Monday, July 13, 2009

Obamacare is Dead

....or at least much of it. News this morning of leading lawmakers asserting the growing impossibility of Obamacare coming up for a vote before the August recess. One thing the President and his staff learned from TARP and the Stimulus was that the faster things are acted upon ( and the less discussion/reading of bills that occurs), the more likely they are to pass when one's party controls the Congress.

But as legislators go home and face their constituents, they are going to find a group of people who will begin to ask increasingly more difficult questions....and they'll bring the abstract into fine relief. "Health care is broken" they'll say. Then they'll say "don't mess with mine and don't raise my taxes to pay for anyone else's". Small businesses will talk about employer mandates killing jobs. Though the press isn't saying it (because they don't want to offend their patron), any hope that the President had of pushing through a radical overhaul of the system is dead.

This is a good thing. In my prior life in the Pentagon, I used to lead teams that were constituted of representatives from each of the Armed Services. One time, I pulled aside a particularly intractable fellow to ask why he was so difficult to work with--why he seemed to get in the way of virtually everything we were trying to do. "If nothing happens" he said, "nothing bad happens." As a political Conservative, I had to give him that.

Hopefully, what the recess will do is arm legislators with a better sense of what the art of the possible is. I want to see a system in which those UNABLE to afford medical insurance can find coverage. But I also want to see a system in which people are more financially involved in their own health care, where the costs are understood by doctors and patients alike. I want to see TRUE MARKET FORCES applied to healthcare, not some monstrous hybrid in which the government sets its own terms and leaves private insurers to suffer the consequences.

2 comments:

Greg "The Hammer" Dail said...

There is a God after all.

Sally said...

Not so fast. Following a WH meeting this afternoon, MSNBC (I know, I know) reports:

"Mr. Obama and the House Democrats in the room made it clear to the two Democratic senators that needed to the Senate to go public with their promise to not break for the August recess until a bill passes the Senate. There is a worry among some House Democrats that they will lose some moderate support if the Senate decides to go home for August without a vote. So they want to hear a public pledge. Key Senate sources tell us that public pledge is coming, possibly as early as tomorrow."

Umm-hmm.

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