Health Care Reform: Couldn't Be Done

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So many pundits from Right and Left along the way have said Health Care Reform could not be done. They appear poised to be proven wrong. The recent polling showing Democrats neck and neck with Republicans for a take over in the House in 2010, has put the fear of reelection in many of the Blue Dog Democrats. Even in the Senate, the prospect of having to work with a Republican House is driving moderate Democrats to find those compromises that will permit health care reform to pass. The Democrats know they must have a success in this matter if they are to hold the House next year.

The Public Option may have appeared dead to some, but, it was just a head fake. The majority of Americans now want the competition and the safety net the Public Option will provide, which no other plan, even a bipartisan plan, can match for protection by most middle class voters. So, why isn't the Public Option in the Senate proposal? Politics, my dear Watson, politics. The House and Senate now have something to barter with each other. The Senate wants a deficit neutral bill which no House bill provides. The House wants the Public Option which isn't in the Senate bill.

The majority of Democrats in both Houses had given up on a bipartisan bill passing some time ago. Therefore, they needed an path toward a reconciliation bill (one that could pass through the Senate on 51 votes), which both the House and Senate reconciliation committee members could agree upon. That path now appears to be have been found and struck as a bargain between House and Senate Democrats. Which, along with the recent polls, puts public voter sights squarely on the Republicans if they march lock step in opposing any health care reform.

Having achieved a path toward a reconciliation bill that could pass with a majority of public approval, the Democrats and Obama have effectively, if not intentionally, forced some name recognition Republicans to publicly state their support for passage of a health care reform bill this year. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Me) is reported to have said she hopes the voices of these other Republicans in support will resonate, clearly indicating her continued interest in being a bipartisan vote for health care reform, despite rumors a few weeks ago that all potential Republican support had evaporated.

The pace of the bill's progress is speeding up, and Americans may very likely see the passage of a health care reform bill before year's end, putting Republicans in a box, damned if they do support the bill and damned if they don't, come 2010 elections. Having put forth their best shot at preventing health care reform in Democrat's favor, some Republican's like Bob Dole are coming out and saying the effort failed, and it is time to get on board. Bob Dole's comments are reported on yesterday:

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kans.) told reporters on Wednesday that opposition to the president's health care package was driven, in part, by knee-jerk partisanship and he urged Congressional Republicans to consider backing a version of reform.
No doubt a result of getting flack from Republican opponents to health care reform, Dole's spokesperson later attempted to backtrack Mr. Dole's statements and meaning, qualifying that Mr. Dole was not recommending Republicans sign on to any specific bill or, even final passage, but, that it is time for GOP bipartisanship effort toward health care reform. Though, Dole's spokesperson obviously did not help Mr. Dole with this contradictory statement.

Of course, until Pres. Obama signs a health care reform measure into law, there will continue to be intense efforts by players to kill any health care reform for the American people and the Democratic Party. They may however, be more inclined to do so anonymously going forward in light of the change in the polls in support of Democrat's basic proposals and objectives. With so many of the Right's claims about Democratic proposals having proved false to the majority of Americans, (no Death panels, no bankrupting deficit spending on health care reform for the Senate version, no change for senior citizens or individuals seeking private insurers absent an employer paid plan, and no coverage for illegal aliens), it is no wonder the majority of Americans have tuned out the Republicans and Righties trying to defeat reform, which in turn, would account for the dramatic change in the polls for the Democratic reform measures.

Republicans crying debt and deficits citing the CBO awhile back was the last fact based attempt to halt Democrats in their tracks. However, the latest CBO report indicates the Democrat's Senate version would actually reduce health care costs significantly over the next 10 years (see hyperlink above). As the Washington Post reported yesterday:

A health-care reform bill drafted by the Senate Finance Committee would expand health coverage to nearly 30 million Americans who currently lack insurance and would meet President Obama's goal of reducing the federal budget deficit by 2019, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

It would appear a health care reform bill will be forthcoming into law. All that remains unanswered is whether it will be a bipartisan reform measure or Democrats will take all the credit for doing what Republicans didn't dare when they were in power, and fought Democrats and the American public on, with every trick in the book. Still, it must be said earnestly and objectively, that without Republican opposition, factual and otherwise, the American people would not likely be receiving a health care reform measure that can actually drive down health care costs while moving toward universal health care coverage, nor one which, does not add to the extreme national debt still growing for years to come. That is testament to our nation's need for multiple political parties represented in our legislative bodies.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on October 8, 2009 12:53 PM.

Conservatives Put Health Care Reform Back in Obama's Lap was the previous entry in this blog.

Dem's Can't Walk Both Sides of Amnesty Fence is the next entry in this blog.

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