Obamacare is dead

In the entry earlier this evening, “Put not thy hope in Stupak,” I pessimistically concluded from Rep. Stupak’s interview at the Weekly Standard that Stupak wants the bill to pass; that it could very well pass; and that if the will exists among the Democrats to make it pass, there’s no human force to stop them.

Here a reader takes the diametrically opposite view of Stupak’s comments and of the bill’s prospects. He says that it’s over. Period.

The reader writes:

It’s dead. In saying, “the majority party can get it done” and “[w]here there’s a will there’s a way,” Stupak is merely being politic—trying to prevent the wrath of Democrats from being directed solely at him (as the man who killed health care reform). He knows Pelosi, Reid, Obama, and a few tens of millions of other Democrats are ready to wring his neck; he’s saying, “Gee—I’m just trying to play ball.”

The key statements in his interview are these:

1. “No one [among the Democrats] has said here’s how you do it, here’s the legislative scheme.” Exactly. By what means could the changes he wants to the Senate bill be incorporated without the bill’s having to be returned to the Senate for some kind of action—which means, thanks to the victory of Scott Brown, a reconciliation fight or some other sort of national nightmare? Impossible. [LA replies: Yes, and that’s been my argument for some time. But in my entry tonight I took a different view, placing the emphasis on Stupak’s expressed desire to see the bill passed, rather than on the procedural hurdles against the bill.]

2. “If you look at the President’s proposal, it says that the Cornhusker agreement is out, but the Louisiana Purchase is in.” The pundits aren’t talking much about this, but I suspect Stupak knows that those two deals, which secured passage of the Senate bill, are making many Democrat politicians nervous about their post-November employment prospects. I’m pretty sure I heard Stupak’s remark—in some video clip last week—that the bill’s problem (from his standpoint) is not merely the abortion language but the fact that the bill is “tainted” by this dealmaking. (At around 6:18 of his CBS TV interview last week, Stupak said, “I don’t think they [the Democratic leaders] have ten votes [in the House] for the Senate bill.”)

In short: Obama is beyond deluded; he’s silly. His call for a vote by March 18 was ridiculous. Does he think the opposition to the bill is simply going to disappear because he says, “Okay—the time for debate is over.” Are those supposed to be magic words? I imagine he thinks they are. Pelosi is not going to call for a vote by March 18 or any other time: she doesn’t have the votes and is not going to get them. If you haven’t already listened to it, play the first few minutes of that interview of House Democrat Emanuel Cleaver (and House Democrat Dennis Moore) on KCUR, the NPR station in Kansas City. (Scroll down to “Monday March 8, 2010.”) They know the thing’s dead. (Note: The “Listen” file would not open on my computer, but the “Podcast” link worked.) The Lord Barack is in a pickle now. He overestimated himself—staked himself on this; and now he has nowhere to go. If he just lets it die, he’ll have no chance of energetically advancing immigration reform, cap-and-trade, or anything else. All he’ll be able to do is sit around. If, on the other hand, he keeps talking about health care, he’ll just be spinning his wheels. He’s finished.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 09, 2010 11:48 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):