Free Markets, Free People

So Where Are We On Health Care Reform?

That depends on who you talk too. Sen. Chuck Schumer says it will pass in the Senate. But then Schumer always says things will pass whether they do or not. Joe Lieberman says he’s going to be “stubborn” about his vote. If the bill has a public option, he won’t vote for it.  Harry Reid has said it will have some form of a public option, in the case of the pending bill a public option which states can opt out of.  With Liberman saying no, is there any doubt the focus will shift to a certain Republican Senator from Maine?  And, of course, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-LA, is in the middle of being ” bought” with hundreds of millions of your tax dollars promised in the “health care reform” bill if she’ll just sign on and help it pass.  They call that “payola” in the broadcasting business and it is illegal.

In the United States Senate, it’s business as usual.

Probably the most interesting take on the Senate right now comes from Howard Dean who says he sees trouble for Democrats regardless of the outcome:

“I think if you passed the Senate bill tomorrow it would be OK. But then the problem is they don’t have any defense for their members in 2010,” Dean said, noting that the public option would not become operational until 2014. “On the other hand, if they drop the public option [to placate moderate members], I think they lose seats.”

“So this is really tough. I didn’t anticipate being in this position. I thought it would pass. Maybe Harry has some magic up his sleeve. But I don’t see how he gets those four votes [Sens. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.)] without compromising the bill,” Dean concluded.

The former Vermont governor warned that if the party allowed the four moderates to further water down the bill (or defeat it altogether) it could lead to primary challenges or a drop in fundraising from the party’s base.

“If you have members refusing to vote for Reid on procedural issues you will have a revolt in the party,” Dean said. “What is the point of having a 60-vote margin? This is going to be death for the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] and the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee]. Why would anyone donate to them if they’re supporting candidates who defeat the Democratic agenda?”

And, of course, he has a “solution”:

There was, he insisted, an out clause. Reconciliation — the budgetary maneuver that would allow portions of reform to be considered by an up or down vote — “looks better every time,” Dean said. “Someone has to say, at some point, we need to pass a bill.” Reid has hinted that reconciliation is an increasingly unlikely proposition.

Nothing but lousy options. Damned if they do, double damned if they don’t. This is precisely the position I enjoy seeing Democrats in, especially as it concerns the monstrosity they’re trying to birth and call “health care reform”. I have to say, this is the one time in my life that I’m actively hoping for a still-birth. It will take all of the Senatorial GOP sticking to their guns, and one of four of the Democrats in question actually living up to their promises. The question is, are any or all of them willing to be known as the Senator(s) who killed health care reform. I know, given this mess, I’d wear that as a badge of honor. I’m still not sure these four would view it that way.



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20 Responses to So Where Are We On Health Care Reform?

  • It just seems as if this whole thing was never thought out very well.  They got themselves into this position because the House bill was far beyond any position Obama claimed in his campaign.  That is because the House Democrats seniority system puts the most liberal of the liberal in charge.  Obama and Rahm did nothing at all to rein them in.  The Senate then followed with its bill and now they have this mess: damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
    Many of us said Obama was an empty suit.  This mess shows a complete lack of leadership.  I really don’t think Pelosi has any real idea how many members of her caucus are at risk over cap and trade and national health care.  If you are a far left liberal from San Francisco, the far left looks moderate.

  • I forget who first suggested it, but I can’t agree more that Republicans should start proclaiming not just their opposition to the health care bills in the House and Senate, but also pledging to repeal them if they regain control of Congress. Add in a pledge to recover whatever hasn’t been spent in the “Stimulus” swindle, and that’s a winning, and fiscally prudent, recipe.

  • I’m more concerned about where are the Republicans.
    Where’s Michael Steele coming on the radio saying that if they gain control in Congress, they’ll kill the bill.

    • Where are the Republicans?

      Where they normally are: a day late and a dollar short.

      In fairness, though, where do they have to be?  When your opponent is self-destructing, the smart thing to do is to just stand back and enjoy your popcorn.

      What scares me is that the GOP will get a majority in ’10… and promptly show how moderate they are by passing their own health care bill that will be only SLIGHTLY less costly and SLIGHTLY less intrusive than ObamaCare.  Imeme will gladly sign it and get the accolades for his “bipartisanship” that he craves… and libs throughout the government will immediately set to work expanding the law’s scope until it is the ObamaCare that they’ve always wanted.

  • I think Lieberman might enjoy being the one who killed the bill.  He’s got a contrary streak in him.
    I certainly hope so, as I think he’s the only shot.

  • For the first time in memory, I agree with Howard Dean.  The democrats are facing a politically existential moment of their own making. Ironically, if they win, they big lose and if they lose, they lose bigger.

    Here is the upside!  Assume Reid and Pelosi can enact a bill with some form of a public option.  American workers who look at their pay stubs in January and see an increase in their withholding without any increase in benefits will suddenly understand the problem.  Young people, many of whom voted for Obama, will get the tab for a $3,000 health policy they did not want. Seniors will explode over $491B cut from Medicare.  Cash strapped states will balk at these new unfunded federal mandates or raise taxes incurring the wrath of their constituents.  China will refuse to buy more US debt, driving up interest rates.  Employers will again defer hiring or perhaps lay off workers and cut back.  Unemployment will increase and the economy will  again contract.  The democrats will lose the House in 2010, enabling the conservatives to dismantle healthcare by defunding it.

    Dean is right about the downside.  If a gang of four in the Senate and a powerless minority of republicans can defeat the public option, liberals all over the country will do what the conservatives did in 2006 and 3008 – sit out the elections in 2010 and 2012.  DNC funds will dry up and 2010 will be Obama’s Waterloo.  In 2012, the dems will give Obama what he really wants, a mirror, and send him back to Chicago.

  • I meant “they lose big”

  • Well, I am glad to say that I was right, but the Demmies are imploding on this one. You have the fruitpies on the Left now calling Joe Lieberman “Traitor Joe.” Imagine for a moment, if you will, if any Republican had called Arlen Specter a “traitor.” He threw his party under the ground time and time again, and yet he still got GOP support. It was not until he switched parties that he got our anger. Yet Lieberman was screwed by the Demmies in 2006 who ran a more leftwing imbecile against him, and yet he won. He still caucuses with the Demmies. He still supports 95% of their agenda. Yet, for the Left, purity is the only way to go. Vote Lefty 100% of the time, or you are a “traitor.” Nice.
    Of course, the media still harps on the meme that “there is a civil war going on in the Republican Party.” Uh, hello? Which party is breaking up over this health care grab? And which party is sticking to its guns as a whole? Need I say more about the continued hypocrisy of the leftwing media in this country?
    As for health care reform, it is DEAD, DEAD, AND STILL DEAD. I said it was dead months ago, when its only problem was its increasing unpopularity. Now, it has the unpopular public option, the unpopular paying for abortions with taxpayer funds, and allowing illegal aliens to purchase health care. So it is really, really DEAD right now, only the dimwitted Demmies have no idea that it is, mainly because they are BRAIN DEAD as a party. What crap! No wonder 56% are opposed to it! And wait until the elderly discover just what the Demmies are trying to do to their care with $500 billion in Medicare cuts! Wait until we see those long lines of seniors voting next November to throw every Demmie out of office that they can find. Remember what happened to Danny Rostenkowski? He was mobbed by seniors when they discovered he had cut their health care. He was so frightened of the mere appearance of his losing his seat that he got back to Congress and quickly pushed through a re-do. Now THAT is power.
    My prediction is that after the first of the year, “Searchlight” Harry Reid will push for cloture on the floor debate, and only get 58 or 59 votes, with Lieberman and Nelson of Nebraska voting against him. Every vote will go 58-42 or 59-41 to close debate, and each time it will fail.
    Then, the Demmies will P-A-N-I-C, with a capital “P.” What happens next is anyone’s guess, but I believe that when “Searchlight Harry” tries to reach out for that 1 or 2 votes he ticks off liberals, and the whole bill dies on the floor. I figure this should happen around the middle to the end of January.
    Predictions, predictions. How lovely.

  • I have too much faith in Susan “Clueless” Collins and Olympia “Stupid” Snowe voting in favor of this bill.  They will both get a  payoff like Landreau did but in the end they will vote for this.

    I think Obamacare will pass thanks to those two.

  • I get this feeling that this chart explains why this whole process seems so … detached.

  • The dems fouled up from the beginning because they started from the false premise that their victories in ’06 and ’08 indicated that the country had moved VERY left and that they therefore had no reason at all to even pretend to try to work with the GOP or even moderates in their own party.

    What they’ve found is that the country did NOT move that far to the left and that enough democrats depend on moderate voters for reelection to make it hard to pass a broad, hard-left agenda.  Further, enough of the country watched the dems spend $780 billion on the stimulus bill that has done nothing to help the economy recover, and are hence a little leery of trusting the dems’ promises that spending even more money will do us any good.  Finally, the dems have spent so much, so fast, that only the most dimwitted American can’t see that our debt is rising to catastrophic levels.

    Had Imeme, Dingy Harry, and SanFran Nan had a lick of sense and NOT been animated by a spiteful, petty, mean-spirited desire to sideline the GOP in retaliation for a vague list of imagined or ginned-up slights, they would have drafted much more moderate (read: less costly) legislation and tossed more than a few bones to the GOP, enough to get plenty of RINO’s on board with their agenda.  As I’ve written before, the GOP is not opposed to health care reform per se, but merely to such an expensive plan.  So, instead of worrying about being in a lose-lose situation, the dems would be basking in the glory of a bill passed with a modestly bipartisan, comfortable majority.

    As for the reconciliation maneuver, it might work to pass a health care bill, but would hand the GOP a huge issue in the midterms and beyond.  Indeed, the dem leadership has been doing the RNC’s work for it and doing it well: people are switching party identity at a tremendous rate, but NOT because the GOP is offering much of anything.  Rather, a growing number of Americans, faced with the reality of what the dems REALLY are, are streaming for the lesser of two evils.  They have realized that it’s far better to have a stupid, clueless GOP in charge than the current gang of malignant democrats.

  • I wondering, isn’t Landrieu actually doing her job? I was under the impression that Senators are suppose to, in theory, protect the state from the federal government. My impression is, and again I could be wrong, that this money is for compensating  the state for money that the Federal government leaves the states “holding the bag”  for.

    • Its a quid pro quo that’s being objected too – and the money is for “states emerging from emergencies”, or IOW Katrina. As I understand it, it has absolutely nothing to do with federal mandates.

  • I wonder if Obama will kiss us .. before he has sex with us.

  • Adequate healthcare should certainly be more affordable, but this plan is not going to work. Our economy is already in the tank. Future generations should not be saddled with this. There must be a better idea than this.