Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Healthcare Hustle: Senate to drop Public Option and stronger abortion restrictions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Abortion opponents failed to inject tougher restrictions into sweeping Senate health care legislation Tuesday, and Democratic leaders labored to make sure fallout from the controversy wouldn't hinder the drive to pass President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.
The 54-45 vote over abortion took place as Democrats, in daylong private talks in the Capitol, appeared ready to scuttle plans for a government-run insurance option that liberals have long sought.
A potential alternative was taking shape, several officials said, including a private insurance arrangement to be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the system through which lawmakers purchase coverage. Additionally, Medicare would be opened up to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55, a significant expansion of the large government health care program that currently serves the over-65 population.
Taken together, the day's developments underscored the complexity that confronts the administration and Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., as they seek the 60 votes needed to overcome Republican opposition and pass a bill by Christmas. 
These are some interesting developments. While the abortion restrictions are sure to cause major chaos in the House, the dropping of the Public Option is not a major problem at all.

Keep in mind that the whole idea behind the Democrats reform of healthcare is to bring about a single payer system. While the Public Option would surely kill off private insurance, there are other methods that can achieve the same goal.  So long as the government gets more control over private insurance companies, they can dictate all kinds of crazy terms that will eventually force private insurance companies to fail. Thus the only alternative will have to be a single payer system. Look for whatever new scheme emerges to contain the necessary mandates on private insurance to eventually cause their collapse.

Right now there are two things working in the public’s favor to save us from the nightmare. First is time, the longer the Democrats take to pass something, the more they lose support for their reform efforts. This is because people are finding out just how awful the House and Senate bills are and just how expensive they will be too. The public wants Obama and Congress to work on jobs and the deficit, not healthcare reform. So the more time wasted on healthcare reform the more Obama and Congress look like they are not handling the people’s business.

The second factor working for the people is Obama’s dwindling approval ratings.  Many Dems eagerly jumped the shark on the stimulus and cap and trade when Obama had high approval numbers. This is because they figured a popular president could cover their asses.  As Obama’s numbers dwindle, House and Senate Democrats must realize that it is every man for himself come 2010.

Keep your fingers crossed and hopefully we can still dodge this mess.


Janelle said...

I'm all for Healthcare Reform - Congress, how about tackling the current problems in Medicare and Medicaid? If there is fraud, wasteful spending and overbilling....... clean it up. Fix the current government programs. The newer, shinier model with bigger tires, six horn tones and over 110 new accessories (departments) is too blasted big for the highways.

Clifton B said...


This is one of the major things that shows why the Democrats are not sincere about healthcare reform. There are tons of existing problems with Medicare that need fixing, that can be fixed cheaply and would save tons of money. Yet none of them are address. Instead it is spend more money and expand a failed program.

What the Democrats are truly after is seeking more control, not reform.

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