Friday, March 12, 2010

Health Care Reform as we know it, is dead

Stealing a line from Bill Clinton kind of seemed appropriate at the moment. He of course said that of welfare when speaking of landmark welfare reform enacted in 1997. And really isn't that the moment when the very liberal in this country gave up on their dream of Clinton being the "transformative" president? So how fitting is it that they finally got the stars aligned with Barack Obama's election, a man after their own bleating hearts, and still can't get anything done.

A couple of reasons for this, first the traditional legislative incompetence of the Democratic Party and secondly the majority of this country is lined up against a total remaking of our economy. Any number of polls will show that Americans value their health care system, think individual mandates are an infringement on their liberty, and would like Congress to start over. What happened to being focused on jobs? Oh right Ms. Pelosi said this reform would create 400,000 jobs out of thin air. Huh? What?

Without getting into too much of the parliamentary tricks that they were attempting to get this passed, (one of them actually just saying it passed without actually voting on seriously) the Senate Parliamentarian sided with the GOP reasoning. If all of this were as simple as Schoolhouse Rock, right? Now of course Nancy and crew are spinning the crap out of this saying they haven't really lost and the press and Republican leadership have "misinterpreted" the ruling. House Democratic leaders last week began looking at crafting a legislative rule that would allow the House to approve the Senate health care bill, but not forward it to Obama for his signature until the Senate clears the reconciliation package. The House Democratic members for the most part think the Senate bill is detestable so what gives them the incentive to sign it? Does this all seem confusing? Of course it does, their only choice to get this passed is to pull every bit of chicanery they can. So is it dead for good, not really as Allahpundit points out this morning they still have one way of getting through this:

Waxman dropped a bombshell of his own a few hours ago when he said they’ve all but given up on the Stupak bloc and will try to get to 216 without them. It’s possible that they could convince enough Blue Dogs to trust the Senate on reconciliation and hold their noses to vote for Reid’s bill, but with the Stupak 12 all (allegedly) flipping to no and another 25 Democrats leaning heavily towards no, they have literally no margin for error. They’re at 216 on the button, with any single member in the caucus capable of killing the bill by flipping. Assuming they can keep the group together, though, that’s one solution to the new parliamentarian headache. Just pass Reid’s bill and hope for the best.

That option is most legitimate of course, but it will be the hardest route to go on. The odds are long that they will be able to flip some of the no's back to yes. If you are interested in that minutiae (as I am) Jay Cost over at Real Clear Politics has a great rundown of the votes Pelosi has and doesn't have on his Horse Race blog:
RCP- Jay Cost


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