08.31.2009 0

One Last Bite at the Apple

  • On: 09/08/2009 09:32:20
  • In: Health Care
  • By Robert Romano

    Tomorrow night, Barack Obama will be delivering his second address to a joint session of Congress. Undoubtedly, he intends to shore up dwindling support politically in the House and Senate and publicly at large for his flailing proposal to take over the nation’s entire health care system. It won’t work.

    Nor will it be able to overcome and change public attitudes about the unpopular policy. Instead, what it will do is feed public passions against his plans. Why?

    He is expected to deliver a controversial ultimatum to Republicans. As reported by FOX News, Obama “will deliver the message that Democrats are willing to go it alone if it cannot get Republicans behind [the bill].”

    This is quite likely to come across as arrogant. According to Rasmussen Reports, some 53 percent of voters already oppose the legislation. 58 percent believe that the legislation should be amended to attract a reasonable number of Republican votes in Congress. Only 24 percent like the “go-it-alone” plan.

    The fact is, one speech is highly unlikely to dramatically change what already amounts to overwhelming opposition not just to the policy of ObamaCare—but also the way and the lengths to which congressional Democrats are willing to go to get what they really want.

    To date, they tried to rush the bill through Congress before August. They have tried insulting and discrediting their own constituents opposing them at town halls, calling them “un-American,” “political terrorists,” “evil mongers,” and comparing their rhetoric to that of Timothy McVeigh’s. Democrats have even considered doing an end-run around the filibuster to get government-run plan passed in the Senate by the slimmest of margins. Why?

    Because Harry Reid simply does not have 60 votes in the Senate needed to invoke cloture on the bill.

    So, tomorrow Obama will mightily pretend that but for Republican opposition in the House and Senate, the American people would have health care “reform.” The Democrat caucus in the Senate has 59 members, while on the House side, they have 256 members. These are some of the most substantial congressional majorities seen in decades.

    And yet, Barack Obama does not have the votes needed. Members of his own party are unwilling to vote in favor of a trillion-dollar turkey. They need at least some Republican votes to get it across the finish line.

    That is why Democrat leaders are now courting Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe. She wants the so-called government-run public “option” only to be implemented at a later date, tied to a “trigger” giving insurance companies a period of time to somehow bring down the costs of health insurance.

    But, as ALG News reported last week in “Pulling the Trigger on ObamaCare,” Nancy Pelosi will make certain that the government takeover of the medical system commences no matter what. She said, “If they want no public option, but a trigger, you can be sure that the trigger will bring on a very robust public option.”

    Unfortunately for the Administration, pursuing a “trigger” doesn’t alleviate the original problem Democrats face: The American people do not want government-run socialized medicine. Period. End of story. Case closed.

    And no amount of sheer rhetorical skill on Barack Obama’s part is going to change that.

    They’re not going to care if one or two Republicans in all of Congress cross party lines to support it. Bipartisanship is not the American people’s primary concern with ObamaCare. Americans are worried about government bureaucrats interfering with their relationships with their doctors. They’re afraid of rationing boards determining what is covered and what is not. They do not want mandatory insurance that denies their right to choose.

    All of which leaves Barack Obama with an impossible task.

    And this is his last bite at the apple.

    Robert Romano is the ALG Senior News Editor.

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