Health Care Reform This Year?

June 20th, 2009

In How Obama could lose health fight at Politico.com, Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei state:

President Obama’s campaign for health care reform by this fall, once considered highly likely to succeed, suddenly appears in real jeopardy.

Top White House advisers, especially chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, are still privately predicting massive changes to the health care system in 2009. But for the first time, Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the administration are expressing frank worries about stronger-than-expected opposition from moderate Democrats and worse-than-expected estimates for how much the plan could cost.

That shouldn’t be surprising, considering that the Obama Administration is trying to cram a huge health care reform bill through Congress before the end of this year:

Emanuel is anxious for the president to sign the new law by October so that Democrats have a year to campaign on it ahead of congressional midterms, aides say. Administration officials concede the new kinks in the schedule make that harder.

It has been conventional wisdom Obama would overcome a sluggish start by congressional Democrats to win approval of his plan this fall – perhaps even backed by a notable number of Republicans. But there is a growing list of reasons this conventional wisdom could be wrong….

And there you have it.  The Administration isn’t rushing the bill, expected to cost $1.2 trillion or more, because they’re so concerned about rising health care costs and people who don’t have health insurance.  Unfortunately, the main reasons seem to be gaining an early political victory for the President and the Democrats, plus a reluctance to have members of Congress and citizens look too closely at what’s being proposed and how much it will cost.

If health care reform isn’t passed this year, it may be a new ballgame next year.  The gloss is beginning to wear off, and cracks are appearing in Obama’s teflon.  So much money has been rammed into the financial sector and the automobile industry, and government economic control has been so vastly expanded, that people are soon going to begin waking up, shaking their heads, and wondering what the heck is going on. 

As it becomes evident that government interference in the economy hasn’t produced perfect results, as it won’t, and as other issues become larger, such as inefficiency, corruption, and misappropriation in the use of all this federal largess, politicians and citizens alike are going to be much more skeptical.  And they’re going to be much less susceptible to having hugely expensive, unfunded programs forced on them.

This lengthy analysis by Allen and Vandehei is detailed and convincing.  They’ve done a good job of explaining the details of a potential political train wreck in the future of Barack Obama and the Democrats.


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