Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Is health care "reform" on the ropes? 

Dick Morris, no friend of the Democratic left, puts the potato on the fork:

In the coming weeks, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will be asking their troops to cast potentially career-ending votes for health-care changes, Medicare cuts, higher taxes and fines on the uninsured. Whether they take that risk depends on their faith in Obama's drawing power.

But the votes in Virginia, in particular, show the limits of Obama's appeal.

The odds still favor some sort of grotesquely expensive health care bill. If the Democrats cannot do that with a huge Congressional majority, what are they good for? But if the Republicans play it well -- far from a foregone conclusion -- they can change the legislation for the better.

Talk amongst yourselves.

CWCID: Glenn Reynolds.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Nov 04, 12:46:00 PM:

Has to be on the ropes, as most Senators and House members blow with the wind on matters like these. This bad political news for the White House comes along with Harry Reid's public pronouncement yesterday that Congress probably can't get healthcare reform done by the end of the year. Which means. . .

that all legislators have to be very nervous in an election year. It's hard to imagine Democrats in swing districts sticking their necks out for a huge entitlement with 10% unemployment or the Democrats having a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate for what's currently proposed. So, if there is healthcare "reform", it will be scaled back. Or so the results in Virginia and New Jersey would seem to predict.

I live in Pennsylvania, and the local elections overwhelmingly went for the Republicans in many places where Obama won 55% of the vote a year ago. The Republicans won in many cases with bigger margins than Obama did. Some of the margin might pertain to local matters, but a good amount of it seems to underscore a concern that the national Democrats have swung too far to the left.

I agree, TH, that the type of healthcare reform the Democrats have been talking about could cost them big in 2010.

The Centrist  

By Blogger Cardinalpark, at Wed Nov 04, 01:58:00 PM:

Well, we will find out soon enough, but I suspect gargantuan health "reform" is off the table. The voters probably said many things, but among them were:

1) Don't mess with my healthcare; its fine; mess with somebody else's at no cost to me please

2) Besides, don't we have to, like focus on the fact that our economy sucks first? Shouldn't it be a priority to get that going? If it ain't going, we can't pay for squat anyway.

3) Old people said mess with my Medicare and I will make sure every one in my community votes against you.

4) Raise my taxes? Are you frickin nuts? No jobs, no bonuses, no pay increase. And my taxes go UP? Go buy your vote someplace else pal.

Right now priority one for voters are domestic economic issues, and they are all intertwined. If the economy still sucks next November, pity the fool who embraces a tax and spend agenda.  

By Blogger Diane Wilson, at Wed Nov 04, 03:33:00 PM:

If the Democrats cannot do that with a huge Congressional majority, what are they good for?

This is a rhetorical question, right?

Seriously, I'm still expecting a double-dip as commercial real-estate drags a huge number of local and regional banks under. Any Congresscritter associated with bailouts, or with a scandal hanging over their head, or not focused on economic recovery, is going to be in deep trouble. Some of them even know that.

On the other hand, there are enough in Congress who are so committed to PelosiCare that they won't accept any scaling back. I expect a collapse on health care, rather than a scaled-back effort.

In the current Congress, there's no way that any of the Republican-favored initiatives, especially tort reform or real health insurance competition, are going to fly. They won't even wobble down the runway. Just DOA, like every healthcare-related amendment they've submitted already.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Wed Nov 04, 03:35:00 PM:

You are all presuming that we are dealing with reasonable people.

I have my doubts.

The White House responded to citizen anger this summer by suggesting that they were some kind of domestic terrorism movement.

The media (scribes for the Democratic Party) accused concerned citizens of right wing fanatacism and called them "teabaggers".

Obama's response to the elections: did not watch the returns.

I think these folks are a bit unglued and willing to hoist themselves on a pitard to achieve "party goals".

The concept of representative government does not seem to be a factor here.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Nov 04, 09:40:00 PM:

Don't rule out the public option yet. There are huge amounts of public money eagerly waiting to be misappropriated, stolen and otherwise moved into the back pockets of those near the feeding trough.

The proposed legislation is not directed at reforming health care it is to allow governmental and private agencies and select individuals to freely graze from middle class wallets.

Killing the public option will be as difficult as killing zombies.


By Blogger Neil Sinhababu, at Wed Nov 04, 10:38:00 PM:

In terms of the real effects of Tuesday, Pelosi probably got another vote for health care reform. Garamendi is certain to vote for it, and Owens is likely to vote for it. That beats Tauscher and McHugh, between whom there was one vote at best.  

By Blogger victoria, at Thu Nov 05, 12:26:00 AM:

Dick Morris, blowhard extraordinaire. Wouldn't know the truth if it came up and shook his hand. (Thought I would keep it nice.) What a jerk. A liar, too.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Nov 05, 02:47:00 AM:

"put the potato on the fork" - great old school LW reference.


By Blogger JPMcT, at Thu Nov 05, 07:00:00 AM:

@ Victoria:

I certainly agree Morris is a blowhard...but even a blind pig can find a truffle. What he said was absolutely correct.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Nov 05, 09:53:00 AM:

Obamacare should be dead, and recent polls are demonstrating Morris' point is right on, but I don't think Health Reform efforts generally should end. There are real improvements that can be made, and the House GOP bill is an excellent start.

Obama will sign anything, any bill that makes it to his desk, so he can end his long national nightmare and move on to his party and golf dates. The Congressional Democrats are becoming equally desperate. We have an opportunity beginning to emerge. There will be a bill, and I hope it's ours.  

By Blogger JPMcT, at Thu Nov 05, 07:06:00 PM:

"Fixing" health care now is like buying a vacation home when you can barely make your current mortgage payments. The House Bill is indeed a bit LESS INSANE than the Senate Bill, but I will make instant plans to retire if either passes...and a lot of my fellow docs feel the same way.

Endorsement by the AMA and AARP means nothing. The former is an inside joke in most hospital lounges (only about 15-20% of docs belong to it)and the latter is a political organization.

Isn't it time we stop having to choose between the LEAST bad idea and move on to actual GOOD ideas?

Dump the incumbents!  

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