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Morning Bell:Obamacare at Any Cost
Posted By ConnCarroll On March 12, 2010 @ 9:42 am In Health Care | NoComments
Yesterday the White House circulated a memo  by pollster Joel Benenson.It was designed to create momentum for Obamacare by convincing waywardHouse Democrats that support for the President’s plan has been buildingsince the State of the Union. As with everything else that comes out ofthe White House on health care these days, the memo is nothing but purefantasy.
This Tuesday, Gallup released itslatest poll showing that by a 48%-45%  margin Americans would telltheir representative in Congress to vote against President Obama’shealth plan. Compare that to the last time Gallup asked the question inJanuary, Americans supported the President’s plan 49%-46% . That’s a net six point lossin support for the President’s plan since the State of the Union. Thatis momentum. Against Obamacare.
And Gallup isn’t alone. The Associated Press  released a poll this weekshowing that 68% of Americans believe the President and CongressionalDemocrats shouldn’t pass their health care plan without Republicansupport. “Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watchDemocratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselvesinto believing that the public favors the Democrats’ currenthealth-care plan,” Democratic pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen addin today’s Washington Post , “A solid majority ofAmericans opposes the massive health-reform plan.”
Yesterday was particularly tough forthe President’s plan. First, the White Houseunderwhelmed the Democratic Caucus  in a presentation of the new (stillunwritten) reconciliation bill. Then, the Senate Parliamentarian killed the Democrats favored procedural pathfor passage by signaling he would rule that President Obama must sign the originalSenate bill into law before the Senate could act on the President’s newreconciliation package. Finally, the Associated Press  reported that House leadershave abandoned all hope of finding language to satisfy Rep. BartStupak’s (D-MI) concerns that the Senate bill funds abortion. By theend of the day, the leftist firedoglake site had dropped its count  of committed House Democratsfor passage to 189 (Speaker Pelosi needs 216 for passage).
With the loss of Stupak and his 7-12member caucus opposed to taxpayer-funded-abortions, Speaker Pelosi willhave to find the remaining dozen plus votes from the ranks of costconscious Blue Dog Democrats. For example, Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL)who voted against the House bill in the fall explained at the time : “According to theCongressional Budget Office, the House health care bill will actuallyincrease federal health care spending over the long term, whileproposals being considered by the Senate would have a net decrease.”But according to a new CBO score of the Senate bill passed on ChristmasEve (the one with the Cornhusker Kickback), it actually increaseshealth care spending. And the reconciliation bill only make things worse, since, among other increasedspending measures ,President Obama “fixed” the Cornhusker Kickback not by eliminating thenew spending, but by extending it to all 50 states.
With no votes piling up , and “yes” votes materializing , the Democratic plans toshove Obamacare down the throats of the American people are becomingmore and more desperate. This Monday, the House Budget Committee will begin markup on the newreconciliation bill even though actual legislative text does not exist for it yet. TheDemocrats plan to pass a shell of a bill through the appropriatecommittees so that the Rules Committee can then substitute the billthat is being drafted completely behind closed doors by the White Houseand Senate and Democrat leaders.
Politico reports that despite theParliamentarian’s initial verbal ruling, they will press on with theirSlaughter Rule plan to pass the Senate bill without voting on it. NRO’sYuval Levin quips : “Democratic leaders shouldbe asking themselves just how they have gotten to the point that theirstrategy is to amend a law that doesn’t exist yet by passing a billwithout voting on it.”
But President Obama’s progressivebase is way past rational thought when it comes to health care. Theywant it passed at any cost. And as George Will pointed out yesterday , the very essence ofprogressivism sublimates the democratic process to the rule of expertsin Washington. No one can say if this bill will finally pass, but if itdoes, it is abundantly clear that our republican form of governmentwill be permanently damaged by it.
Tags: obamacare Heritage