in constant 2008 dollars, has increased from $16.3 billion in fiscal year 2001 (the last Clinton Administration budget) to $17.1 billion in fiscal year 2008. This 0.7% real increase per year, on average, is far short of the increases that many space advocates have been seeking, but it is better than what some other agencies have received during the same period. However, this small budget increase has taken place during a time when balancing the budget has not been a priority for either a Republican President or the U.S. Congress. By comparison, during the Clinton Administration, when both the Democratic White House and Republican Congress sought (and achieved) a balanced budget, NASA fared far worse: in constant 2008 dollars, its budget fell from $20 billion in fiscal year 1993 to $16.3 billion in 2001, a decline of nearly 20 percent. Considering the budgetary challenges created by the retirement of the baby boomers, the next graph may be a better guide to the austerity NASA will face in the years to come than its experience of the last few years. These fiscal pressures will force the next president—regardless of whoever is elected in November—to make some hard decisions in the years to come about discretionary spending. It is unrealistic to expect that NASA will somehow be immune to pressures to cut spending. A budget cut in the next Administration that is equivalent to last decade‘s cut would result in reduction of NASA‘s budget of over $3 billion per year. If that happens, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the current exploration architecture to continue in anything resembling its current form and schedule. It will be significantly delayed, radically altered, or even cancelled. Should that happen, is there a way to keep the Vision for Space Exploration alive? Dartmouth Debate Workshop 86 Olney Politics Space module 2NC Extinction Paul Spudis, Principal Investigator in the Planetary Geology Program of the NASA Office of Space Science, Solar System Exploration Division and Senior Professional Staff, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, August 4, 2004, http://www.spudislunarresources.com/Opinion_Editorial/The%20Space%20Program%20and%20the%20Meaning% 20of%20Life.htm The race to the Moon did more than prove American technical skill and the power of a free society. The real lesson and gift from Apollo was a wholly unexpected glimpse into our future. From both the chemical and physical evidence of impact (which we learned from the record of the lunar rocks) and the fossil record, we discovered that large body collisions had occurred in our past and will occur again in our future. Such catastrophes resulted in the widespread destruction of life, in some cases instantaneously eliminating more than 90% of all living species. In short, we discovered that ultimately, life on Earth is doomed. Our new understanding of impact as a fundamental geological force, leaves us only with the question of when, not if, the next large collision will occur. And ‗when‘ is something we cannot predict. Human civilization is cumulative. Our culture provides positive and beautiful things through music, art and knowledge – it embodies the wisdom of all who have gone before us. With that wisdom, we have rejected the evil doctrines of slavery, Nazism and communism. People live longer, happier and more productive lives as time goes on. So one must ask, are we here for a reason and if so, to what purpose? Before passing the torch to their children, humans feel the need to create something of long-term value – something that will exist long after their time here on Earth. Be it a garden or a cure for cancer, we want to leave this world a little bit better than we found it. Will the prospect of our extinction harden our resolve to survive, or will it hasten the decay of our culture? Without an escape hatch, our children will lose focus - lose sight of goals and grand visions. The President‘s Vision for Space directs us to extend human reach by developing new capabilities in space travel. Returning to the Moon will facilitate that goal. There we will gain technical ability and learn how to use the abundant energy and material resources waiting on other worlds. With the knowledge of how to ―live off the land‖ in space, we can move out into the universe – populating one world after another. We must not die out here on Earth. Our values, culture and ability to leave this planet set us apart as a species. We have looked into the past and have seen the future of our world. Life here on Earth is destined for extinction. By venturing forth beyond Earth, we can ensure our survival. To extend and preserve humanity and human achievement, we must advance new capabilities in space travel. The President has asked for $1 Billion (about 0.0004 of the Federal budget) spread over the next four years, to begin this journey. As we acquire capability with resources derived from the Moon and elsewhere, we will create a spacefaring infrastructure. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 87 Olney Politics Health care solves budget crowd-out Health care reform is key to prevent runaway spending, which crowds out the rest of the budget Washington Post, 1-12-09 Barack Obama talked somberly last week about getting the federal budget under control once the present economic crisis has passed. To do that, he'll have to confront the rapid growth of health spending, which in 2007 was already a quarter of total federal spending of $2.7 trillion. If Obama is serious, he should read a fascinating study from the McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of the famed consulting company. American health care has gone haywire. It provides much splendid care but has glaring deficiencies. It is so costly that 15 percent of the population lacks health insurance. Runaway spending is also crowding out other government programs and, through bloated insurance premiums, squeezing workers' take-home pay. What McKinsey provides is a plausible estimate of the overspending: one-third. In 2006, U.S. health spending totaled $2.1 trillion. Of that, McKinsey figures that $650 billion exceeded the norms of other rich nations. Commitment to solve long-term entitlements is necessary to salvage current spending on key budget items AOL News, 2-21-09, http://news.aol.com/article/obama-turns-to-budget-health-care/353425?cid=12 This coming week will mark a turning point from what Obama felt compelled to do, to what he wants to do. It also may test how much spending, change and ambition the American people and their elected officials can stomach in a short time. On Monday, Obama will try to snap Washington's collective mind-set back to fiscal restraint, just days after signing a record-breaking spending plan to stimulate the moribund economy. His afternoon-long "fiscal responsibility summit" at the White House is bound to set off sparks. Come Thursday, he will send Congress highlights of his budget request. One administration official says it will disclose that Obama plans to cut the federal deficit in half by the end of his first term, mostly by scaling back Iraq war spending, raising taxes on the wealthiest and streamlining government. Liberals worry that renewed attention to long-term deficits will stall their progressive agenda, which they don't feel should suffer because of transgressions by banks, mortgage lenders and automakers. Some worry that Social Security is being unfairly lumped with Medicare's more serious financial problems, and they are determined to squelch any hints of curbing benefits in the retirement program. Health care costs will force massive spending cuts James Kvaal, Senior Fellow at American Progress, December 9, 2008, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/12/health_imperative.html Rising health care costs are the primary reason that our federal budget is on an unsustainable path. The federal government is responsible for nearly half of America‘s health care expenditures, including Medicare, Medicaid, tax subsidies for private sector insurance, and health coverage for federal employees, retirees, military personnel, and veterans. Public health care costs are rising at similar rates and for similar reasons as private costs. Medicare has low administrative costs, but like most public spending on health care, it finances care in the same settings and with the same providers as private insurance. Federal spending on Medicare and Medicaid alone is projected to increase from 4 percent of the economy today to 12 percent in 2050. As Brookings Institution scholar Henry Aaron has pointed out, their rapid growth accounts for the entire long- run federal fiscal deficit under Congressional Budget Office projections. Without a new direction, higher health care costs will force budget deficits to ―levels that will seriously jeopardize long-term economic growth,‖ according to Peter Orszag, recently designated to head the Office of Management and Budget. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 88 Olney Politics Health care solves budget crowd-out Health care reform will massively cut costs and save the budget James Kvaal, Senior Fellow at American Progress, December 9, 2008, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/12/health_imperative.html The good news is that there is an opportunity for health reform that covers every American and slows the growth in health care costs. Such a reform may require an up-front investment, even in these times of large budget deficits; it might cost the federal government between $100 billion and $150 billion annually, not including any savings it generates by making the health care system more efficient. But it could also generate very large economic and fiscal benefits. The first step is universal coverage. Coverage is an essential step toward controlling health care spending because it allows a rational financing system that does not rely on inefficient and inequitable cross-subsidies to care for some Americans. Universal coverage will also facilitate early prevention and detection of disease and better management of chronic diseases, which can improve health and reduce costs. Investments can improve the quality of care while reducing costs. Research into the comparative effectiveness of treatments—funded partly by taxpayers—can identify treatments that provide the best results, often at a lower cost than treatments widely used today. These steps can ensure that medical advances continue and are used wisely. Greater use of electronic medical records and other health information technology could reduce errors, diminish the need for duplicative tests, improve the quality of care, and gather data on effective treatments. There are other important steps to reduce the growth of health costs without compromising the quality of care. Payment reforms can encourage doctors and hospitals to improve management of chronic diseases and adopt proven treatments. And greater use of generic drugs can provide equally or even more effective treatment at lower cost. Rising health care costs will drown the budget and push out other spending James Kvaal, Senior Fellow at American Progress, December 9, 2008, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/12/health_imperative.html Second, ever-rising health care costs are threatening to drive an unsustainable explosion in the national debt. The rising tide of red ink that threatens to drown the federal budget and swamp the economy in the coming years is primarily due to rising health care costs. If health reform slows growth in health care costs, it could be the most fiscally responsible course, even at the cost of higher deficits in the short term. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 89 Olney Politics Health care solves spending/budget Health care reform is key to rein in deficits – prevention reduces overall cost Jack Lewin, CEO, American College of Cardiology, 2-26-09, http://healthcare.nationaljournal.com/2009/02/obamas-fiscal-responsibility-s.php President Obama's proposals to look at prevention; reduce hospital readmissions; improve patient safety, quality of care and program integrity; look at private sector ideas to ensure appropriate use of technologies like imaging; and encourage implementation and use of health information technology make a lot of sense. By making healthy patients the goal of any reform efforts, we create less of a financial burden on our health care system that is already 17- percent of the nation‘s GDP. We‘re getting this commitment to reform on top of the investment the President made to update our nation‘s health information technology when he signed into law the stimulus package earlier this month. The use of modern technology will make the delivery of health care more efficient, and ultimately, more affordable. For instance, we as physicians will be able to begin using the most up-to-date technology to treat our patients. Electronic prescriptions will greatly reduce the 1.5 million annual medical errors, not to mention makes our health system more efficient. It will also save money. According to a Harvard Medical School Study, for every 100,000 prescriptions that are filled electronically, $845,000 can be saved. Health care is the only way to save the budget Max Baucus, D-Mont., Committee Chairman Finance Committee, U.S. Senate, 2-24-09, http://healthcare.nationaljournal.com/2009/02/obamas-fiscal-responsibility-s.php I participated in President Obama‘s summit on fiscal responsibility on Monday and found many of my colleagues agree that health care reform is the path to fiscal health in this country. In the last eight years, we‘ve seen health spending grow from 12 percent to 17 percent of the U.S. economy, but quality needs to be improved, with Americans receiving recommended care only half of the time. In the next ten years, the cost of providing health care for older and vulnerable Americans through Medicare and Medicaid is projected to increase by 114 percent. Health care reform is not only fiscally wise, it is imperative. America needs to get health care costs under control now. Last November, I laid out a plan for health care reform that will help to get those costs in check. Addressing cost, quality, and health coverage for the uninsured and underinsured will restore the health of this country‘s people and its pocketbook. My plan invests in a high-quality, efficient health care system for all Americans that will provide far greater value for our health care dollars and contain costs in the long run. The keys to containing costs lie in the ways Americans access, receive, and pay for health care. My plan makes affordable health care accessible to all Americans, so they are able to seek preventive treatment and catch health problems before they become significant and costly. That will keep people healthy as they age into Medicare, helping to lower costs in that program. Making sure patients receive care more efficiently will also control costs. My plan strengthens the role of primary care doctors to improve coordination of care and reduce duplicate work among all of a patient‘s providers. It also invests in health care technology and research that can keep doctors on the cutting edge of medicine and help deliver the right care at the right time. And my plan reforms the way Medicare and Medicaid pay for care. Today, the government pays doctors based on the volume of care provided – regardless of whether it works, but under my plan, payments would be made based on the quality of care delivered and outcomes, refocusing the system on providing the most effective care possible. Reforming America‘s broken health care system is the most fiscally responsible action Congress can take this year and I‘m confident we will. I intend to work with my colleagues in Congress and members of the health care community to develop comprehensive, consensus legislation and I look forward to being back at the White House later on this year to watch President Obama sign that bill. Fiscal discipline is impossible without health care reform David B. Kendall, Senior Fellow for Health Policy, Progressive Policy Institute, 2-23-09, http://healthcare.nationaljournal.com/2009/02/obamas-fiscal-responsibility-s.php Health care reform is an opportunity to improve fiscal discipline. In fact, it is a necessity. Without reform that includes cost restraint, the prospects for covering the uninsured will diminish, and the long-term fiscal health of the nation will be at risk. Fiscal discipline is inextricably linked to health care. The public foots the bill for about 56 percent of the nation‘s health care spending. The biggest spenders, Medicare and Medicaid will push up the government‘s share even further as the baby boomers retire and as medical inflation continues to exceed general inflation. Another big spender, the tax break for job-based coverage also erodes government funding for other public priorities as health care costs rise. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 90 Olney Politics Budget crunch NASA cuts Entitlement costs will kill funding for NASA, ending space exploration Space Politics, April 14, 2008, http://www.spacepolitics.com/2008/04/14/the-coming-nasa-budget-crunch/ In response to the avalanche of comments to an earlier post about a presentation Charles Miller gave at the Space Access conference last month about the budgetary pressures NASA is facing and one potential solution, Charles approached me about fleshing out that talk into a more detailed essay. Part one of that essay appears in Monday‘s issue of The Space Review and goes into detail about the budget crunch NASA and other discretionary spending programs will be facing in the near future as the Baby Boomers retire. That wave of retirements will cause mandatory spending (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) to increase, putting pressure on other programs. While NASA has done reasonably well in the current administration, when there has been little pressure to balance budgets, it did suffer a cut of nearly 20 percent during the Clinton Administration when there was a bipartisan push to balance the budget—a portent of what may come when there are similar pressures to cut spending. A key paragraph from the article: These fiscal pressures will force the next president—regardless of whoever is elected in November—to make some hard decisions in the years to come about discretionary spending. It is unrealistic to expect that NASA will somehow be immune to pressures to cut spending. A budget cut in the next Administration that is equivalent to last decade‘s cut would result in reduction of NASA‘s budget of over $3 billion per year. If that happens, it will be difficult, if not impossible, for the current exploration architecture to continue in anything resembling its current form and schedule. It will be significantly delayed, radically altered, or even cancelled. **Rising entitlement costs kill space exploration (the VSE) Space Politics, March 29, 2008, http://www.spacepolitics.com/2008/03/29/endings-vs-beginnings/ At the Space Access ‘08 conference in Phoenix on Friday, Charles Miller, a member of the board of directors of the Space Frontier Foundation, gave a presentation with a provocative title: ―The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) and the Retirement of the Baby Boomers: Is this the Beginning of the End? or The End of the Beginning?‖ Miller took aim at one of the core assumptions behind the planning for the VSE and its implementation, dating back to the budget projection ―sand chart‖ from January 2004: that NASA‘s budget would grow at roughly the rate of inflation for the foreseeable, if not indefinite, future. Current administrator Mike Griffin, for example, has said on a number of occasions that budget growth that keeps pace with inflation would be sufficient to allow humans to land on Mars by the mid-2030s, among other things. The problem with that assumption, Miller said, is that the budget is facing a major crunch in the relatively near future, as the Baby Boomer generation retires and starts putting increasing fiscal strain on programs like Social Security and Medicare. ―Mandatory‖ programs, like those, now account for 53% of the overall federal budget, compared to 26% in 1962, according to OMB data released last month with the President‘s FY09 budget proposal. Discretionary spending, which includes NASA as well as the military and many other agencies, has seen its share of the budget pie shrink from 68% in 1962 to 38% now. Those discretionary programs will continue to be squeezed, Miller believes, particularly once Boomers start retiring en masse around 2010. ―There‘s going to be blood on the floor for a wide variety of programs, and it‘s going to include NASA,‖ Miller predicts. ―A conservative projection for NASA‘s real budget in the long term, for 50 years, needs to take this into account, and should consider significant reductions in the top-line NASA budget.‖ In such a scenario, it seems unlikely that the Vision would continue in anything like its current ESAS implementation. That is likely to be true regardless of who becomes the next president, as he or she will have to grapple with the same fiscal realities. ―I think it [ESAS] is going to probably die in the next administration,‖ Miller said. Which begs the question: what should replace it? Dartmouth Debate Workshop 91 Olney Politics NASA cuts kills space exploration NASA cuts kill space exploration Eric Berger, Houston Chronicle, 2-28-07, http://blogs.chron.com/sciguy/archives/2007/02/who_really_thin.html A similar chain of events unfolded in 1989, when President George H.W. Bush proposed an ambitious trip to Mars, only to have it scuttled by budgetary concerns. The large projects sound great, but they require long- term funding commitments, which are hard to come by in Washington. The current President has less than two years left in office. The next President will face war bills, increasing entitlement costs and who knows what else -- I have to believe returning to the moon will carry a low priority. Especially so if Bush is succeeded by a Democrat, someone who probably won't be been keen on continuing a major program begun by Bush. Cuts to space funding would doom space exploration Dave Weldon, US Representative from Florida, press release from his office, January 31, 2007, http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=21772 In a fiscal year 2007 budget released today, the new Democrat majority proposed sweeping cuts to NASA's budget that could jeopardized the future of space exploration. U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon, M.D. (R-FL), who represents many workers from NASA and Kennedy Space Center, called the cuts draconian, saying the Democrat leadership is using NASA and our nation's space program as a piggy bank for other liberal spending priorities. "The raid on NASA's budget has begun in earnest. The cuts announced today by House Democrat leaders, if approved by Congress, would be nearly $400 million less than NASA's current budget," said Weldon. "Clearly, the new Democrat leadership in the House isn't interested in space exploration. Their omnibus proposal lists hundreds of new increases, including a $1.3 billion increase‹over 40% for a Global AIDS fund, all at the expense of NASA." Much of the proposed cuts would come from NASA's Exploration budget, which includes funding for the new Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the future replacement for the current shuttle fleet. According to Weldon, these particular cuts would jeopardize thousands of jobs in Florida, Alabama, and Texas. Weldon today led a bi-partisan group of colleagues, including Reps. Ralph Hall (D-TX), and Tom Feeney (R-FL), in offering two amendments to the bill that would restore NASA's funding. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 92 Olney Politics A2: VSE not key to exploration The VSE is key to colonization – it’s the only firm commitment Taylor Dinerman, editor and publisher of SpaceEquity.com, October 25, 2004, http://www.thespacereview.com/article/253/1 The details of the Vision for Space Exploration may be less important than the fact that the US now has space exploration as a major national goal. The implication here is that we will someday reach the Moon and Mars and that we will not stop with simple exploration. The technology needed to build bases on the Moon and Mars could also be used to build sustainable permanent colonies on these bodies. Once built, such colonies will be the first steps towards our species expansion into the solar system. Going to the moon is a necessary first step to space exploration Paul Spudis, Principal Investigator in the Planetary Geology Program of the NASA Office of Space Science, Solar System Exploration Division and Senior Professional Staff, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Washington Post, December 27, 2005 Living on the moon will expand the sphere of human and robotic activity in space beyond low-Earth orbit. To become a multiplanet species, we must master the skills of extracting local resources, build our capability to journey and explore in hostile regions, and create new reservoirs of human culture and experience. That long journey begins on the moon -- the staging ground, supply station and classroom for our voyage into the universe. Going to the moon is key to building support for broader space objectives Paul Spudis, Principal Investigator in the Planetary Geology Program of the NASA Office of Space Science, Solar System Exploration Division and Senior Professional Staff, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Testimony to the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics of the House Committee on Science, April 1, 2004, http://www.spudislunarresources.com/Opinion_Editorial/Spudis%20House%20testimony%20April%202004%20FI NAL.htm By learning space survival skills close to home, we create new opportunities for exploration, utilization, and wealth creation. Space will no longer be a hostile place that we tentatively visit for short periods; it becomes instead a permanent part of our world. Achieving routine freedom of cislunar space makes America more secure (by enabling larger, cheaper, and routinely maintainable assets in orbit) and more prosperous (by opening an economically limitless new frontier.) As a nation, we rely on a variety of government assets in cislunar space, from weather satellites to GPS systems to a wide variety of reconnaissance satellites. In addition, commercial spacecraft continue to make up a multi-billion dollar market, providing telephone, Internet, radio and video services. America has invested billions of dollars in this infrastructure. Yet at the moment, we have no way to service, repair, refurbish or protect any of these spacecraft. They are vulnerable with no bulwark against severe damage or permanent loss. It is an extraordinary investment in design and fabrication to make these assets as reliable as possible. When we lose a satellite, it must be replaced and this process takes years. We cannot now access these spacecraft because it is not feasible to maintain a human- tended servicing capability in Earth orbit – the costs of launching orbital transfer vehicles and propellant would be excessive (it costs around $10,000 to launch one pound to low Earth orbit). By creating the ability to refuel in orbit, using propellant derived from the Moon, we would revolutionize our national space infrastructure. Satellites would be repaired, rather than written off. Assets would be protected rather than abandoned. Very large satellite complexes could be built and serviced over long periods, creating new capabilities and expanding bandwidth (the new commodity of the information society) for a wide variety of purposes. And along the way, we will create new opportunities and make ever greater discoveries. Thus, a return to the Moon with the purpose of learning to mine and use its resources creates a new paradigm for space operations. Space becomes a part of America‘s industrial world, not an exotic environment for arcane studies. Such a mission ties our space program to its original roots in making us more secure and more prosperous. But it also enables a broader series of scientific and exploratory opportunities. If we can create a spacefaring infrastructure that can routinely access cislunar space, we have a system that can take us to the planets. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 93 Olney Politics VSE key to whole space program VSE failure kills the whole space program Paul Dietz, Department of Computer Science, University of Rochester, ―To Infinity and Beyond,‖ May 19, 2005, http://www.spacepolitics.com/2005/05/16/to-infinity-and-beyond/ I am objecting to a program that appears to be at risk of choosing its goals inappropriately. Choice of goals is very important, since the program will optimize to achieve the stated goals, not the unstated goals you wished it had. Thus the analogy to Apollo. The program was optimized to reach the moon before 1970, not to create anything economical or sustainable. As a result, it didn‘t do the latter, and the house of cards collapsed when the stated goal was achieved. If you support a big government space program, this should worry you. VSE is NASA‘s last best hope. If they screw this up like they screwed up shuttle and ISS, I don‘t see them continuing to exist. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 94 Olney Politics Space key to human survival Space is key to prevent extinction James Oberg, space writer and a former space flight engineer based in Houston, 19 99, Space Power Theory, http://www.jamesoberg.com/books/spt/new-CHAPTERSw_figs.pdf We have the great gift of yet another period when our nation is not threatened; and our world is free from opposing coalitions with great global capabilities. We can use this period to take our nation and our fellow men into the greatest adventure that our species has ever embarked upon. The United States can lead, protect, and help the rest of mankind to move into space. It is particularly fitting that a country comprised of people from all over the globe assumes that role. This is a manifest destiny worthy of dreamers and poets, warriors and conquerors. In his last book, Pale Blue Dot, Carl Sagan presents an emotional argument that our species must venture into the vast realm of space to establish a spacefaring civilization. While acknowledging the very high costs that are involved in manned spaceflight, Sagan states that our very survival as a species depends on colonizing outer space. Astronomers have already identified dozens of asteroids that might someday smash into Earth. Undoubtedly, many more remain undetected. In Sagan‘s opinion, the only way to avert inevitable catastrophe is for mankind to establish a permanent human presence in space. He compares humans to the planets that roam the night sky, as he says that humans will too wander through space. We will wander space because we possess a compulsion to explore, and space provides a truly infinite prospect of new directions to explore. Sagan‘s vision is part science and part emotion. He hoped that the exploration of space would unify humankind. We propose that mankind follow the United States and our allies into this new sea, set with jeweled stars. If we lead, we can be both strong and caring. If we step back, it may be to the detriment of more than our country. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 95 Olney Politics Space exploration key to heg *A strong space program is key to heg Marc Kaufman, science writer, Washington Post, December 4, 2006 In Griffin's big-picture view, the stakes in space are high -- which helps explain why he is so driven about return to manned lunar exploration and beyond. Not only are there major national security issues involved -- the country relies on space-based defense like no other nation -- but the NASA administrator said the United States can remain a preeminent civilization only if it continues to explore space aggressively. If the United States pulls back, Griffin said, others will speed ahead. Russia and China have sent astronauts into low-Earth orbit, and India, Japan and the Europeans all have the technical ability to do the same now -- and far more in the future. International cooperation has been ingrained into the government's thinking about space, but the United States and others remain committed to manufacturing their own rockets and space capsules and will be looking for international cooperation only once they are on the moon or Mars or some asteroids in between. "I absolutely believe that America became a great power in the world, leapfrogging other great powers of the time, because of its mastery of the air," Griffin said. "In the 21st century and beyond, our society and nation, if we wish to remain in the first rank, must add to our existing capacities . . . to remain preeminent in the arts and sciences of space flight. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 96 Olney Politics Got to Get off the Rock by 2050 We’ll all be dead by 2050 unless we colonize space Daily Record, 7/8/2002 THE Earth will be so gutted, wrecked, over-exploited and the barren seas so fished out that we will have to find a new planet - or even two - by 2050. Environmentalists at the World Wildlife Fund say we have just another half century of luxury living left before the Earth becomes a spent husk. By that time, we will either have to colonise space or risk human extinction as population and consumption expand. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 97 Olney Politics Space Colonization Solves War Space colonization solves all wars Isaac Asimov, visionary genius, 1985, http://info.rutgers.edu/Library/Reference/Etext/Impact.of.Science.On.Society.hd/3/4 I have a feeling that if we really expanded into space with all our might and made it a global project, this would be the equivalent of the winning of the West. It's not just a matter of idealism or preaching brotherhood. If we can build power stations in space that will supply all the energy the world needs, then the rest of the world will want that energy too. The only way that each country will be able to get that energy will be to make sure these stations are maintained. It won't be easy to build and maintain them; it will be quite expensive and time-consuming. But if the whole world wants energy and if the price is world cooperation, then I think people are going to do it. We already cooperate on things that the whole world needs. International organizations monitor the world's weather and pollution and deal with things like the oceans and with Antarctica. Perhaps if we see that it is to our advantage to cooperate, then only the real maniacs will avoid cooperating and they will be left out in the cold when the undoubted benefits come in. I think that, although we as nations will retain our suspicions and mutual hatreds, we will find it to our advantage to cooperate in developing space. In doing so, we will be able to adopt a "globalist" view of our situation. The internal strife between Earthlings, the little quarrels over this or that patch of the Earth, and the magnified memories of past injustices will diminish before the much greater task of developing a new, much larger world. I think that the development of space is the great positive project that will force cooperation, a new outlook that may bring peace to the Earth, and a kind of federalized world government. In such a government, each region will be concerned with those matters that concern itself alone, but the entire world would act as a unit on matters that affect the entire world. Only in such a way will we be able to survive and to avoid the kind of wars that will either gradually destroy our civilization or develop into a war that will suddenly destroy it. There are so many benefits to be derived from space exploration and exploitation; why not take what seems to me the only chance of escaping what is otherwise the sure destruction of all that humanity has struggled to achieve for 50000 years? That is one of the reasons, by the way, that I have come from New York to Hampton despite the fact that I have a hatred of traveling and I faced 8 hours on the train with a great deal of fear and trembling. It was not only The College of William and Mary that invited me, but NASA as well, and it is difflcult for me to resist NASA, knowing full well that it symbolizes what I believe in too. Space colonization harmoniously unites humanity The Columbus Dispatch, 5/23/2001 There may come a time when humans will consider space colonization. Initiatives such as the space station and a manned Mars landing could be steppingstones toward pitching a tent on another world. In one unexpected consequence, an international push into space could be the great uniter. The heavens, so immense and enigmatic, could make ethnic and religious groups look beyond their problems with each other. Everyone has a stake in this trip. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 98 Olney Politics ***DISEASE/HEALTH/POVERTY Dartmouth Debate Workshop 99 Olney Politics Poverty module 2NC Turns the case. The cycle of poverty is inevitable without health care reform Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston, 6-11-09, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gregory-seal-livingston/health-care- and-poverty_b_214610.html For the millions of American children who are living below the poverty line, escaping the cycle can seem impossible. Statistics show that children from poor families are more likely to drop out of school before attaining their high school diplomas -- and that individuals without a high school diploma are more likely to be poor. A recent study from the Schott Foundation shows that 7 of 10 black and brown males in major urban centers don't finish high school. They are also exponentially more likely to be incarcerated and unemployed throughout the course of their lives. Quite simply, the odds are stacked against these young people. One of the ways to explain this crippling cycle is as follows: When you feel better, you do better. When you feel bad, you do bad. In my anti-poverty work I have experienced the truth of this statement firsthand. The more than 10 million adolescents who currently live in low-income families are not just denied life's little luxuries. They also are denied basic human rights, such as healthcare and nutritious food. Many of these children are unable to see a dentist because their families don't have insurance, and their parents can't take time off from work to spend the whole day waiting at the public health facility. Many of them have poor vision but do not get glasses since their families don't have insurance for vision care. Furthermore, many of these children are malnourished, which means they are either underweight or overweight. Just because a child's bones aren't sticking out does not mean that his body is well nourished, as obesity has a myriad of health problems that can complicate a child's life. However, many families are forced to rely on cheap, unhealthy sustenance, including fast food and empty candy store calories. Healthy foods such as produce and lean meats are more expensive than fried, fatty foods, and most families don't have the option of buying the fresh food their children need to be healthy. These are just a few of the very basic health problems that can prevent a child from excelling in school. When children's teeth ache from cavities, when their vision is too blurred to see the chalkboard, and when all they had for breakfast was a candy bar and a soda, it is no wonder that their school performance is poor and their behavior is aggressive. We need to help the impoverished feel better so they can do better. We must work on legislative, faith-based, private and public sector solutions. Poverty is much too pernicious to fight over turf. Healthcare is just one area we must acutely address and until we do the poverty cycle will continue to ruin lives and imprison dreams. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 100 Olney Politics Pandemics module 2NC Health care reform is key to prevent diseases from becoming pandemics. It solves mutation and transmission Vanessa Mason, BA from Yale, August 16, 2008, http://vanessamason.wordpress.com/2008/08/16/universal- health-care-series-the-national-security-argument/ Fences and security checkpoints versus pathogens. David versus Goliath. While it seems that one side has the brute strength and power to counter the other, we all know how the second conflict ends. The flu epidemic of 1918 killed one-fifth of the world‘s population in about two years, resulting in more deaths from the epidemic than World War I. Our interconnected society makes epidemics more likely to occur with the ease of mobility within countries and in between them. A recent epidemic scare happened in 2007 when Andrew Speaker, after receiving a diagnosis of drug-resistant tuberculosis, proceeded to travel overseas and back on commercial flights for his wedding and honeymoon. Speaker was already out of the country when before authorities realized that he was infected with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, which is the most difficult strain to treat. Fortunately, no one was infected; also fortunately, Speaker was diagnosed and authorities were informed that he was infected. Imagine what could have happened if Speaker could not have seen a doctor. MRSA and other ― superbugs‖ are becoming increasingly frequent. Avian flu and pandemic flu are also looming biological dangers. Imagine a situation where a patient has a bacterial infection but never goes to see a doctor because they can not afford the visit. The patient would continue to pass through the general population, infecting others. Public health officials would have greater difficulty finding the source of the infection because there would be so many more cases. Imagine a situation where a patient actually sees a doctor, but in a crowded emergency room. The doctor, overwhelmed with cases, quickly diagnoses the bacterial infection and prescribes penicillin. The patient takes the medication, but the bacteria becomes resistant to penicillin. His condition worsens and he can spread a drug-resistant strain to others. Imagine a situation caused that as a byproduct of his socioeconomic status, the patient lives in conditions that are ripe for the spread of infections: close quarters and poor ventilation. Poverty also compromises the strength of one‘s immune system, leaving the body open to infections and once infected, the body can not fight infections well. 1) Universal health care provides a greater likelihood of early detection to curb infections before they grow too quickly. Early detection is a key advantage in controlling epidemics and preventing deaths. Earlier detection also helps to reduce the likelihood that drug-resistant strains develop in the general population. 2) Increasing access to health care allows health care professionals to identify patients at risk and intervene to offer ways to reduce the risk of infection. 3) Universal health care enables consistent access to proper treatment. Treating infections with the wrong medication or with an insufficient dosage can cause the pathogen to mutate, creating drug-resistant strains. Preventing epidemics should be a priority of paramount concern if the government actually wants to ensure national security. Implementing universal health care is an important step in the right direction. Pandemics risk extinction Frank Ryan, M.D., 1997, virus X, p. 366 How might the human race appear to such an aggressively emerging virus? That teeming, globally intrusive species, with its transcontinental air travel, massively congested cities, sexual promiscuity, and in the less affluent regions — where the virus is most likely to first emerge — a vulnerable lack of hygiene with regard to food and water supplies and hospitality to biting insects' The virus is best seen, in John Hollands excellent analogy, as a swarm of competing mutations, with each individual strain subjected to furious forces of natural selection for the strain, or strains, most likely to amplify and evolve in the new ecological habitat.3 With such a promising new opportunity in the invaded species, natural selection must eventually come to dominate viral behavior. In time the dynamics of infection will select for a more resistant human population. Such a coevolution takes rather longer in "human" time — too long, given the ease of spread within the global village. A rapidly lethal and quickly spreading virus simply would not have time to switch from aggression to coevolution. And there lies the danger. Joshua Lederbergs prediction can now be seen to be an altogether logical one. Pandemics are inevitable. Our incredibly rapid human evolution, our overwhelming global needs, the advances of our complex industrial society, all have moved the natural goalposts. The advance of society, the very science of change, has greatly augmented the potential for the emergence of a pandemic strain. It is hardly surprising that Avrion Mitchison, scientific director of Deutsches Rheuma Forschungszentrum in Berlin, asks the question: "Will we survive!‖ We have invaded every biome on earth and we continue to destroy other species so very rapidly that one eminent scientist foresees the day when no life exists on earth apart from the human monoculture and the small volume of species useful to it. An increasing multitude of disturbed viral-host symbiotic cycles are provoked into self-protective counterattacks. This is a dangerous situation. And we have seen in the previous chapter how ill-prepared the world is to cope with it. It begs the most frightening question of all: could such a pandemic virus cause the extinction of the human species? Dartmouth Debate Workshop 101 Olney Politics Health care reform key to solve epidemics Health care reform is necessary to prevent pandemics The Hour, December 28, 2008 One group debated whether health care should be universally provided by the government the same way that public education is, and, if so, at what cost and to whom. Two business owners appeared to square off over whether universal health care was desirable or even possible. Both of the men said they provided health insurance to all their employees and both said the exorbitant cost of doing so had led them to provide basic, "catastrophic" plans with limited coverage for more minor procedures and services. Roy Kamen, owner of Kamen Entertainment, a company that makes health and fitness DVDs, said he is certain that the nation could not handle a major pandemic or biological-based terrorist attack. Kamen was hopeful that president-elect Obama's administration would provide a solution. "I don't think the insurance companies are going to solve this," Kamen said. "I was an Obama supporter, and I think they virtually have to solve this. This is really a new time. There is a new mindset. The greed of the past is gone." Severe epidemics would cripple the already limited health resources Indianapolis Star, 6-16-2009, ―Mild flu pandemic could return with a vengeance‖ http://www.indystar.com/article/20090616/OPINION12/906160304/1002/OPINION/Mild+flu+pandemic+could+ret urn+with+a+vengeance The A H1N1 influenza virus had all the initial markings of a potentially deadly pandemic virus. It arose at a time other than the regular fall flu season and spread quickly from Mexico around the globe. The severest disease occurred in healthy young adults rather than the very young and old. The virus contained the genomes of swine and avian types, making it a novel virus the world had never seen and for which there was minimal human immunity. The public health community was rightfully alarmed. I was surprised with the discussion of some in the public that this was much ado about nothing. Even more shocking to me was that some members of the medical community scoffed at the ridiculousness of all the fuss. It just wasn't all that big of a deal. This easily could have been a worldwide catastrophe. A repeat of something akin to the ravaging influenza pandemic of 1918 could kill hundreds of thousands in America and millions around the world. Undoubtedly, a full-blown epidemic would overwhelm even the best possible pandemic planning and place our country in chaos. Despite any feasible expansion of our health-care system capacity to handle all the sick and dying, if the worst scenario would occur, hospital and health officials would ultimately be forced to tell people to go home to die. The sickness, death, and social and economic disruption that a severe pandemic would cause is difficult for us to even imagine. Pandemic preparedness plans must be more than just documents on a shelf that say the right things. Although our nation's readiness was not tested with a full-scale pandemic, we can be pleased with the federal, state and local preparation and response. These plans were actualized by collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies, health departments, hospitals, medical and health-care professionals, law enforcement and emergency response personnel. The Marion County and Indiana state health departments were diligent and effective. We should appreciate their outstanding efforts. However, we should be concerned with the anticipated inability of some of the smaller county health departments, with critically limited human and financial resources, to adequately respond to a more serious pandemic. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 102 Olney Politics Pandemics kill Pandemics kill 100 million Richard A. Falkenrath, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at The Brookings Institution, Committee on Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, CQ Congressional Testimony, March 16, 2006 A catastrophic disease event is admittedly an extreme scenario, residing at the very highest end of the threat spectrum. With respect to manmade threats - bioterrorism - I am not suggesting that such a scenario can be easily effectuated or is imminent. Nonetheless, I do not believe that the trends are in our favor. With every passing year, the latent technological potential of states and non-state actors to use disease effectively as a weapon rises inexorably. With respect to naturally occurring disease threats, no one can estimate precisely the likelihood, timing, or consequence of the appearance of a new human pathogen.5 However, for at least one potentially catastrophic disease, even the conservative World Health Organization concludes that "the world may be on the brink of another pandemic."6 According to the WHO, a pandemic along the lines of the relatively mild pandemic of 1957 would result in 2 million to 7.4 million deaths worldwide. A pandemic with the death rate of the 1918 Spanish flu - perhaps the most extreme human disease event in history - could result in several million fatalities in the United States and perhaps over one hundred million abroad. In sum, when viewed in comparison to all other conceivable threats to U.S. national security, the catastrophic disease threat is and for the foreseeable future will remain the gravest danger we face. No state, no terrorist group, no ideology or system of government, no other tactic or target or category of weapons, no technological accident, and no other natural phenomenon, presents as terrifying a combination of likelihood, poor defenses and countermeasures, and consequence. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 103 Olney Politics Bioterror module 2NC Lack of solid health care makes the US more susceptible to bioterrorism Shane K Green, Ph D, May 2004 (―Bioterrorism and Health Care Reform: No Preparedness Without Access.‖ http://virtualmentor.ama-assn.org/2004/05/pfor2-0405.html //ZE) The temporal correlation between the occurrence of wars or epidemics and attempts at health care reform exists in large part because the health of the public gains importance when its absence threatens a nation's integrity and security. The US learned this valuable lesson during the Revolutionary War, when American colonial forces were weakened early on as nonimmunized soldiers fell victim to smallpox, while British soldiers, who had encountered the disease in England and had thus acquired immunity, were relatively unaffected. Recognizing that protecting national interests in times of war necessitates a healthy fighting force, the US government instituted health care coverage for members of the US Armed Forces and Merchant Marine . But with the US presently engaged in a "war on terror," in which not only soldiers but also civilians are targets, a healthy fighting force is no longer enough to ensure national security; the time has come for this country to take up reforms that promote the health of all Americans. Reassuringly, this is not a novel proposal. Reflecting upon statements made in 1944 by American medical historian Henry E. Sigerist, MD, concerning the power of external security threats to stimulate reform, a recent editorial in the American Journal of Public Health suggested that, "[t]his incendiary moment may be just the time for rekindling reform" . Similarly, emergency physician and medical ethicist C. Griffin Trotter, MD, PhD, recently declared: "National security, I submit, is the new banner for health care reform" . Consider the threat of bioterrorism: the potential use of biological weapons against this country raises the specter of a unique kind of war in which battles will be fought not against soldiers and artillery but against epidemics. Without significant reform to ensure access to health care for all Americans, the US will be unable to fight such battles effectively. Why Access? Using infectious diseases as weapons, bioterrorism threatens to weaken the civilian workforce and, hence, a nation's ability to go about its daily business. Moreover, in the case of diseases that are transmissible person to person, each infected individual becomes a human weapon, infecting others, who then infect others, and so on, tying up medical responders and overwhelming medical resources. A nation's greatest defense against bioterrorism, both in preparation for and in response to an attack, is a population in which an introduced biological agent cannot get a foothold, ie, healthy people with easy access to health care. Yet, in spite of spending significantly more per capita on health care than any other developed nation, the US is peppered with communities in which many people have little or no access to health care. This may be due to a lack of adequate health insurance—a fact of life for over 43 million demographically diverse Americans—or to cultural barriers that inhibit proper utilization of available services, or to inadequate distribution of health professionals and services. These communities are more vulnerable to infectious diseases  and therefore might be considered the nation's Achilles' heal in a bioterrorism attack. Take, for example, vaccination. A lack of access to health care among US citizens, particularly immigrant populations and those living in poverty, is associated with a failure to be vaccinated. This can have a serious impact on the spread of contagion, as evidenced by a rubella outbreak in 1997 in Westchester County, New York, in which a readily containable virus managed to infect a community composed largely of immigrants who had not been immunized . Biological terrorist attack would cause extinction STEINBRUNER 1997 [John, Sr. Fellow @ Brookings institution, ―Biological Weapons: A Plague upon All Houses‖, Foreign Policy, Winter 1997-1998, p. 85-96, JSTOR] Ultimately the world's military, medical, and business establishments will have to work together to an unprecedented degree if the international community is to succeed in containing the threat of biological weapons. Although human pathogens are often lumped with nuclear explosives and lethal chemicals as potential weapons of mass destruction, there is an obvious, fundamentally important difference: Pathogens are alive, weapons are not. Nuclear and chemical weapons do not reproduce themselves and do not independently engage in adaptive behavior; pathogens do both of these things. That deceptively simple observation has immense implications. The use of a manufactured weapon is a singular event. Most of the damage occurs immediately. The aftereffects, whatever they may be, decay rapidly over time and distance in a reasonably predictable manner. Even before a nuclear warhead is detonated, for instance, it is possible to estimate the extent of the subsequent damage and the likely level of radioactive fallout. Such predictability is an essential component for tactical military planning. The use of a pathogen, by contrast, is an extended process whose scope and timing cannot be precisely controlled. For most potential biological agents, the predominant drawback Biological Weapons is that they would not act swiftly or decisively enough to be an effective weapon. But for a few pathogens ones most likely to have a decisive effect and therefore the ones most likely to be contemplated for deliberately hostile use-the risk runs in the other direction. A lethal pathogen that could efficiently spread from one victim to another would be capable of initiating an intensifying cascade of disease that might ultimately threaten the entire world population. The 1918 influenza epidemic demonstrated the potential for a global contagion of this sort but not necessarily its outer limit. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 104 Olney Politics Health care reform key to solve bioterror The Threat of a bioterror attack is real. An adaptable pharmaceutical base is crucial to survival Joby Warrick Washington Post Staff Writer Sunday, November 30, 2008; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/article/2008/11/29/AR2008112901921.html Seven years after the 2001 anthrax attacks, a congressionally ordered study finds a growing threat of biological terrorism and calls for aggressive defenses on par with those used to prevent a terrorist nuclear detonation.Due for release next week, a draft of the study warns that future bioterrorists may use new technology to make synthetic versions of killers such as Ebola, or genetically modified germs designed to resist ordinary vaccines and antibiotics. Continues "The more probable threat of bioterrorism should be put on equal footing with the more devastating threat of nuclear terrorism," the draft states. It calls on the Obama administration to develop a comprehensive approach to preventing bioterrorism and to "banish the 'too-hard-to-do' mentality that has hobbled previous efforts." Continues "Rapid scientific advances and the global spread of biotechnology equipment and know-how are currently outpacing the modest international attempts to promote biosecurity," the report says. The Pharmaceutical Industry is key to preventing bioterrorism Washington Post 2001 (Justin Gillis, "Scientists Race for Vaccines," lexis) U.S. scientists, spurred into action by the events of Sept. 11, have begun a concerted assault on bioterrorism, working to produce an array of new medicines that include treatments for smallpox, a safer smallpox vaccine and a painless anthrax vaccine. At least one major drug company, Pharmacia Corp. of Peapack, N.J., has offered to let government scientists roam through the confidential libraries of millions of compounds it has synthesized to look for drugs against bioterror agents. Other companies have signaled that they will do the same if asked. These are unprecedented offers, since a drug company's chemical library, painstakingly assembled over decades, is one of its primary assets, to which federal scientists usually have no access. "A lot of people would say we won World War II with the help of a mighty industrial base," said Michael Friedman, a onetime administrator at the Food and Drug Administration who was appointed days ago to coordinate the pharmaceutical industry's efforts. "In this new war against bioterrorism, the mighty industrial power is the pharmaceutical industry." One example of the new urgency is an initiative launched by Eli Lilly & Co. One of the company's infectious-disease experts, Gail Cassell, realized during the anthrax scare that her company had three drugs that might work as treatments for smallpox, even scarier than anthrax as a potential terrorist weapon. In a matter of days Cassell, a Lilly vice president, tore through paperwork that normally would have taken months, put samples of the drugs on a plane and flew them to government laboratories in the Washington area to be tested against smallpox. It's not clear yet whether the drugs will prove effective. "We all have to think of the situation as being rather urgent," Cassell said. "You're kind of waiting for the next shoe to drop, given the events of the last two months." Researchers say a generation of young scientists never called upon before to defend the nation is working overtime in a push for rapid progress. At laboratories of the National Institutes of Health, at universities and research institutes across the land, people are scrambling. "This has been such a shock to so many people," said Carole Heilman, a division director at NIH, which is paying for much of the bioterror research. "People aren't sleeping anymore. Everybody is working as much as they possibly can. Bureaucracy is not a word that's acceptable anymore." But the campaign, for all its urgency, faces hurdles both scientific and logistical. The kind of research now underway would normally take at least a decade before products appeared on pharmacy shelves. Scientists are talking about getting at least some new products out the door within two years, a daunting schedule in medical research. If that happens, it will be with considerable assistance from the nation's drug companies. They are the only organizations in the country with the scale to move rapidly to produce pills and vials of medicine that might be needed by the billions. The companies and their powerful lobby in Washington have been working over the past few weeks to seize the moment and rehabilitate their reputations, tarnished in recent years by controversy over drug prices and the lack of access to AIDS drugs among poor countries. The companies have already made broad commitments to aid the government in the short term, offering free pills with a wholesale value in excess of $ 1 billion, as well as other help. The question now is whether that commitment will extend over the several years it will take to build a national stockpile of next-generation medicines. "This is a time of crisis," Friedman said. "I think the industry is going to be very patient and going to be making a long- term commitment. It's the right thing to do." Dartmouth Debate Workshop 105 Olney Politics Health care key to biotech The biotech sector is on the verge of collapse – health care reform is key The News and Observer, 2-18-09, http://www.newsobserver.com/business/story/1409448.html The Triangle's two-day biotechnology conference ended Tuesday amid worries about how the industry will weather the crisis in the financial markets. As public and private investors are tightening their purse strings, cash reserves at many companies are dwindling. It's a problem particularly for development companies without product revenue. Much of North Carolina's biotech industry, the third-largest nationwide and concentrated in the Triangle, depends on investments for survival. How to fund operations is among companies' top concerns, said Jim Greenwood, chief executive of BIO, the industry's national trade group. Greenwood was one of the key speakers at the Council for Entrepreneurial Development's biotech conference, which attracted about 1,000 attendees. Tuesday morning, he talked with staff writer Sabine Vollmer about what keeps BIO members up at night: Funding The biotech industry raised 55 percent less in funding in 2008 compared with the year before, because more than a dozen initial public offerings were withdrawn. Venture capital investments dropped as the stock market tanked. Many smaller biotech companies are desperate for cash, Greenwood said. About 30 percent of BIO's publicly traded members have less than six months' worth of cash on hand. Another 45 percent have less than 12 months of cash available. As a result, biotech companies across the country filed for bankruptcy, laid off employees and shelved promising drug development programs, Greenwood said. He expects further pain in 2009. Health care policy BIO supports universal health care, a topic high on the Obama administration's to-do list. But biotech companies oppose health care reform that would lower the cost of prescription drugs, Greenwood said. The industry is also preparing for generic competition, which is not expected for at least another five years, and lobbying for better protection, he said. Last year, Congress considered four bills to establish exclusivity for biotech drugs for up to 14 years. None of the bills was approved, but Greenwood expected that Congress will take another look at them this year. Health care reform is key to biotech Jim Greenwood, Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO , 2-25-09, http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20090225006333&ne wsLang=en ―The biotechnology community applauds and shares many of the priorities outlined by President Obama last night. We believe our industry is uniquely positioned to help achieve these goals. ―We share President Obama‘s stated goal of expanding access to health care. We believe biotechnology can play a key role in this quest. Biotechnology can help bring needed innovation to modernize and add efficiencies to our nation‘s health care system. Innovation in health care, including health care solutions such as new therapies and diagnostics, has always been and will continue to be central to realizing our health care goals. Further, we believe that market-based reforms provide the best opportunity to achieve the goal of universal access while providing high quality care and incentives for the discovery and development of innovative improvements throughout the health care delivery system. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 106 Olney Politics Health care key to pharma Health care reform forces innovation through generics and rescues pharma from imminent collapse Joe Pieroni, President and CEO, Daiichi Sankyo Inc., Parsippany, 2-1-09, http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20090201/BUSINESS/902010393/1003 While the pharmaceutical industry was not hit as hard as other industries this past year, we certainly will face more than a few challenges in 2009. Health care access and affordability will be important goals of the Obama administration as they tackle health care reform. The pharmaceutical industry shares these goals and needs to play an active role in this dialogue, ensuring that new approaches will support both a healthy nation and a healthy industry. With patient costs associated with medical care (including copayments, which patients feel directly) on the rise, adherence to medication regimens to treat chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, can suffer. While this is a serious health issue for patients who need these medications to manage their illness, it's also a financial concern for society. Patients who do not take medications as prescribed risk suffering undesirable medical outcomes, which ultimately are much more expensive for the health care system. As patents expire and generic medications come onto the market as lower-cost alternatives to branded drugs, the health of the pharmaceutical industry will rest on our ability to bring innovative products to market. Therefore, a top priority for pharmaceutical companies is to ensure that our new products offer patients and society incremental and quantifiable benefits over existing therapies. We are making significant effort as an industry, and certainly within Daiichi Sankyo, to be able to articulate that new "value proposition" for our products in order to ensure informed decisions by physicians and the health care system administrators. Unrestricted access to value-based medicine is where our future lies. Understanding how to conduct clinical trials to reveal these important dimensions of a new therapy, and delivering this information in an understandable and compelling way to health care decision-makers, are the challenges that await us in 2009 and beyond. Never before is research and cutting-edge science more important to ensure a steady flow of innovation. This requires companies to supplement their own research and development efforts through external alliances and in-licensing of promising compounds. Last year, Daiichi Sankyo made several such strategic agreements including the acquisition of German biotech company, U3 Pharma, as well as an agreement for a new product and technology platform with Massachusettss-based ArQule. Continued economic pressures may actually facilitate other such merger and acquisition activity between biotech and pharmaceutical companies in 2009. We are likely to see some plan for universal healthcare coverage move forward in the near future -- and this is a good thing for patients, the industry, our country and the government. However, there is concern that the government would have a heavy hand in setting formularies and price controls, which could stifle research and development. A universal healthcare system that is based upon a single government payer model, ultimately puts prescribing rights in the hands of lawmakers, not physicians, limits patient choice and removes incentives for competition and innovation. Health care reform helps drug companies – expanded demand overwhelms any hit they would take Timothy P. Carney, 2-25-09, http://www.dcexaminer.com/politics/Insurers-drug-makers-poised-to-profit-from- Obama-health-plan_02_25-40257852.html La Merie, a ―business intelligence‖ publisher, wrote in a recent pharmaceutical industry report: ―Obama‘s new universal health-care program will increase demand for drugs, both branded and generic, reduce the need for free drug programs due to universal health-care coverage, and boost pediatric drug and vaccine programs.‖ Sounds like a good deal for drug makers. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 107 Olney Politics A2: Generics hurt innovation Current drug innovation is bad innovation – reform is necessary to direct it on useful tracks Ezra Klein, associate editor at The American Prospect, 1-5-09, http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?month=01&year=2009&base_name=pharmaceutical_innovat ion No one wants to be against "innovation." The word is practically a synonym for "awesome." And who wants to be anti-awesome? But the problem with our health care system is that far too little effort is expended making sure the innovation is good innovation. Take the case of Claritin, the wonder anti-allergy drug. In 2001, loratidine, Claritin's active ingredient, went off patent. Generic producers streamed into the market. Many more people could access Claritin, or at least the compounds that made Claritin powerful. Right on schedule, Schering, Claritin's producer, emerged with Clarinex. Now the active ingredient was desloratadine, and it was said to be effective, for longer. There was little evidence of that. But it was eligible for patent protection, and Schering spent billions of dollars convincing doctors to prescribe it, and so they made profits and health care became a bit more expensive. That was bad, or at least useless and costly, "innovation." On the other side, there's much good innovation. And there should be some status quo bias in favor of protecting a system that does produce important advances. The problem is, we actually do need to strike a balance. In health care, unlike in other industries, almost anything that is approved is prescribed and paid for. By all of us. bad innovation imposes public costs. Pharmaceutical companies are incredibly sophisticated at generating their own demand. So what to do? My preference, at least in the short-term, would be an alternative track for drug development based around prizes, not patents. This would not replace the current patent system, but compete with it. Nobel prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz advocates this idea ("The fundamental problem with the patent system is simple: it is based on restricting the use of knowledge"), and Senator Bernie Sanders has turned it into legislation. It could do much to ease the most perverse incentives of the private sector -- the need to induce demand and wall off research -- while preserving the incentives for innovation. It could be funded by the public sector but the decision makers -- those competing for the prize -- would remain private. It might not solve our problems, but it could help. It's worth trying. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 108 Olney Politics Obesity module 2NC Health care reform is key to solve obesity Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., Robert W. Woodruff Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Policy & Management, in the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, 2-25-09, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kenneth-thorpe/the-obama-budget-and-heal_b_169854.html Of the $2.2 trillion we pour into health care each year, a frightening 75 cents of every dollar goes towards treating patients with chronic illnesses. In Medicaid, this figure is an even more regrettable 83 cents of every dollar; in Medicare, it's an astounding 96 cents. Illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, that in many cases could have been prevented by changes in behavior or could be better managed through early detection and appropriate access to treatment, have risen dramatically over the past three decades, leaving Americans in much worse shape at earlier and earlier ages. The rise in obesity is at the root of this increase. With younger and younger Americans suffering from overweight and obesity, the outlook is grim for finding a solution to stem rising health costs short of helping Americans transform their unhealthy behaviors. The truth is, we can never expect to improve the affordability of health care until we face the dual crises of obesity and chronic disease. And, until we deal with cost, the chance of extending health care coverage to more Americans is grim. The good news is, President Obama has already achieved two important down payments for health care reform through recent allocations in the stimulus package: $19 billion for health information technology and $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research. Both signal a promising new approach to health care -- one that seeks not only to expand coverage but also to improve efficiency and health outcomes. In addition to the stimulus investments in health information technology and comparative effectiveness research, President Obama must realign health system incentives to prioritize prevention and chronic care management by creating new primary care models that are more accountable and better coordinate care between physicians, hospitals and other health providers. Obesity kills – it’s as bad as a pandemic or war Robert Lalasz, Senior Editor at Population Reference Bureau, May, 2005, http://www.prb.org/Articles/2005/WillRisingChildhoodObesityDecreaseUSLifeExpectancy.aspx?p=1] A new study contends that rising childhood obesity rates will cut average U.S. life expectancy from birth by two to five years in the coming decades—a magnitude of decline last seen in the United States during the Great Depression. The study, published in the March 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, contradicts recent government projections that U.S. life expectancy will reach at least the mid-80s by the year 2080.1 Such forecasts, write lead author S. Jay Olshansky and his nine co-authors, are a "simple but unrealistic extrapolation of past trends in life expectancy into the future." In turn, other demographers have characterized the Olshansky team's analysis as largely unsupported by evidence, and the article has spotlighted a long-standing debate about whether there are biological limits to an individual human lifespan—all amidst a recent flurry of contradictory research about how obesity effects morbidity and mortality rates. One new study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) even argues that being overweight has a positive effect on life expectancy.2 But Olshansky, a professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Illinois-Chicago, remains convinced by his team's conclusions. "If anything, we're being conservative in our estimates," he says. "We're assuming no change in obesity levels from 2000 levels, and actually, they've gotten worse." Obesity and the Future of Medicine Projecting life expectancy is more than an academic exercise. Many U.S. government agencies—including the Social Security Administration, Congress, and the military—use such forecasts to guide policymaking on issues from tax rates to the solvency of age-based entitlement programs. And almost all these projections assume that U.S. life expectancy will continue to rise as steadily as it has since the 1930s, spurred by new medical approaches and technology as well as behavioral shifts towards healthier lifestyles. But Olshansky and his co-authors question whether medicine and public health interventions can counter the rapid increases in U.S. obesity rates over the last two decades, especially among children. The incidence of obesity—which researchers have linked to an elevated risk of type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, cancer, and other health complications—rose approximately 50 percent in the United States in both the 1980s and 1990s. Two-thirds of all U.S. adults are now classified as overweight or obese, as are 20 percent to 30 percent of all children under age 15. And Olshansky argues that this rapid rise in obesity rates will cause a "pulse event" of mortality in the United States—akin to the large number of deaths caused by an influenza pandemic or a war, but spread out over the next four or five decades. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 109 Olney Politics Health care solves cancer Health care reform key to end cancer Steve McMorran, Associated Press, 1-19-09, http://blog.cleveland.com/health/2009/01/lance_armstrong_has_high_hopes.html The racing bicycle Armstrong will ride beginning Tuesday in the Tour Down Under bears the numbers 1,274 and 27.5, something the 37-year-old Texan hopes will bring to public attention the many millions who have died from the disease. "In the 1,274 days since I last rode competitively, approximately 27.5 million people have died from cancer around the world," Armstrong said. "A single organization cannot tackle this epidemic alone. It will truly take a global effort to conquer cancer. Starting today we're building a global movement and we're going to win." Armstrong was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1996 and almost died from the disease when it spread to his lungs and brain. At a news conference Sunday, Armstrong said that while Obama's sport of choice was basketball, not cycling, he hoped the incoming president would be receptive to his anticancer message and a champion of health-care reform. "I'm optimistic in this new administration. I'm optimistic because of" Obama, Armstrong said. "I think the best thing he can do is come in and reform our health-care system. And do I think he'll increase the funding? Yes, absolutely." Armstrong was reluctant to consider himself a Republican or Democrat. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 110 Olney Politics Health care key to solve AIDS The US health care system is failing- this enables the spread of AIDS Kuvin 2008 ( Sanford F. Kuvin, Monday, December 1, 2008 ―Our Country Is Failing the AIDS Test‖ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/30/AR2008113001691.html) All U.S. measures regarding HIV testing, treatment and tracing are voluntary -- a policy that has resulted in an increase in AIDS cases, many of which could have been prevented by simple public health initiatives. Blood testing should be mandatory once or twice a year when people visit a doctor's office or hospital. Testing already is mandatory in blood banks and the military, and it is a policy of many insurance companies. Other routine blood tests are done without patients' explicit permission when doctors deem it advisable; it should be the same with HIV. It might surprise many to learn that the paradigm of excellent AIDS control can be found in Cuba, which discovered this sexually transmitted disease -- long before it was named -- among its soldiers when they returned from Angola in the 1960s. Mandatory testing, tracing and treatment brought that nation the lowest AIDS rate in the Western world. To be clear: No Americans need to be quarantined for HIV/AIDS. But all citizens are entitled to the same public health protection under the law that is already afforded them against tuberculosis or bird flu. Until we have universal testing and mandatory reporting, tracing and treatment, the government is failing to fulfill its obligation to protect the public health interests of America's uninfected, regardless of race or ethnicity. The United States has the opportunity to prolong uncountable numbers of lives and protect millions of others. America should choose to lead - - and leave behind its ineffective public health policy Health care good – moral imperative We have to moral imperative to provide universal healthcare Shear and Vargas 2009 (Michael D. Shear and Jose Antonio Vargas, [Washington Post Staff Writers] Thursday, July 2, 2009 ―A Pitch on Health Care To Virginia And Beyond‖; http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070100950.html With the president's health-care ambitions meeting a cool reception on Capitol Hill, the administration is increasingly seeking to pressure lawmakers with evidence of the public's desire for action as well as proof that the health-care industry is a stakeholder in -- not an opponent of -- the effort. "The naysayers are already lining up," he said in remarks before taking questions. The challenge for opponents, he said, is: "What's your alternative? Is your alternative just to stand pat and watch more and more families lose their health care?" Obama made his pitch before an audience of about 200 people at Northern Virginia Community College's Annandale campus, including students, administrators, professors and local residents. But the real targets of the message were far beyond Annandale, and the White House is hoping to use social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to reach constituents across the country. "This is a moral imperative, and it is an economic imperative," he told the live and online audience as he waded through health-care financing statistics. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 111 Olney Politics ***OTHER IMPACTS Dartmouth Debate Workshop 112 Olney Politics Competitiveness module 2NC Health care reform is key to competitiveness and leadership James Roche, Associate with Liggio, Benrubi & Williams. LL.M., Insurance Law, St. Thomas Law Review, Summer, 2001, 13 St. Thomas L. Rev. 1013 Universal health care is not only critical for the dignity of the person but the most efficient way to allocate resources. Nations such as Germany, Canada, France and the Netherlands all provide universal health care coverage to all their citizens. These nations all provide quality health care to everyone, at a much lower cost, and experience better general health than United States citizens. The United States is the world's political and economic leader. However, as more Americans become uninsured, health [*1049] in the United States will continue to deteriorate. As the nation's health deteriorates, so does the country's productivity. The United States will quickly lose its leader status if its current wasteful, inefficient and outdated health care system continues to consume an increasing amount of its GDP while yielding little or no additional results. Competitiveness is key to heg Zalmay Khalilzad, RAND, The Washington Quarterly, Spring, 19 95 The United States is unlikely to preserve its military and technological dominance if the U.S. economy declines seriously. In such an environment, the domestic economic and political base for global leadership would diminish and the United States would probably incrementally withdraw from the world, become inward-looking, and abandon more and more of its external interests. As the United States weakened, others would try to fill the Vacuum. To sustain and improve its economic strength, the United States must maintain its technological lead in the economic realm. Its success will depend on the choices it makes. In the past, developments such as the agricultural and industrial revolutions produced fundamental changes positively affecting the relative position of those who were able to take advantage of them and negatively affecting those who did not. Some argue that the world may be at the beginning of another such transformation, which will shift the sources of wealth and the relative position of classes and nations. If the United States fails to recognize the change and adapt its institutions, its relative position will necessarily worsen. To remain the preponderant world power, U.S. economic strength must be enhanced by further improvements in productivity, thus increasing real per capita income; by strengthening education and training; and by generating and using superior science and technology. Global nuclear war Zalmay Khalilzad, RAND, Washington Quarterly, Spring, 1995 Under the third option, the United States would seek to retain global leadership and to preclude the rise of a global rival or a return to multipolarity for the indefinite future. On balance, this is the best long-term guiding principle and vision. Such a vision is desirable not as an end in itself, but because a world in which the United States exercises leadership would have tremendous advantages. First, the global environment would be more open and more receptive to American values -- democracy, free markets, and the rule of law. Second, such a world would have a better chance of dealing cooperatively with the world's major problems, such as nuclear proliferation, threats of regional hegemony by renegade states, and low-level conflicts. Finally, U.S. leadership would help preclude the rise of another hostile global rival, enabling the United States and the world to avoid another global cold or hot war and all the attendant dangers, including a global nuclear exchange. U.S. leadership would therefore be more conducive to global stability than a bipolar or a multipolar balance of power system. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 113 Olney Politics Health care key to competitiveness Health care costs kill US competitiveness James Kvaal, Senior Fellow at American Progress, December 9, 2008, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/12/health_imperative.html America‘s economy is buckling under a broken health care system. Year after year, health care costs grow faster than the rest of the economy, straining families, businesses, and government budgets. There are 46 million Americans without health insurance. Some patients receive excellent care, but we waste as much as $700 billion a year on tests and treatments that cannot be shown to improve health. Overhauling this health care system to cover everyone and reduce waste is an economic imperative for three reasons. First, high health care costs put many American businesses at a disadvantage to their foreign competitors and lead to lower wages and fewer jobs. A 20 percent increase in health insurance premiums would cost 3.5 million jobs and cut incomes by $1,700, according to one study. Health care costs kill US competitiveness James Kvaal, Senior Fellow at American Progress, December 9, 2008, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2008/12/health_imperative.html Rising health care costs put a particular burden on U.S. businesses, which have been the primary source of health coverage for nearly 75 years. Today, the majority of Americans—158 million people—receive health coverage from their job or a family member‘s job. Higher health insurance premiums translate directly into higher labor costs, forcing employers to cut back their workforces. A 20 percent increase in health insurance premiums would cost 3.5 million workers their jobs, lead a similar number of workers to move from full-time to part-time work, and cut average annual income by $1,700, according to research by Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra. Premiums are expected to increase by 20 percent in less than four years. Economists believe that over time higher premiums primarily translate into lower wages, particularly for the workers most likely to incur higher health care costs. Rising health care costs will drive up taxes and premiums, eating up 95 percent of the growth in per capita gross domestic product between 2005 and 2050. Older industries are particularly burdened by the cost of health coverage for their workers and retirees. American manufacturers are paying more than twice as much on health benefits as most of their foreign competitors (measured in cost per hour), according to the New America Foundation. Rising health care costs undermine business competitiveness New Hampshire Business Review, 7-3-2009, ―N.H.'s Changing Workforce: Growing health-care challenges may finally spur comprehensive reform‖ http://nhbr.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090703/PEOPLE/906309943/-1/NEWS05 An issue long endured by the nation‘s uninsured and under-insured, rising health-care costs and insurance premiums are now threatening the future of American businesses as many struggle to remain competitive in the global market. The cost of health care is expected to account for nearly 18 percent of the nation‘s gross domestic product in 2009. It‘s a number that, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, could surpass 20 percent by 2018 if changes aren‘t made. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 114 Olney Politics Health care permanent Democratic majority Health care reform is key to sustained Democratic political control David Sirota, fellow at the Campaign for America's Future, November 21, 2008, http://www.creators.com/opinion/david-sirota/tuning-out-the-braindead-megaphone.html Additionally, as with everything in Washington, a political motive is needed for action – and even conservatives acknowledge Democrats have such a motive when it comes to health care. Fifteen years ago, Republican strategist William Kristol warned that the Clinton administration's universal health care proposals represented "a serious political threat to the Republican Party" because, if passed, they "will revive the reputation" of Democrats as "the generous protector of middle-class interests." As we all remember, Democrats failed to capitalize on the health care opportunity. But Kristol's prophecy was correct then, as it is now. With huge Democratic majorities in Congress come 2009, only the Braindead Megaphone is in Obama's way. Health care reform is key to long-term support for Dems Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at Cato, November 13, 2008, http://www.cato-at- liberty.org/2008/11/13/blocking-obamas-health-plan-is-key-to-the-gops-survival/ Why? Norman Markowitz, a contributing editor at PoliticalAffairs.net (motto: ―Marxist Thought Online‖), makes an interesting point about how making citizens dependent on the government for their medical care can change the fates of political parties: A ―single payer‖ national health system – known as ―socialized medicine‖ in the rest of the developed world – should be an essential part of the change that the core constituencies which elected Obama desperately need. Britain serves as an important political lesson for strategists. After the Labor Party established the National Health Service after World War II, supposedly conservative workers and low-income people under religious and other influences who tended to support the Conservatives were much more likely to vote for the Labor Party… I‘m no student of British history, but that sounds about right. Markowitz continues: The best way to win over the the portion of the working class in the South or the West that supported McCain and the Republicans is to create important new public programs and improve the social safety net. National health care [and other measures] will bring reluctant voters into the Obama coalition. That is how progress works. Republicans might want to take note. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 115 Olney Politics Health care whole agenda Healthcare victory key to agenda Edward Luce, Financial Times, 7/1/2009 (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/28542258-667c-11de-a034- 00144feabdc0.html //ZE) Critics and supporters see Mr Obama‘s attempts to push his flagship healthcare reform through Congress this month as a critical test of the president‘s pledge to take on Washington‘s most powerful lobby groups. Addressing a town hall meeting in Virginia on Wednesday, Mr Obama warned that ―the hardest part is yet to come – because that‘s the part when the nay-sayers and cynics use every excuse and scare tactic in the book to stop reform from happening. And it‘s already happening as we speak‖. Democratic doubters have watched Mr Obama make what they see as excessive compromises, particularly over his plans to reregulate Wall Street and accept a cap-and-trade bill on the environment that they say has too many special interest provisions. In their eyes, Mr Obama would redeem himself if he could pull off a robust healthcare reform bill. But disillusion would spread if Mr Obama accepted a bill that resembled the horse-trading it took to pass cap-and-trade in the House of Representatives. The confirmation this week of Al Franken‘s election as a Minnesota senator has given the Democrats an edge in this forthcoming legislative battle. Legions of Obama supporters, at least 2m of whom volunteered for his campaign because of his promises to change the way business was done in Washington, will be looking to see if the president has the appetite for political street fighting. ―President Obama was elected to make Washington work in the national, not the special, interest,‖ says Simon Rosenberg, head of NDN, a prominent liberal advocacy group. ―The greatest threat to his personal brand would be the sense that rather than taming Washington, it had tamed him – that rather than the visionary leadership he promised, he was just another politician.‖ How and when Mr Obama intervenes to shape the passage of healthcare will reveal a great deal about how he plans to conduct his presidency on a range of other issues. ―We are entering the post-declarative and post-positioning stage of the Obama presidency,‖ says David Rothkopf, a former Clinton administration official. ―How he handles healthcare in practice will be a defining moment.‖ White House officials say they want to enact all of their priorities in 2009 – including cap-and-trade, financial sector reform and healthcare. From next January, electoral calculations in advance of the mid-term congressional elections in November 2010 are likely to dictate caution. If Mr Obama can pass a healthcare bill that most Americans believe will improve their lives and contain costs, he could help deliver a Democratic victory next year that would be followed by reforms in 2011 spanning immigration, new energy initiatives and structural changes to the US economy. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 116 Olney Politics ***AFF ANSWERS Dartmouth Debate Workshop 117 Olney Politics No health care – general Healthcare won’t pass – multiple warrants David Drucker, Roll Call Staff, 7/6/2009 (―Senate‘s Health Timeline May Slip.‖ Lexis. //ZE) Senate Democratic leaders' hopes of approving health care reform before adjourning for the August recess appear all but dead, with the prospect of meeting President Barack Obama's demand for a bill on his desk by Oct. 15 looking increasingly difficult. Logistical hurdles in the Senate, while significant, are only part of the problem. A major political battle looms over the key components of health care reform - particularly over the role of the federal government - that could stall Democrats even after they gained a filibuster-proof majority with the addition of Sen.- elect Al Franken (D-Minn.). Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), managing the health care bill in the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, signaled late last week that Democratic leaders do not expect a bill to clear the Senate in the next five weeks. Rather, Dodd indicated, the goal is to complete the tricky merger of the HELP and Finance Committee bills, with the floor fracas over a final bill put off until after Labor Day. "One step at a time," Dodd said Thursday during a conference call with reporters. "This is a long process." Senate Democratic leaders' official timeline still calls for a bill to clear the chamber by Aug. 7, according to a senior Democratic aide. Dodd has stepped in to run HELP in the absence of Chairman Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), who is battling brain cancer. HELP began marking up its bill in mid-June, and Dodd hopes to finish by late this week or early next week. The Finance Committee has yet to put out a mark on its bill, which is still being negotiated. The pending merger of the Finance and HELP bills could be tricky. Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is attempting to draft a bill that costs less than $1 trillion, is deficit neutral and can garner significant bipartisan support. The HELP bill has been drafted to satisfy liberal reform goals, including a robust government-run insurance option Republicans will never accept. HELP announced last week that its legislation would cost approximately $611 billion over 10 years. But that is not a deficit-neutral figure, and the score did not include the cost of expanding Medicare, projected by some to be worth another $400 billion in additional spending. Meanwhile, political difficulties abound in Obama's push to overhaul the nation's $2.3 trillion health care system this year. Congressional Republicans and other opponents of Obama's health care agenda are sure to use next month's recess to sow doubts about the legislation, particularly the cost of reform and the so-called public option for health insurance. Even Democratic allies such as organized labor might go on the offensive in August, either to push for a more robust government-run insurance option, or to discourage Obama and Congress from taxing health care benefits to help finance reform, a proposal that remains under serious consideration. In fact, both conservative and liberal advocacy groups actively opposed Senate Democrats during the Fourth of July recess. "The longer something's laying out there, it's a target," said one downtown operative monitoring the health care debate. "It's a target for all of the vulnerable folks who are going to have to make a tough call on it." However, an insurance industry insider speculated that the August recess could allow policy experts to examine the legislation and recommend changes that strengthen the bill in advance of a presumed fall floor debate. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 118 Olney Politics No health care – cost Healthcare won’t pass - cost Ezra Klein, Contributor, Washington Post ,6/18/2009 (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra- klein/2009/06/health_care_reform_in_danger.html//ZE) Health reform is, I think it fair to say, in danger right now. The news out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee was bad. The Congressional Budget Office had scored a partial bill and the result was a total fiasco. But the news out of the Finance Committee is much, much worse. Put simply, the Finance Committee wanted its bill to cost $1 trillion over 10 years. The CBO returned an early estimate to the panel on Tuesday night: $1.6 trillion over 10 years. The specifics of the estimate have not been made public. But the final number changed everything. Max Baucus, the chairman of the committee, pushed markup back behind the July 4th recess. He has promised to get the bill below $1 trillion over 10 years. That's very dangerous. It is, for one thing, an arbitrary target. Why $1 trillion? Why not $1.3 trillion or, for that matter, $700 billion? And it's an arbitrary financing target. It's not $1 trillion with coverage expanded to 40 million people. Just $1 trillion. There are two ways to make a $1.6 trillion bill a $1 trillion bill. The first is to do less reform. The second is to do more reform. That sounds confusing. But it shouldn't be: In health care, the less you change, the more it costs. Right now, I'm told Finance is going down the road of less reform. They're cutting the subsidies, cutting the generosity of the basic benefit package and cutting the number of people who will ultimately be insured by their proposal. This reflects a simple reality: If you're going to try to leave the central features of the health-care system untouched, you can't get to universal coverage, or even anywhere near it, on $100 billion a year. But there's another path. This CBO estimate could be the first step towards making health reform better rather than worse. Rather than capping the employer tax exclusion, the Finance Committee could end it entirely and convert it, as Ron Wyden does, to a progressive standard deduction. Wyden's plan, incidentally, was scored by CBO as being revenue neutral in two years and revenue positive in four. Rather than protecting the private insurance system, the Finance Committee could include a public plan with the ability to bargain to Medicare rates, thus saving, according to the Commonwealth Fund, 20 percent to 30 percent against traditional private insurance. Ezekiel Emmanuel, brother to Rahm and health-care adviser to Peter Orszag, has a proposal for a universal voucher system funded by a value-added tax. All these ideas would make health reform better, cheaper, and more sustainable. None of them, so far as I know, are under serious consideration. But health reform has just gotten harder. The hope that we could expand the current system while holding costs down appears to have been just that: a hope. And CBO doesn't score hopes. It only scores plans. The question now becomes whether we want health-care reform that achieves less of what we say the system needs, or more. Doing less would be cruel to those who have laid their hopes upon health reform. But doing more will be very, very hard. Healthcare won’t pass – high costs NYT, 6/26/2009 (New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/26/business/26cost.html?em=&pagewanted=print //ZE) WASHINGTON — It has become the trillion-dollar question: can President Obama find that much in spending cuts and tax increases to keep his campaign promise to overhaul the health care system, without adding to already huge deficits? Mr. Obama and the Democrats running Congress are deeply split over the possibilities. House and Senate leaders do not like his ideas but cannot agree on alternatives. Other proposals that could reduce health care spending would take too long to show savings for purposes of Congress‘s budget scorekeeping, and many would require big investments initially, such as for research into cost-effective treatments. Meanwhile, special interests like insurance companies, employers and even sugar beet and corn growers are on alert to oppose anything that could hurt them. Adding to the pressure, Republicans are back to attacking Democrats as tax-and-spenders. Yet they have not proposed how to pay for their own, more modest health care proposals. Nor did they offset the cost of creating the Medicare prescription drug benefit six years ago when they controlled Congress and held the White House. Its projected deficits exceed the shortfall for all of Social Security over the next 75 years, according to the program‘s 2009 trustees report. For some time, lawmakers and lobbyists privately assumed Mr. Obama would not hold the fiscal line for a deficit-neutral bill. Instead, he has reinforced it. Legislation ―must and will be paid for,‖ he said in a news conference on Tuesday. Worries about the economy hardened Mr. Obama‘s resolve, administration officials say. ―There‘s a concern that if Congress were to pass a big health care bill that was heavily deficit-financed, financial markets could react negatively, with higher interest rates that could deepen the recession,‖ said Robert Greenstein, the executive director of the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which supports the administration‘s goal of a deficit-neutral health care overhaul. Even so, each idea to cut spending or raise taxes has political pitfalls. A review of the options — and how dug in the opponents are — shows just how hard it will be for Mr. Obama to reshape the health system. Here are snapshots of major proposals: Dartmouth Debate Workshop 119 Olney Politics No health care – Dems Healthcare won’t pass – Democratic infighting Ceci Connolly, Staff Writer, Washington Post, 6/28/2009 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/article/2009/06/27/AR2009062702232_pf.html//ZE) In the high-stakes battle over health care, a growing cadre of liberal activists is aiming its sharpest firepower against Democratic senators who they accuse of being insufficiently committed to the cause. The attacks -- ranging from tart news releases to full-fledged advertising campaigns -- have elicited rebuttals from lawmakers and sparked a debate inside the party over the best strategy for achieving President Obama's top priority of a comprehensive health-system overhaul. The rising tensions between Democratic legislators and constituencies that would typically be their natural allies underscore the high hurdles for Obama as he tries to hold together a diverse, fragile coalition. Activists say they are simply pressing for quick delivery of "true health reform," but the intraparty rift runs the risk of alienating centrist Democrats who will be needed to pass a bill. In recent days -- and during this week's congressional recess -- left-leaning bloggers and grass-roots organizations such as MoveOn.org, Health Care for America Now and the Service Employees International Union have singled out Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) for the criticism more often reserved for opposition party members. "Will Mary Landrieu sell out Louisiana for $1.6 million?" says one Internet ad that suggests a link between contributions she has received from the medical industry and her reluctance to back the creation of a government-sponsored insurance option. In many instances, the ad buys are relatively small. But Obama demonstrated the political power of Internet-based grass-roots activity in the presidential campaign. Still, as health care moves from electoral rallying cry to the tedious work of legislating, Obama finds himself caught between his campaign foot soldiers and the elected politicians who will vote. Healthcare won’t pass – centrist Democrats Mike Soraghan, Staff Writer, The Hill, 6/17/2009 (http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/centrist-dems-make- voices-heard-on-healthcare-2009-06-17.html//ZE) The House's two most conservative caucuses, the Blue Dogs and New Democrats, are banding together to come up with shared principles on healthcare and counter a process many see skewing to the left. The two groups, which combined have 131 members — more than half the House Democratic Caucus — have been holding meetings to see where they can agree on a healthcare plan. "We're looking at things like what the structure of a public plan would look like," said Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.). Democratic leaders have taken note. Kind said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called a meeting with New Democrats and Blue Dogs in her office Wednesday to discuss healthcare. The results of that meeting were not known at press time. There is concern among centrists in the caucus that the draft bill, to be released Friday, will reflect some of the more liberal ideas in the caucus, although leadership has already rejected the idea of a single-payer system. It is being put together by the House Education and Labor, Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees. "You have a bunch of crazy liberal chairs and their crazy liberal staffers, and they want to lay down a marker," said a senior Democratic aide. The two caucuses have already put out separate written principles on healthcare that are similar, expressing reservations about a public option and opposing a "Medicare-like" system. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 120 Olney Politics No health care – A2: reconciliation Reconciliation won't help pass Health care reform ( Morton Kondracke, Sunday, July 5, 2009, ―Reconciliation‘ to pass health bill won‘t work‖; http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090705/OPINION04/907059976/-1/opinion) Liberal health-reform advocates have talked about ramming a reform plan – including a Medicare-like public insurance option – through the Senate with only 51 Democratic votes. But a leading Senate player says it won‘t work. If an attempt is made to pass health reform under ―reconciliation‖ rules – requiring just a simple majority vote – Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad, D- N.D., told me the bill would be so pared down ―you‘d be left with Swiss cheese.‖ Conrad also serves on the Senate Finance Committee, which will mark up its version of health-care reform this month. Reconciliation rules, he said, require that a bill be scored as deficit-reducing over six years and that any substantive policy change in it also have a fiscal purpose. The result, said Conrad, is that ―you‘d be left with a dramatically reduced package‖ that would fall short of comprehensive health reform. ―You would have a very hard time expanding coverage to the 46 million who don‘t have it,‖ he said, and the ―Byrd Rule‖ – requiring fiscal germaneness – could strip the bill of many of its policy provisions. So, Conrad said, ―health reform needs to be passed on a 60-vote basis, and that means it needs to be bipartisan.‖And that, he said, all but certainly rules out including a government-run ―public plan‖ like Medicare designed to ―compete with‖ – or replace – private insurance companies. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 121 Olney Politics No health care – A2: Franken Franken makes Dems more complacent and less willing to compromise CSM, Christian Science Monitor, 7-1-09 The swearing-in next week of Sen.-elect Al Franken (D) of Minnesota, who won his eight-month recount battle on Tuesday, gives Obama another crucial vote heading into crunch time. But the challenge remains steep, and in fact, the danger is that the Democrats may feel less inclined to compromise now that, on paper, they have a 60-vote supermajority in the Senate. On healthcare reform, which Obama highlighted Wednesday at a town-hall meeting in Annandale, Va., the next month might reveal whether Obama and Senate Democrats can converge on a plan. Obama has said he prefers a reform that includes an option for a government-run health-insurance plan that would compete with private insurers. But some Democratic senators, fearful that a ―public option‖ would drive the private insurers out of business, prefer the idea of nonprofit insurance cooperatives, which would be owned and operated by their members. Franken isn’t key – Byrd’s health problems mean Dems don’t have 60 MSNBC, First Read, 7-1-09, http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/07/01/1983751.aspx Indeed, had Franken been in the Senate then, you could have probably added some $30-$50 billion to the size of the $787 billion stimulus; that was the cost of getting one more GOP vote, Susan Collins. But Democrats jumping for joy right now might want to temper their enthusiasm a bit. For one thing, conservative/moderate Democrats haven‘t always been easy votes to get. In fact, in the health-care debate, Dem senators like Max Baucus and Kent Conrad have been cool towards a public/government insurance option. Second, given the health problems of reliable Democratic votes like Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, it will be a challenge for Democrats to make sure they have 60 votes at a particular time. Yesterday's Franken news ironically coincided with Byrd‘s release from the hospital, and it‘s been more than a year since all 100 senators voted on a bill. So forget Harry Reid; getting to 60 is the hands of medical professionals, not political ones. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 122 Olney Politics No health care – lobbies No healthcare – industry lobbying Paul Harris, The New York Observer, 6/28/2009 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/28/barack-obama- healthcare-plan //ZE) But the biggest risk to Obama's plans comes from the enormous power of the healthcare lobby, made up of health insurance companies and the drug industry. Billions of dollars in profit are potentially at risk for these companies, and they have poured enormous efforts over the years into creating a well-oiled lobbying machine that is honed to derail any serious attempts at reform. It comes in the guise of "front groups" whose adverts will fill the airwaves and in campaign donations to Republican and Democratic politicians alike, seeking to buy loyalty. During 2008 alone, the healthcare sector gave $90m to Democratic politicians and $76m to Republicans. Those sums are hard to fight and the industry has specifically targeted so-called "blue dog" moderate Democrats, aiming to peel off support in Obama's own party. "The healthcare lobby is everywhere and it is very powerful," said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of a lobbying watchdog group, the Centre for Responsive Politics. It has also won before. During Clinton's reform effort, it aired the "Harry and Louise" television ads that featured a white middle-class couple talking about their fears of government bureaucracy. It was devastatingly effective in sabotaging support for Clinton's plan. Already a new campaign has begun to derail or chop away at Obama's ambitions. The words "socialised medicine" are all over conservative radio and Fox News, using the simple tactic of a word that sounds like "socialism" to scare ordinary people. Conservative pundits are warning people that government interference will drive up costs, ignoring the fact that this is what is causing the problems under the free market. They also claim that government bureaucrats will get between people and their doctors, forgetting that 46 million people currently don't even have coverage for a doctor. But such is the bizarre world of the current system. "It is a business. It is all about money," said Jackson. For Obama, the political price of failure could be very high. Clinton's healthcare fiasco did not destroy his presidency, but it fundamentally changed it. It cowed Clinton from attempting any radical reforms in the future. With Obama, the same could be true. If his healthcare plan collapses, he will be a president defeated on the central plank of his entire domestic agenda. His star will be considerably dimmed and suddenly tarred with the brush of failure - just in time for 2010's mid-term elections. It could be enough to spark an unlikely Republican resurgence. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 123 Olney Politics No health care – both sides Both Republicans and Democrats are skeptical of Obama’s health care plan. Holly Bailey, July 01, 2009, ―Can Obama Sell Health Care Reform Without Getting Too Specific?‖ [http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/thegaggle/archive/2009/07/01/can-obama-sell-health-care-reform-without-getting- too-specific.aspx] President Obama heads to the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., today to hold a health care town hall. It‘s the second time in a week that Obama has taken questions from the public on reform efforts. Last Wednesday, Obama participated in an ABC News forum on the topic at the White House. Today, Obama will take questions from a live audience, as well as those submitted via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. It‘s all a part of Obama‘s efforts to use his own political popularity to get health care reform through Congress. This marks a bit of a strategy change for the White House. Initially, Obama tried to take a hands-off approach to the legislation, allowing Congress to take the lead. The plan seemed based on not repeating the mistakes of the Clinton White House which saw its reform efforts go down the tubes in 1993 when it took a heavy- handed approach to the bill, as opposed to letting lawmakers run the show. But Obama is far more popular than Bill Clinton was, and Democrats want the president to share some of their political burden on what will no doubt be a tricky debate. But is Obama doing enough? Not unlike George W. Bush when he tried to use his own political capital to sell the equally tricky task of reforming Social Security four years ago, Obama is trying to have it both ways. He wants to bank on his enormous popularity to influence the public to pressure Congress to get something done this year, but he also wants to stay above the fray. Obama doesn‘t want to get too specific about what he wants and doesn‘t want in a bill because he knows what ultimately emerges from Congress will be a test of compromise. Case in point: Obama said repeatedly during the campaign that he‘d like to set up a publicly-run health care system to compete with private insurers in hopes of bringing costs down. Obama hasn‘t backed down from his wish, but he refuses to say if it‘s a deal breaker. Asked repeatedly at a news conference last week whether he‘d veto a bill without a public plan, Obama dodged the question. One reason: It‘s not just Republicans who are skeptical about a public plan. Many Democrats are worried about the cost, amid the backdrop of an ever- increasing budget deficit. The public is skeptical too. According to a new CNN poll, 51 percent of those surveyed support Obama‘s plan—a slight majority—while a majority of those polled, 54 percent, worry that health care costs will go up under a public plan. That latter number is bound to make the White House nervous because it‘s the exact opposite of what Obama has been arguing. He says competition would force private insurers to cut costs and will, in the end, save everybody money. It‘s a guarantee that a question along those lines will come up at today‘s health care town hall. But how specific will Obama be? Here‘s the White House‘s dilemma: Can the president go out and try to sell the public on health care reform without getting involved in the intricate details of what the legislation will ultimately be? That‘s what Obama is trying to do—and will keep doing as long as he can. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 124 Olney Politics Obama won’t push health care Obama de-prioritizing healthcare – address proves Jeff Zeleny, New York Times, 6/28/2009 (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/28/us/politics/28radio.html?_r=1&ref=global-home&pagewanted=print //ZE) WASHINGTON — In his weekly address on Saturday, President Obama was planning to talk about the urgent need for Congress to begin coalescing around health care legislation, saying, ―If we don‘t act, things will get worse.‖ But the urgency for health care suddenly turned out to be not so urgent after all. Shortly after 8 p.m. Friday, the White House retracted the planned radio and Internet address on health care. It was replaced by a political message from Mr. Obama, who trumpeted the narrow House passage of an energy bill on Friday night. ―We cannot be afraid of the future, and we must not be prisoners of the past,‖ Mr. Obama said in the new address. ―Don‘t believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth. It‘s just not true.‖ The episode of the retracted address was highly unusual, but it also shed some light into how the weekly message comes together. The Obama administration has tried to use the address more than previous administrations to drive the news and to apply pressure to Congress to get behind White House initiatives. Mr. Obama is also the first president to deliver the address on video, which is posted on You Tube. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 125 Olney Politics Capital NU – Sotomayor The Sotomayor confirmation will distract from the agenda CSM, Christian Science Monitor, 7-1-09 Another important element will be the Senate Judiciary Committee‘s confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, slated to begin July 13. With such a large Democratic majority in place, she appears headed for confirmation. But nothing is certain going in, and if fireworks break out, that would distract from Obama‘s legislative priorities. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 126 Olney Politics No capital Political capital low Ryan Witt, St. Louis Political Buzz Examiner, 6/30/2009 (http://www.examiner.com/x-5738-St-Louis-Political- Buzz-Examiner~y2009m6d30-Obama-vows-support-but-gay-and-lesbian-groups-will-likely-have-to-wait-for- change //ZE) In the same way, Obama seems to have judged that helping gay right groups will come at a cost. He already is facing tough opposition to major legislation on climate change and health care. Some commentators say the health care legislation is already dead and the climate change legislation barely passed through the House. It is doubtful President Obama will have enough political capital to push climate change through the Senate and still be able to push gay rights legislation through as well. In addition, if President Obama forces a vote on gay rights he will put many of the Congressman he needs in a difficult political position. In battleground states like Missouri, Virginia, Ohio, and Colorado a democratic representative would be in a no-win position should a vote on gay rights legislation come forward. If they vote no they will lose much of their democratic base who would be angry they abandoned the cause. If they vote yes they will provide a great issue for their republican counterpart to use against them in the general election. In addition if President Obama makes the issue one of his leading causes he risks losing key battleground states like Colorado in the 2012 election. Political capital low John Carney, J.D. from U Penn, 6/15/2009 (http://www.businessinsider.com/is-obama-already-a-lame-duck- 2009-6 //ZE) Felix Salmon points out that despite Obama‘s party running both houses of Congress, the president seems to be scaling back his agenda to please lawmakers. Democrats have stymied ambitious climate legislation. They‘ve had a strong hand in undermining any far-reaching attempts to remake the financial regulatory structure. They‘ve been mucking about in the auto-bailouts. And even Obama‘s healthcare proposals may be in the process of being pared back. Felix thinks all this is a bit mysterious: How did Obama manage to spend all his political capital so quickly? Did it all go on the stimulus bill? Wasn‘t the whole point of bringing Rahm in as chief of staff that he could work constructively with Congress to pass an ambitious agenda? And isn‘t Obama himself the first president since JFK to have entered the White House from the Senate? I‘m not sure when everything went wrong here, but I fear that the damage is now irreparable — and that Obama‘s agenda is going to be severely scaled back as a result. Our explanation is rather simple: Obama‘s agenda was ambushed by the financial crisis, which forced him to spend the crucial early months of his presidency in pursuit of economic recovery and financial stability. It‘s not a matter of spending political capital quickly so much as spending time-expiring political capital on the financial crisis. Basically, presidents only have a limited amount of time to get anything ambitious accomplished. And Obama‘s time may have already run out. Political capital low Tom Baldwin, Staff Writer, Times Online UK, 6/23/2009 (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6557276.ece //ZE) President Obama is trying to halt a slow descent of his once sky-high political fortunes amid signs that Congress may balk at the price of health care reforms and voters want more him to focus more on cutting federal deficits. Today he will hold a Rose Garden press conference at the White House where warning lights have flashed in recent days over polls that indicate his long honeymoon with the American public could be nearing its end. By any measure Mr Obama remains hugely popular, but his approval ratings have slipped over the past three months from the mid-60s to an average of 58.7 per cent. A survey by Rasmussen yesterday found just 54 per cent of voters say he is doing a good job, the lowest proportion since his inauguration. Although other polling organisations suggest he is doing better than that, they also show a sharp drop in support among independent voters and growing doubts about the Administration‘s high-spending policies. Peter Hart, a pollster who conducted a Wall St Journal/NBC survey this month, said Mr Obama is still receiving a bouquet from Americans ―but there are a lot more thorns in [it]‖. A CBS /New York Times Poll last week found that by 52 per cent to 41 per cent, voters would prefer him to reduce ballooning trillion-dollar annual federal deficits rather than spending to stimulate the economy. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 127 Olney Politics No capital Obama’s political capital is down- healthcare, Iran election, economy U.S. News, 7/1/2009, ―Strategists worry Obama‘s popularity is dropping‖ http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/obama/2009/07/01/strategists-worry-obamas-popularity-is-dropping.html President Obama is heading into stormy waters. His healthcare plans have stalled on Capitol Hill; he is being faulted for a shaky response to the post-election violence in Iran; his job-approval ratings are dropping; and confidence in his handling of the economy is ebbing. The warning signs are enough to worry Democratic strategists that Obama may be sinking into a trough that will sap his influence just when he needs it most. Until now, President Obama has enjoyed a honeymoon with the country and the media (although not with opposition Republicans). This was because the supremely articulate, charismatic Obama presented such a contrast to George W. Bush, who remains unpopular. In addition, voters wanted action from their president in tough times, according to Democratic pollster Geoff Garin, and Obama delivered. In fact, he has moved the federal government into a more activist role than it has had under any other president in years, bailing out the financial industry, taking over much of the U.S. auto industry, injecting vast sums of money into the economy, and proposing huge changes in healthcare, energy policy, and other areas of national life. Finally, Obama is very appealing as an individual, which initially boosted his ratings. But the ground may be shifting. Over the past couple of weeks, Obama has endured a surge of bad news, reversing his momentum. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that one of the major Democratic healthcare proposals being circulated in the Senate would cost an astounding $1 trillion; the estimate for another plan was even larger—$1.6 trillion. This sent legislators scurrying to reduce the price tags, which will in turn cause delays in considering the massive bills this summer and could jeopardize passage in the fall. Another setback came when two powerful insurers' associations announced their opposition to an Obama- backed government health plan that would be in competition with private, employer-sponsored plans. In a letter to senators released this week, America's Health insurance Plans and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association wrote, "Regardless of how it is initially structured, a government plan would use its built-in advantages to take over the health insurance market." But Obama told a news conference Tuesday, "The public [government] plan, I think, is an important tool to discipline insurance companies." Dartmouth Debate Workshop 128 Olney Politics Obama pushing DADT removal Obama administration pushing temporary repeal of DADT US News, 7/2/2009, ―Washington News: Pentagon Looking For "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Loopholes‖ http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/bulletin/bulletin_090702.htm CNN's The Situation Room reported the Obama Administration "is actively looking for loopholes in" the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, "ways that they could allow some openly gay troops to still serve, without actually repealing" the legislation. Defense Secretary Robert Gates "for the first time" is "looking at ways to selectively enforce the ban on openly gay troops." The Washington Times reports, "The Pentagon signaled it was aiming for a temporary fix to 'don't ask, don't tell' before President Obama fulfills his promise to repeal the policy, as an Arabic translator was dismissed from the Army Wednesday for being openly gay." The Los Angeles Times reports, "The congressional effort to reverse the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on gays and lesbians in the military has landed on the desk of Rep. Patrick J. Murphy (D-Pa.), an Iraq war veteran and Bronze Star recipient who Democrats hope will give the legislation new momentum in the House." The Times adds that "public opinion appears to side with changing the policy. A Gallup poll in May found that 69% of Americans favored allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military. About a quarter of respondents -- 26% -- were opposed." Dartmouth Debate Workshop 129 Olney Politics Health care reform increases costs Obama’s health care reform will increase spending and fail to cut costs Fred Hiatt, Washington Post, 7-6-09 Obama's response has been to acknowledge the seriousness of the problem -- and make it worse. I'm not talking about his record-breaking stimulus plan, which was essential (if not ideally shaped) given the recession he also inherited. Rather, it is Obama's long-term budget that would more than double the projected deficit over the next 10 years, to $9 trillion, by extending most of the Bush tax cuts and limiting the alternative minimum tax while creating new programs and entitlements (to college tuition scholarships, for example) and refusing to cut back on existing ones. And that's not to mention his top priority, universal access to health care. Obama has said that reform must be paid for, and he hopes it will lead to a slowing in the growth of health-care costs. That would hugely improve the long-term budget outlook. But the prospects of cost control are tenuous, experimental, distant and politically fraught; by comparison, creating an expensive new entitlement is easy. Obama has proposed to pay for part of universal access by collecting more income tax from the wealthy, which would make the existing deficit that much harder to close. The cost of the entitlement could rise more quickly than the revenue paying for it. There is a good chance, in other words, that whatever emerges from Congress this summer will worsen the budget prognosis. Health care reform would actually increase costs Kaiser Health News, 6-30-2009, “Obama's challenge: Selling health reform to the middle class” http://www.philly.com/philly/business/personal_finance/063009_selling_healthcare.html In the current deep recession, these potential benefits are attractive to millions of people, polls show. But many Americans remain doubtful they'll personally benefit from the changes. Some worry that the huge cost of guaranteeing insurance for everyone - the 10-year cost of reform legislation might be $1 trillion or more - will come out of their wallets or harm their coverage. Nina Hogan, a self-employed Realtor in Mason, Ohio, is one of those who potentially could be helped by the Democrats' proposals. At age 56, she considers herself to be relatively healthy. But an intestinal disorder and a mild case of asthma resulted in a stiff $5,000-a-year premium, a $2,500 annual deductible and annual premium increases in the neighborhood of 13 to 14 percent - all for an individual policy that she doesn't think is very good. Hogan is among an estimated 25 million Americans whose policies aren't comprehensive or require substantial deductibles and co-payments. These so-called underinsured people include workers whose employers have cut back on benefits, and others who buy skimpier individual policies to save money. Yet Hogan is skeptical of proposed plans because of the high cost, and she questions how quickly new legislation would produce results directly helping her. "There are all these great suggestions, but is it realistic and will it happen in a year? No." Many experts, including economists at the Congressional Budget Office, caution that the cost-saving fruits of an overhaul might be a decade or more away. There's also concern that Obama's proposal to cut more than $600 billion from Medicare and Medicaid spending over 10 years might help drive up private insurance rates. Under this scenario, hospitals and doctors absorbing cuts in these programs might charge individuals with private coverage more for their health care. Meanwhile, critics are trying to rip holes in the Democrats' plans and rhetoric. "I think (Obama's) using all the buzz words he thinks people want to hear," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, a member of the Finance Committee. "But they don't necessarily string together in any kind of coherent fashion, nor is there any real evidence to support his conclusion that somehow this proposal is going to ultimately bend the cost curve on health care." Many Americans may balk at the idea of taxing the value of individuals' employer-provided health care benefits, something the Finance Committee is strongly considering. About one in eight U.S. workers who receive health benefits through their jobs - more than 9 million workers - could end up paying higher income taxes on those benefits, according to a five-page finance committee document. "There's no question somebody's taxes will go up," said Nichols of the New America Foundation. "The question for the middle class is whether the net increased security, increased quality, lower administrative loads are worth the higher tax bill for some that will come. And in many ways that is the crux of the debate we're about to have." Dartmouth Debate Workshop 130 Olney Politics Health care reform increases costs Health care reform will add billions of dollars to cost- won’t help economy The Madison Eagle, 7-3-2009, ―Each Obama policy is bad, but in sum, they‘ll be ruinous‖ http://www.recordernewspapers.com/articles/2009/07/03/madison_eagle/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/doc4a4bcbbf 4d905390525910.txt But my favorite, that is to say the most frightening, is the proposed health care ―reform‖ that will cost $1.6 trillion over the next 10 years. That cost is just a government projection, so you can assume it will be considerably greater. Quite a sum to solve a problem that doesn‘t exist. Doesn‘t exist because the vast majority of Americans are satisfied with their health care/insurance. People are not dying in the streets because they are denied health care. We do not have to wait months for procedures to relieve suffering ailments or to get tests that may save our lives. Funny, those things do seem to happen in places where government runs health care, like the U.K. or Canada. Oh, but you say, this ―reform‖ will insure all those 47 million people in this country who are currently uninsured. Well, not really. Even by the Administration‘s own admission it will probably only insure one-third of these. And the 47 million number is off-point to begin with. According to experts, there are 10 million people in this country whose household incomes are greater than $75,000 who chose not to pay for health insurance. Another 10 million in that 47 million number are not citizens, and another 15 million are eligible for health coverage under Medicare, Medicaid, the State Children‘s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), veterans‘ benefits and other programs and for whatever reason do not participate. Health care costs are rising in this country but consider these four causes for that: (1.) We are an aging population; (2.) We have more and better technology to tell us what ails us; (3.) We have and better pharmaceuticals and procedures to cure what ails us, and (4.) We have what can only be described as a runaway tort system that adds tens of billions of dollars a year to medical costs. In other words, we get what we‘re paying for. The Administration‘s proposed ―reforms‖ will do nothing about the first and fourth, but will almost certainly stifle any further progress on 2 and 3. Obama looks at us with a straight face and says his plan will cut costs because it will be more efficient; he says ―we can set a public option where they‘re collecting premiums just like any private insurer and doctors can collect rates;‖ but because the public plan will have lower administrative costs ―we can keep them - private insurance companies - honest.‖ Lower administrative cost? Is there anyone who actually believes that? If he‘s right, it will be the first government-run social program anywhere in the history of the world that will be more efficient than a similar private sector activity. If this plan is going to play by the same rules as private insurance companies, as the Administration insists it will, then why is it needed? There are, I‘m told, some 1,300 insurance companies offering medical insurance in this country, but the government can do it better? Come on. In this monstrous ―reform‖ plan, there is no mention of either tort reform or eliminating government health coverage mandates. Why not, both are proven cost killers: Could it be they are looking to protect Democrat constituencies? By the way, Obama‘s plan calls for the same Medicare/Medicaid cuts that Republicans Newt Gingrich and President Bush proposed in 1995 and 2002, and they were pilloried by the Democrat party as heartless. He, however, gets a pass for being practical. If these cuts are a good idea, make them anyway; why do they have to be part of a ―reform‖ program? This plan is designed to push people into the government option. Based on the recent expansion of the SCHIP program, one estimate puts the number at 70 percent of the 172 million people in private insurance plans who will move or be coerced onto the government option. Do you think your health care will be better when that happens? A public option will only increase cost. Expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a recipe for expensive payments Larry Kudlow, Economics Editor at The National Review Online, May 13, 2009, http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MjIyMGEwZGM5YTdmOGU0MDEzNGU3ZDk5NjRlNzdmNzA= Does anybody really believe that adding 50 million people to the public health-care rolls will not cost the government more money? About $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion more? At least. So let‘s be serious when evaluating President Obama‘s goal of universal health care, and the idea that it‘s a cost-cutter. Can‘t happen. Won‘t happen. Costs are going to explode. Think of it: Can anyone name a federal program that ever cut costs for anything? Let‘s not forget that the existing Medicare system is roughly $80 trillion in the hole. And does anybody believe Obama‘s new ―public‖ health-insurance plan isn‘t really a bridge to single-payer government-run health care? And does anyone think this plan won‘t produce a government gatekeeper that will allocate health services and control prices and therefore crowd-out the private-insurance doctor/hospital system? Dartmouth Debate Workshop 131 Olney Politics Health care reform increases costs Costs are a function of third party involvement. Expanding the bureaucracy will only increase them Larry Kudlow, Economics Editor at The National Review Online, 6-23-09, http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YTYxYTFhYzNmNjIwODdiYmE0NWMzZDczYjUwZTVmNzQ= Columnist Peter Robinson, writing for Forbes.com, relates an interview with the late free-market Nobelist Milton Friedman about the inefficiencies of the health-care system. Friedman stated simply and clearly that the cost problems in our system can be traced to the fact that most payments for medical care are made not by the patients who receive the care, but by third parties — typically employers or the government. ―Nobody spends somebody else‘s money as wisely as he spends his own,‖ said Friedman. He also fingered the tax code, which allows for an exemption from the income tax only if health care is employer-provided. This is a free-lunch syndrome, one that removes incentives for competition and cost-control because we‘re all playing with somebody else‘s money. And in the case of Medicare and Medicaid, caregivers have become employees of insurance companies and the government. A new government-backed insurance system will intensify this free-lunch syndrome. It also will surely lead to a government takeover of what‘s left of our private-enterprise system. Healthcare reform will be ridiculously expensive Richard Berner, Managing Director, Co-Head of Global Economics and Chief U.S. Economist at Morgan Stanley. He co-directs the Firm's forecasting and analysis of the global economy and financial markets and co-heads the Firm's Strategy Forum, 7/6/2009 (http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/296964-living4dividends/11929-america-s- fiscal-train-wreck-july-06-2009 //ZE) Meanwhile, the current healthcare reform effort aims at the apparently conflicting goals of curbing costs and increasing access and quality. In the long run, those goals may turn out to be complementary. But in the near term, politics likely dictate that increasing access will take priority over cutting costs. And increasing access to today's health options will be expensive. For example, preliminary CBO estimates of Subtitles A through D of Title I of the proposed "Affordable Health Choices Act" indicate that expanding access to health insurance for 39 million Americans by granting subsidies will cost US$1 trillion over the next decade. Proposals to cut costs may yet emerge to fulfill the president's requirement that any healthcare reform be deficit-neutral. But political agreement will be hard to come by; witness the storm of opposition to a "public insurance plan" when the outline for any such plan is still vague. Thus, in the short-to-intermediate term, increasing access first means bigger deficits are likely. Pundits are describing the president's ability to deliver a healthcare reform package that improves Americans' lives and contains costs as a defining moment for his leadership. As I see it, it is also a bellwether for our willingness to tackle our fiscal challenges. Costs a trillion dollars – CBO estimate Ezra Klein, Economic policy expert, Washington Post, 6/15/2009 (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra- klein/2009/06/the_congressional_budget_offic.html //ZE) The Congressional Budget Office's preliminary analysis of Sen. Ted Kennedy's Affordable Health Choices Act is out. This is, remember, the liberal alternative to the Finance Committee's coming health reform bill. And it is, of course, still somewhat incomplete. But the basic stats aren't terribly encouraging: It'll cost $1 trillion over 10 years, which is less than some feared, but increase insurance coverage by only about 16 million people, which is a lot less than some hoped. The key bit of analysis comes here: ―The proposal is assumed to require most legal residents to have insurance (though the draft language is not explicit in this regard). In general, the government would collect a payment from uninsured people, but individuals with income below 150 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) would be exempt and the payment would be waived in certain other cases. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) assumed that the annual payment amount, which would be set administratively, would be relatively small (about $100 per person).‖ Dartmouth Debate Workshop 132 Olney Politics Health care reform increases costs Costs a lot and doesn’t treat millions Kansas City Star, 7/1/2009 (http://blogs.kansascity.com/unfettered_letters/2009/07/questions-about- healthcare-reform.html //ZE) 1. The Congressional Budget Office has said the proposed government takeover of health care could cost $1.6 trillion. Other estimates put the cost much higher. Various officials have proposed raising taxes on soda and alcohol, a higher payroll tax, taxing current employer-provided health plans and even a new national sales tax to fund this massive government program. Do you support any of these middle-class tax hikes to fund government-run health care? If not, how would you pay for it? 2. Under President Obama‘s plan, can you guarantee that I would get to keep my current health-care plan and doctor? 3. Provisions in the Obama plan call for ―comparative effectiveness research‖ to be used to decrease costs. ―Savings‖ are achieved by denying treatments based on criteria such as cost, a patient‘s health or a patient‘s age. Treatment would be decided by a national health-care board appointed by the president. Can you guarantee that a new government plan will not deny care to individuals in order to control costs? Expensive Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/14/2009 (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/06/13/MNLK185INU.DTL //ZE) One thing is clear: There will be no free lunch. For all the promise of universal coverage, for all the "billion-dollar bills just lying on the sidewalk" that Obama economic adviser Christina Romer described last week as the monumental waste waiting to be saved, health care reform will be expensive. It will mean higher taxes and, potentially, lower benefits for many people. It will mean putting the brakes on how doctors and hospitals practice medicine. It may require employers to provide health insurance and individuals to buy it. None of these things will be popular. Cost containment, identified by the White House as a key objective, never is. Bad for the economy Hans Bader, Counsel at Competitive Enterprise Institute, 6/19/2009 (http://www.examiner.com/x-7812-DC- SCOTUS-Examiner~y2009m6d19-The-60000-Obama-HealthCare-Plan-Its-EyePoppingly-Expensive-on-a- PerPerson-Basis //ZE) Obama‘s health-care proposals will cost well over a trillion dollars, without providing universal coverage. They are so ―eye-poppingly‖ expensive that even Congressional Democrats have been forced to scale them back. But the Congressional Budget Office has concluded that their bill ―would cover just 16 million additional people at a cost of $1 trillion,‖ reports the Washington Post. That‘s more than $60,000 for each additional person covered! Other estimates peg the cost at $1.6 trillion. The Examiner notes that Obama‘s own Council of Economic Advisers estimated that ―as much as 30 percent of Medicare spending is unnecessary,‖ due to poor government oversight, yet Obama wants to expand government control over the ―entire‖ health-care ―system.‖ The Examiner also worries that his plan will close badly-needed cancer clinics and ―lead straight to rationing health care.‖ Health-care expert (and former New York Lieutenant Governor) Betsy McCaughey says that contrary to Obama‘s promise, you won‘t necessarily be able to keep your doctor, or your insurance if you like it, under his proposed government takeover of the health-care sector. Recently, Obama fired an inspector general, Gerald Walpin, who uncovered millions of dollars of waste and fraud in the AmeriCorps program, including by a prominent Obama supporter. (That endangered the Obama supporter‘s ability to administer federal stimulus spending in Sacramento). I wonder how long it will be before the President or liberal Congressional leaders similarly retaliate against the Congressional Budget Office for telling inconvenient truths about their disastrous economic policies. Not only has the CBO estimated the enormous cost of ObamaCare, it earlier pointed out that Obama‘s $787 billion stimulus package will actually shrink the economy ―in the long run.‖ (The CBO predicted that in the short- run, by the 2010 election, the stimulus would temporarily create jobs. But it hasn‘t. Indeed, it has actually destroyed thousands of jobs in America‘s export sector.) The stimulus package also repealed welfare-reform, and wastes taxpayers‘ money. Obama has done nothing to make health-insurance cheaper, like letting consumers buy cheaper health-care policies across state lines (few countries have a more geographically fragmented and balkanized health-care market than we do. Private piggy-back health insurance is cheaper and less regulated even in supposedly socialist countries like France than it is here. When my Marxist French father-in-law left the grim public hospital where he had his quadruple bypass, he was able to stay cheaply and comfortably in a convalescent home using private health insurance that was much cheaper and less regulated than what he could buy in America, where 50 different states apply a bewildering patchwork of complicated rules to health-insurance, and a federal statute, strongly backed by Joe Biden, allows states to block purchase of health insurance across state lines). Dartmouth Debate Workshop 133 Olney Politics Health care reform increases costs Health care reform will raise costs and fail to fix the system Frank S. Rosenbloom, M.D., American Thinker, 7-7-2009, “The Failed Promises of Government Funded Health Care” http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/07/the_failed_promises_of_governm.html It is naïve to believe that increased government intervention will lower the cost of medicine. All past evidence indicates that the reverse is true. In 1965, the government promised that Medicare part A would cost $9 billion by 1990. The actual cost was more than $66 billion -- over seven times projected costs. There has never been a single large federal social program that has come in at budget or has performed as predicted. Democrats have tried to pin the rising cost of medical care on the private sector. It is, however, government interference and government regulations that have caused the high cost of medical care in the past and that will continue to increase the costs of medical care in the future. Medicare increases the cost of medical care by shifting federal administrative overhead to the private sector and through oppressive regulation.[i] These practices will undoubtedly accelerate under "Obamacare" as the following chart, using data from the Congressional Budget Office, indicates: The estimated $1.6 trillion for Obama's proposed legislation will cover only about one third of his claimed 45 million uninsured. If historical precedents and evidence are any indication, the actual costs of the plan could be seven times higher than this estimate. Adding to the fiscal nightmare, Mr. Obama is planning on cutting benefits for Medicare and Medicaid in order to transfer funding to his new health plan. This is another example that government does not contain costs, but shift costs from one program to another.The effect of Obama's program will be to increase taxes on small businesses and further worsen unemployment. This loss of jobs will result in driving people into the government-funded plan. Increasing the costs of the plan would create a vicious cycle of unemployment, increasing costs, rising taxes, and unending dependence on government. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 134 Olney Politics Health care reform undermines health Any cost savings will come at the expense of effective treatment Eric Schansberg, Ph.D., an adjunct scholar of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, is a professor of economics at Indiana University Southeast, News and Tribune, 7-6-09, http://www.news- tribune.net/opinion/local_story_187154405.html The current mix of government and markets in health care certainly has an amazing amount of inefficiency. But will bureaucracy and red tape be reduced or enhanced with more government? It‘s difficult to imagine much if any gain. Thus, extending health-care availability will probably involve higher costs or reduced access in other contexts (rationing). Higher costs are possible, but congress and the president are limited by the recent, stunning increases in spending and debt by George Bush, Barack Obama and their congresses. Considerable rationing is quite likely. It may be necessitated by cost constraints. And we‘ve seen rationing with Medicare and in countries whose governments are heavily involved in health care. The first major uses of rationing would most likely be to restrict expensive ―end-of-life‖ treatments and health care attached to unhealthy ―lifestyle choices.‖ Let‘s get more specific now: One current proposal would outlaw all private health-care spending and cap public health-care spending and growth. But it‘s difficult to imagine people giving up so much of their freedom. Although the explicit rationing is amazingly bold, it is politically difficult. In 1994, the effort to regulate health care was centered on a mandate that businesses would provide health coverage for their workers. But this would make it more expensive for firms to hire workers, resulting in lower wages or fewer jobs. Another option is the U.S. House proposal to mandate that individuals get health insurance, subsidizing those with lower incomes. (The current proposal would subsidize those who earn less than four times the ―poverty‖ level — $43,200 for an individual and $88,200 for family of four.) This would resemble our current approach to auto insurance mandates. But given the subsidies, it would be quite expensive. Barack Obama‘s proposal is to subsidize public insurance that would ―compete‖ with private insurance. By definition, subsidized insurance would undermine private insurance to some extent — somewhere between attracting people at the margin and entirely destroying the industry. It would depend on the extent of the subsidy. Consider two examples. Public education is highly subsidized, so its private competition is marginal. The U.S. Post Office has been granted a monopoly and often receives direct subsidies, but it still faces rigorous competition because of technological advance. Beyond the short-term policy decision, a public-private insurance market could be altered in the future through changes in the subsidy or regulations impacting private insurers. We have reason for concern here, since such subsidies and regulations can be quite subtle. Economists are fond of the phrase ―There‘s no such thing as a free lunch.‖ Well, there‘s no such thing as free health care either. All of these proposals are likely to increase costs, decrease overall access or both. In all of this, perhaps we should also keep a medical phrase in mind — from the Hippocratic Oath: ―Above all, do no harm.‖ Dartmouth Debate Workshop 135 Olney Politics SQ health coverage is excellent Current health coverage is excellent. No risk of crisis Liz Peek, 7-1-09, http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/07/01/obamas-health-care-myths/ If you're trying to follow the health care debate, you know there are some "truths" which have been repeated so frequently, and with such vehemence, that they have become gospel. How often have you heard "the costs are skyrocketing" or "our system is broken" or "Americans overwhelmingly support reform"? Here's a heads- up: Some of these are simply baloney. For instance, those pushing reform have described our healthcare system as "broken," thus in desperate need of overhaul. The primary evidence for this claim is a report issued by the World Health Organization in 2000 which ranked the U.S. 37th in overall "health performance" despite being number one in spending. (It is noteworthy that the WHO no longer publishes such a ranking -- deeming the process "too difficult.") Betsy McCaughey, in a recent talk before the Manhattan Institute, noted that the rankings were heavily weighted towards social goals, and less towards the effectiveness of medical care. In other words, the WHO studied the distribution of medical attention, and the fairness in financial contribution, placing as much weight on such issues as on actual performance. Further, according to Princeton professors Uwe Reinhardt and Tsung-mei Chung, the rankings "are not based on the actual values achieved by the nation, but on the ratio of the achieved values to the values that ought to have been achieved, given the country's educational attainment and spending." They point out that the rankings, in effect, were determined by the opinions of those surveyed. In short, this is hardly a scientific assessment. Even against this bias, the U.S. ranked number one in "responsiveness" -- that is in actually delivering care, but got hammered on "fairness of financial contribution." The country that scored highest on that metric -- Colombia -- ranked 82nd on responsiveness. Would you rather be treated in Colombia or in the U.S.? Dartmouth Debate Workshop 136 Olney Politics Health care hurts biotech Budget priorities mean health care reform will hurt biotech Michael McCaughan, 2-26-09, http://invivoblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/obamas-down-payment-on-health- care.html Third, the discussion of health care reform was framed clearly in the context of addressing the long-term economic health of the country rather than as a response to the short-term economic crisis. Translation: reform proposals will be judged on their ability to reduce spending and shrink deficits--there will be no stimulus-style spending to expand coverage with promises to restore balance in the future. All in all, Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America CEO Billy Tauzin and Biotechnology Industry Organization CEO Jim Greenwood did a pretty good job of predicting how the address would go. (See our post here.) In particular, the address lends credence to Tauzin's suggestion that the departure of Tom Daschle from his expected position as the Obama Administration's health care general means incremental change driven by the the economic team rather than comprehensive, policy-first reform. Therein lies the danger for the biopharma industry: in the context of budgetary priorities, measures to restrain pharmaceutical prices are tempting offsets with little political downside compared to say, slashing physician payments or forcing hospitals to close. We've already noted some rhetorical parallels between Obama's first remarks to Congress on health care and President Clinton's in 1993. That reform was supposed to be budget neutral, to avoid undoing Clinton's first legislative victory, a tough fought balanced budget (remember those days?). With that mandate, Clinton's working groups quickly moved into aggressive proposals for restraining spending, especially on drugs and biologics before the whole initiative collapsed in the face of opposition from across the spectrum of health care sectors. In 2009, there is no doubt that the budget comes first, quite literally. Obama's next "down payment" on health care reform will be unveiled Thursday; a bipartisan summit on health care reform kicks off on Monday. Just don't call it the Health Care Reform Task Force ... Dartmouth Debate Workshop 137 Olney Politics Health care hurts biotech – generics Expanding generics kills biotech Steven Silver, analyst for Standard & Poor's Equity Research, et al., Business Week, December 1, 2008, http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/nov2008/pi20081130_956832_page_2.htm We have a generally favorable outlook for the biotech sector under the Obama presidency. We see increased funding for the Food & Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health, which should help the FDA stay current on science-related research and approve new drugs on schedule, and allow the NIH to conduct clinical studies and promote innovative research through new grants. In addition, we expect an Obama Administration to support the advancement of embryonic stem-cell research, which may open new avenues to treat serious diseases. On the negative side, we think Obama will be a staunch supporter of implementing a new regulatory pathway for generic drugs. Competition from generic biotech drugs would put pressure on drug pricing, and lower returns that we believe are necessary for firms to recoup investments and to support pharmaceutical and biotechnology innovation. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 138 Olney Politics Health care hurts pharma Health care reform hurts pharmaceuticals Steven Silver, analyst for Standard & Poor's Equity Research, et al., Business Week, December 1, 2008, http://www.businessweek.com/investor/content/nov2008/pi20081130_956832_page_2.htm The new coverage, funded to a large extent by the federal government (which most experts estimate will cost between $120 billion and $150 billion, depending upon the scope of the package), would likely expand access to health care and increase revenues for providers of medical products and services, including pharmaceutical companies. However, the Obama program also calls for significant cost reductions, which we believe would adversely affect the branded pharmaceutical industry in terms of both discounted pricing and contracted use of branded drugs. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 139 Olney Politics Poverty turns health care Poverty makes all the health care impacts inevitable ( Sabriya Rice, September 4th, 2006, ―Poverty and poor health are intertwined, experts say‖ http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/08/29/poverty.health/index.html) Poverty in the United States increased 20 percent between 2000 and 2004, census numbers show. And although the trend stalled in 2005, researchers worry poverty will have profound effects on public health in this country.Poverty and its effects are a chief issue for former President Bill Clinton's Global Initiative. Clinton is bringing together a non-partisan group of world leaders on September 20 in New York to try to match innovative problem-solving with resources."More possibility for growth and more possibility for prosperity for Americans is a very inexpensive thing to do, if you do it well," the former president said. Risk all around New research indicates that it's not just the poor who are getting poorer. An analysis of poverty rates and health published in the September issue of The American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people living in extreme poverty tend to have more chronic illnesses, more frequent and severe disease complications and make greater demands on the health care system."When we talk about poverty, there is the tendency to feel it affects a small percentage of the population and the rest of us are doing better," said Steven Woolf, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of the study. But in this situation, he said, "we're all doing a little bit worse." Dartmouth Debate Workshop 140 Olney Politics ***CAP AND TRADE UNIQUENESS Dartmouth Debate Workshop 141 Olney Politics No cap and trade The votes aren’t there for cap and trade on either side of the aisle New York Times, 6-29-09 Starting fresh may mean making concessions to moderate Republicans on the cap-and-trade plan, though that could mean upsetting environmental groups and liberal Democrats. Consider Murkowski, who two years ago co-sponsored a bill with Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) that curbed greenhouse gas emissions, but with a ceiling on how much carbon allowances would cost. "I keep going to some of the reasons I supported it," Murkowski, the ranking member of Bingaman's Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said in an interview earlier this month. "There was a safety valve, an escape hatch, if you will. There was a level of certainty to industry that you knew how bad bad was going to be. I've not seen that in what's coming out of the House." There are other obstacles, too. Economic conditions and demands on the United States from China, heading into U.N. climate talks this December, make the Senate debate even more complicated, said Wheeler, who works now for B&D Consulting. "I see the climate bill in the Senate to be in worse shape than it was a year ago," Wheeler said. "The number of issues and problems have expanded, not decreased." Reid can expect pushback from many Democratic moderates as they slog through an agenda this summer and fall that is jammed with health care reform, fiscal 2010 appropriations bills and Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation. "I'm just saying. I don't see, personally -- and again, this is above my pay grade -- I don't see how it all fits together this year," said Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-S.D.). "Just go through the list." Inhofe insists that Democrats have no more than 35 supporters for cap-and-trade legislation. And he predicts that Obama does not want to risk an unsuccessful Senate floor fight ahead of the December U.N. climate negotiations in Denmark, where international pressure on the United States will be enormous. Cap and trade will die in the Senate – fear over costs and conflicting interests of moderates and Republicans Baltimore Sun, 7-5-09 Looming over all of the provisions is cost, a focal point of Republican attacks. "The public is especially wary of passing this during a major recession," said Marc Morano, a former Republican on the Senate environment committee. Democrats and the two independents who caucus with them control 60 Senate seats. But more than a dozen of those senators, including Democrats from industry-heavy Ohio and Michigan, coal-dependent Indiana and oil-rich Louisiana, have expressed concerns over costs. Only a few Republicans appear open to emissions limits, notably two moderates from Maine - Sens. Susan M. Collins and Olympia J. Snowe - and Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who championed emissions limits in his presidential campaign last year. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said last week on Fox News Sunday: "I don't think putting clamps on our economy when you know the Chinese and the Indians are not going to do it is a good idea." Legislative logistics and turf battles could also muddy the Senate process. The Senate bill will emerge piece by piece from several committees with drastically different memberships and priorities, including the Finance, Foreign Relations, Commerce and Agriculture committees. Cap and trade won’t get out of the Senate Nate Silver, former East Lansing HS debater and creator of 538.com, 6-24-09, http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/obamas-unintentionally-brilliant.html 2. The House vote will provide a benchmark. The prospects for passage of a climate in the Senate can probably be reasonably be inferred by exactly what happens in the House. Specifically, Democrats will get to see how many Blue Dogs vote for the bill and how many Republicans do. If the bill gets the support of, say, all but a dozen Blue Dogs as well as handful of moderate Republicans, you can envision a route toward passage in the Senate. If it passes by a bare majority in the House, on the other hand, it is unlikely to overcome a Senate filibuster. And if it the bill entirely fails to pass, it's back to the drawing board and the Democrats will know they'll have to make more compromises. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 142 Olney Politics No cap and trade Cap and trade won’t pass Globe and Mail, 6-29-09, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/obamas-willing-to-spend-political- capital-on-climate-change-why-isnt-harper/article1201317/ The President had called in reporters to discuss the American Clean Energy and Security Act that squeaked through the House, 219 to 212, last week, with 44 Democrats ominously bolting their party. Prospects for similar legislation in the Senate are cloudy, at best, since Republicans want to do nothing serious about climate change and Democrats from coal-producing and Rust Belt states are worried politically. No cap and trade – too many giveaways La Crosse Tribune, 7-3-09, http://www.istockanalyst.com/article/viewiStockNews/articleid/3330346 That the Clean Energy and Security Act received little public inspection before its House passage is no wonder: Its breath-taking scope would have given even the most credulous supporters of reducing green house gas emissions pause. Even with a putative filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate, a cap- and-trade scheme with as many add-ons as the House bill contains won't make it through the Senate. Can’t get cap and trade – too many divergent interests to please enough people New York Times, 6-29-09 Graham said he would support climate legislation so long as it includes less aggressive emission targets and greater incentives for nuclear power and offshore oil and natural gas development. "The bottom line, if you want to get 60 votes, you're going to have to broaden this beyond cap and trade," Graham said. Obama will also need to watch his left flank, which includes Boxer, Vermont's Bernie Sanders (I), and New Jersey Democrats Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg. Consider nuclear power, an issue that McCain amped up in his 2005 climate bill to the point that it ultimately drove Boxer and three other senators to vote against the plan. "If the president moves toward McCain, then he loses people like Barbara Boxer," said Andrew Wheeler, a former staff director for the Environment and Public Works Committee's ranking Republican, Inhofe. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 143 Olney Politics No cap and trade – Obama pushing Obama will push for cap and trade but it won’t pass Globe and Mail, 6-29-09, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/obamas-willing-to-spend-political- capital-on-climate-change-why-isnt-harper/article1201317/ Who knows what will emerge from Congress? The Obama administration is already fighting for health-care changes and a new system of financial regulation. The U.S. system might be suffering from legislative overload. Getting something signed and sealed before the Copenhagen negotiations in December might not be possible. But at least Mr. Obama speaks of the imperative of reducing greenhouse gases. He's prepared to talk directly to his fellow citizens, and he's assigned the issue a high priority. He evokes visions of a better future, as in the Gretzky analogy. And he's prepared to spend some political capital. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 144 Olney Politics No cap and trade – Dems Climate change will be a fight over moderate Democrats Coral Davenport, CQ Staff, 7/1/2009 (http://www.cqpolitics.com/wmspage.cfm?parm1=5&docID=news- 000003157587 //ZE) Senate Democratic leaders are preparing for what is expected to be a tough fight over climate change legislation, even tougher than it was in the House. The House passed by a slender six-vote margin sweeping legislation (HR 2454) on June 26 capping emissions of greenhouse gases and mandating a boost in electricity from renewable sources. Click here to learn more! Senate Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer , D-Calif., is expected to kick off hearings on climate change legislation on July 7, with testimony from Energy Secretary Steven Chu , EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack . Boxer aims to mark up legislation modeled on the House bill in her committee before the August recess. Underscoring the ambitious timetable, Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-Nev., has given other committees that may have jurisdiction — including the Agriculture, Finance and Foreign Relations panels — a Sept. 18 deadline to complete their own markups. Even before a Senate bill has been drafted, Boxer has been holding regular Tuesday meetings with a core group of 25 Democrats for whom pushing climate legislation is a top priority. That group is building a legislative strategy focused on reaching out to the key moderates whose votes are essential to building the 60-vote filibuster-proof majority needed to pass the bill through the Senate. Senators got a stark lesson in how essential those votes will be —– and how tough they‘ll be to win — during the frenzied lead-up to the House vote. Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D- Calif., and her whips cajoled reluctant groups of Democrats, who feared that a vote for the climate bill could harm their home districts and their chances of re-election. The same set of dynamics looks set to play out in the Senate, where the spotlight is turning to a group of about 15 Democratic moderates who could determine the success or failure of a Senate effort to tackle global warming. No energy bill – Democratic senate too diverse Shailagh Murray and Dan Balz, Staff Writers, Washington Post, 6/30/2009 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/29/AR2009062904175_pf.html //ZE) After a series of early and relatively easy victories on Capitol Hill, the White House appears certain to face a more difficult road when Congress returns to work next week. Not content to task lawmakers with passing an ambitious agenda of record new spending, sweeping health-care reform and other major initiatives, President Obama yesterday nudged the Senate to move ahead with its version of a landmark energy bill the House passed on Friday. In recent weeks, he has also revived the idea of pursuing broad changes in immigration law. Obama and his aides have proved adept at navigating the politics and eccentricities of the legislative branch. But as lawmakers attempt to navigate much trickier and more contentious issues in the second half of the year, the narrow margin of Friday's energy vote served as a warning: The higher the stakes, the tougher the challenge in finding consensus within what has become a diverse Democratic majority. The legislation represented the first big test for one of Obama's biggest and most controversial domestic priorities, stemming climate change. Democrats who voted against the bill came from all over the map, from coal country to Midwestern factory towns to rural swaths of the Great Plains. Each of the regions helped swell the party's ranks in the 2006 and 2008 elections, and Democrats think they represent the linchpin to an enduring congressional majority. But an energy bill that to a California Democrat represents a historic first step in slowing climate change appears to a Rust Belt colleague to be a redux of the 1993 energy- consumption tax that the House approved by a nearly identical 219 to 213 vote -- only to be brushed off by the Senate and resurrected by Republican candidates on the 1994 campaign trail. "It's like you have a big umbrella and you're trying to fit 10 people under it, but if you move it in one direction, you're going to leave some people out," said Rep. Dan Maffei, a member of the class of '08 and the first Democrat to represent his Upstate New York district in nearly 30 years. The energy bill will face an even stiffer challenge in the Senate, where the Democratic caucus is an array of conservatives, liberals, and just about everything in between, and these lawmakers are making very different calculations about the big items on Obama's legislative wish list. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 145 Olney Politics Obama pushing cap and trade Obama pushing cap and trade The Telegraph, 7/1/2009, ―Al Franken wins Senate seat paving way for Obama's Democratic agenda.‖ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5703557/Al-Franken-wins-Senate- seat-paving-way-for-Obamas-Democratic-agenda.html. With a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and in the Senate, Mr Obama moves closer to winning difficult debates over climate change and health care. Within the next nine months, the president wants the Senate to follow the House and support an energy bill that would introduce a "cap and trade" system for carbon emissions and push a raft of new green requirements for industry. A bill on health care reform is already being drafted, with the White House and the entire Democratic Party aware that voters expect dramatic improvements in a system that has seen medical insurance costs spiral and allowed up to 47 million people to go uninsured. Obama and allies are ramping up efforts for cap and trade The Boston Globe, Political Intelligence, 7/1/09, ―Obama allies push energy bill.‖ http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2009/07/obama_allies_pu.html. After lots of arm-twisting by President Obama and his aides, and quite a bit of horse-trading, the House on Friday narrowly passed the bill on a 219-212 vote. It is designed to lower how much carbon is pumped into the atmosphere through a "cap-and-trade" system in which carbon emissions are capped and permits to pollute are given away or sold by the government. But the bill faces tough sledding in the Senate, and some observers don't believe it will pass this year, though Obama wants final passage before he attends an international global warming conference in Copenhagen. Obama and his allies are ramping up their grassroots efforts to put pressure on senators. ―Thanks to the extraordinary leadership in Congress, America has taken a giant leap towards becoming the global standard for clean energy while creating millions of new jobs in the process," Tom McMahon, acting executive director of Americans United for Change, said in a statement. "This historic legislation will help build a solid foundation for long-term economic prosperity by meeting President Obama‘s challenge to reduce our nation‘s dependence on foreign oil and curbing pollution that causes global warming. This ad is designed to encourage Congress to continue standing up to the forces of ‗status quo‘ and move this historic clean energy jobs bill to the President‘s desk as quickly as possible.‖ Dartmouth Debate Workshop 146 Olney Politics Now key This month is key to cap and trade CSM, Christian Science Monitor, 7-1-09 It‘s July 1, and the bell has rung for perhaps the most crucial month yet in Barack Obama‘s presidency. By the end of the month, it should be clear whether President Obama‘s top legislative initiatives – healthcare reform and climate-change legislation – are on track. They don‘t need to be signed and sealed, but both require significant progress in Congress during this next stretch before the August recess, analysts say. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 147 Olney Politics ***CAP AND TRADE INTERNALS Dartmouth Debate Workshop 148 Olney Politics Capital key to cap and trade Obama’s leverage is key to getting cap and trade New York Times, 6-29-09 The White House, which played a major role in the closing days of the House debate, is expected to play a greater role in the Senate debate. After all, Vice President Joe Biden served in the Senate for 36 years and Obama spent four years there. "Clearly, we saw the president was very engaged in this effort," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the head of the House Democrats' 2010 campaign operation. "So he's going to be working with us very hard to get the votes in the Senate. Obviously, having served there, he knows a lot of the members." The president and his team will face a challenge, since regional interests tend to trump party loyalties in energy legislation. "I think you have to think what the impact is at home," Sen. Ben Nelson (D- Neb.) said earlier this month. "Certainly, I want to support the president when I can. But I can't when I can't. Capital is key to cap and trade – Obama will push hard Danny Bradbury and James Murray, 6-29-09, http://www.businessgreen.com/business- green/news/2244979/cap-trade-bill-moves-forward The vote, which was complicated by an extended debate speech from the minority leader, which delayed the vote for almost an hour, opens the door for a vote in the Senate, where it will face another tough battle to become law. However, it could well be modified in the interim to grease the political wheels and achieve a stronger consensus. "Pushing this bill through the Senate is going to be very difficult," warned Mazzacurati. "It is not impossible, but it will take all the energy of the Senate leaders, and Obama in person, to get it through." The president has staked considerable political capital on the legislation passing and last week intervened directly to call on wavering Democrats to back the legislation. The White House has set a target of passing the legislation before the end of the year to bolster US credibility ahead of the key UN climate change conference in Copenhagen in December. Capital is key to cap and trade – it’s empirically proven by the House vote Liz Sidoti, Associated Press, 6-29-09, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/economy/ap/49383237.html Democrats have a comfortable House majority. But the climate legislation pitted Democrats who represent East Coast states that have been cleaning up their act against Democrats in the Midwest and other places that rely heavily on coal and industry. They have a longer, more expensive path to meet requirements in the measure. Senate passage is far from certain, given that Democrats lack the 60 votes needed to cut off a likely filibuster. Obama's personal touch — and another dose of his political capital — will be required again. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 149 Olney Politics Capital key to cap and trade Political capital key to cap-and-trade James Auger, World Market Research Center, 6/29/2009 (―U.S. House of Representatives Passes Historic Climate Change Bill.‖ Lexis. //ZE) On coming to power Obama set himself a mammoth "to-do" list, ranging from healthcare reform to a revamp of the United States' foreign relations. Tackling climate change was high on this list, and it is a formidable challenge indeed given the all-encompassing nature of the required effort, the economic risks, and the numerous entrenched interests. To Obama's credit he has not flinched from this or his other big goals, and is wisely pushing them through while he is still in his "honeymoon" period. Congress is strongly controlled by the Democrats--for now--but even so he is meeting growing resistance from some quarters of his party. Most of this centres on fears that jobs could be lost in traditional manufacturing and coal-mining centres, where Democrats tend to do well. It was representatives of these areas who inserted the text into the House bill that would require trade measures against other countries that do not adopt similar emissions targets. As already noted, Obama's political challenge is greater still in the Senate, which is much more evenly balanced between the parties. Months of inter-chamber negotiations are consequently in prospect and concessions could water down the eventual text. The hurdles ahead should not obscure the fact that the House vote is still a major political victory for Obama--this is after all the first time either chamber of Congress has approved a mandatory ceiling on greenhouse gas emissions. The president referred yesterday to the vote as a key "first step", acknowledging that he saw it as paving the way for more ambitious emissions cut targets down the road. Already, there are various other separate initiatives under way that attempt to reduce carbon emissions. These include the new automobile mileage standards and the eco-friendly spending as part of the fiscal stimulus package. So far, Obama's efforts to exploit his political capital are bearing fruit, but he will need all his charisma and persistence to keep up the momentum as he moves beyond the first heady months of his presidency. Political capital key to cap and trade Matt Dernoga, 6/30/2009 (Newstex. ―It‘s Getting Hot In Here: Navigating a Minefield Part 1.‖ Lexis //ZE) The Obama Factor: Barack Obama didnt make his energy legislation a very public issue at all until the day before the vote in the House. Although his administration did some furious work behind the scenes leading up to the vote, there was no full court press in the media. No town hall events like there are with healthcare. The media was busy covering healthcare while the climate bill snuck through like a trojan horse. Although this certainly frustrated environmental groups, Obama has saved up political capital to use on the Senate side if he intends to use it(and if he has any left after healthcare). There are some signs already that Obama is looking to take a much more aggressive approach on the Senate. When the House bill passed Obama changed his Saturday radio address from the subject of healthcare to the energy bill. This past Monday, he sought to keep the focus on energy by announcing new lightbulb standards, while recounting what his administration has done so far on energy, and about how important it is the Senate acts on the climate/energy bill. One big disadvantage we face with the public is theyve had to withstand 8 years worth of climate denial and delay by the Bush Administration. If Obama used his oratory skills and popularity to highlight the issue of global warming, and more importantly the economic benefits of a strong energy/climate bill, he could shift some public opinion. For the bill to have any chance of strengthening, Obama needs to go on the offensive publicly, and trade political favors with swing vote Senators privately. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 150 Olney Politics Moderate Dems key to cap and trade Moderate Dems key to cap and trade New York Times, 6-29-09 The consensus on Capitol Hill is that no group will be more important to the success of the next Senate global warming bill than the collection of moderate Democrats from the Midwest, Rust Belt and West who say the climate debate so far has not taken their interests into account. "The heart of success resides in industrial state senators who are both Democratic and Republicans," said James Connaughton, who chaired CEQ under President George W. Bush. "That's not just success in passage, but the lasting success of the program." Dartmouth Debate Workshop 151 Olney Politics ***CAP AND TRADE IMPACTS Dartmouth Debate Workshop 152 Olney Politics Cap and trade bad – prices/Depression *Cap and trade collapses the US economy – raising prices across the board causes spiraling depression Kenn Jacobine, 7-2-09, http://www.nolanchart.com/article6579.html Hold on one minute. The House this past week passed the president's cap and trade legislation. Now, I know that cap and trade has nothing to do with trade between countries and protectionism. It is not legislation intended to protect domestic products against foreign competition like the Smoot-Hawley Tariff was intended to do in 1929. Instead, cap and trade is intended to protect the environment against foreign substances. On the surface, to compare the two measures is a stretch. However, the consequences of cap and trade if passed by the Senate will be very similar to those of Smoot Hawley during the Great Depression. In 1929, the Smoot- Hawley Tariff placed duties on thousands of imported products in order to make them less competitive against domestic U.S. products. Naturally, our trading partners placed equally heavy tariffs on U.S. goods entering their countries. This had the effect of raising the costs of all good at a time when many were losing their jobs and couldn't afford to pay more for things. It is acknowledged by many economists that Smoot- Hawley and the wave of international trade protectionism that it brought forth was a major contributor to worsening an already sharp economic downturn. Similarly, cap and trade will raise costs for consumers on virtually every product they buy. Because the goal behind the legislation is to artificially hike the price of electricity and gasoline in order to lessen their use by Americans, higher prices will appear for everything made in plants that use these resources. This naturally includes everything from food to computers to trucks. To their credit, Americans are already hoarding their money. A report last week indicated that the household savings rate in this country has jumped to 7 percent - the highest rate in years and up from 1 percent in 2007. Higher prices on goods caused by cap and trade are not going to reverse this trend. As a matter of fact, according to the Heritage Foundation, cap and trade will significantly increase necessary household energy costs by at least $1500 a year. Cap and trade amounts to nothing more than a tax increase on everyone including middle class Americans thus another Obama campaign promise broken. The Smoot-Hawley tariff contributed to the crippling of the American economy during the Great Depression. Cap and trade, although not a trade protectionist measure, will have similar consequences during this depression. It will raise the cost of living which will make consumers cut back on spending further. Production will then decrease further and unemployment will increase more. Perhaps it's already too late, but if our so called leaders would just read the history books they could save us a lot of economic hardship. Cap-and-trade’s costliness would hurt the already fallen economy. Thomas Pyle, president of the IER, February 2009. [Legal Eagle, ―Cap-and-trade is Bad‖ http://www.instituteforenergyresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/Legal_Cap_Trade.pdf] Barack Obama and his team have made it clear that a cap-and-trade system will be an important tool for the new administration to provide green jobs and reduce the nation‘s greenhouse-gas emissions. But the real purpose of cap-and-trade is to increase the cost of energy. The European experience shows that countries lose their enthusiasm once they experience the actual costs of these programs. Implementing cap-and-trade now would kick the U.S. economy while it‘s already down. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 153 Olney Politics Cap and trade bad – prices/Depression Cap-and-trade leads to job loss and inflation. James Pethokoukis, U.S. News Business reporter, 3-3-2009. [U.S. News: Money and Business, ―What Obama‘s Cap-And-Trade Plan Will Cost You‖ http://www.usnews.com/blogs/capital-commerce/2009/03/03/what-obamas- cap-and-trade-plan-will-cost-you.html] A study from the George C. Marshall Institute tries to quantify the costs of a cap-and-trade plan to reduce carbon emissions. They're not small, to say the least: And although this study uses 2008 as a baseline, the Obama plan would hit in 2012 and could come in combo with a hike in investment and incomes taxes for wealthier Americans and the creation of a special healthcare tax: Reviewing a host of recent studies, Buckley and Mityakov show that estimates of job losses attributable to cap-and-trade range in the hundreds of thousands. The price for energy paid by the American consumer also will rise. The studies reviewed showed electricity prices jumping 5-15% by 2015, natural gas prices up 12-50% by 2015, and gasoline prices up 9- 145% by 2015. As an illustration, gasoline would suffer a 16 cent price increase per gallon at the low end of the estimates to a $2.58 penalty at the high end (using the January 2009 reported retail price of $1.78 per gallon). Possible job loss and price explosion if cap ’ n ’ trade passes Senate Julieta Mendoza, Reporter International Business Times, 26 June 2009 Cap and trade bill passes in U.S. after historic vote The U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act also referred as the cap and trade bill, in a historic vote on Friday to advance climate legislation that President Barack Obama has promoted during his administration to put the country into a clean energy economy path. The Senate is expected to write its own version of the legislation, which, if passed, must be reconciled with the House version before it can go to President Obama. He called the House vote "a bold and necessary step." Hours of debate preceded the vote on what has been regarded as one of the most significant pieces of legislation presented to the Congressional floor in decades. Friday's session at the House showed major differences between Democrats and Republicans in their views on the bill. Republicans had urged Congress to vote against the bill today because they said it will skyrocket energy costs and repeatedly used the term "energy tax" to refer to it. In opposition, they stated the bill will cause over 2 million job losses in America per year if industries move their operations to countries that do not have controls on greenhouse gases and doubted it will accomplish "dramatic decreases," of greenhouse gases. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 154 Olney Politics Cap and trade bad – prices/Depression Waxman-Markey harmful to consumers Institute for Energy Research, 22 May 2009 Winners and Losers in the Waxman-Markey Stealth Tax As the latest clarifications make clear, Waxman-Markey will mean an enormous transfer of wealth from average consumers into the pockets of particular utilities, as well as state governments, ―low- and moderate-income households,‖ and industries that are ―energy-intensive‖ and ―trade-exposed.‖ These are the groups who are slated to receive handouts of carbon allowances, which will be quite a valuable asset once a cap and trade regime is in place. The government could just as well be doling out stocks or bonds to these groups, in the name of protecting them from the energy price hikes that their program will necessarily cause. Within the energy sector, the biggest losers of course will be producers whose operations emit relatively more carbon dioxide per unit of output, while the biggest winners will be those with low emissions. Thus, coal-fired power plants will need to buy more carbon allowances above and beyond their ―free‖ allocation from the government, whereas nuclear plants will be able to sell any allowances they get to the highest bidder. This simple fact explains the thousands of lobbyists currently jockeying in D.C. over the precise formulas to be used for allowance handouts. Cap and trade is a massive swindle of the general public, in the name of fighting global climate change. It tries to achieve the emissions reductions of an explicit carbon tax, while pretending that rebates and other tricks can shield consumers from any painful adjustments. Even many scientists who are very concerned about global warming hope that Waxman-Markey fails. They realize that ―cap and trade‖ is a diversion that will do very little to reduce global temperatures, but will instead reduce household budgets while benefiting special interests who get their cut of the allowance handouts. Can and trade kills the GDP E. Thomas McClanahan, Journalist The Kansas City Star, 4 July 2009 Kill Cap and Trade Before it Kills Growth The whole purpose of the bill is to force people to pay more for energy. That won‘t spur economic growth. It will retard it, by slowing the growth of consumer spending, which makes up the greatest share of the gross domestic product. The result will be lower output and fewer jobs. The notion that cap-and-trade will do little harm came from a recent Congressional Budget Office analysis that pegged the bill‘s annual cost in 2020 at a mere $175 for the average family. (Lower-income households would get a rebate reducing their energy costs by $40.) The Heritage Foundation pointed out that incredibly the CBO study failed to include in its calculations the overall effect on economic growth. The bill would not only make energy prices go up, but — because energy costs raise production costs generally — it would make the prices of almost everything else rise as well. Cap-and-trade would be a crippling, self-inflicted wound. Not only that, it would be futile: Without the cooperation of rapidly industrializing economies such as India and China — which say they have no intention of impeding their growth with carbon caps — anything the United States does will have little effect on overall global emissions. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 155 Olney Politics Cap and trade poverty All Americans including the poor will pay more for energy under Cap and Trade Newt Gingrich, Columnist The Washington Examiner, 26 May 2009 Cap-and-Trade is another way of saying 2+2=5 The reality is that the bill before the House today imposes what could be the largest tax increase in history on the American people. And every single one of us who heats a home, drives a car, and manufactures or consumes products made in America will pay the price. Estimates are that the Waxman-Markey bill will raise electricity prices by an astounding 90 percent. It will raise gasoline prices by 74 percent. It will raise the average American family's energy bill by $1,500 each year. And, far from creating jobs, experts predict that the global warming bill will destroy 1,105,000 jobs on average each year, with peak years seeing unemployment rise by over 2,479,000 jobs. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 156 Olney Politics Cap and trade bad – tariffs (economy) Cap and trade ushers in a new wave of protectionism – risking world economic collapse George Will, Washington Post, 6-11-09 The world economy's condition is so weak that this year, global consumption of electricity is set to decline for the first time since 1945. Using a defibrillator as large as the sum of money being thrown at the U.S. economy will somewhat quicken its pulse. But a patient cannot become healthy attached to a defibrillator. If the economy relapses, three causes might be: protectionism, refusal to allow creative destruction and rising long-term interest rates. The Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 ignited reciprocal protectionism that suffocated global trade and deepened the Depression. The cap-and-trade legislation passed recently by a House committee is Smoot-Hawley in drag: It contains provisions for tariffs on imports designated "carbon- intensive" -- goods manufactured under less carbon-restrictive rules than those of the proposed U.S. cap-and- trade regime. Eco-protectionism is a recipe for reciprocity. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 157 Olney Politics Cap and trade bad – tariffs (China) Cap and trade sparks a US/China trade war Mark Whittington, 6-24-09, http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1875339/will_cap_and_trade_start_a_trade_war.html?cat=3 And it gets even better. Not content to tempt political fate by imposing huge carbon taxes on the American middle class, Democrats have added a provision which imposes stiff tariffs on our trading partners if they don‘t adopt aggressive carbon restrictions of their own. You heard correctly: progressives have authored a bill that earns the mortal enmity of domestic energy consumers and our most crucial trading partners at the same time. Economy-killing climate policies and a trade war — together at last! What happened is this: An early draft of Waxman-Markey already contained triggers that gave the president the choice to introduce carbon tariffs if jobs and industry ―leak‖ overseas to countries that don‘t constrain emissions so dramatically. (China and India come to mind.) The original version empowered the president to impose the carbon-linked tariffs beginning in 2025. But though the language is not public yet, the House Ways and Means Committee is reportedly considering provisions that will give extra comfort to protectionists. Leaks from Hill offices indicate that the president would now be forced to impose the carbon tariffs — and could only opt out of doing so with permission from both chambers of Congress. Carbon-intensive imports would be subject to penalties at the border unless the country of origin requires emission reduction measures at least 80 percent as costly as ours. (The original Waxman-Markey bill had a threshold of 60 percent.) Unfortunately for the amendment‘s authors, World Trade Organization rules make fairly clear that trade-limiting measures imposed to protect the environment should have the purpose of protecting the environment, and not to address any adverse competitiveness effects on domestic industry. Break that connection between measure and purpose, and you‘ve got yourself a problem. The result could be litigation, retaliatory tariffs, or both. Does anyone really expect China to stand idly by in 2025 as their trade is embargoed? Cap and trade provokes a trade war Alan Steinberg, 7-1-09, http://www.politickernj.com/alan-steinberg/31105/cap-and-trade-disaster-and-new- jersey-gop Second, there is a provision in ACESA that would impose tariffs on goods imported from countries that do not match American greenhouse gas restrictions. In a time of global economic recession, it is unbelievable that the legislation would contain a clause with such a high likelihood of provoking a trade war with China and India. Even President Obama has expressed reservations about this provision. Indeed, this tariff clause is most deleterious to the economy and is highly similar to the Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930 that intensified the Great Depression. It is most disappointing that three New Jersey Republican Representatives, members of the party of free trade, would vote for a bill containing this provision Dartmouth Debate Workshop 158 Olney Politics Cap and trade will have tariffs Any cap and trade bill that passes will have protective tariffs Ross Korves, 7-3-09, http://www.truthabouttrade.org/content/view/14265/lang,en/ While this program was set up to reduce carbon leakage, its political purpose is to prevent manufacturing jobs from moving to other countries as the cost of emissions allowances escalates. That is why the tariff is to be the same as the price of emission allowances in the U.S. The cap and trade program would have no chance of approval in the U.S. without some type of border barrier unless an international agreement on carbon limits is in place including developing countries as well as developed ones. The program would be run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the overall carbon cap and trade program. Any cap and trade bill must include the tariffs to pass Fox News, 6-30-09, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/30/obama-warns-dems-tariff-provision-climate/ Obama told energy reporters that, while he is "very mindful" of wanting to ensure a "level playing field internationally," Congress should consider alternatives to tariffs. "At a time when the economy worldwide is still deep in recession and we've seen a significant drop in global trade, I think we have to be very careful about sending any protectionist signals out there," Obama said, according to a transcript of the Sunday session with reporters. "I think we're going to have to do a careful analysis to determine whether the prospects of tariffs are necessary." With the White House predicting that the Senate version will ultimately look different than the House version, the disagreement over the trade measure raises questions about whether the package can pass Congress without it. "It's very clear it was put in there to get it over the finish line" by attracting Rust Belt Democrats, said Don Stewart, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "If you take it out, you're shy of some members." The tariffs are necessary to get the bill passed Josh Bivens, economist at the Economic Policy Institute, 6-30-09, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra- klein/2009/06/what_should_cap_and_traders_do.html First, I may be wrong on this, but given the closeness of the vote, is anybody sure that Waxman-Markey would've passed without the border adjustments? I'm not, and, I'm also pretty sure that nothing passes the Senate without them (maybe not even with them), so this surely deserves much larger weight on the 'pro' side of the ledger than people seem to be granting. Second, the potential scale of losses from leakage don't sound trivial to me. A report by RFF says that the benefits of unilateral US carbon pricing are reduced by 25% if nothing is done to stop leakage. And, comparing border adjustments to other ways to curb this leakage while we wait on an international agreement make them look pretty good to me. I am not very sanguine about the politics of losing a quarter of the benefits of an incredibly hard-fought legislative win every year while we wait on an international agreement - how durable do people think the WM win will be if opponents can come back every year with (not totally in-credible) estimates of how many jobs we've lost to trading partners because of it? The border adjustment in WM buys more than a decade to reach an agreement before it kicks in. This seems entirely reasonable to me. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 159 Olney Politics Cap and trade bad – derivatives market Cap and trade creates a derivatives market in credits which collapses the economy Kimberly Dvorak, 7-3-09, http://www.examiner.com/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz- Examiner~y2009m7d3-Capandtrade-madness-heads-to-Senate This brings us to the crux of the bill- the derivative market or buying and selling of carbon credits. Bilbray says this is a story of horrors in waiting. ―This is the biggest scam that has no auditing provisions in place,‖ according to Bilbray. ―The American people are expected to trust the environmental Jimmy Swaggart‘s; they are pocketing money in the name of the environment.‖ It took the government giving away 85 percent of the tax revenue the first decade to drag this clunker of a bill across the finish line, according to Chris Horner, author of Red Hot Lies. It is estimated that the legislation will create $300 billion in revenue per year. On top of that revenue or taxation, the government can lower the cap at any time to generate more money, says Horner. The result of these over-reaching government policies and regulation is a slow domino effect on the economy-starting with the fragile real-estate market. The current bill has language in place to force homeowners to replace everything that is not environmentally friendly, like windows, water heaters, shower Nazi‘s and the list goes on. Cap and trade produces a huge derivatives market Rachel Morris, articles editor in Mother Jones' Washington bureau, 6-8-09, http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2009/06/could-cap-and-trade-cause-another-market-meltdown You've heard of credit default swaps and subprime mortgages. Are carbon default swaps and subprime offsets next? If the Waxman-Markey climate bill is signed into law, it will generate, almost as an afterthought, a new market for carbon derivatives. That market will be vast, complicated, and dauntingly difficult to monitor. And if Washington doesn't get the rules right, it will be vulnerable to speculation and manipulation by the very same players who brought us the financial meltdown. Cap and trade would create what Commodity Futures Trading commissioner Bart Chilton anticipates as a $2 trillion market, "the biggest of any [commodities] derivatives product in the next five years." That derivatives market will be based on two main instruments. First, there are the carbon allowance permits that form the nuts and bolts of any cap- and-trade scheme. Under cap and trade, the government would issue permits that allow companies to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gases. Companies that emit too much can buy allowances from companies that produce less than their limit. Then there are carbon offsets, which allow companies to emit greenhouse gases in excess of a federally mandated cap if they invest in a project that cuts emissions somewhere else—usually in developing countries. Polluters can pay Brazilian villagers to not cut down trees, for instance, or Filipino farmers to trap methane in pig manure. In addition to trading the allowances and offsets themselves, participants in carbon markets can also deal in their derivatives—such as futures contracts to deliver a certain number of allowances at an agreed price and time. These instruments will be traded not only by polluters that need to buy credits to comply with environmental regulations, but also by financial services firms. In fact, a study (PDF) by Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions anticipates that if the United States passes a cap-and-trade law, the derivatives trade will probably exceed the market for the allowances themselves. "We are on the verge of creating a new trillion-dollar market in financial assets that will be securitized, derivatized, and speculated by Wall Street like the mortgage-backed securities market," says Robert Shapiro, a former undersecretary of commerce in the Clinton administration and a cofounder of the US Climate Task Force. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 160 Olney Politics Cap and trade bad for climate Cap and trade only produces windfalls without solving climate – it kills our negotiating credibility to get a meaningful change The Philadelphia Enquirer, 25 June 2009 We would support legislation in Congress to address climate change if it were capable of accomplishing that goal. Unfortunately, despite the best intentions of its proponents, the bill known as Waxman-Markey would disable our ability to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions for at least a decade, hugely increasing the risk of irreversible climate calamity. We are speaking as individuals based on our more than 20 years of experience as public-sector environmental-enforcement attorneys, including extensive experience in California with the sort of cap-and-trade program now being proposed in Washington. But don't take our word for it; look at the record. Cap-and-trade programs have often failed. For example, a Los Angeles cap-and-trade program designed to reduce ground-level ozone ended up issuing permits for more pollution than was actually being emitted. It took more than five years for the "cap" to be ratcheted below pollution levels, whereupon the price of permits skyrocketed and utilities threatened rolling blackouts. Cap-and-trade had produced little besides delay. In Europe, cap-and-trade has failed to deliver on climate change. It yielded windfall profits for utilities, but few reductions in emissions or investments in clean technology. While U.S. officials vowed to learn from Europe's mistakes, the bill sponsored by Reps. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) and Edward Markey (D., Mass.) has many of the same flaws and adds massive "offsets" that blow away the "cap" in "cap-and- trade." Offsets allow polluters to, for example, pay to preserve an acre of forest so they can continue burning coal above the cap. The concept's problems are legion and well-documented. First, in our forestry example, the amount and permanency of the environmental benefit is difficult to measure and enforce, especially if it occurs outside the United States. Second, it is never clear whether an offset results in an added benefit. Unless market demand is reduced, logging will merely shift elsewhere. Waxman-Markey would allow almost 20 years of cheap, essentially fraudulent offsets to meet all required reductions in pollution. They would be counted as environmental progress on paper while allowing degradation in reality. They would also create entrenched interests enriched by an expanded carbon-offset industry. They, along with those who would profit from the bill's permits to pollute, would vigorously fight reform even after the system's flaws became obvious. Waxman-Markey proponents have cited the success of the Environmental Protection Agency's acid-rain cap-and-trade program (with no offsets). But they ignore huge differences between the acid-rain and climate-change challenges. In the acid-rain program, the EPA shepherded a few hundred existing coal-fired power plants through a relatively manageable switch from high-sulfur coal to readily available and affordable low-sulfur coal. Some facilities with large reserves of high-sulfur coal added scrubbers, an existing technology. In the case of climate change, however, we are not simply modifying the operation of a relatively small number of existing facilities. We need to create strong incentives to increase energy efficiency throughout the economy and to invest in new clean-energy infrastructure. Cap-and-trade is an ineffective tool for that, because it does not reliably end fossil fuels' price advantage. The Waxman- Markey approach would not only guarantee a decades-long failure in the United States; it would also undermine U.S. credibility in international negotiations on climate change. Cap and trade gives up leverage to produce international modeling Andrew P. Morriss, Professor of Law and Business at University of Illinois CommonDreams.org, 5 July 2009 Cap and Trade System Rewards Special Interests Worse, by reducing U.S. emissions before we reach an agreement with other source countries, the United States would give up its most valuable negotiating chip without getting anything in return. Since many major emitters including China and India have shown no willingness to reduce emissions on their own, a unilateral move by the United States makes it less likely that we will be able to negotiate an effective worldwide agreement. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 161 Olney Politics Cap and trade doesn’t solve climate Even a best case scenario cap and trade can’t solve climate Wall Street Journal, 7-3-09, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124657758880989227.html The Washington press corps is playing the bill's 219-212 passage as a political triumph, even though one of five Democrats voted against it. The real story is what Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House baron Henry Waxman and the President himself had to concede to secure even that eyelash margin among the House's liberal majority. Not even Tom DeLay would have imagined the extravaganza of log-rolling, vote-buying, outright corporate bribes, side deals, subsidies and policy loopholes. Every green goal, even taken on its own terms, was watered down or given up for the sake of political rents. Begin with the supposed point of the exercise -- i.e., creating an artificial scarcity of carbon in the name of climate change. The House trimmed Mr. Obama's favored 25% reduction by 2020 to 17% in order to win over Democrats leery of imposing a huge upfront tax on their constituents; then they raised the reduction to 83% in the out-years to placate the greens. Even that 17% is not binding, since it would be largely reached with so-called offsets, through which some businesses subsidize others to make emissions reductions that probably would have happened anyway. Even if the law works as intended, over the next decade or two real U.S. greenhouse emissions might be reduced by 2% compared to business as usual. However, consumers would still face higher prices for electric power, transportation and most goods and services as this inefficient and indirect tax flowed down the energy chain. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 162 Olney Politics No modeling China will not follow US cap and trade due to self-interest James Inhofe, US Senator HumanEvents.com, 30 June 2009 Cap and Trade: What‘s Next? This is a global issue that demands a global solution, yet cap-and-trade advocates argue that aggressive, unilateral action is necessary to persuade developing countries such as China and India to enact mandatory emissions reductions. But recent actions by the Obama administration, and by China and other developing countries, continue to prove just the opposite. They continue to confirm what I have been arguing for the past decade: that even if we do act, the rest of the world will not follow. The logic is not difficult to understand. Carbon caps, according to reams of independent analyses, will severely damage America‘s global economic competitiveness, principally by raising the cost of doing business here relative to other countries that have no mandatory carbon policies. So jobs and businesses will move overseas, most likely to China. This so-called ―leakage effect‖ would tip the global economic balance in favor of China and other strategic competitors of the U.S. Clearly, unilateral U.S. action redounds to the benefit of China and to the great detriment of the U.S. China and India won’t follow Kirk Dougal, Times Bulletin Editor TimesBulletin.com, 27 June 2009 House Barely Passes Cap and Trade Bill Latta and other opponents of the bill assert that the pace of jobs leaving America for other countries like China and Mexico with lower energy and manufacturing costs will increase. China and India have both already said they would not follow any sort of Cap and Trade policies, making them even more attractive to businesses. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 163 Olney Politics Modeling fails Even with global modeling, cap and trade will have virtually no effect on emissions Patrick Michaels, senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, National Review, 6-24-09, http://planetgore.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MWVjMDU4NTRmYmYzNDhjNDQyZWU4YmZkYmU4MDBjNDA= And just for the sake of discussion, exactly how much global warming will be prevented by this assurance of future trade turmoil? Well, let‘s use the federal government‘s own model which — we are not making this up — is called MAGGIC (Model for the Assessment of Greenhouse-gas Induced Climate Change). It comes from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. Let‘s compare the effects of Waxman-Markey to the United Nations‘ ―business-as-usual‖ emissions scenario that‘s in their big 2007 climate change compendium. If the U.S. only adopts Waxman-Markey, global warming would be reduced by a grand total of 0.2°F by 2100. This is too small to even detect, because global temperatures bounce around by about this amount every year. For those who like to think more near-term, the amount of warming prevented by 2050 would be 0.07 of a degree. According to the UN, without Waxman-Markey the warming from 1990 to 2050 would be 2.8°F, and 5.3° by 2100. (Of course, observed warming since 1990 is running about 40 percent below the expected rate, largely because there hasn‘t been any net warming since the very warm year of 1998.) Now, let‘s be completely unrealistic and assume that every nation that has ―obligations‖ under the (failed) Kyoto Protocol cuts emissions as much as we do. Then the saved warming balloons all the way to 0.14°F by 2050 and 0.4° by 2100, or 5 and 7 percent, respectively, of the ―business-as-usual‖ total. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 164 Olney Politics ***AFF ANSWERS Dartmouth Debate Workshop 165 Olney Politics Yes cap and trade – predictive Cap and trade will pass – they don’t have the votes now, but they’ll come in the end New York Times, 6-29-09 But with President Obama in the White House, strategists shifted their attention to the House. And Friday, they scored a big win, a 219-212 vote in favor of a sweeping climate and energy bill. Now the focus shifts again to the other side of Capitol Hill, where sponsors can point to a House bill that addresses a number of the concerns raised in the past by the Senate. And they hope it can help build momentum that never existed during the Bush years. "The House acted; I think the Senate will come to the same conclusion," David Axelrod, Obama's top political adviser, said yesterday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "The [House] bill that was crafted helped ameliorate some of the hard edge that people were worried about. I think that will carry the day in the Senate, as well." Axelrod acknowledged that Democrats lack the 60 Senate votes they need to overcome a filibuster. But he insisted Obama would not let the House bill wither. "The vote is not tomorrow," Axelrod said. "The vote will come sometime in the fall. I think we will fashion an energy package that will move this country forward and carry the day." According to an E&E analysis of the Senate, 60 votes is within reach for a cap-and-trade climate bill, but many concessions must be made to get the measure across the goal line. Odds favor cap and trade – momentum will build New York Times, 6-29-09 Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who visited the House floor last week to lobby reluctant lawmakers, said in an interview that the measure has a chance of clearing the Senate. "I'm optimistic, if it comes over here, that we'll have a 50-50 or better odds of passing it out of the Senate," he said. "There's a lot of momentum over here to work on this. I think we've been tactically smart, letting the House go first. I think if they can find the sweet spot, it's a very similar sweet spot over here. Stay tuned." Sept. 18 deadline The Senate debate is expected to begin in earnest when lawmakers return from the Fourth of July recess. Boxer will have the bulk of the responsibilities in writing the cap-and-trade provisions of the legislation. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 166 Olney Politics Yes cap and trade – reconciliation Cap and trade will pass – reconciliation Washington Examiner, 7-2-09, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway- confidential/Got-60-Who-Cares-49684612.html So how can reconciliation be used now? Frankly, any way the Democrats want to use it. Disregard the rhetoric you hear this summer about the White House or Congress "preferring regular order" -- you might have heard it from Robert Gibbs on Monday, but don't believe it. Watch instead how Obama and the Democrats in Congress prepare for this fall. They can save themselves a lot of arm-twisting if they just use reconciliation for health care, or for cap-and-trade -- or for both. Whatever destruction it causes the economy, the cap-and-trade bill creates a small budget surplus for the government -- $3.8 billion over the five-year budget window, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (They reach this number through some odd accounting that deserves a separate analysis). That's nearly enough in savings already to meet the conditions in this year's budget reconciliation instructions. The budget instructions specifically mention "health care reform" in a section header, but that means nothing. Democrats can exploit the reconciliation instructions any way they like, as long as the appropriate committees find the proper amount in net savings ($4 billion in the House, $2 billion in the Senate). And given the massive price tag with which CBO has saddled health reform, cap-and-trade is a much easier target for reconciliation this year. No one is discussing it now, and it may seem like a remote possibility, but it is a possiblity all the same. Do not believe the early proclamations that Waxman-Markey is dead in the Senate for lack of 60 votes, because it may not need 60 votes. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 167 Olney Politics Obama won’t push cap and trade Obama won’t risk capital on cap and trade – he values other things more The Business Insider Green Sheet, 26 March 2009 Is Cap and Trade Dead in the Water? On CNBC today, John Harwood reported that the silence from the Obama administration on cap and trade is deafening, implying that the carbon reduction program is likely to get shelved. Republicans are pushing back on Obama's budget and of all the things that can get gutted, the cap and trade program is the most likely to get slain. Obama doesn't want to lose political capital battling for cap and trade. He'd rather get his healthcare agenda passed through Since utilities say the program will raise the price of energy for folks in the midwest and elsewhere, Obama doesn't want to press too hard right now on the issue. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 168 Olney Politics Cap and trade solves warming Cap and trade makes a significant dent in CO2 emissions Daniel Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at American Progress, May 14, 2009, http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2009/05/ghg_reductions.html The American Clean Energy and Security Act, authored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA) and House Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chair Ed Markey (D-MA) would achieve a significant reduction in the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. The ACES mandates a 17-percent reduction in greenhouse gases below 2005 levels by 2020. That translates into a cut of 2.2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020 compared to inaction, according to a projection based on an analysis by the World Resources Institute. This is comparable to taking 500 million cars off the road, which is twice the number of U.S. cars today, and half the cars expected in the world in 2020. This pollution reduction estimate is very conservative, since it does not include other complementary policies in the bill that would also reduce greenhouse gases. These provisions include renewable electricity and efficiency standards that would give utilities until 2020 to generate 15 percent of their electricity from the wind, sun, and other clean sources. Utilities would also have to reduce electricity demand by 5 percent. These measures would further reduce greenhouse gas pollutions. The ACES would also slash energy use in new buildings by 50 percent by 2016. Buildings are responsible for nearly half of energy use and greenhouse gas pollution, so this provision would achieve additional reductions beyond the cap. These pollution reductions come not a moment too soon, since scientific evidence of global warming harms continue to mount. In addition to fiercer storms, longer droughts, wetter floods, and scarcer food, global warming will harm human health. Margaret Chan, the director-general of the World Health Organisation, noted that ―Climate change will affect, in profoundly adverse ways, some of the most fundamental determinants of health: food, air, water.‖ It is morally irresponsible to do nothing in the wake of this mounting evidence of the coming catastrophe. Despite scientists‘ urgent pleas to act, many conservatives would prefer to do nothing. House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX) plans to introduce an energy bill that ignores global warming, except to prevent action to stop it. Instead, it would continue the Bush-Cheney energy policies of ―drill, baby, drill‖ and ―burn, baby, burn.‖ These policies led to an increase in average annual family energy costs of $1,100. On Monday, May 18, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will begin debate and vote on The American Clean Energy and Security Act. It is not a perfect proposal that will magically solve our energy problems. But it would slash global warming pollution by 1.2 billion tons, comparable to removing 500 million cars from the road. It would create thousands of jobs manufacturing steel for wind turbines and building energy-efficient buildings. ACES would reduce our oil use and increase our national security. Representatives Waxman and Markey have done monumental work to start on the long road to a clean-energy future after being stalled for the last eight years. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 169 Olney Politics Cap and trade solves warming Cap and trade ensures substantial emissions cuts Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist, 5-17-09, http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/18/opinion/18krugman.html So is Waxman-Markey — whose language was released last week — good enough? Well, Al Gore has praised the bill, and plans to organize a grass-roots campaign on its behalf. A number of environmental organizations, ranging from the League of Conservation Voters to the Environmental Defense Fund, have also come out in strong support. But Greenpeace has declared that it ―cannot support this bill in its current state.‖ And some influential environmental figures — most notably James Hansen, the NASA scientist who first drew the public‘s attention to global warming — oppose the whole idea of cap and trade, arguing for a carbon tax instead. I‘m with Mr. Gore. The legislation now on the table isn‘t the bill we‘d ideally want, but it‘s the bill we can get — and it‘s vastly better than no bill at all. One objection — the claim that carbon taxes are better than cap and trade — is, in my view, just wrong. In principle, emission taxes and tradable emission permits are equally effective at limiting pollution. In practice, cap and trade has some major advantages, especially for achieving effective international cooperation. Not to put too fine a point on it, think about how hard it would be to verify whether China was really implementing a promise to tax carbon emissions, as opposed to letting factory owners with the right connections off the hook. By contrast, it would be fairly easy to determine whether China was holding its total emissions below agreed-upon levels. The more serious objection to Waxman-Markey is that it sets up a system under which many polluters wouldn‘t have to pay for the right to emit greenhouse gases — they‘d get their permits free. In particular, in the first years of the program‘s operation more than a third of the allocation of emission permits would be handed over at no charge to the power industry. Now, these handouts wouldn‘t undermine the policy‘s effectiveness. Even when polluters get free permits, they still have an incentive to reduce their emissions, so that they can sell their excess permits to someone else. That‘s not just theory: allowances for sulfur dioxide emissions are allocated to electric utilities free of charge, yet the cap-and-trade system for SO2 has been highly successful at controlling acid rain. But handing out emission permits does, in effect, transfer wealth from taxpayers to industry. So if you had your heart set on a clean program, without major political payoffs, Waxman-Markey is a disappointment. Still, the bill represents major action to limit climate change. As the Center for American Progress has pointed out, by 2020 the legislation would have the same effect on global warming as taking 500 million cars off the road. And by all accounts, this bill has a real chance of becoming law in the near future. Cap and trade programs are effective in reducing emissions – empirically proven. EPA, Clean Air Market Programs, 2008, http://www.epa.gov/airmarkets/cap-trade/docs/ctessentials.pdf In EPA‘s experience, cap and trade programs have proven highly successful in the context for which they are best suited: reducing emissions on a regional or larger scale from multiple sources that exhibit a range of control costs. While achieving significant reductions on a regional scale, cap and trade programs can deliver substantial air quality improvements. As effective as these programs are, however, they may not be the solution to every problem. For example, eliminating localized concentrations of pollution is not their primary purpose. The cap and trade approach is best used when: • the environmental and/or public health concern occurs over a relatively large area; • a significant number of sources are responsible for the problem; • the cost of controls varies from source to source; and • emissions can be consistently and accurately measured. Under the right circumstances, cap and trade programs have proven extremely effective, providing substantial emission reductions, complete accountability and unprecedented data quality and access. Existing cap and trade programs – the Acid Rain Program and the NOx Budget Program – have the force of federal and state standards behind them, including national health-based air quality standards. This ensures that local public health needs are met in conjunction with achievement of regional or national emission reductions. Cap and trade generates revenue for reducing emissions Tax Policy Center, Urban Institute and Brookings Institution, 2007, http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxtopics/quickfacts_cap-and-trade.cfm#7 Giving permits to firms provides large windfall gains for the recipients, who will be able to pass on higher prices to consumers whether they pay for the permits or not. Auctioning permits generates substantial revenues, which the government can then use to offset some or all of the adverse impact of higher energy prices and employment shifts on firms, workers, and households by cutting taxes or providing transition assistance to workers (such as coal miners) who would be displaced by a shift to a less carbon-intensive economy. Some of the revenue could also be used to fund research to develop alternative energy sources. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 170 Olney Politics Cap and trade key to the economy Cap and trade is key to kick-starting new competitive industries, reducing the economic dependence on fossil fuels, and shielding the economy from long term collapse Cap-and-Trade will jump start our economy. FRED KRUPP, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, AND ANDREW M. LIVERIS, president, chief executive officer and chairman of board of the Dow Chemical Co., 6-25-9, Houston Chronicle ―Cap and trade will clean and fuel our economy, too‖ Over the past decade, two factors have threatened American business and our economy. The first is the volatile cost of oil and natural gas. Last year‘s dramatic escalation in petroleum prices has sparked serious thinking among government, industry and the research community about the search for the world‘s next- generation energy answer to a low-carbon economy. The second factor is the growing concern about climate change and the increasing consensus that the world‘s dependence on oil and other hydrocarbons is compromising the long-term health of the planet. It is becoming clear that the cost of action now will be much less than the cost of action later. All of this speaks to the fact that the lack of a comprehensive energy and climate change policy threatens the U.S. economy and slows our transition to that vital low carbon future. We must act soon to stop these ecological and economic threats and get America running on clean energy. Fortunately, we‘re closer than ever to gaining the support in Congress to pass a bill that will cap greenhouse gas emissions and provide the U.S. with clean energy incentives. In May, the key committee in the House voted in favor of legislation, named the American Clean Energy and Security Act. This legislation would gradually slow the emission of greenhouse gases over the coming years. A vote on the bill in the full House is expected today. The House bill would use a market-based approach called cap and trade. Cap and trade puts a firm limit, or cap, on emissions. Over time, the cap will steadily decline, so that by 2050 greenhouse gas emission will have been reduced by 83 percent. Companies that are under their emission targets can sell their allowances on a new carbon market. Companies that cannot meet their targets can buy extra allowances from the same carbon market. Cap and trade uses the efficiency of the marketplace to drive innovation, creating new carbon-reducing technologies at the lowest possible cost. When used to fight acid rain in the 1990 Clean Air Act, the cap-and-trade approach reduced emissions faster, and more cheaply, than anyone predicted. Under cap and trade, government doesn‘t pick winners and losers — private markets do that job. This is how it should be. The failed government investments in oil shale in the 1970s offer a perfect illustration of this point. Both the Dow Chemical Co. and Environmental Defense Fund are members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of leading companies and five environmental groups, who support cap-and-trade legislation. Among them are some of the biggest names in corporate America, including GE, Johnson & Johnson and DuPont. The House bill incorporates many of USCAP‘s recommendations. It represents our best chance to stop global warming and encourage clean energy technologies. The new technologies that the cap-and-trade approach will create will also create new jobs for America. A single wind turbine, for example, contains 250 tons of steel and 8,000 parts, from ball bearings and electronic controls to gearboxes. Jobs manufacturing those parts can be created right here in America, especially in our manufacturing heartland, the Midwest. Ohio has lost more than 213,000 manufacturing jobs since 2000. For Michigan, the figure is almost 497,000 jobs lost. One way to jump-start our economy is with a cap-and-trade bill. Opponents claim that this bill will result in higher energy costs. They are confusing price with cost. Although this legislation will lead to modestly higher energy prices, this, in turn, will lead to greater energy efficiency and new, cleaner energy technologies. This will, in all likelihood, result in lower overall energy costs. A true win, win, win — lower energy costs, greater energy security and fewer carbon emissions! If we do this right, we can also export new, clean-energy technologies to China and the rest of the world. The bill will protect all consumers, including households as well as industrial and commercial users, against increased utility bills. In fact, the average household will pay about 12 cents more a day — the cost of brewing a pot of coffee. In our view, the climate change and energy challenge will create more economic opportunities than risks for the U.S. economy. In fact, addressing these issues will lead directly to increased U.S. competitiveness, reduced reliance on energy from foreign sources and more jobs. These are goals both the environmental and business communities can get behind. This is a critical point in our history. We must all encourage Congress to take the right steps to pass this landmark legislation. America is at its best when it leads the way and when we work together to solve a common problem. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 171 Olney Politics Cap and trade key to the economy New technology spurred by Cap and Trade will put US as a dominant power in the world market Katie Feeney, Contributing Writer Erie Times News, 18 June 2009 Cap and Trade Bill Cuts Emissions, Aids Economy The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 can meet those goals. This legislation, approved by the diverse U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on May 21, includes a comprehensive cap-and trade- program to cut emissions from greenhouse gas-producing energy sources and put America on a path to economic, energy and climate security. A cap on greenhouse-gas emissions will spur the low-carbon and energy efficiency technologies that can be developed and manufactured in the U.S. and sold around the world. If we act soon, America can capture the global market for these technologies and rebuild its manufacturing base, becoming an exporter of new technologies, not jobs. Two flawed arguments are commonly offered in opposition to an economywide cap on carbon in the United States. The first is that global warming legislation would further damage the economy. The opposite is true; credible studies, such as a recent analysis by the Political Economy Research Institute, suggest that the American economy will experience healthy growth under cap-and-trade. Even studies conducted by opponents of climate legislation, such as the American Council on Capital Formation and the National Association of Manufacturers, show the same. According to the ACCF/NAM "high-cost scenario," Pennsylvania's economy would grow 54 percent under an economywide cap-and-trade and carbon emissions would fall by 36 percent. More recently, one of the study's authors even acknowledged that its numbers show the U.S. GDP would double if Congress passed a climate bill, hardly the economic doom forecast by detractors. New jobs, economic world leadership and security from Cap and Trade Barack Obama, President of the US Weekly Address, 27 June 2009 Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama For more than three decades, we have talked about our dependence on foreign oil. And for more than three decades, we have seen that dependence grow. We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security. We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet. And most of all, we have seen other countries realize a critical truth: the nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy. Now is the time for the United States of America to realize this too. Now is the time for us to lead. The energy bill that passed the House will finally create a set of incentives that will spark a clean energy transformation in our economy. It will spur the development of low carbon sources of energy – everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal. It will spur new energy savings, like the efficient windows and other materials that reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer. And most importantly, it will make possible the creation of millions of new jobs. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 172 Olney Politics Cap and trade solves poverty Cap and trade will improve the quality of life for the poor and the near poor. Jason Brady, the Blue-Green Alliance, 7-6-9, Clean Energy for America Members of the U.S. House of Representatives took an historic step last week to address America‘s economic, energy and climate challenges by passing the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES). Unfortunately, Representative Glenn Thompson voted to protect the status quo and against advancing this legislation that will unleash investment in clean energy and, for the first time, put national limits on global warming pollution. Having passed the House, the bill will move to the Senate where the debate will become even fiercer. At this critical moment, there are several compelling reasons why our Senators should reject the decision by Rep. Thompson and instead choose to support this legislation that will jumpstart our economy and create jobs, especially for struggling Americans. The opposition— which is fueled by greedy polluters and special interests— has been using vicious distortions and deceitful scare tactics to prevent the bill from moving forward. These are the same groups that let gasoline reach four dollars a gallon last summer and have kept us addicted to oil thereby weakening our national security. These groups want to hold us back from unleashing investment in clean, safe energy—like wind solar and geothermal—that will lead us in a new direction and make us a leader for the 21st century. A more serious and honest discussion centers on the impact climate legislation will have on jobs, especially for lower-income households. Until recently, this has been a one-sided discussion since we‘ve lacked a solid analysis of the gains that lower-income families can have if we shift to clean-energy investment. This issue has finally been addressed by two ground-breaking new reports by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Green for All, the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (PERI). Together, these reports show that an investment of $150-billion in clean energy could create more than 1.7 million jobs and raise the standard of living for millions, especially for lower-income families. A $150 billion investment is roughly the amount of investment that could be generated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and full implementation of ACES. According to the CAP report, ―Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy‖, Pennsylvania‘s share of the $150 billion investment in clean energy would be $6.1 billion and create 72,000 new jobs. Compared to investments in dirty energy, clean energy creates nearly four more jobs per dollar invested, and these jobs offer substantially more opportunities for higher wages and job advancement. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst, NRDC and Green for All report, ―Green Prosperity: How Clean-Energy Policies Can Fight Poverty and Raise Living Standards in the United States‖, shows that a $296 million investment in the 5th PA Congressional District would create 3,118 new jobs, of which 2,600 would be for workers with high school degrees or less. The reports also show the positive impact that clean-energy investment would have on the working poor. Savings on utility bills will lead to annual reductions of more than $600 per household over the long term — a huge difference for households struggling pay check to paycheck. Included are improvements to public transportation that would provide a boost for low-income people – increasing access to jobs, childcare and other services. Transportation costs are one of the greatest burdens on families, especially at lower-income levels, and this would increase access to public transportation and lower household costs. All of this is especially welcome news for those Americans that the recession has hit hardest: the poor or near poor. The erosion of our manufacturing base has transformed our working class into the working poor. Blue- collar employment is now replaced with dead-end jobs that have poor earning potential. In other words, these clean energy jobs can lead to family-supporting careers. Most importantly, these reports debunk a myth that has been spreading, through rumors and mis-information, which is that vulnerable communities would have to pay the cost of these investments. On the contrary, these reports show that well-crafted energy policies can minimize the impact of these costs, while creating significant job opportunities and improvements to quality of life. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 173 Olney Politics A2: Cap and trade derivatives market No risk of collapse in the cap and trade derivatives market – it’s totally safe Kevin Drum, former Vice President of Marketing at Kofax Image Products, consultant for Streaming21, and writer for the Washington Monthly, 6-8-09, http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2009/06/will-derivatives-ruin-cap- and-trade I'm not entirely sure what this means, but my best guess is that Chilton is forecasting a market with a notional value of $400 billion per year. This is not as large as it sounds. The notional value of the CDS market in 2007, for example, was over $50 trillion. Chilton's estimate for the carbon market is less than 1% that size. Likewise, the underlying value of the actual carbon permits is likely to be on the order of $50-100 billion a year, which is less than 1% of the underlying value of, say, the U.S. stock market. Even if Wall Street went nuts with this stuff, it couldn't do too much damage. Then there's this: In addition to trading the allowances and offsets themselves, participants in carbon markets can also deal in their derivatives — such as futures contracts to deliver a certain number of allowances at an agreed price and time. This is true, but carbon permits are essentially commodities, and the kinds of derivatives traded on commodity exchanges are generally forwards, futures, and options. But while these may be derivatives, they're mostly not the rocket science kind. They've been around forever, they're well understood, and they weren't responsible for any of the problems that caused our current meltdown. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 174 Olney Politics Now isn’t key to cap and trade Now isn’t key to cap and trade – they can just wait for external factors to improve Nate Silver, former East Lansing HS debater and creator of 538.com, 6-24-09, http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/obamas-unintentionally-brilliant.html 4. Democrats get to pick their moment in the Senate. Just because a climate bill is approved by the House does not mean that the Democrats have to push it through the Senate immediately. The Democrats could wait on floor action until essentially any point until November 2010. This is one of the advantages of controlling the chamber. I hope you see where I'm going this: the four factors above are very powerful when taken in combination. Say that Waxman-Markey passes the House, but only barely. That means the Democrats can wait for a better moment in the Senate -- gamble on the prospect that the economy is going to improve, which would probably improve Obama's approval ratings with it. So long as gas remained somewhere in the range of $2.50 or higher, a climate bill would probably have a much better chance of picking up votes from your Evan Bayhs and Susan Collinses and Mel Martinezes than it does now. On the other hand, if the Waxman bill passes the House by a 40-vote margin, the Administration could begin to think more seriously about pushing it forward now, and not risk something like a deterioration in its approval ratings. Now isn’t key to cap and trade – they can return to it after the recess CSM, Christian Science Monitor, 7-1-09 Charlie Cook, a nonpartisan political analyst, sees victory for whoever best frames the debate. ―Will the public see it as a long overdue first step toward reversing dangerous changes in our climate, as President Obama and Democrats would like to frame it?‖ Mr. Cook writes in the National Journal. ―Or is it a massive tax increase with grave implications for our fragile economy, the case made by most Republicans?‖ Analysts warn against reading too much into the July sprint toward the August recess. ―It‘s true that in the next months, important things will happen, but it‘s not make or break,‖ says Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 175 Olney Politics Capital not key to cap and trade Capital isn’t key to cap and trade – it’s overwhelmed by external factors like gas prices and the economy Nate Silver, former East Lansing HS debater and creator of 538.com, 6-24-09, http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/06/obamas-unintentionally-brilliant.html 3. Support for a cap-and-trade bill is probably relatively dependent on cyclical factors. By cyclical factors I mean three things: gas prices, the overall state of the economy, and Presidential approval. Polling generally indicates that support for curbing carbon emissions rises along with gas prices, as well as the overall health of the economy. And as Ezra suggests, because public opinion on climate change is relatively poorly formed, it may also depend heavily on the amount of political capital that the President is willing and able to expend. Right now, Presidential approval is fairly high, and gas prices are also fairly high, having increased significantly since bottoming out in January: (If this chart looks a little funky, it's because I'm using yearly data from 1976-1990, and then weekly data from 1991 onward). On the other hand, the economy remains in really bad shape. If we had to rate these three factors on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 represents the most favorable conditions for a climate bill and 0 the least favorable, we'd probably rate Presidential approval at about a 7, gas prices at about a 6.5, and the economy at about a 1.5. That averages out to a 5, meaning that this is a fairly average time to be pushing a climate bill. In February, by contrast, we might have rated Presidential approval at an 8, the economy at a 1, and gas prices at a 4, which averages to a 4.3. That probably would have been a slightly worse time, on balance, to push a climate bill forward. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 176 Olney Politics Cap and trade won’t have tariffs The tariffs will be stripped before the final vote Fox News, 6-30-09, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/30/obama-warns-dems-tariff-provision-climate/ It's unclear whether congressional Democrats will budge on the measure going forward. Levin could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Stewart, whose boss opposes the climate bill with or without the trade measure, said he'd be "surprised" if the provision stays in the final Senate version, warning that the language could spark a "trade war" with key partners, and big polluters, like India and China. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 177 Olney Politics Tariffs don’t cause trade conflict The tariffs aren’t protectionist and would be legal under WTO rules Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist, 6-29-09, http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/06/29/climate-trade-obama/ The truth is that there‘s perfectly sound economics behind border adjustments related to cap-and-trade. The way to think about it is in terms of a well-established theory — the theory of non-economic objectives in trade policy — that owes its origins to Jagdish Bhagwati, who certainly can‘t be accused of being a protectionist. The essential idea is that if you have a non-economic objective, such as self-sufficiency in food production, you should choose policy instruments to align incentives with that objective; in normal circumstances this leads to consumer or producer intervention, rarely to tariffs. But in this case the non- economic objective is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, never mind their source. If you only impose restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from domestic sources, you give consumers no incentive to avoid purchasing products that cause emissions in other countries; as a result, you have an inefficient outcome even from a world point of view. So border adjustments here are entirely legitimate in terms of basic economics. And they‘re also probably OK under trade law. The WTO has looked at the issue, and suggests that carbon tariffs may be viewed the same way as border adjustments associated with value-added taxes. It has long been accepted that a VAT is essentially a sales tax — a tax on consumers — which for administrative reasons is collected from producers. Because it‘s essentially a tax on consumers, it‘s legal, and also economically efficient, to collect it on imported goods as well as domestic production; it‘s a matter of leveling the playing field, not protectionism. And the same would be true of carbon tariffs. What‘s happening here, I think, is that people are relying on what Paul Samuelson called an economic ―shibboleth‖ — they‘re relying on some slogan rather than thinking through the underlying economics. In this case the shibboleth is ―free trade good, protection bad‖, when what the economics really says is that incentives should reflect the marginal cost of greenhouse gases in all goods, wherever produced — which in this case happens to imply border adjustments. No risk of trade conflict over the tariffs Fox News, 6-30-09, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/30/obama-warns-dems-tariff-provision-climate/ Keith Rockwell, spokesman with the World Trade Organization, was reluctant to draw comparisons between the backlash over the stimulus provision and the potential for a similar response to the climate bill provision. He said it's "very, very difficult" to tell whether such a provision could draw any complaints more than a decade down the road, when rules could be different. He noted that nations could reach a climate agreement anyway at the summit in Copenhagen later this year, which he suggested might be preferable. "A multilateral approach is always better and safer than a unilateral approach," Rockwell said, adding that nations are in the meantime taking a "wait-and-see" attitude to the U.S. tariff measure. Rockwell said the legality of the measure ultimately depends on whether it is challenged in a WTO court. "Really nobody would know unless there's a challenge," he told FOXNews.com, speaking from Geneva. "People are watching and paying attention, and people saw what President Obama had to say on this particular element." Rockwell said that when it comes to environmental measures, individual countries have the flexibility to pass trade-restrictive measures provided they are intended to protect the safety of humans, plants and animals. Dartmouth Debate Workshop 178 Olney Politics Tariffs good – modeling The tariffs spur international modeling – threat of a trade conflict spurs Chinese emissions reductions Ezra Klein, former associate editor at the American Prospect and blogger for the Washington Post, 6-30-09, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/06/what_should_cap_and_traders_do.html The story so far: In the hours before Waxman-Markey passed the House, a provision was added to the legislation requiring the White House to impose a carbon tariff on the imports of countries that don't have limits on their greenhouse gases by 2020. Controversial! This is meant to accomplish two things: First, it strengthens the White House's hand in negotiations with other countries. As Brad Plumer writes, "a number of China experts have suggested to me that China's eagerness to talk with the United States about climate change stems, in part, from their fear of a gory trade war. So it's perfectly conceivable that the House may have strengthened the Obama administration's position in its ongoing talks with China. U.S. negotiators can say, 'Look, we don't want a trade war, but we're having a hard time restraining Congress, so it's important that we work these issues out before protectionists in the House and Senate do something really stupid.'" Second, it prevents what's known as "leakage." Essentially, if carbon-intensive goods produced in America become more expensive because of cap-and-trade, they may simply be replaced by imports. Wal-Mart will stop buying Little Baby Oil Patch from factories in Ohio and begin buying them from factories in Shanghai. Indeed, you could even see cap-and-trade as giving other countries a short-term incentive to ignore their carbon emissions because it will make their goods relatively cheaper. The tariffs spur modeling. It’s the only way for other countries to escape the cost Josh Bivens, economist at the Economic Policy Institute, 6-30-09, http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra- klein/2009/06/what_should_cap_and_traders_do.html Third, where I think Krugman is most right about this stuff is how bizarre it is that a (literally) textbook economics solution (albeit a second-best one) to this problem (that is probably even allowed under existing international trade law) has inspired such ferocious hand-wringing about protectionism, coercion, and making other countries furious. There is no rational reason at all why a carbon tariff that any country can unilaterally disarm through its own actions should be a serious hold-up to an international agreement. If we really think that other countries are incapable of recognizing this I don't see how we think reaching a rational international agreement is ever possible in the first place.
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