by j. wright 12/16/2009
Journalist Jennifer Rubin, in a commentary.com article explains that the Democrats in the U.S. Senate are now at their wits end. Under mounting pressure they have dropped “another harebrained Harry Reid scheme.” But what’s next? The “ReidCare” public option idea has imploded along with adding more bodies to a failing Medicare including many who have reached 55 years of age. Ms. Rubin goes on, “ They need, because a few centrists insist on it, something that is semi-coherent and that actually might allow the Democrats to face the voters, who currently disfavor ObamaCare by a huge margin. What’s left after they take out the public option and the Medicare buy-in?”
A Republican leadership aide explains what’s left: “$500 billion in Medicare cuts, $400 billion in tax increases, raises premiums, raises costs, onerous regulations, individual mandates, employer mandates, and expensive subsidies.” So what’s not to like? Well, just about everything, boys and girls. And this is reform?
A Democrat leadership aide explained it another way, similar to a Willy Sutton bank robbery gone badly. They’re inside the bank surrounded outside by dozens of armed lawmen, their robbery plans went awry big time; they can leave the money and run, or shoot it out and take the money.
Apparently it has come down to this in the Senate… pass anything to save face and maybe give President Obama a boost in his plummeting job approval numbers, all at the expense of 1/6 of our faltering economy. Or maybe they can all go home and clear their heads. When they return, maybe they can come up with a few inexpensive, discrete reforms that will have bipartisan support and not destroy our present system. Maybe? When pigs fly.
Unfortunately I see the Democrats with their huge majority as more than willing to pass anything just to pass it, regardless of what the unintended consequences will be in the 2010 elections.
What we are seeing now in the Senate are a few Dems and Harry Reid behind closed doors again, not on C-Span as Obama the transparency candidate espoused, working on a 'new' bill while the rest of the Senate is wasting time debating much of the old one. Whatever passes the Senate, if it does, will then go to a Joint Conference Meeting with the Democrat Leaders of the Pelosi led House and God only knows what will come from that. All of the recent talk about dropping the public option and the Medicare buy-in may suddenly be back in play, including abortion funding, and at what financial cost? The problem is after it leaves the Joint Conference Committee, it takes only 51 votes in the Senate to pass it. Look for a few Democrat Senators, who may be in jeopardy in the upcoming 2010 elections, to seek political refuge and vote against it. Call it CYA, that's all it is.
Another problem, and a major problem at that, is that if this monstrosity is enacted it will be nearly impossible to rescind with Obama holding a veto pen, at least until the 2012 elections. If he is reelected in 2012 then we're really doomed. The America where many of us grew up will cease to exist.