By five votes, the House of Representatives approved an over 1 trillion dollar government take over of health management and health insurance that, if it comes to fruition, will change just about every aspect of life in America. H.R.3962, the deceptively titled Affordable Health Care for America Act is one of the most transformative pieces of legislation ever passed and second only to the liberal Tax-and-Trade energy bill that Democrats in the House passed earlier this year.
Alone, each measure amounts to some of the greatest transfers of wealth in the history of mankind. Together they will be the greatest transfer of wealth and the most obnoxiously large consolidation of federal power and control that any generation in America has ever known. Together, the Cap-and-Trade bill and the government health management measure will tax the health out of our economy and the life out of the middle class.
To be sure, the passage of HR. 3962 is a victory for President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That is undeniable and it should not be downplayed. To have actually been able to whip enough votes together to pass this reform bill, while a majority of the American people oppose it, means that the President still has great influence over his conference and Nancy Pelosi has proven herself to be masterful at her job. But the type of influence and mastery they exhibited here may not exactly be the type that America needs. First of all, it only extends to their conference. They were unable to persuade, scare, or extort Republicans to support them. That means that the President and Pelosi’s appeal and sphere of influence is limited to those who are already on their side. They fail to expand their appeal or base in Congress or, more importantly, among the voters. Although it seems like it was months ago, the elections held throughout America this past Tuesday proved that.
It is also important to recognize the type of influence that Speaker Pelosi and President Obama wielded in the health care takeover vote. To pass the bill, an endless amount of deal making went into the process. And all of those deals were conducted under the table and behind closed doors. The horse trading that took place among a group of politicians, limited exclusively to Democrats, is what helped to account for the extraordinary size of the bill—–1,900 pages. It is also something that we will pay for dearly in the next few coming year’s. This bill was passed by the creations of favors that will allow Democrat committee chairman to reward “yea” votes on HR. 3692 by approving more pork in future spending bills than all the pig farms in the Midwest. Democrats will be approving some of the most harebrained legislation you’ve ever seen and they will do so because of three words—– “you owe me”.
For every arm Pelosi and the President twisted, two favors were offered. So many favors were offered in order to pass government managed health reform and insurance that much of the legislative agenda for this and next year, will be based entirely on the need to payback the favors promised to Democrats running for reelection next year. If you think the legislative agenda of Congress will be based on the needs of the people, think again. Our needs will be secondary and even tertiary when it comes to the needs of Democrats facing tough reelection bids and saying to Nancy,——- “you owe me this”.
Add to that the likelihood that both Pelosi and the President may have blown their entire wad of influence on this one vote though. They may have exhausted any chance of passing any other controversial bills in the next legislative session because they may have had to call in too many favors on this one vote. That may be the only silver lining here. The liberal leadership had to pull so many strings, that they may not have the ability to try to ram through anymore of their radically, transformative agenda for quite some time to come.
What’s more is that all the favors, arm twisting, finger bending, deceit and depletion of legislative resources could be for naught. No matter what happens, the favors and deals for those placed their support for Pelosicare on the record and now face some stiff reelection bids, will still have be paid back. And the truth is, that what passed in the House is not likely to pass in Senate.
Typically, the House is much more radical, more extreme than the United States Senate. The House of Representatives is based upon extremists elected from gerrymandered districts within the population that are largely created by drawn based upon ideological preferences. Most districts are either predominantly liberal or predominantly conservative. This means that a member of the House can more afford to take an extreme position. Their districts are largely drawn based upon people with extreme positions leaning one way or the other. There are exceptions of course. There exist a few handfuls of “swing” districts which are moderate. But such seats are in the minority.
The Senate however has no members elected from districts that are carved out to match specifically match their political and ideological personality. These people are elected from entire states. So Senators try to placate everyone. That is not conducive to taking extreme positions. Between that and rules that govern the Senate which are quite different than those governing the House and you have a legislative that, unlike the House of Representatives, tends to water down legislation and moderate the final results. The Senate is also a bit more shrewd than the House. They often take a wait and see approach.
Remember that historic Cap-and-Trade energy bill that the lower chamber of Congress passed many moons ago? The Senate has yet to act on it? In the case of health care reform, the Senate which reached established a bill of their own has waited to see exactly what the House version was before they move ahead with their own. They will now carefully review what is in the House bill and monitor the public reaction to it. But Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn’t have a great deal of time to put his finger in the wind. He is going to have to call for a vote on a final government health care over right away. The more time that the public has to understand what is actually in the bill recently passed in the House, the more support and will and the more intense the objections will become.
The one thing you can rest assured on is that Pelosicare, as it was passed in its current form, will not be what the Senate approves. If a bill calling for the government takeover of health care is to be passed by the Senate, it will be watered down significantly. The public option is a major hurdle. A final senate bill could include an opt out clause or maybe the “trigger” that liberal Republican Olympia Snowe likes. If compromise on that one issue can’t be reached, the so called public option, which is anything but an option, could be scrapped altogether. In any event, passage of any health management and insurance reform bill that the President wants is far from done. If any version of reform is to actually make it to the President’s desk, it will modified to one degree or another in the Senate. If it isn’t, the big government takeover of health management and insurance won’t even have 50 votes, which is 10 less than they actually need to pass it. The message sent in the wake of this past Tuesday’s elections assures us that many Senator’s do not want to be saddled with the existing bill as they come up for reelection and are at the mercy of their statewide constituencies.