Monday, January 11, 2010

Defeating Health Care

First the good news, whatever sausage of a health care bill, passes, will clearly be appalled at the outcome. After that it's all downhill, unless the bill can be defeated. Chris Dodd is claiming that the bill is "hanging by a thread." I don't know if I believe that or not, especially coming from Dodd, but here are some scenarios for your consideration:

1. House Republicans get enough pro-life Democrats to vote their way. This would require massive numbers of Dems to stand up for principle, so I'm not holding my breathe. Plus, getting 37 votes when Pelosi will be pulling out all the stops would be pretty tough. But Republicans should go for it anyway, it might work, and might open up other tactical maneuvers.

2. Take the late Teddy Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts. Up until yesterday, I would have said no way, but the latest polls show this trending the right way. But it's more likely that that last poll (PPP, Brown +1) is an outlier.

3. Shame Ben Nelson into changing his vote. Or some other Democrat, Joe Lieberman perhaps? I personally don't have faith in this. Politicians are human, so they hate to admit to a mistake and most will spend millions of dollars and weeks of effort doubling down on a bad bet rather than admitting they were wrong.

4. Union pressure over the "Cadillac Tax" collides with Senate distaste for tax on wealthy. This would require the unions to actively oppose the health care bill after the final negotiations are complete. I don't see them allying with Obama's opponents, after all he's their guy, even if it is against their members best interests.

5. Something else weird that no one can predict. Like what? I don't know, but history is full of tiny events that turned out be turning points. But again this is unlikely.

So there you have it, not a single scenario is favorable to defeat health care. But I am very optimistic nonetheless.

I can't help but finish with this great quote from Robert Robb of the Arizona Republic:
In a town that runs on fiction, there is no taller tale in Washington than the claim that this bill will reduce the federal deficit.


  1. Seems the Unions are a bigger stumbling block as of this morning. They're pretty upset!

  2. I would be very surprised if there wasn't exemption language with regard to the unions inserted into the bill.

    If Ben Nelson can be convinced that his political survival in Nebraska necessarily depends on him admitting he made a mistake, then the chances of this happening increase.

  3. Things are still interesting with labor. See the NYT article Labor Campaigns Against Tax on Health Plans.

    Ben's a lost cause I'm afraid.

  4. How can any American in their right mind think that Obamacare is going to provide all Americans equal coverage when a blatant move by the Unions to prevent their members from being taxed for the same coverage the "rest" of us will get, and pay for, is the key the Dems need to pass this travesty of health care? What are they thinking???