The debate over health care has been front and center in the news, the White house and on Capitol Hill, almost to the exclusion of every other issue since long before summer. Yet despite the all out effort that Barack Obama has given and the massive amount of political capital that he has used, health care is in actuality no further along now than it was six months ago. One would not think this the case if one listened ONLY to the rhetoric coming from the White House and especially from Obama himself.
Obama claims that health care is all but a done deal and that it will be passed making the government the guardian of the health care for every citizen of this country. Whether his confidence is arrogance, misguided optimism or both remains to be seen but recent activity by Obama and a key vote which took place in the Senate last week shows that Obama is acting out of desperation. Desperation that stems from not only the inability to get legislation but the massive unpopularity of this center piece of Obama’s agenda.
Never before has a President set himself so decisively against the will of the American people as Obama has on the issue of health care. Poll after poll including some of the most liberal polls have shown that the majority of the people are against health care because no matter which option is being discussed, each results in government involvement and the people want no part of government in health care.
The Town Halls, protests and constant bombardment at White House and Congressional e-mails and phone lines back up the polling showing the total lack of support for health care. Yet Obama has chosen to side against that American people and it not only has sparked desperate moves on his part but has destroyed his once thought untouchable popularity with most polling having him at 50% or lower.
Last week the first floor vote on the issue of health care took place in the Senate. Harry Reid and Democrats have been secretly meeting behind closed doors for nearly two weeks discussing health care on both Capitol Hill and occasionally at the White House. These meetings have been covered by Fox News and mostly neglected by the rest of the media which follows the nearly all positive coverage of anything that this administration does by media with the exception of Fox.
Secret meetings are in direct contrast to the claims of transparency by Barack Obama yet most of the health care decisions have been made behind closed doors. The floor vote which took place last week was over a provision for the Senate bill which would provide more than 200 billion dollars of funding for the debacle to be taken from Medicare which would have brought the cost of the Baucus bill down from nearly one TRILLION dollars to just over 700 billion.
Of course the provision would have decreased seniors benefits but it would have given the illusion of health care being paid for and not increasing the deficit. Of course this illusion was nothing more than a scam to deceive the people into believing that this monstrosity was not a budget buster but Harry Reid took it to the floor of the Senate for a vote with closed door assurances that not only would the votes to pass this scam be there but that the AMA and the AARP both backed this scam.
When the final votes were tallied 13 Democrats joined every Republican and Reid not only lost the vote but lost it big with only 43 votes in favor of the provision. A devastating blow to health care and a strong indication that the bill was in danger of not passing because the support so touted favoring the bill by legislators is not there and may not be there for future votes in either the House or the Senate.
Combine this with the fact that the Senate version does not have a public, (government), option and that Nancy Pelosi had emphatically stated that she would NOT allow a bill without the option on the floor of the House and it creates the possibility that even with Senate passage the bill will NEVER make it through the committees which reconciles House and Senate bills. Making a distinct probability that health care may legislatively be virtually dead in the water.
Obama’s continual diving popularity adds to this possibility as those in Congress without strong Presidential coat tails are not and will not be willing to stick their necks out in opposition to the American people in order to vote for health care. So the Senate vote was a huge and possibly completely devastating set back to Obama’s push for health care.
He and Congressional leaders are still showing a confident front to the public but desperation is setting in and that was proven by a move made by Obama concerning the H1N1 , Swine flu, virus. Saturday, which is an almost non-existent news day Obama declared H1N1 a National Emergency claiming the move would open up more availability for the vaccine and allow hospitals to use facilities other than their own if the virus causes large out breaks needing isolation treatment.
This move came only two days after the World Health Organization, the UN watch dog for health related problems, announced that the H1N1 our break was much smaller than anticipated and that the worldwide death toll was less than 5000, which also was far less than anticipated. Both indications that the pandemic scare which came when this virus was first discovered is likely not going to happen.
Looking at facts concerning H1N1 especially in comparison to the seasonal flu, the virus is nothing more than a minor blip on the health scale yet Obama has declared it a National Emergency. There have already been more than 200,000 cases of the seasonal flu with most states recording widespread out breaks and the death toll in the US alone from the seasonal strain has exceeded the worldwide toll for H1N1. In fact the US averages nearly 36,000 deaths each year from the seasonal flu and yet it is not considered a National Emergency.
H1N1 has recorded less than 1000 cases in the US with only a hand fill of deaths associated with the virus and Obama declares a National Emergency doing so on a day when few Americans pay even a moments attention to the news. Is this a sign of desperate actions being taken in order to pass health care ? Rahm Emanuel, White House Chief of Staff stated earlier this year that a ,”crisis,” should never be wasted. This was in reference to the economic crisis and Obama’s push for the massive stimulus bill which has failed miserably.
So is it just a coincidence that health care is failing and that Obama declares a National Emergency for a virus that is to date nothing more than a news created crisis ? The number of Americans who have been diagnosed and treated for H1N1 does not warrant a declaration for a National Emergency which is why I believe that this is a political move by Obama to pressure legislators into passing health care. Creating a , “crisis,” to use as a means of arm twisting Congress into backing Obamacare as their ,”patriotic,” duty due to the, “National Emergency.”
So as not to be accused of creating a public panic in conjunction with the arm twisting move by issuing the declaration, it was made on the slowest news day of the week so that most Americans would not realize that an emergency had been declared. But Congress is well aware of the emergency and I can guarantee that already on Capitol Hill Rahm Emanuel and other White House staff have been making calls ,”urging,” legislators to side with the President on health care in light of the health related National Emergency.
Desperate measures taken by a desperate President who sees his agenda failing and the center piece of that agenda possibly not even making it to a vote due to differing views in the House and Senate. Has Obama seen the hand writing on the wall for health care and used his Executive Powers to create the crisis he deems necessary to force passage ? If this is the case, which I believe it is, then the pressure which will be brought to bare on members of Congress will be intense. So we as the majority who oppose this health care debacle must make the pressure we have already been creating much more than that by the White House.
When a President takes desperate measures as it seems Obama has, it is a last ditch effort to achieve what he sees slipping through his political hands. With next year being an election year this gives the people a distinct advantage over a desperate White House in making our voice heard above the fray of the likes of Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod. We are winning this fight and Obama knows it. Keep up the pressure and we the people will prevail!
Ken Taylor The Liberal Lie, The Conservative Truth