Friday, January 15, 2010

Brief DemCare Update

Given that the government takeover of health care is being constructed in secret by just three people, there isn't a whole lot to report yet. But, here are just a couple things that have come out. Part of their secret dealings include improperly stripping away the few amendments that Republicans were able to attach to DemCare:

Is there nothing these Democrats will not do to pass DemCare? Ah, sorry, that was a rhetorical question. The answer is, of course, NO, there is nothing they won't do.

Also, the Dems have cut a deal with the unions to give them a much different status than you and I:
Big Labor reportedly has struck a deal with health care negotiators to exempt union members from the 40% excise tax on high-priced health insurance premiums.

The legislation also sets aside $5 billion to subsidize the costs of employer health benefits for early retirees. As Heritage fellow James Sherk notes, few nonunion employers, of course, pay pension and health benefits for workers to retire at 55. And then there’s the small business exemption from the employer mandate for businesses with less than 50 employees. At first this applied to all small businesses, but after aggressive lobbying by Big Labor, non-unionized construction businesses were unexempted. Big Labor lobbyists explicitly admitted they wanted to use Obamacare’s job-killing employer mandates as a competitive advantage to drive non-unionized firms out of business.
Too bad for you, non-union sucka'!

Remember Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska? He took an open bribe to vote for DemCare, casting the 60th vote despite the strenuous objections of his constituents. And what is the result? Ahem:
Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson and his wife were leaving dinner at a new pizza joint near their home in Omaha one night last week when a patron began complaining about Nelson’s decisive vote in favor of the Senate’s health care bill.

Other customers started booing. A woman yelled, “Get him the hell out of here!” And the Nelsons and their dining companions beat a hasty retreat.

“It was definitely a scene in there,” said Tom Lewis, a 41-year-old dentist and registered Republican who witnessed the incident. A second witness confirmed the incident to POLITICO…
This is a two-term Senator who was a former two-term Governor before that, and he's behind in the polls by over 30 points. Nebraska has apparently disowned him, and that's got to give other Dems in red states the heebie-jeebies.

It is all the stranger, then, that Barack Obama just said this:

Really? He wants to pick a fight with the GOP over DemCare? I say go for it, 'cause when 55-60% of the American people agree with you, you've got a damn good shot at winning.

And this brings us to the key special election in Massachusetts. Scott Brown has apparently now polled as being 4 points ahead in at least one major poll, shocking even the pollsters. He's also raising cash like gangbusters going into the final few days of the campaign. It doesn't help any that Brown's opponent, Martha Coakley, watched blandly as one of her underlings assaulted a reporter who asked a tough question, ran an ad that spells Massachusetts incorrectly, suggested that Catholics shouldn't work in the ER, and dissed Fenway Park.

Barack Obama sent a strange and half-hearted video endorsement of Coakley, but it seems to be more about Obama than Coakley, and he looks like he's sleep-walking through it. Legal Insurrection raises a good point:
Maybe the lackadaisical nature of the video is purposeful. Obama is voting present. Obama can say he supported Coakley, without actually having supported Coakley if she loses.
Maybe so. He votes present on pretty much everything else, so why not this, too?

So there you have it, the current state of DemCare.

There's my two cents.

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