President Obama may be facing, in the words of conservative leader Sen. Jim DeMint, a Waterloo moment as the hostile takeover of our nation’s healthcare system stalls at the finish line.
The final "agreement" was the result of the politics of getting something done being more important than taking the time to craft a decent piece of legislation.
What Americans want are tweaks that lower healthcare costs and strengthen the doctor-patient relationship. But that is not what emerged from the backroom deals hammered out to find 60 Senate votes.
Instead, Congress has served up a special interest giveaway brokered with big health insurance and pharmaceutical companies behind closed doors.
Rather than real reform, we got the individual mandate that forces every American to buy an expensive insurance plan whether or not they need or want it. Health insurance companies and drug companies get rich and as usual, taxpayers get stuck with the bill.
The support for this bill is so tenuous that Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Reid decided to ram it through by sending messages between the chambers instead of the normal conference committee. And it seems this is not working too well, as Sen. Chris Dodd told CNBC yesterday, healthcare reform is "hanging on by a thread."
The Obama-Pelosi-Reid agenda crashed headfirst into reality. Americans do not have the stomach for trillion-dollar deficits and do not believe that the government should be running auto companies, banks, and our healthcare system.
The public knows insurance premiums will go up for everyone, payroll taxes will increase, and that those who choose not to purchase health insurance will face stiff federally mandated fines.
The bill does nothing to hold down costs and will be a devastating new burden on small business in the midst of a recession.
While the Obama administration and Democratic congressional leadership claim the proposed healthcare legislation will reduce the deficit, the reality is that the only budget savings will come on the backs of seniors in the form of $500 billion in Medicare cuts to a collapsing program.
So why would any legislator want to defend their support of this bill in November? As the old country philosopher Waylon Jennings said, "there ain’t no right way to do the wrong thing.’
Senators are already running scared, Sen. Dodd and Sen. Dorgan announced they are retiring rather than face the voters.
Obamacare narrowly passed the House by a 220 to 215 vote. So-called “blue dog Democrats,” representing conservative districts, are facing strong challengers in this year’s election. That makes them very susceptible to pressure from their constituents back home.
Far from being over, don’t be surprised if Obamacare collapses when senators and blue dogs begin to abandon the bill as grass-roots pressure continues to build.
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