President Obama’s attempt to press ahead with a comprehensive health-care bill on Monday prompted one reaction in Washington more than any other: confusion.
“I was actually surprised that they’re pushing it again. The most important thing is jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. We need to focus on jobs,” said Rep. Heath Shuler, North Carolina Democrat and a leader of the 54-member Blue Dog coalition of conservative Democrats.
Shuler, speaking to The Daily Caller on his way out of a meeting of the Democratic caucus on Monday evening at the Capitol, expressed the sentiment that is increasingly common in Washington, the reason so many are scratching their heads at Obama’s insistence on trying to pass a catch-all piece of legislation.
Right now every faction of the Democratic Party is battling the other: moderate vs. liberals, Senate vs. House, pro life vs. pro choice. No issue is resolved. Dennis Kucinich says he won't vote for any bill without a public option. Many liberals in the Senate want the public option in the bill through reconciliation. Meanwhile, moderates will vote against the bill if it has a public option.
On top of this, Bart Stupak was on Fox News this morning stating unequivocally that the President's language on abortion in his so called bill is unacceptable. The president's so called bill is so vague that the CBO doesn't have enough to figure out what it costs.
Meanwhile, the so called Cornhusker kickback is gone. Instead, every state will have their extra Medicaid payments paid by the feds. Of course, it can't be scored. That number would jump off the page. This is an exercise in futility and political suicide. Former Bush advisor Keith Hennessey speculates that all of this might be a means of making the Republicans look like obstructionists.
If he thinks a Democrat-only deal is possible, then they’ll need to use reconciliation to pass a bill. The meeting is to set up that hardball legislative process by demonstrating that Republicans are uncooperative.
If it is, it will fail miserably at that. Once again, we have a public inter party fight. It's just plain sad. We're a year in and nothing is decided: public option/ no public option, abortion language, immigration eligibility, costs, taxes, fees, mandates., etc. None of this is still decided. This is what the Democrats have been PUBLICLY squabbling about. Turning around and then blaming Republicans would be laughable. The president has lost control of his party. It's that simple and that's playing out publicly.