Health care thoughts for the Congressional recess and beyond
A few quick thoughts for this lazy weekend about health care “reform":
1) As the WSJ notes, “Every Democrat cast the deciding health-care vote.“ Particularly in moderate states, voters must not let their Democratic senators off the hook for their ObamaCare votes even if their names are not Nelson, Landrieu, or Lieberman. Evan Bayh should be particularly targeted in Indiana, but so should every other Democrat, particularly those who have any chance of losing their next elections. And Republicans must be put on notice that they’d better not “compromise” on this disastrous legislation, as certain of them often seem so eager to do.
2) The rest of the Senate Democrats will, after initially being upset that Nelson and Landrieu got special deals for Nebraska and Louisiana, figure out the real implication: The solution to the inequity (possibly unconstitutional inequity) in forcing taxpayers in other states to pay for those states’ Medicaid expansion will not be to repeal the special favors but rather to extend them to every state. Thus, the Nelson and Landrieu deals will be the camel’s nose under the tent for a massive expansion of government-run health care. They have gotten much closer to the “public option” than the public realizes. It must be made clear to all members of Congress that the proper response to the bribing of Nelson and Landrieu is not for other senators to go push for bribes for their own states.
3) For the next 11 months, until the 2010 elections, we will see a continuous battle of messaging between the Democrats trying to show what the bill “gives” people and Republicans (and others) trying to show what it takes from people (money, liberty, quality of health care.) It is absolutely critical that the Democrats be soundly beaten back every time they try to offer a positive jmessage about their horrendous legislation. Except among company where you know it will be effective, stay away from technical details such as how “free” preventative care is unlikely to lower the overall cost of health care spending. Instead focus on the facts that
- the bill will bankrupt the country without even covering everyone,
- has 4 years of massive tax hikes before beginning its “benefits",
- that its cost when all provisions are in force will be triple what the Democrats are claiming because they were able to manipulate the system that estimates cost with their up-front tax hikes,
- and, probably most importantly, will and must lead to government telling doctors what they can and can’t do for their patients.
There are plenty of examples in the US and overseas where this sort of rationing is already happening. I would also note that rationing will tend to be to the great detriment of senior citizens, a CRITICAL voting block for Democrats, not least because they tend to vote in higher percentages than do young people. Retirees must be shown how ObamaCare will lead to their being denied tests and to cutbacks in Medicare, not least to the parts of Medicare (like Advantage) which are most effective
The bill which passed the Senate is understood by everyone, including its supporters, to be a terrible bill. The goal of its supporters is to pass anything which can then be modified into just what the left wants it to be. We cannot let that happen. This is not just, indeed not primarily, about politics. It is literally about the health of the nation, and the Senate bill will destroy it.
Finally, people across the nation should encourage candidates for Congress (whether sitting Congressmen or potential challengers) to run on an explicit platform of repealing this bill. I realize there will be no repeal while Obama is president. But if the GOP could get back a majority in either side of Congress and force a vote each year on repealing the bill, it will be of great benefit to the nation, to the resurgent interest in liberty and limited government being created by seeing what fascism really is, and to the possibility of making Obama a one-term president with a legacy even worse than Jimmy Carter’s. No doubt he’s already earned it.
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