The death of Obamacare has been predicted many times. But such reports were premature, at least if Obama has his way.
The upcoming “bipartisan” summit on health care demonstrates that Obamacare is attempting to rise from the Congressional grave.
So committed is Obama to his vision of what the health care system should look like that he is unable to move on to anything else, much less to look at taking smaller steps rather than a sweeping restructuring.
Democrats reportedly are wondering whether Obama wants them to lose in November.
The first part of the answer is no, he doesn’t want Democrats in Congress to lose. The second part of the answer is that he doesn’t care, if losing Congress is the cost of passing his health care plan.
Restructuring the health care system is so important to Obama that he would rather lose Congress than lose the opportunity to gain complete control over one-sixth of the economy.
The legislation is the foot in the door; the regulations to be promulgated over the next three years pursuant to the legislation will be the means by which Obama’s vision is realized.
And since regulations are not subject to Congressional vote, for the most part it will not matter if Obama loses Congress. (If Republicans took over Congress, which is a long shot, there might be a way to defund Obamacare, but that would be uncertain.)
I think David Corn has the health care summit thing right (yes, I said David Corn was right):
Such gamesmanship, whether it works or not, won’t cause Americans to lose their distaste of the process. But the White House probably calculates this is Obama’s last shot to act like a gentlemen before he and the Democrats nail the Republicans by using a legislative procedure known as reconciliation (which only requires a majority vote) in order to pass revisions to the health care reform measures already approved that will allow the legislation to land on the president’s desk for his signature.
I hope you had a healthy rest, courtesy of the election of Scott Brown. Time to get off your political couch, because the next round is about to begin.
Update: Michael Barone says Democrats are far short of the votes needed in the House, but that doesn’t appear to be deterring Obama from trying.