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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Never In History

Think about how many signs there have been that no one but the Democrats in D.C. wants this bill. First, there's the polls. They are all against the Democrats. Second, there was the town halls. They were rowdy and all against the bill. Then, there's the elections. In both New Jersey and in Virginia, Republicans cleaned clocks. If that wasn't enough, Scott Brown won in Massachusetts. Now, the phone lines are burning up and all against health care reform.

It's not hard to see what the people want. Yet, the Democrats are determined to pass it anyway. So, how do we measure what will happen? That's impossible because never have politicians been shown such a clear path and decided to move another way anyway. (at least on issues beside war) So, how badly will this hurt the Democrats? No one knows because the arrogance has never been this strong.


AG said...

I know ideological wars bore you, Mike, but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

It should be fairly evident that we're past the point where Americans have a difference of opinion. They have a difference of *fact*.

Its not that the Democrats look at these polls and news coverage and say "I disagree that they're opposed to us." Its that they look at the polls and news coverage and say "I think Fox and Rasmussen are lying about how popular the Tea Parties are."

mike volpe said...

When Galileo said the world was round a lot of people didn't believe him either. Fox News and Rasmussen aren't the only polls. There are no polls that say this is popular. There are simply none.

Second, the elections speak for themselves. If you lose in Massachusetts, that speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

The mob is fickle, very fickle. We shall see in November.

If the economy is getting better, and the Democrats properly articulate what is good about this bill, things might even reverse.

The Republican strategy of never wanting any true health care reform [just tinkering because they are in the pockets of corporations and their rich friends don't want to pay a little more tax] in the first place will be laid bare.

mike volpe said...

As my friend Leonard Eric Satterwhite liked to say (may he rest in peace)

"if if was a fifth, we'd all be drunk".

Ifs mean nothing. If the Democrats could verbalize what's good about this bill, it would have passed long ago. Massive majorities everywhere and they still haven't passed it and you think they'll figure out how to verbalize what's good about it. Guess what. The people get it and they hate it. Period.

If you're counting on a good economy,that's also not much of a bet.

The Reps have plenty of ideas that stopped being an argument months ago.

Anonymous said...

i agree with you that this is a very poorly written bill. however, democrats have sunk so much capital and political capital into it they need to pass or else they will be gearing up for two wasted years.

perhaps there's a political heaven for those who wish to commit political suicide?


David Leach said...

I'm of the opinion that the base democrats wanted to pass this bill at all costs because of the dream of creating yet another entitlement. They probably believe that this will help set them up later (after the dust settles). Given the weakness that there will be a greater and greater majority of folks that are dependent on all of these various entitlements with the burden falling on a smaller and smaller percentage of the folks to provide...

How does this cycle end???

The republicans have a very short cycle in which to turn this over (4-8 years???) before this entitlement becomes entrenched. But I suspect that things will come to a head when foreign nations stop loaning us money due to our debt risk.

Ugh. The sad part is that I look at the debt load the US is taking on and continuing to take on and I look at my kids knowing that they will take the brunt of it... Not the way one generation should leave things for the next generation ... or the generation after that.

Dan said...

Your average American thinks, I have my insurance coverage, so why should I worry about the loser who hasn't bothered to get his? For people who work hard and aren't exactly wallowing in spare dollars, it's a fair question to ask. But there is an answer to it, which is that in the long run, if coverage is universal and insurance companies face stricter rules, society will benefit, and your average American will benefit too, in the form of lower costs and better care.

The problem, of course, is that most people don't believe that. There are many reasons for this, but a central one is that very wealthy and powerful interests have spent blood-curdling amounts of money convincing them that extending insurance to 32 million more of their fellow citizens (and yes, citizens only – not undocumented immigrants) will be at least detrimental to them and more probably calamitous. A record $3.47 billion was spent lobbying Congress last year. Not all of that was about health care, but a hefty chunk of it was, and the vast majority of it by corporations and associations that wanted to kill the bill outright or shape it to reflect their financial priorities.

It's been those two forces – that deeply embedded philosophical resistance to the notion of a common interest, lashed to those billions from corporations whose oxen reform might gore – that have killed efforts like this one every time. The defeat of them is indeed a rare thing in American history.

Community hasn't succeeded very often in American politics, but when it has, it's tended to work better than advertised. Social Security and Medicare (universal coverage for senior citizens) are very popular. Once changes like these are made, well, it takes a while, but most people tend to like them. And maybe that's the real reason Republicans are so unhinged right now.

David Leach said...


The problem with your comment is that you assume the US Constitution is setup to create a cradle to grave coverage for all citizens but it is not. The Constitution sets up the framework to allow one to succeed ... or fail on their own.

There are numerous things they could have done to make health coverage more affordable that would fit in the bounds of the Constitution and not bankrupt the US or to put this additional burden on a smaller percentage of citizens. I think it is the latter that is really starting to bug me the most. Limbaugh has famously had a link on his site showing that the top 50% pay 96% of all taxes so if the other 50% don't and just get all of the services we provide to them for free then we are creating a moral hazard and a structure that was not intended for by our founders.

Now we pass one huge new entitlement to be paid for by a smaller minority of citizens thus creating additional moral hazards. But at what cost?

I love the following chart and how our debt bomb is ticking away:

The Most Important Chart of the Century

I also think that this will get repealed at some point in time (if it isn't dealt with by the courts). To pass something this large and this invasive without ANY bipartisan support only means that they have created a situation where the opposition will be driven for a very long time to repeal it. What else can they do? They can't say in four years that "sorry, we were wrong and this was the right thing to do...". Nope, the opposition is now invested to turn this over and next to security it will be the mantra of the republican party to repeal this millstone.

mike volpe said...


I predict that it will get challenged and parts will be ruled unconstitutional and then it will get repealed.

David Leach said...


If and when that happens then the republicans need to step in and move some of their ideas to fill the void. Something they should have done when they were in power.

Health care costs will go down when there is more competition.

AG said...

I'd like to add that the Republicans played a role in the passage of this bill. You made it perfectly clear that every Democrat, from Nanci Pelosi all the way down to Dan Boren were fair game. Even Parker Griffith, who changed parties, hasn't escaped the Tea Party ire.

I'll be the first to admit that the Republicans probably have their own ideas on health care. I'll also admit I think they would probably be failures at best and dishonest at worst. But at the end of the day, it would be easier to prove your ideas existed if they weren't all prefaced with the condition that "you have to give us back control of Congress before we'll play ball."