The entire health care reform debate has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster for the Democrats. First, the Democrats have been fighting amongst themselves and then going to the media to blame the Republicans. Do they really think that anyone will believe them? The Democrats still can't figure out if there will or will not be a public option. That has nothing to do with Republicans. Moderates don't want it. Liberals are desperate for it. That's how it stacks up, and we are now into the seventh month and still no one knows if it will or will not be in it. Because Democratic leadership, on occasion after occasion, brought bills forward before all internal debates ended, these inter party debates would then play out in the media.
Then, for reasons that are still unclear, the Democrats decided to squarely put themselves against the town hall protestors in August. In other words, the Democrats thought it was a good strategy to publicly stand up against millions of voters. All politicians have potential voters that will never vote for them. Still, those politicians never show contempt for voters that disagree with them. The Democrats showed nothing but contempt for anyone that attended a town hall event. Most politicians refused to even hold town halls as if listening to their constituents is not important. The House Speaker called the town hall attendees astroturfers and unAmerican. Harry Reid said they contributed to "evil". Many Democrats said their behavior contributed to the coarsening of the society.
Most shocking, we are now into the seventh month and we are nowhere near actually settling on a bill. Let's forget settling on a bill. The Democrats can't even settle on most of the major issues that will be in the bill. First, they still can't figure out if there will or will not be a public option. Second, they can't figure out how to pay for it. Third, they can't figure out if health insurance will be a mandate.
The Democrats really took this to an area yet unheard when they began pushing the idea that health care reform would be covered by cuts in Medicare. That put them squarely against seniors, the block that votes in by far the highest percentage. (not to mention that seniors are highly populated in Florida a frequent battle ground state) Democrats tried to pretend that these cuts would only be waste, fraud and abuse but of course that's what every politician says when they don't want to admit real cuts. So, seniors have turned against the bill and they'll soon simply turn against Democrats.
Now, we are debating the health care bill coming out of the Senate's finance committee. By bill, I mean a detailed outline because that's all you need in that committee. Despite that, the bill is on life support. This morning we found out that there are nearly $30 billion in new taxes. Later today, the CBO is expected to score the bill. If there's more in taxes, you can bet there will be more in expenses. The Democrats were touting this bill as the only one to cost less than $900 billion over the next ten years. It's likely the CBO will put cold water on that idea. In fact, it's likely that the CBO will do to this version of the health care bill what it's done to every version. That is to essentially destroy it. Now, the CBO is not doing anything nefarious. All the CBO does is try and figure out the costs and revenues in an objective way. So, once an objective cost analysis is done of any of the bills, that analysis concludes that the bills are far too expensive.
This is what happened each and everytime a Democratic bill came out. When the Kennedy bill came out, it was tagged at about a trillion dollars over ten years and only cover one third of the current uninsured. The House bill, HR 3200, was about $1.5 trillion over the next ten years. So, each and every time, Democrats would run away from said bill and pronounce that a final bill was not done. So, what's really happened is that each and every Democratic stab at a full and complete bill has really beeen nothing short of a total failure.
This is the so called debate that Democrats have been engaging in since the health care debate has started. The Democrats have been fighting amongst themselves. They can't figure out anything close to a bill. They can't figure out how to pay for it. Worse yet, they blame everyone but themselves for the trainwreck they have created. Throughout it all, the Democrats have been totally tone deaf politically. Every poll says that the voters are most concerned about government spending and the Democrats are pushing a bill that will spend one trillion dollars over the next ten years. Polls show that about 70% of folks are happy with their health care and health insurance and yet the Democrats want to push a bill that will fundamentally change the system. The polls show that tort reform and portability are the two issues that voters want fixed and those two issues aren't addressed by any bill. The voters want a bill this massive in scope to be passed in a bi partisan manner and the Democrats are increasingly partisan and threatening reconciliation, or passing the bill with only 50 votes in the Senate. What a trainwreck? Do the Dems realize it?
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