Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why The Rush On Health Care Reform?

Barack Obama along with Nancy Pelosi have made much ado about getting health care reform passed before Congress' summer recess in August.

This begs the question, why the rush? While this legislation could be viewed as urgent, the reality is that another month or two will not be the end of the world.

In fact, logic argues we should be doing the very opposite on this legislation and go slow. This is a major change to a very large piece of our economy. Further, it is a complex problem with complicated variables. Taking time to really examine the problem and applying a proper fix is the prudent course of action, not pushing through legislation whose impact has not been studied carefully.

So, back to the question. Why the rush?

I think the question has a two part answer.

First is the content of the bill.

Simply put, no one actually knows what is in this bill. Congressional members have a history of passing legislation they have not read. There is also a history of sticking provisions in the dark of the night to bring various members on board. Beyond this is the fact that Congressional leaders have not been very forth coming in sharing information.

My suspicion is that Congress does not want us to know what is in the legislation. There is already a growing restlessness among the public about the reform. If the public actually knew what was in the bill, the legislation may be permanently doomed.

Further, there has been a significant divide between what the Dems and Obama have been saying the impact on the budget will be and what the CBO has been reporting.

Give the Democrats credit for one thing though, they learned from the Hillary care debacle during the Clinton administration. The mistake they made then was making the process public, they won't repeat that blunder.

I think this rush to pass the legislation is nothing more than slight of hand. They want to get in, pass the bill, and get back out again before the public knows what hit them.

Second is good old fashioned pragmatic politics.

As I said above, the public is growing restless. This is not a good thing for Obama and the Dems and their attempt to pass the legislation.

There is a Congressional election a year from now and some Democratic Senators and, more importantly, all Democratic House members are up for re-election next year.

The House members are the important link here. As we all know there is a loose coalition of moderate Dems called Blue Dog Democrats. Many of these members were elected in 2004 in right leaning districts because the public was turning on the GOP.

To say these are not safe seats is an understatement.

Further there are enough of these members that they hold a large portion of the difference between a Democratic and Republican majority in the House. In other words, their defeat could make the GOP task of retaking the House much simpler.

These members are getting nervous and becoming harder and harder for the House leadership to keep on board.

Two significant factors will come into play over a month long recess.

Those opposed to the legislation will keep up their offensive possibly making the reform less and less popular with the public. The legislation is already slipping in popularity, a month is an eternity in a 24 hour-a-day-news world.

Second, Congressional members are going to go home and get an earful from their constituents.

It is entirely possible that already nervous Congressional members could come back after vacation not only skittish but forever lost.

Worse case scenario is that some members on board now could come back with a changed mind.

Reality is that this legislation, while we admittedly need health care reform, is not good for the country and needs to be slowed down.

Follow up. For a really good example, check out the Khaki Elephant today. They have a perfect video to help make my case for Congressmen going home and taking a hit from their constituents.



Z said...

Mr Z comes from Germany, as you know, Chuck; He keeps saying "But, honey..this is HUGE legislation, a change this big should be debated for almost a YEAR with excellent suggestions from both sides booted back and forth until the fine points are acceptable and a good bill's arrived at..WHAT is this HURRY?"

His German buddy in Cologne has written pretty much these words to us...I'm hoping Mr. Z will find the time to translate it and post it; it's worth consideration.

Something that should be discussed, also, is WHY CHANGE WHAT 85% OF AMERICANS LIKE JUST TO PLEASE A FEW? WASSUP? Fix the PROBLEM, get more insured, do NOT ruin our health care in the process!!

it's ego, Chuck..this is important to THE ONE. And HE wants it done NOW. And he's getting used to people rolling over and playing dead and he is NOT HAPPY. (which reminds me of one of the best, most politically incorrect jokes I know about a Dwarf, but I'll let that one pass..TRUST ME) hee hee!!

Chuck said...

Z, thanks. I think your right, some of it is ego. Kind of a messianic complex.

Don't tease about the joke and then not tell it.

BTW, check out the video I included in the update after you visited. It's posted at Khaki Elephant.

Randy said...

Chuck, it's obvious that great minds think alike. :)

My greatest fear is that this will be voted down (or not voted) and then people will forget about it a year from now (at election time). We need to swing the pendulum back to the conservative side..

LASunsett said...

In high pressure sales, the goal is to close as quickly as possible. In the case of cars, they want to close the deal before you go to the next dealer. In Obamacare, the goal is to close the deal before congressional members have a chance to read and think about the bill, and certainly before its contents can become known and vetted before the American public.

Another fine example of Obama transparency.

MK said...

I think you answered your question perfectly Chuck, the longer they wait the smaller their chances of pulling the wool over your eyes. They're getting pretty desperate now.

shoprat said...

He senses it all slipping away and is getting desperate.

gailtalk said...

Chuck, Obama says the time for talk is over. Perhaps because he can't answer questions about his plan because he doesn’t know what’s in the bill. How does ObamaCare plan to cover millions of illegals already here, and those that continue to pour into our country, with no additional doctors, nurses or hospitals? What else but ration care, long lines, long waits and lots of people dying waiting for the care they previously took for granted in what used to be the best healthcare system in the world.

Thanks for your always excellent posts!


Chuck said...

Randy, thanks. Your clearly right if you agree with me ;-)

LA, car salesman is an apt comparison actually

MK, I think to add to the issue is the fact that Obama is venturing on thin ice and a defeat here could do some real damage to him

Shoprat, agreed

Gail, thanks a lot, great compliment. As far as more RNs, what does cut health care costs mean? It means fewer nurses.

Leslie said...

Good post Chuck. You made the valid points, as did many who commented here. It is as if Obama continues to use the same tactic: turn it into a crisis that must be dealt with TODAY --just as he has pressured with each 'crisis' generated in the last 6 months.

A salesman. LA hit it when he said the object is to close the sale quickly...only on this one, there are no returns, no exchanges. It is the old buy "As is." The attention span of the American people is terribly short and this administration and congress has found the key to getting things done in the dark of night.

Chuck said...

Leslie, Caveat emptor

Miss T.C. Shore said...

Funny, I wrote a post today on the same topic before I caught up on my reading and read yours. Same conclusion, but said in a different way. Good post.

DaBlade said...

Welcome back Chuck. I've never before looked so forward to a congressional vacation break than this one.

Leslie said...

Exactly Chuck. But we are aware...and don't want to buy it! Hopefully a majority of the people will feel the same way.

Z said...

Saw the video, thanks, Chuck. Sorry about the joke; it's SO unPC, I simply can't.!! :-)

Ann Coulter says this, and I think she's so right "Give the poor and tough cases health stamps and let the rest of us buy health care -- and health insurance -- on the free market."

Chuck said...

T.C., thanks.

DaBlade, they look tired. Maybe they should take off until next November.

Lesle, we are right now only a couple of points from the majority feeling this way.

Z, isn't the video great?

Ann Coulter is right. I have always been in favor of vouchers for the poor. Let them get private insurance with it. As far as people that choose not to get insurance, yet can afford to, let them decide for themselves. With one exception, the HAVE to pay their own medical expenses. No questions asked. If they decide to go without and say, have to have surgery, no public assisstance. They set up a payment plan to repay the bill.