Friday, March 5, 2010

On the prospects for Obama's healthcare reform

I do not pretend to be an expert at handicapping the likelihood of a particular piece of legislation passing in Congress. But it seems to me that the chance of healthcare reform passing Congress via the reconciliation process is quite low. This legislation is unpopular, highly controversial, and extremely divisive. The process by which it is supposed to pass has been denounced repeatedly by Obama himself and by key members of Congress over the past several years. There is no precedent for using the reconciliation process to pass major legislation affecting almost 20% of the economy and every single person in the country.

Even if it were to pass, it will undoubtedly be attacked from several quarters on numerous grounds, some Constitutional, and there will be a furious campaign to recall the legislation.

This goes beyond audacity. It risks what remains of Obama's presidency and it risks the future of the Democratic Party. This is not good for anyone, and for that reason alone it should go down in defeat.

16 comments:

W.E. Heasley said...

Mr. Grannis:

A lot of people can’t believe Obama and the progressives are attempting to ram through "their view" of health care/health insurance reform when public opinion is standing at 75% to start the entire process over.

Maybe this explains it. Roscoe Pound (early progressive): “ …in the hands of a progressive and enlightened caste whose conceptions are in advance of the public and whose leadership is bringing popular thought to a higher level”.

Hence Obama, Pelosi and the progressives are coming right out of the progressive playbook and actually believe they are “enlightened” and the “concept” of their "enlightened view" of health-care/health insurance is “in advance of the public”.

Brian said...

..or they are the power hungry statists my parents always warned me about.

Donny Baseball said...

Scott-
And it became even less likely this afternoon as the CBO declared that Obama's 10 year budget understates deficits by $1.2 trillion! Other goodies: annual deficits never go below 4% of GDP, we'll add $9.7 trillion of debt, and debt to GDP will grow to 90%. Elmendorff & Co. just dropped a bunker buster on Obamacare. Who is going to believe any of the already ludicrous claims that Obama is making about the healthcare bill now?? Those raising alarm bells about literally bankrupting the country have lots more ammo tonight.

ronrasch said...

I am happy to be part of the majority that has figured out that O distorts facts to fit his agenda. DB, you presented a fact that is difficult to distort and will increase the numbers who see the incongruencies between O's ideas and facts

Louis Cyphre said...

Mr. Grannis, I take the liberty of recommending you this column by Mark Steyn.

Brian said...

Steyns' column is right on the mark.

Benjamin said...

I just wish al this fervor against state-controlled health plans, over the decades, had been directed at our state-controlled ang financed ag sector, or the vast panoply of subsidies and cross-subsidies that have created Red State Socialist Empire stretching from Alaska, through Wyoming and Idaho, down to Texas, and onward through every rural district and state in America-all kept afloat by vast supertankers of federal red ink.
$60 billion a year in crop subsidies--Montana farmers make more from US taxpayers than they farming.
$8 billion a year in cross-subsidies for rural telephone services--much larger the sunsetted, one-time $3 billion clunkers program.
And the biggest federal agency of all--the Defense Department, that some at the Cato Institute recommend cutting in half.

The right-wing could gain some badly needed credibility if it was consistent in opposing debt-spending, federal subsidies and oversized federal agencies defined by ossified fat and calcified lard.

Sadly, only certain federal waste is targeted.

Scott Grannis said...

Louis: Mark Steyn is on my list of must-reads every week.

Paul said...

"The right-wing could gain some badly needed credibility if it was consistent in opposing debt-spending, federal subsidies and oversized federal agencies defined by ossified fat and calcified lard."


Benji The One Noter,

Speaking of credibility, you voted for Obama, so you have none when it comes to concern about profligate spending.

DouglasR said...

I am not sure what Ben's voting for whomever has to do with his credibility in pointing out right-wing inconsistancy when it comes to the biggest boondogle of all: the DoD. You don't seriously mean to say that we'd be in a different situation if McCain/Palin had been elected do you? The biggest ticket items of the Obama Admin are extensions of Bush programs. The real situation on healthcare is undecided at this point, so it is speculation, but there is no need to speculate how the Homeland Security Agency, and the Wars on Iraq and Afghanistan in conjunction with the Tax Cuts have bloated the deficit-debt situation.

Paul said...

"You don't seriously mean to say that we'd be in a different situation if McCain/Palin had been elected do you?"

Yeah, absolutely I do. McCain has been a career-long fiscal conservative, doesn't take earmarks, voted against Bush's prescription drug bill, etc. Bu contrast, Obama has been at the trough since he was first elected to the Illinois State Senate.
Looks like you voted for him too, eh?

"The biggest ticket items of the Obama Admin are extensions of Bush programs."

Uh, that trillion dollar "stimulus" was pretty hefty, wasn't it? Seen Obama's budgets? He's increasing pretty much every failed Liberal program still on the books. We're looking at trillion dollar deficits for as far as the eye can see.

"The real situation on healthcare is undecided at this point, so it is speculation.."

No, it isn't mere "speculation" and you know it. It's Obama and the Democrats attempting to take over 1/6th of the economy, another massive, unaffordable entitlement. Are you seriously saying McCain would have done this?


"but there is no need to speculate how the Homeland Security Agency, and the Wars on Iraq and Afghanistan in conjunction with the Tax Cuts have bloated the deficit-debt situation."

I guess we should have watched the towers come down and did nothing on 9/11. As for the tax-cuts, well, they were great for the people who actually pay taxes. But Bush wasn't running in 2008, and his reckless spending is irrlevant. The 2008 election was between a radical Leftist vs. a deficit hawk. It was an easy call for someone who actually cares about fiscal responsibility.

DouglasR said...

I hardly see the War on Iraq as relating in any rational way to the fall of the WTC, nor, for that matter the current War of Afghanistan which stems in large part from Bush et al, getting carried away with kicking Saddam around the yard. How can Bush's (and Clinton's, and on and on) profligacy be irrelevant? And Leftist will take offense at Obama being called a Leftist, they wish he was.

I suspect in the face of the crumbling of the Finance Sector both of the Corporate Parties would have acted the same.

A plague on both their houses.

Paul said...

"I hardly see the War on Iraq as relating in any rational way to the fall of the WTC, nor, for that matter the current War of Afghanistan which stems in large part from Bush et al, getting carried away with kicking Saddam around the yard."

Then you don't pay attention.

"How can Bush's (and Clinton's, and on and on) profligacy be irrelevant?"

Because neither person was competing against Obama in 2008. The choice was clear-cut.

"And Leftist will take offense at Obama being called a Leftist, they wish he was."

As a well-schooled Alinskyite, he takes big bites at the apple rather than the preferred Leftist method of swallowing it whole. If they're offended then it's only because, like the spoiled brats they are, they want everything right now.

You voted for him too, didn't you?

DouglasR said...

"Then you don't pay attention."

I get it, you're joking. And just how is the War on Iraq connected to the fall of the towers? And how is the War on Afghanistan (pretending to be against Al Qaeda which needs no particular place) connected anymore? In our fear and trembling we inflicted more damage on ourselves (and continue to do so) than Al Qaeda could have ever dreamed was possible. They even got us to attack Afghanistan (where we suckered the Soviet Union, to their great woe) when most of the people who attacked us were from Saudi Arabia.

"You voted for him too, didn't you?"

There was no way I was going to register an affirmation of the Bush/Cheney destruction of the Constitution, and there wasn't (isn't?) a candidate who had a clue about most of the issues I am really interested in, and I didn't want another militarist in power to keep the flow of taxpayer dollars going to the corporate-military complex... oops! Fooled again. Yes you are right (in more ways than one) I voted for Obama, not based on economic policies (economic ideologies differ but not the policies) because for the most part the money still flows in places I wish it didn't regardless of party.

So I think that, regardless of ideology (economically speaking) the pressures on McCain would have been such that we would be in essentially the same place we are in now, different in some window dressing maybe, but basically in similar circumstances.

Paul said...

"And just how is the War on Iraq connected to the fall of the towers?"

This is a war against Muslim fanatics, not some amorphous, card-carrying members of a club called Al Qaeda. Saddam provided sanctuary, training camps, and supplies to terrorists across the Middle East.


"..when most of the people who attacked us were from Saudi Arabia."

The training camps where the plot was hatched and developed were in Afghanistan. Did I really need to point that out? So you would have supported an invasion of Riyadh? Yeah, if we had (foolishly) attacked Saudi Arabia, you'd be off on some other argument, probably "war-for-oil" or some other nonsense.


"So I think that, regardless of ideology (economically speaking) the pressures on McCain would have been such that we would be in essentially the same place we are in now, different in some window dressing maybe, but basically in similar circumstances."

Which is absolutely absurd. Which explains how you could vote for a Leftist radical like Obama. There's no way McCain would be running up these staggering, ruinous, debts while gobbling up large chunks of the economy for incompetent government parasites to administer. There would still be a high deficit, but orders of magnitudes smaller than what these lunatics are creating.

I knew you voted for Obama. Thanks mucho to you and Benji for helping to let loose this idiot to ravage our way of life.

DouglasR said...

No, Paul, I would not have supported an invasion of anywhere, since it is not a military problem, something which has been amply demonstrated, and which Obama seems intent on continuing to demonstrate.

It is all well and good to say that McCain would not "...be running up these staggering, ruinous, debts while gobbling up large chunks of the economy for incompetent government parasites to administer." But that doesn't make it so. The same crew of thieves would be running Wall Street and owning an equivalent set of Congresscritters, it is not the President who makes the laws it is the Congress, and they have their own agenda.

Are you saying that McCain would not have continued Paulson's program of Wall Street Bailout (A Bush Administration program) and some sort of support for the economy, and relief (such as unemployment benefits, etc.) for the victims of the recession? Are you saying McCain would have resisted and turned a blind eye to the situation? I am not talking about ideological considerations I am talking about political "realities" such as they are.

And the War on Iraq was most certainly in part about oil. Everything in the Middle East is about oil... and water. And religion. But on the global level it is about oil. That's why we went to Gulf 1.0 and that is why we are still there. If you don't grasp the importance of oil in ME and Central Asia then there is a large hole in your understanding of the geopolitical situation there. Energy is one of the root conditions governing the global economy, so it will always have an overriding importance.

It is unlikely we will agree on much, but that doesn't make either of us an idiot.