Stanley Feld M.D.,FACP,MACE
The Democrats having no clear path going forward on major healthcare legislation. They have put healthcare reform on hold.
They should shred and burn the present healthcare reform bill. It will not Repair the Healthcare System.
The traditional media has published quotes from elected officials. These quotes make it clear that elected officials really do not understand the problems in the healthcare system much less repair them. All the Democrats want is to pass a bill. They think passing a bill will save President Obama’s presidency.
Many Democrats up for election are starting to face reality. The American people want healthcare reform. They do not want this healthcare reform bill. The process the Democrats and the President have used to advance the healthcare reform bill has only made the public more cynical and suspicious of the President and the Democrats in congress.
Democrats up for election are afraid of the same backlash seen in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. They are backing off President Obama’s healthcare reform bill.
The President has not backed off his healthcare reform plan. He is willing to bring the entire Democratic Party down in the 2010 election because of his convictions. He does not want to understand that his healthcare reform plan makes no sense. His statement during the State of the Union address is riddled with half truths. It’s plan will not serve the interest of the American people. It will increase government control of citizens’ lives, increase the deficit and increase the profits of special interests.
“The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, deflected questions about health care. “We’re not on health care now,” Mr. Reid said. “We’ve talked a lot about it in the past.”
He added, “There is no rush,” and noted that Congress still had most of this year to work on the health bills passed in 2009 by the Senate and the House.”
Nancy Pelosi wants President Obama’s bill passed. She does not have enough Democratic votes in congress. She is mapping out a way to complete a health care overhaul in coming months. It looks as if the Democratic leadership and the President want to sneak the bill over, under, or through the fence using procedural tricks.
“At the same time, two centrist Democrats who are up for re-election this year, Senators Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Evan Bayh of Indiana, said they would resist efforts to muscle through a health care bill using a parliamentary tactic called budget reconciliation, which seemed to be the easiest way to advance the measure.”
Recently, President Obama has said that he would support that approach.
Representative S. Hoyer added, “I think by next week we need to come to focus on the way we want to move forward.”
“Frankly, we’re trying to figure out what is possible,” Mr. Hoyer said.
Mr. Hoyer does not know what to do.
Representative Charles B. Rangel, Democrat of New York and chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said, “We are not passing the Senate bill period.”
I think it is pretty clear Mr. Rangel does not want to swallow a healthcare reform bill he does not support.
“Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, urged caution, saying, “The White House and Democratic leaders should reach out one more time to Republicans to see if they can find a common ground.”
Reaching out must be done in a honest and sincere way, My way or the highway will not work. The President has to formulate a bill that is bipartisan and directed to serving the interest of the people. His healthcare reform bill does not do that.
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, said Democrats were assessing their options on health care. “It’s a timeout,” she said. “The leadership is re-evaluating. They asked us to keep our powder dry.”
Ms. Lincoln, who faces one of the toughest re-election bids among Democrats, said, “I am opposed to and will fight against any attempts to push through changes to the Senate health insurance reform legislation by using budget reconciliation tactics that would allow the Senate to pass a package of changes to our original bill with 51 votes.”
Ms. Lincoln is correct. The people are tired of closed door tricks. President Obama promised us transparency and bipartisan debate during his presidential campaign..
Mr. Bayh said, “It would destroy the opportunity, if there is one, for any bipartisan cooperation the rest of this year on anything else.”
It will also destroy Mr. Bayh’s chances of getting reelected.
The Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said White House comments on health care suggested Mr. Obama was not listening to the American people.
What do I think? I think the bill should to shredded and burned. It is a terrible bill for all the reasons I have outlined.
The government is broke. It is spending over 1 trillion dollar more a year than its revenue. Adding another entitlement program makes no sense no matter how well President Obama presents the case. His case is hollow. He has intensified cynicism and mistrust.
Congress and the President must take a hard look at where the healthcare dollars are being wasted. They then have to fix the inefficiencies in a constructive way.