Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Where The Debate Stands On Obama Care

It would be wise after a weekend of reflection to look again at the health care summit at Blair house on Thursday and evaluate exactly what transpired, and who won and who lost, as well as how the Democrats seem to be moving forward. It would be fair to conclude that the president and the democrat contingent went in with the idea of trying to appear bipartisan and transparent but with no real intention of compromise that included an incremental step by step approach to reform. It would also be fair to conclude that the Republicans came in with no real intention of compromise that would include a massive government take over. So on the surface the GOP won the exchange, simply because every public opinion poll suggests that the American people do not favor the big government solution to health care reform. Every Democrat  tried their best to convince the public that the differences were minor. The Republicans weren't buying into their futile attempt at labeling the bill as replete with GOP amendments that just needed a few minor tweeks. The Republicans did well in framing the debate as a philosophical difference between big government, and market driven incremental solutions.

The Democrats rightly pointed out that there are components of the bill the American people agree with, such as prohibiting insurance companies from arbitrarily dropping coverage, and the idea of covering pre-existing conditions, but their approach which would involve a massive new entitlement run by government bureaucrats is not the solution most Americans want.  The Republicans have ammunition on their side when they oppose the Washington solution, which is full of mandates and bureaucratic tinkering, and like every other government program the costs always explode exponentially once implemented. The simple fact that both social security and medicare are close to bankruptcy reveals Washington politician's Achilles heel, which is fiscal irresponsibility. The newly engaged American voter is insistent on fiscal sanity, and wonders why they are continuing down this path when the debt is growing, deficits are mind boggling, and jobs are a rarity.

The democrats rightly conclude their bill will cover more of the uninsured than the Republican plan. But, once again the American people argue, and are insistent they shouldn't have to sacrifice their current plan to insure more of the uninsured. Most Americans see this approach as a redistribution of health, especially when you consider the medicare cuts proposed in the bill to fund a new entitlement even though medicare is headed for insolvency. Also much of the increased coverage comes from an expansion of medicaid. Almost 50% of all doctors won't even touch medicaid patients anymore because of the reimbursement structure associated with that program.

The summit time allotment brings to light another fact. The Republicans were given less than half the time of the Democrats during the summit, and yet most feel they gave a much more detailed description of Obama care and a good defense of their ideas and plans for health reform. So once again the implication is that they can do more for less. More actual reform at much less the cost. Remember the stimulus bill.....the Democrats wrote this behemoth of a bill, and yet the Republican bill, according to the CBO did more to stimulate at half the cost. Americans who are frustrated and scared of exploding deficits are exclusively going to side with the GOP.

Now moving forward the strategy for the Democrats is becoming  clear. They've changed the phrase reconciliation to a majority vote. You heard them all weekend utter that phrase along with up and down vote. They're trying to re- frame the debate to lessen the impact of passing a monstrosity through reconciliation, which has never been done before for this kind of life changing, power grabbing piece of legislation, even though they're trying to convince the public it's almost an every day occurrence.  They are insistent that Republicans, as Nancy Pelosi said this weekend were given a place at the table, and that a bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Now that takes some real mind twisting. But, of course along with mind twisting there will be a lot of arm twisting in the house to get the senate bill passed. The newest announcement from the princess of petulance is that even though she excoriated the Tea Party movement as, astro-turf and Nazi like, now she agrees with many of the views of the Tea Party movement. Who could have guessed, she and Sarah Palin will go hunting moose together soon.

She also is now intimating that Obama is going to come out this week with a smaller version of the bill. I'm guessing this is an attempt to convince the house members to vote for the existing senate bill that will then be restructured smaller through the reconciliation, oops, excuse me, majority vote in the senate. This is really the only possible way to get it done without a new 60 vote majority in the senate, to avoid a Republican filibuster. Once again they're forgetting that the American people are as upset at the process as they are the substance of the bill. It's clear the Democrats want this done before the Easter recess to avoid angry constituents on their doorsteps. Buckle up your seat belts, it's going to be an interesting next few weeks, with a propaganda campaign second to now, especially since the clock is ticking down to the mid term elections.
Read: Kudos Jay Leno.....at my other blog......Con-Men 4 Palin
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