Democrats at Point of ‘No Return’ on Health Care
Crossing the Rubicon: The Democrats Have Reached The Point of ‘No Return’ on Health Care
As someone who’s closely followed the national debate on health care “reform”, I’m struck by one question in particular that gets asked over and over again: “Why is Congress trying to pass a health care bill that most Americans oppose?”
It’s a good question.
Had the Democrats known at the beginning how fiercely the American people would react, or had they realized how unseemly their machinations would look in the light of day, it’s likely they would have been more circumspect.
At this late date however, the most plausible and encompassing reason for their refusal to quit, other than ideology, is simply this: The Democrats in Congress have reached the point of no return. It’s way too late to beat a retreat and they know it.
Democrats have spent so much political capital and engendered so much ill will that the only thing that sustains them is the false belief – one encouraged by their leaders – that failing to pass health care reform would be even worse for them than passing it.
Let’s face it. In the death of a thousand cuts, the Democrats are already up to number 993. According to their logic, a few more self inflicted wounds aren’t likely to make much difference.
For the moment, let’s ignore the train wreck that Democrat health care legislation has become. Let’s pretend instead that congressional Democrats, in a moment of sanity, might actually abandon health care reform altogether. It wouldn’t do them any good because the damage has already been done.
Win or lose on health care, here are just three of the problems Democrats have created for themselves:
1. The Democrats have told so many fibs in the health care debate that it’s hard to keep track of them all. The predicate lie was the claim that health care reform was essential to economic recovery; an obvious falsehood since none of the key Democrat “reforms” kick in until after the 2012 election. From the opening bell it’s been one long string of prevarications, half truths, quarter truths and misrepresentations that will haunt the Democrats for years to come.
2. Americans in large numbers are now paying close attention to the man behind the curtain (and they don’t like what they see). Everywhere you look you see Washington Democrats behaving badly. Not only have they indulged in the arrogant belief that they have the right to reorder one sixth of the nation’s economy, most of them have been voting for legislation they’ve rarely seen and never read. Couple this with their failure to deliver the transparency that was promised and you have the recipe for a very angry electorate.
3. Harry Reid’s legislative wrangling to secure the votes of recalcitrant Democrat Senators like Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu has shocked even the most hardened cynic. The specter of greedy and unprincipled Democrat Senators, our own Bill Nelson included, looting the public fisc to gain political advantage doesn’t play well in Peoria or anywhere else.
The real tragedy in all this was a missed opportunity to institute a package of genuine reforms that would have expanded coverage and actually done something to bend the cost curve downward. A series of well conceived but less ambitious pieces of legislation, each targeted to correct a particular problem, would have drawn bipartisan support and fixed most of what’s broken for relatively little cost.
Instead, the Democrats have dug themselves a deep hole and apparently plan to keep on digging.
In the age of the internet, cables news and the Tea Party movement, there’s very little that escapes the attention of American voters. To quote a friend of mine who toils in the field of electoral politics: “Broken promises, midnight votes and back room deals are not the stuff that inspires voters. Democrats in Washington will rue the day they took on health care reform and won”.
In the end the Democrats will have won a battle only to discover that they lost the war. Theirs will be a Pyrrhic victory: Expensive for them and even more expensive for the American people.