Obama’s latest word-magic plops

One day after the B.S.’er in chief announced a revised and revived health care bill, and six hours after I, a conservative blogger, said that notwithstanding the hype about a re-tooled health care plan and a strategy to pass it, the bill was just as un-passable as ever, the mighty AP, not known as a force of anti-Obamism, tells us:

Comprehensive health bill may be no-go
Hoyer: Dems hopeful, but not certain on Obama health plan
updated 4:11 p.m. ET, Tues., Feb. 23, 2010

WASHINGTON—Democratic congressional leaders confronted the reality Tuesday that they may not be able to pass the comprehensive health care overhaul sought by President Barack Obama. Republican leaders prepared to do everything in their power to make sure they can’t.

Democrats saw the sweeping health bill that Obama unveiled ahead of a bipartisan health care summit Thursday as their last, best chance at a top-to-bottom remake of the nation’s health care system that would usher in near-universal health coverage. But some were clear-eyed about the difficulties after a year of corrosive debate and the loss of their filibuster-proof supermajority in the Senate.[LA replies: When, immediately after Obama with much fanfare rolled out a new health care plan in a last gasp effort, the top (and extremely pro-Obama) liberal news service, instead of talking up the new version of the bill, announces that its prospects don’t look good, I think we can say that this saga is finally over, though the attempts to keep it going and the hype about the attempts to keep it going may continue for a while longer.]

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said comprehensive reform would be best but it’s not all or nothing.

“We may not be able to do all. I hope we can do all, a comprehensive piece of legislation that will provide affordable, accessible, quality health care to all Americans,” Hoyer said at his weekly media briefing. “But having said that, if we can’t, then you know me—if you can’t do a whole, doing part is also good. I mean there are a number of things I think we can agree on.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., was a bit more optimistic the prospects for Obama’s plan.

“I think it is getting a good reception in our caucus, but nonetheless we have more work to do to have everyone on board,” she said.

Republican leaders said they would attend the summit but see no point in the session, arguing that Obama and the Democrats are determined to ram their comprehensive bill through Congress using special parliamentary rules.

“We’re happy to be there, but I’m not quite sure what the purpose is,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who invited some of Obama’s fiercest critics to join him Thursday, including the president’s 2008 rival, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla.


Lawmakers prep for health reform summit

Feb. 23: President Obama issues a health care overhaul proposal, outlining specific changes to his original plan. NBC’s Chuck Todd reports.

Today show

Senate Republicans also rejected the White House plea for a simple up-or-down vote on Obama’s health care plan, indicating they would offer hundreds of amendments to stop the legislation.

Insurance market reforms like barring insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions would be difficult or impossible to pull off without a large risk pool achieved by a requiring nearly everyone to be insured. Smaller measures could be done individually, such as money for insurance pools to provide coverage to people with health problems.

Obama’s new plan used legislation already passed by the Senate as its starting point, making changes designed to appeal to House Democrats. He unveiled it Monday almost exactly a year after calling on Congress to act to reform the nation’s costly an inefficient health care system. Majority Democrats were on the verge of meeting the challenge before Republican Scott Brown’s upset win in a Massachusetts Senate seat last month.

Brown’s win underscored the perilous political environment for Democrats in an election year, but Obama didn’t scale back his ambitions, opting for one last attempt at full-scale legislation. It costs around $1 trillion over a decade, requires nearly everyone to be insured or pay a fine, and puts new requirements on insurance companies, including—in a new twist responding to recent rate hikes—giving the federal government authority to block big premium increases.

If Obama fails on a comprehensive health care overhaul where Bill Clinton and other presidents failed before him, the chance won’t come around again anytime soon.

[end of AP article]

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

Here’s a theory, which I offer purely as a speculation. Obama knew and knows that this latest ploy—the new version of the bill, the summit, the blaming of the problem on the Republicans, and the use of reconciliation leading to passage—could not succeed, and his reason for pushing it has not been to pass the health care bill, but to keep the support of the left Democratic base. They need to see that he is going all out for the bill, trying his utmost. Then, if it fails, they will feel that his heart was in the right place and won’t blame the failure on him. If he doesn’t try to the utmost, the base might desert in droves.

Also, according to this theory, since Obama knows that this latest plan cannot succeed, he knows he is not facing the risk of creating an even more massive electoral reaction against the Congressional Democrats which would have resulted from passage of the bill. As it is now, with the bill failing, the Democrats may very well lose 40 seats in the House and the House majority, as the Cook Report said recently. But if the Democrats had succeeded in pushing through this monstrosity of a bill via the monstrosity of reconciliation, I think they could have lost a hundred seats.

Therefore Obama feels that his last-gasp gesture to hold onto the base will not drive away more independents and moderate Democrats than have already been driven away, or, at least, that it will not drive away MORE independents and moderates than the number of leftist Democrats who would have deserted if he didn’t go all-out for the bill. But that could be wrong. The insane spectacle of this phony summit, with Obama engaging in yet more desperate and transparent lies before the eyes of the country, is not going to help him or the Congressional Democrats. Any way we look at it, it feels as though we are looking at a leftist apocalypse, or, rather, a leftist aplopalypse.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 23, 2010 07:54 PM | Send

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