22 November 2009

Divided Dems Move ObamaCare Along... but Only Just

Reid got his incremental victory last night- but conservatives have only begun to fight. We'll be melting the phones, marauding the blogosphere, and loading up fence-sitters' email inboxes like they've never seen before. What they need to know is that there's no future in opposing the will of the American people- and that a harsh political retribution is only 11 mos. away now for those who do.

This is of course the reason that Dear Leader feels the need to rush it through ASAP -besides tanking poll numbers and the fact that he'd really rather no one read it- many Dems are simply petrified of facing voters while the final vote on this increasingly unpopular mess drags-on into next year... as it seems almost certain to do now.

Even as the Senate Democrats pushed ahead procedurally, the day's events -and patchwork of dubious deals needed to get to 60 votes- betrayed serious divisions that make it all but impossible to complete work on a plan by year’s end... and might even wreck the $848 billion bill altogether.

Voting 60-39 on strictly partisan lines, the Senate sent the bill to the floor for debate after the Thanksgiving break, but not before more than a couple moderate Democrats served notice that they couldn’t back the bill in its current form.

Thankfully, the so-called "opt-out" public option effectively died in the Senate chamber, as the last two Dem holdouts demanded changes to the bill. These comments signal trouble ahead... weeks of negotiations remain on a bill Obama once hoped to have on his desk by Christmas. It now appears that splits in the party over the public option, abortion and other aspects could kill this thing after-all...

"The Democrat plan would make life harder for the vast majority of Americans. It raises their taxes, it raises their health care premiums, it cuts their Medicare and drives millions off the private insurance they currently have,” GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said.

John McCain said Reid was guilty of budget gimmickry by cutting Medicare and raising taxes in the first year of the bill, 2010, but not starting many of the services until 2014. “I don’t think Americans really understand the scam that’s going on here,” McCain said.

“I think Bernie Madoff went to jail for this kind of behavior.”