Last Friday, after a seven-hour long healthcare discussion between President Obama and congressional Republicans, nothing changed. The Democrats’ healthcare plan still consists of nationalizing one sixth of the U.S. economy through regulations, price controls and other mandates under a “healthcare exchange” managed by the federal government. Their plan still involves cutting hundreds of billions of funding from Medicare, raising taxes on individuals or small businesses making under $250,000 and changing decades of federal law by allowing the use of taxpayer funds to subsidize abortions. Their plan will destroy the best healthcare system in the world, replacing it with an authoritarian system in which the government will dictate the type of healthcare coverage we get, what doctor we can see and who lives or dies. President Obama’s newest plan is not new at all. It is yet another direct assault on our liberty. It is more of the same, and it must be stopped.
The recent healthcare summit provided President Obama one final opportunity to reach a bipartisan compromise on healthcare reform, but he blew it. After all the town hall debates, the 1 million-strong Tea Party march on Washington and the Democrats’ crushing defeats in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, the message to the Democratic Party could not have been more clear: The American people do not want socialized medicine. The votes on last year’s House and Senate versions of the healthcare bill begrudgingly represented that discontent. Even with the Democrats’ filibuster-proof supermajority, the convoluted piece of legislation only passed by 220-215 in the House and a party line vote of 60-39 in the Senate.
However, once Scott Brown became the Republicans’ 41st vote, Obama was placed in the uncomfortable position of actually having to compromise with Conservatives. The president had a unique opportunity to transcend the partisan divide, scrap the government takeover and include such Conservative proposals as lawsuit reform, tax incentives for individual healthcare plans and allowing American citizens to buy their insurance across state lines.
Instead, Obama took the easy way out. Days before the healthcare summit, the president endorsed the Senate version of last year’s healthcare bill, and he gave Democratic leaders the green light to use reconciliation, a Senate budget procedure, to evade Senate rules and pass the bill on a simple 51-vote majority. The strategy would allow Democrats to ignore any Republican filibuster attempts while ramming through healthcare legislation. It would also remove any fantasies of this bill being bipartisan.
In the final hours of the healthcare struggle, the president has revealed himself to be a radical, liberal ideologue. He has ignoring the combined opposition from Republicans, Blue Dog moderates and the massive, grass-roots Tea Party movement, effectively turning Congress into a Soviet Politburo where the ruling politicians vote to give the government sweeping powers over individual liberty. The Democrats may pass this bill, but the American people will not forget their arrogance. If they force government run healthcare on us, Obama and his ilk will suffer a political defeat that they may never recover from.