Fantasizing About Health Care

There are conservatives who have assessed that a Democrat health care bill will pass: it’s a done deal. And, others have predicted that the deal will ultimately fall apart. For certain, among Democrats as well, the hopes have shifted from side-to-side, first with bitterness toward potential holdouts in the Democratic caucus, then quickly turning to cheer that holdouts may have been satisfied. We have yet again seen the pattern only in the last few days. Certainly, there is a lot of anxiety in the Democrat ranks. Given the falling polls, there is likely more than a little outright dyspepsia. To us, it would sound too good to be true in light of all of the discussion and hand-wringing over an evident squeaker. But, let’s close our eyes and dream about a possibility which might relieve the nightmares of we conservatives and at the same time relieve the dyspepsia of anxious Democratic legislators.

I could, but I see no advantage in naming them. But, I count at least ten Democratic US Senators who might very well be delighted to come into possession of a good and safe reason to defy the Democratic president and the Democratic base, and vote against this budget-busting (inasmuch as one can fracture a budget that is already well beyond busted), consumer tax and cost-increasing, medical care and provider-bankrupting, medical service-diminishing, innovation-slowing act that meets none of the parameters that Barack Obama has said he seeks. It doesn’t provide for everyone. It doesn’t “bend down the consumer cost curve. And, it adds to the federal deficit. Obama forcefully and publicly said, “I will not sign a bill that adds one dime to the federal deficit.” Do you believe that? Neither do I. It’s not like he’s been exactly steadfast about keeping promises.

But, what if these and any other Democratic Senators could jointly agree to oppose the bill? No 60 votes to end debate and enable a vote. Not even 59. No one or few Senators are responsible for killing the bill, nor for passing it. No specific blame in either direction. In fact, with that bill dead, they could jointly craft and present a bill that would pass: that is, of course, unless some other Democrat(s) wanted to play obstructionist, preferring no reform at all. What was that disparagement of Republicans as “the party of no?” And speaking of Republicans, they could even be invited to join on a bill that would bring truly responsible reform, the best of which would follow Reagan’s formula of “getting government out of the way” by stopping restriction of interstate insurance purchases, giving individuals the same tax breaks as businesses, allowing small businesses to unite their purchasing power, and allowing individuals to port their plan between jobs. Now, uniting with Republicans sounds really crazy. But, they could certainly reverse the focus of pressure in the Democratic Party. Who’s going to “stand in the way of reform?”

OK, you can wake up, now. I hope that little dream let you smile for a little while. Hey, it couldn’t hurt for John McCain to ask around in the Senate cloak room…


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