The Self-Destructive 20: A List of Things President Obama’s Health Reform Obsession has Wrought
Note to historians, the following is a list of strange consequences from Obama’s self-destructive health care reform obsession:
i) Spooked the conservative Democrats who are disrupting the Committee on Energy and Commerce markup and pending floor vote because of their policy concerns about the government option;
ii) telegraphed to the moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats that President Obama agrees with Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Chris Dodd and Chairman Waxman, in general, about the role of government in health care, making the plan an easy target for opponents;
iii) encouraged MOVEON.ORG to television run ads against moderate Democrats (despite his public statements of disapproval at the time the ads ran)
iv) encouraged the DNC to run television ads against its own Democratic members;
v) President Obama’s own group, which grew out of his campaign, funded television on his health plan that ran against his own fellow Democrats;
vi) has made angry by his political actions and his left-wing policies the very Members of Congress he needs to pass his bill;
vii) destroyed the Democrats normal lead on the health care issue over Republicans, a fifteen point advantage has dropped to 4 points, inside the margin of error of most national polls;
viii) caused his own poll numbers on health care to drop to below 50;
ix) signaled to the American public that he cares more about taking over the health care industry more than he cares about fixing the economy, with echos of his take over of GM still causing political pain, it was, quite simply, the wrong call;
x) taxing and spending a more than a trillion dollars on his plan which most people disagree with is more folly, and his tax increases have driven even rank and file Democrats in the house to distraction;
xi) given the impression of inflexibility, with a kind of weird masochistic tendencies: keep pressuring members and the media and the grassroots, while never seriously amending his policies which are driving his poll numbers down;
xii) pushing his fellow Democratic Governors to be so frustrated they make public statements about how Obamacare will bankrupt their states, which are teetering on the edge financially;
xiii) fusing his plan with abortion funding which forces 20 Democrats who cannot compromise to announce they will not compromise, further adding political instability;
xiv) forcing the Congressional Budget Office to be on constant war-room alert to produce new cost estimates while pressuring them to say that the trillion dollars in taxes and spending on Obamacare will save money, which lasted for a short period before CBO was forced to publicly announce just the opposite;
xv) a complete lack of understanding of Senate procedure which drove the White House’s obsession with Reconciliation to try and avoid the 60 vote threshold needed to break a filibuster, which, in the end, cannot be used to avoid the filibuster;
xvi) the Orwellian nature of insisting to the American public on things that cannot be true, are in fact true, has poisoned the well on Obama’s economic poll numbers (49%-47% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy.) And among those central things President Obama keeps insisting is true which can never be true is that tax and spending a trillion dollars will save money, and that he really, honestly, and truly wants to control the deficit as it has grown from $400 billion to $1.9 trillion since he has arrived at the White House;
xvii) the central campaign promise he made about “if you like your plan you can keep it” is completely untrue. The health reform bills will take tens of millions of Americans (two credible studies both put the number at more than 100 million Americans) off their employer’s health plans and put them into a choice of four health plans in the government run health system. (If you don’t like those plans, well, you can have a real government health plan, not just one that is run by a private company on behalf of the government, which must do every single thing the government says.) The Obama health reform plan is really, we will take your health plan and give you a government designed one, because we will make it much cheaper for your employer to end its health coverage and push you into one of our four government-designed plans.
xviii) the contempt with which President Obama has shown members of his own party in his health alliance with the super-left, by trying to complete the double cram down: first cap and trade and then health reform prior to summer Congressional recess breaks shows he just does not care about the moderates political survival. This, you-can-die-politically-if-you-want, I don’t really care attitude is made clear by the ads run by the DNC, by Obama’s own political group, and by the ads run by MOVEON.ORG. Given the political pain and suffering the President has gone through because of the moderates, you can see why the President is trying to kill them off politically. While the moderate Democrats may not understand that President Obama is trying to kill them off, they are now repeating the Russian proverb: fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. They are simply not going to go through another cap and trade political blow back event. They have been down that road, they have seen this movie before. Why the House Democrats are agreeing to go first and vote on health care is a complete mystery because at the beginning of Congress everyone concluded that since the U.S. Senate was where the politically doable would happen, the Senate should act first. Now, desperation has set in, and Speaker Pelosi and President Obama are making their moderate members walk the plank, again.
xix) The piercing of the insulation of the happy, no bad information zone of the the U.S. House leadership on health care reform has begun. Slowly, ever so slowly, Democrats are beginning to notice that senior citizens are opposed to the Obama health plan by huge margins (only one third support). And this opposition will grow as their efforts to fund President Obama’s health plan with more cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, so they will have to raise fewer taxes. This will also cause greater protests from Governors and seniors. The AARP has been AWOL on the seniors opposition to President Obama’s health plan, but that cannot last through August. Sooner or later, they will have to speak up.
xx) The declining poll numbers of President Obama, the lack of focus on the economy, the insistence on spending a trillion dollars on health care reform, the lack of action to reduce the $1.84 trillion deficit, the inability to change his government health plan proposal, the repeated breaking of campaign promises, the embrace of federal funding of abortion, the lack of support by seniors because of the half a trillion in Medicare cuts and the bull in the china shop approach of running ads against other Democrats has created lead weights that have and continue to sink his health plan.
President Obama has a real problem with listening. He has given in to his uber-left temptations and betrayed his moderate image, and if he persists in shoving in all his chips on this losing hand, he will, quite ingloriously, lose even more of his political capital than he has already.
His refusal to change his plan, which is at the base of the opposition to it, is forcing his poll numbers down, and in the process, giving the American public the very clear impression of a man obsessed with spending trillions of dollars, in as short a time as possible.