All Your Healthcare Are Belong to Rahm

I’m not sure why Ezra isn’t more explicit about the connection between these two posts, but let me state the obvious implications; with Tom Daschle out of the mix, and John Podesta apparently not coming in, Rahm Emmanuel is now the point man for health reform. And that’s a very good thing indeed.

Consider Rahm’s positioning; as a former member of House leadership and chair of the DCCC, no one in the administration has more extensive relationships in the House, save for maybe the Director of Legislative AffairsPhil Scillrio who reports to…Rahm Emmanuel. His Deputy Chief of Staff is the former chief of staff to Max Baucus, who chairs the relevant committee in the Senate, and has becoming a major player in the health reform game. His brother is the main healthcare deputy to Peter Orszag. In other words, Rahm’s office has more or less consolidated the administration’s healthcare turf, and that’s probably a good thing. Given the inherent power of the Chief of Staff’s office, as well as Rahm’s looming presence in the White House, it’s hard to envision anyone trying to mount some sort of internal turf war over the issue, and will likely foster a unified, coherent, administration position on healthcare.

Given all of this, the administration, as well as progressives at large, can focus on the wonkery of the policy, and less about the politics of it.