Capitol Hill Update: Dems' "go it alone" on Obamacare should be entertaining to watch

When Barack Obama was asked yesterday whether he will get a health care reform bill passed this year, Obama said he is absolutely confident such a bill will pass and he hopes it will be bipartisan.  In other words, Obama and his left-wing leaders in Congress are perfectly prepared to pass Obamacare with the "public option"  --  opposed by an overwhelming majority of Americans  --  without a single Republican vote.  Indeed, some 100 left-wing House members have vowed to vote against any health care legislation unless it has the "public option" or what is called the "government option" by the Republicans.  

Yesterday, "The New York Times" had a front page story which said, "Given hardening Republican opposition to Congressional health care proposals, Democrats now say they see little chance of the minority's cooperation in approving any overhaul, and are increasingly focused on drawing support for a final plan from within their own ranks."  The "New York Times" also hinted at the Democrat intra-party brouhaha sure to come  --  and entertainment for the Republicans  --  when it wrote that "the party must still reconcile the views of moderate and conservative Democrats."  

"The Politico" had an article yesterday entitled:  "Liberals Revolt Over Public Option" in which it reported that: "A group of left-leaning House Democrats tells POLITICO that a bill without a public option simply won't win enough votes in their caucus -- a sentiment that raises fresh questions about the prospects to enact sweeping health care reform this year."  

On the other hand, a fairly strong "Blue Dog Democrat" coalition was able to force Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrat leadership to put off a vote on Obamacare on the floor of the House of Representatives until after the August recess.  Of course, this just made their upcoming vote in September even more treacherous as their town-hall meetings are being swamped with angry Americans, especially seniors (a key Democrat constituency) upset with the probability of losing their private health care plans and drastic cutbacks in Medicare.   

"Going it alone" would be an absolute disaster for the Democrat Party at the polls next year when approximately 60 "Blue Dog Democrats" (moderates) who represent moderate/conservative districts are up for reelection.  Some 32 freshmen Democrats are up for reelection next year.   

When one of the only 3 Republican Senators invited by the Democrats to negotiate a bipartisan healthcare bill  --  Senator Mike Enzi, from Wyoming  --  was asked about the Democrats' "go-alone" strategy, he said, "If the Democrats choose to go it alone, the Democrat health care bill will fail."   

Yesterday, the "Washington Post" reported that "Obama's advisers acknowledged Tuesday that they were unprepared for the intraparty rift that occurred over the fate of a proposed public health insurance program, a firestorm that has left the White House searching for a way to reclaim the initiative on the president's top legislative priority."    

Centrist Democrats now do not want to vote for a health care reform bill with the "government option" which liberal Democrats are demanding.  Senator Kent Conrad from the conservative state of North Dakota said on a talk show last Sunday that there were not the votes for the "public option" in the Senate and he said "there never were the votes" for it.   

Republicans such as Senator Jon Kyl have suggested to the Democrats that they start over in September with a "different approach" since "there's no way that Republicans are going to support a trillion-dollar-plus bill."  Congressman Allen Boyd, a "Blue Dog Democrat" from Florida agrees with Senator Kyl after being amazed at three giant crowds of his constituents at his town hall meetings.   

Congressman Boyd said:  "Never have I had this attendance ... that is a good thing."  When asked whether Obamacare should be scrapped and would he want to start over to pursue reform more incrementally, Congressman Boyd said:  "I think that is an excellent idea.... we may end up there."  Sounds like a pretty good commonsense approach. 

Syndicate content