Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stand By, Nuclear Option...

The time is at hand. There are a ton of great links explaining what's going on with DemCare now, but the short version is that Barack Obama gave yet another speech urging Congress to commit political suicide so he could have a goodie bag. Here's a good summary of the speech's main points, and how reality disagrees:

Flanked, again, by doctors in lab coats, President Barack Obama gave yet another speech this afternoon urging Congress to pass his health care reform plan.

The President again claimed his plan lowers health care costs. It doesn’t.

The President again claimed his plan would not give government bureaucrats or insurance company bureaucrats more control over health care. It does.

The President again claimed that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” That simply is not true.

The President again said his plan gives the American people the same health care as Members of Congress. It doesn’t.

The President again claimed his plan is paid for. It is not.

The only “new” wrinkle in this speech was President Obama much telegraphed call for “an up or down vote” on health care reform. Again the White House is completely out of touch with reality. The Senate has already passed Obamacare. It is currently sitting ready for a vote in the House of Representatives. The House could pass Obamacare into law by an up-or-down/simple-majority vote tomorrow if they so desired.

But the simple reality is that they don’t have the votes. The House may be controlled by an overwhelming Democratic super majority, but the Obama administration simply does not have the 50% plus one votes they need to turn their top domestic priority into law.

Now the President is claiming he has some new plan that he all of a sudden wants a brand new vote on in the Senate. But that is not going to happen any time soon. President Obama says he is open to four specific conservative ideas, but the White House has produced no details or even legislative language for this new plan. And even if the White House ever does produce such language, it would then have to go to the Congressional Budget Office for scoring.

More importantly, simply adding so-called conservative ideas to the bill does not change the fundamental direction of the proposal. The bills before Congress, including the President’s new additions, would still result in a massive shift of power over health care financing and delivery of care to Washington politicians and bureaucrats. The public has spoken, and it does not want a federal take over of health care.

Conservatives should continue to press the Administration and leaders in Congress for bipartisan solutions that are based on elements of common ground, including letting states take the lead on health reform, tackling the tax treatment of health insurance, sensible insurance market reforms, and an honest commitment to fixing existing health care programs that the government already controls.

Yeah, he really paid a lot of respect to those Republican ideas in the summit:

So, here are the nuts and bolts of how the legislation will have to move forward:
The linchpin is the House, where Nancy Pelosi needs 216 votes to pass the Senate bill. She says she'll have them. The AP talked to 10 Democrats who (anonymously) say they "have not ruled out switching their 'no' votes to 'yes'" this time around. What's unknown is how many Yes votes will switch to No votes because of the Senate's expansive abortion language, among other things. In Pelosi's February 28 interview with ABC's Elizabeth Vargas, the speaker seemed cautious, probably because the final legislative deal is still being worked out behind closed doors.

If the House is able to pass the December 24 Senate bill unchanged, then the Senate's job will be to pass a series of "fixes" through reconciliation, which requires only a majority vote. So Harry Reid can afford to lose nine members of his caucus, because Joe Biden will break any tie. And nine votes seems like enough of a cushion for Reid to pass the bill.

Interestingly, rumors are leaking out that Nancy Pelosi is losing votes in the House, and with the margins she's go to work with, every vote is a potential back-breaker. In fact, it appears that Obama has resorted to outright bribery again:

Chicago-style politics once again coming home to roost. The Weekly Standard is reporting that Obama is now selling judgeships for health care votes:

Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he’s obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson’s brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

“Scott Matheson is a distinguished candidate for the Tenth Circuit court,” President Obama said. “Both his legal and academic credentials are impressive and his commitment to judicial integrity is unwavering. I am honored to nominate this lifelong Utahn to the federal bench.”

Huh. How convenient. ... Perhaps they learned from the bribes of Senators “you don’t even have to get us drunk first” Landrieu and Nelson that outright cash money bribery back-fires a bit and are trying different tactics for Congressman. Scratch my back and I’ll scratch — your brother’s!

For anyone other than a delusional egomaniac, the fact that you have a super majority yet still cannot pass legislation — because no one wants it — would be enough to tell you, hey, maybe this isn’t a very good idea. Not Obama! Raised up politically in Chicago, he resorts to what he knows; strong arm tactics and outright bribery.
What's really interesting is that Obama himself excoriated the 50+1 method of passing legislation...back when he was a lowly Senator, and it wasn't his own precious agenda at stake:

Here's all you need to know about DemCare:

Bingo. And the American people be damned...!

It is likely they'll try to cram it down the American people's throat under the cover of a holiday again:

Republicans expect a final vote on healthcare around the easter holiday this year, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican said Monday night.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said he expected Democratic leaders to arrange their final votes on health reform to but up against lawmakers’ recess for the Easter and Passover holidays.

“This thing is losing support every day,” Kyl said during an interview on Fox News. “And I think what they’ll try to do is move it up against the Easter recess so that the members won’t have time to go home and have a full recess period before they take the vote.”

Just more evidence that they know full well how unwanted this abomination is.

Matthew Continetti encapsulates it this way:
What's certain is the Democrats are making one of the biggest political gambles in American history. They're betting that overhauling one-sixth of the American economy against the public's wishes and by a partisan vote is going to pay off in the end. They have doubled down, and are hoping the house busts.
So, what can we do to continue fighting this?

Rep. Tom Price says it's time to go 'once more into the breach':

So these are the stakes: We’re in the final throws of the battle for the future of American health care. Democrats have recognized they must get this done before they are forced to face their constituents again over the April recess. That means we have less than four weeks to engage once more in this fight. Let it be known what a terrible decision Members of Congress would be making by voting for a government takeover of health care. Let them know that you are still in this fight.

As Shakespeare wrote, “Once more into the breach, dear friends, once more.” The future of our health care, indeed the future of our country, will be decided in the next few weeks. Don’t let a day go by without making your voice heard.

RedState offers the following prescription:

Ending this health care nightmare comes down to one thing, and one thing only: expend all remaining to defeat the Senate bill in the House.

The Speaker cannot pass the Senate bill now. She does not have the votes. She has never had the votes — ever, to pass the Senate bill. (The AP list of 9 Dems who voted No who may vote yes is a fantasyland list — as in, if you think they will switch to Yes, you are living in Fantasyland. If a member who did vote No, now, when the politics are so clearly against it, switches to a yes, they might as well just resign. Which some might. But, really, it is good-bye for No votes that switch to Yes.)

While No votes switching to Yes is not credible, here is something that is credible. Yes votes that switch to No.


Now, in order to attempt reconciliation in the Senate, the Speaker must pass the Senate bill first, without a single change to the bill, on the House floor. (The House Leadership is attempting to pass the changes to the Senate bill in reconciliation first, then vote on the Senate bill, but you cannot reconcile a bill not yet passed.)

Once more, the Speaker is making her Members walk the plank. This time the plank consists of the Senate bill that funds abortion, taxes health insurance premiums and cuts Medicare.

So defeating the Senate bill in the House:

1) Ends ObamaCare;
2) Stops reconciliation in the Senate;
3) Saves the country from months of health care blah, blah blah blah, blah blah; and
4) reboots the entire legislative process to Start Over, in Committee.

The Dem No votes from the fall of 2009 will hold, and Stupak’s pro-life Dems will vote against the bill. Therefore, it cannot pass.

Until the vote, however, House Dems are going to be subject to daily ObamaCare press stories, arm-twisting and generally annoying their voters with more politically toxic ObamaCare.

The Dem No votes and the pro-life votes must be told to vote against the Senate bill, from now until the House votes. Constant pressure will lock in the current No vote count.

That's where you and I come in. Get on the phones and call your Reps, especially if they voted No last time. In case you don't remember, the previous vote is here.

Remember, this is the crown jewel of Obama's attempt to re-make America into a pseudo-European socialist state where the government controls everything. If we can't stop this, America as we know it is done and gone.

There's my two cents.

Related Reading:
Yes, everyone with a brain understands that our current path is unsustainable
Yes, using budget reconciliation to make vast and sweeping policy changes is unprecedented
Keith Hennessey dissects the problem with the two bills here
No votes until the people speak
Obama: we owe the American public an up-or-down vote on this bill they hate
Prediction: Obama will sign the Senate bill if reconciliation fails
Abortion and illegal immigration won't be fixed in new bill
Alternate ending: the destruction of the Democrat party
Another hidden cost of DemCare

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