And on the other side, here’s what Newt Gingrich, the Republican
former speaker of the House — a man celebrated by many in his party as
an intellectual leader — had to say: If Democrats pass health reform,
“They will have destroyed their party much as Lyndon Johnson shattered
the Democratic Party for 40 years” by passing civil rights legislation.
argue that Mr. Gingrich is wrong about that: proposals to guarantee
health insurance are often controversial before they go into effect —
Ronald Reagan famously argued that Medicare would mean the end of
American freedom — but always popular once enacted.
No shit. I like birthday presents too. Medicare is popular with those receiving free or nearly free healthcare paid for by the government, which in reality is you and I. Who does not like to be given things, even those which you could afford to buy yourself. And that is the issue with this healthcare reform bill; Who is going to pay for all this largess? You cannot grant large swaths of the population free goodies from the government without eventually taxing the producers to the point that they can no longer support the system. Medicare is going broke and has cost over a trillion dollars. Much more than the $10B originally forecast. If the healthcare reform bill is not seriously tweaked, we will see our economy enter a period in which growth and unemployment looks more like Europe than our traditional rates. And that is not a good thing.
Mark Barabak of the LA Times compares ObamaCare with the Civil Rights Act because we all know that a huge government takeover of our nation's healthcare systems is analogous to ending segregation. It would appear that there are no ends to what Obama supporters...er...the media, will do to rehabilitate the Democrat brand and re-write history as the November elections approach. After healthcare vote, Democrats turn to damage control - latimes.com.
This is a note I sent to my Congressman, David Price of North Carolina, regarding the health care bill. He is a rubber stamp for the Obama Administration and has announced he is voting for the bill. I also called with the same message. I was able to get right through as he has been in the tank for this since the beginning. Note this is a gerrymandered seat that includes the university populations of Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill. A monkey could run for Congress in this district and as long as it was a Democrat, be elected.
I request that you publicly ask for an up or down vote on the "Health care Reform" bill. Deem and pass is very possibly unconstitutional and shows no courage. If Democrats believe in the legislation, they should put their names on it.
Second, I would like to ask you to call for a repeal if the cost exceeds $940B and does not reduce the deficit. This includes the ""Doctor Fix". This is a key talking/selling point and you should be willing to admit you are wrong on costs if it exceeds this threshold. Also, why should Seniors in Florida get a better deal on Medicare and Medicare Advantage? I want all the goodies that are being promised to other states and districts to be extended to NC.
I would also like a public announcement of whether you believe an individual mandate is Constitutional and if you are for or against a single-payer system. This legislation will likely end up resulting in just that (Senator Harkin calls this a "Starter Home" for govt. health care) and you should at least be honest with your constituents, even those not in Chapel Hill and Durham.
It appears that President Obama is prepared to use reconciliation to pass his monstrosity of a healthcare bill. He has given some lip service to Republican suggestions and will tell the public that it is perfectly normal to use the reconciliation process to pass this bill. A study of tort reform? Please...
Fortunately for him, most Americans have no clue as to what reconciliation is and what it was intended to be used for. He will say that President Bush used it for his tax cuts, which is true. However, it is perfectly fine to use it for a budget item like tax cuts which is why reconciliation exists. There is a tenuous relationship with the budget process involved here. And the idea that this bill will reduce the deficit is just plain balderdash. It is going to be a long few years until 2012.
Dan Riehl notices another sell-out by Senator Ben Nelson. In this case it turns out to be an unnecessary one. Riehl makes the following excellent point,
"There are no Blue Dogs, as I posted previously. There are only Democrats not required to sell-out on any particular vote. And if they're needed, they do what they're told."
This is a great observation and reminds me of when I was in college and interned for a democrat state legislator. He had been elected on the strength of Bill Clinton's coattails in 1992 in a relatively conservative district in San Diego County. He, like Clinton, had positioned himself as a "New Democrat". As such, he was analogous to a "Blue Dog" democrat of today and he strove to maintain that image as a moderate to conservative. One way he did this was to vote against the Speaker Willie Brown's very liberal democrat majority on bills that the district was against and which Brown had plenty of votes to pass. The Speaker's office would do a headcount and if they had enough votes, give my boss permission to vote against that bill even if he supported it. This helped him build a moderate voting record that he could say was in step with the district.
Where things got interesting was when a bill was controversial and the vote was going to be close. That was a worst case scenario for him as he might actually have to vote with the liberals and against his constituents. As Riehl notes, he was only a "New Democrat" when his vote was not needed. The way the Speaker would get around this was novel. The legislature voted in alphabetical order. Yet an assemblyman could switch spots with someone else. On several of these bills, my assemblyman whose name began with "C", would switch with an assemblyman whose name began with "Z". That would allow him to be among the last to vote. We would spend time sitting around the speaker-phone listening to Speaker Brown's office for directions. Once they had the clinching vote, they would tell assemblyman C to vote no, allowing him to maintain the perception of being a moderate to conservative democrat.
Sounds a lot like today's "Blue Dogs", eh? Fortunately, the Republican wave in election of 1994 swept the assemblyman away and the district actually has a representative that works for them and not the party. Perhaps we can do the same thing in 2010.