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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Health Care is Obama's Waterloo

There are currently reports that Obama and the administration has been telling Democratic legislators in private that they must vote for some form of health care reform because if they don't, it will spell doom for themselves and the party. I don't think anyone doubts that if after all this time the Democrats pass nothing that this will be a massive problem for them. Think about that for a minute. Legislators are being told to vote for a massive piece of legislation because if they don't their party will be doomed. It isn't about the legislation. It isn't about how this legislation will benefit the country. Instead, this legislation is now all about political survival.

Now, there's no doubt that without passage the Democrats will be on the brink, but what would happen if it did pass? There's no doubt that the bill is entirely unpopular. There's no doubt that the best case scenario would include one Republican if it passed. So, the Democrats would pass a deeply unpopular bill on a partisan basis.

The conventional wisdom is that upon passage the President and the Democrats would be given credit by the electorate for a major achievement. I don't doubt that there will be a temporary bump and some temporary momentum, but that's it. Then, reality sets in. The reality is that the only thing that goes into effect right away in this bill are the increases in fees and the medical cuts. Remember, Democrats tried to make the CBO score look good so they included ten years of tax increases and service cuts and only five years of medical service and coverage increases.

So, what we'll see immediately are tax increases, fee increases, and cuts to Medicare. That will continue until 2014. So, for the next four years, the Democrats will have to defend tax increases and Medicare cuts while providing absolutely nothing in return.

Furthermore, with the public option cut, there's no one that is excited about this bill. There are those that support the bill but almost no one that's excited about it. Remember, the liberals love the public option. It's the closest thing they can get to single payer. The conservatives hate the bill. The moderates merely dislike it very much. Now, the liberals have no use for the bill as well. Those that strongly oppose the bill outnIn fact, the liberals feel betrayed on this bill by the President and with escalation in Afghanistan, they're on edge. The liberals feel as though Obama caved to the hated Joe Liberman.

That's where Obama and the Democrats are in. To simplify it, this bill is horrible. It's that simple. When you push an awful bill, you face a political Waterloo whether it passes or not. At this point, I still don't believe it will pass. Even if it does, I'm not all that worried. If it passes, the Republicans would simply run each of the next elections, until accomplished, on the platform of repealing this monstrocity.

That will work also. That's because they will be repealing massive tax increases and Medicare cuts with no increase in services to anyone. The bill is already polling in the 30's, and we haven't seen a poll since it was realized that the public option wouldn't be in it. Without liberal support, the bill may poll in the 20's. This is his Waterloo.

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