It has not been reported yet, but look for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to follow President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s lead and go to any length – even to alter Senate rules – to pass the healthcare reform bill with the public option included.
This will happen because the Democrats — led by Obama — feel they absolutely must pass this bill with the public option included.
They believe that a failure to pass it will mean a failed, one-term presidency and the loss of Congress.
Ironically, passing it may result in exactly what they dread.
They are misreading the 1994 congressional debacle after the failure of Hillarycare. And former President Bill Clinton is helping them misread what happened back then. He just went to the Senate to urge passage of this bill.
Their belief is that the failure to pass any bill is what cost them control of Congress. So they are determined to pass a bill this time — no matter the political cost.
(Their misreading of history is typical of liberals. They didn’t lose Congress because they didn't pass a healthcare bill; they lost it because they were seen as too entrenched, too corrupt, and too arrogant. The same thing happened in 2006 and 2008 to GOP control of Congress.)
Let us examine what has already happened in the past week:
In the House, Pelosi and the left did something that shows us just how desperately they want to pass this public option: They abandoned one of the left’s foundation principles — government funding of abortions for poor women.
Yet the liberals were willing to sacrifice that basic tenet of liberalism in order to pass this healthcare bill.
What does that tell us?
That Obama, Pelosi, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and Reid will pull out all the stops to pass this bill with the public option included.
This public option is code for national health insurance — or single-payer plan – with the feds paying for it all and running it all.
This is a key component of the left’s long-held utopian plan: cradle-to-grave healthcare coverage to go along with federal control of much of what used to be called private enterprise; the government determining salaries of CEOs; the feds overseeing all education with Washington clearing all the material taught in schools, including textbook content; D.C. regulating the content of the Internet – and taxing it, too; and the FCC sticking its fingers into talk radio to mute conservative voices.
Obama has had it in for private health insurance companies ever since they denied cancer coverage to his dying mother. His obsession with putting them out of business because of how they treated his mother is equal to former President George W. Bush’s obsession with getting Saddam Hussein because of what the Iraqi leader did to his father.
So it all comes down to the upcoming debate in the Senate.
If they can get 60 votes for the public option, then they can break the filibuster and pass the bill.
But, as of today, they cannot get those 60 votes.
However, if they can get 51 votes — and it looks like they might be able to as of now — they will use this obscure parliamentary maneuver, nicknamed the “nuclear option” because it blows up the Senate, destroys Senate precedent and destroys the ability of senators to ever trust each other again.
The nuclear option is best described in Wikipedia: “In U.S. politics, the 'nuclear option' is an attempt by a majority of the United States Senate to end a filibuster by majority vote, as opposed to 60 senators voting to end a filibuster. Although it is not provided for in the formal rules of the Senate, the procedure is the subject of a 1957 parliamentary opinion and has been used on several occasions since.”
So all the talk by the Republicans and Sen. Joe Lieberman that they will run a filibuster to prevent a bill with the public option might be all for naught. Reid, with desperate prodding from Obama and his bulldozer Emanuel, will use this tactic to ram their sacred public option through the Senate and proclaim victory.
One other factor to consider: Reid is in serious re-election trouble next year in Nevada. He will want something to run on. Proclaiming himself an “the majority leader who gave all of you healthcare!" may be what he believes wins him another term in the Senate.
In sum, this nuclear option is coming. Get ready.
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