Frank Talk From an Almost-Obama-Insider

Assigned Reading: Judd Gregg: ‘Elections Have Consequences’
(FROM: The Wall Street Journal)

Every weekend, the Journal runs an interview with someone or another. This time, it was Gregg, who may be the only Obama selection to not fill a cabinet position because of something other than tax indiscretions. Gregg admittedly came to his senses a little late, saying that there was no way he could be with the president 100 percent of the time as Commerce Secretary, but the important thing is that he came to his senses.

If President Obama turned out to be like former President Bush and adopted nicknames for everyone–Dubya’s nicknames for adviser Karl Rove were “Boy Genius” and “Turd Blossom,” I kid you not–part of me wonders if Gregg’s nickname would have been “Token,” as he would have been the token Republican chosen to satisfy Obama’s otherwise empty claims of bipartisanship.

Regardless, among other things, “Token” had this to say about Obama’s plans for universal healthcare:

And while the aspiration for universal coverage may be noble, the practical realities of getting there may prove harder for the American public to swallow. “There’s no question,” the senator says, “that this is a debate about rationing to a large degree. All your single-payer systems are rationing systems. It’s also a debate about technology and innovation. Because you will not have capital pursuing technology, innovation and science if it’s health-care related, because the return on capital won’t be there. And these things are so expensive, especially on the pharmaceutical side and the biologic side, that you’ll dramatically slow improvements in the quality of health care through science with a single-payer plan.” Mr. Gregg thinks that critique will resonate with the public.

Even so, given the balance of power in Washington, Mr. Gregg gives the Democrats good chances of success in nationalizing our health-insurance market. “I think the odds are pretty good that it’s going to happen — that you’ll have a major health-care reform bill pass.” As he says, “Elections have consequences.”

This bill, by the way, the largest ever entitlements program, will likely be rammed through by the Democrats thanks to a procedural effort called “reconciliation,” as far as I know a mechanism designed to streamline intricate tax- and budget-related stuff which, like everything else, has been abused by those in power in D.C.

That means that this program, which will affect each and every American for generations, could be pushed through behind closed doors and without Republican input or debate because the Democrats are afraid that the outcry from such a public debate would endanger their chances of reaching the crucial 60-vote threshold.

So much for transparency. So much for bipartisanship.

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Comments

  1. Gail B says:

    Senator Gregg is on the committee! This afternoon I received this from Phil Kerpen, of Americans for Prosperity:

    You may have already seen the media reports that the budget is a done deal, and health care reconciliation is included. They are wrong. It is not yet a done deal, and we need you to ACT TODAY to stop it. Democratic leadership has agreed, but the actual conference report is not written by leadership, but by the specific conferees on the conference committee:

    Senate
    Kent Conrad (D-N. Dak.)
    Patty Murray (D-Wash.)
    Judd Gregg (R-N.H.)

    House
    John Spratt (D-S.C.)
    Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)
    Allen Boyd (D-Fla.)
    Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
    Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)

    If your senator or representative is on the committee, it is imperative that you send them a message today urging them to keep health care out of reconciliation. They are meeting THIS AFTERNOON, so time is of the essence. By far the most important two are Kent Conrad and Allen Boyd, Democrats who have been skeptical about using reconciliation.

    If you know anyone in North Dakota or Florida’s second district (Tallahassee, Panama City) please forward them this urgent email immediately!

    Reconciliation is a trick, a procedure designed for deficit reduction being misused to jam through a government takeover of health care with only 20 hours of debate, no amendments, and just 50 votes instead of the usual 60. This trick will silence Republicans and centrist Democrats, and allow a radical leftist plan in which government takes away control of health care from patients and doctors, and rations care by denying it to people judged by bureaucrats to be too old or too sick to justify the cost. For more explanation, listen to my podcast on this:

    http://kerpen.hipcast.com/rss/kerpencast.xml (End quote)

  2. tm says:

    Very well said gail
    GET ON THE PHONES………….

  3. PATRICK HENRY says:

    Revolutions have consequences.

  4. MY FACE FEELS DAMP says:

    Anybody else feeling completely burned out on calls, emails and letters to their reps? Kinda like spitting into an oncoming hurricane?

  5. CAL says:

    We’re screwed.

  6. Let us move forward says:

    Thanks Gail,

    I contacted several of the members of the committee although none of the committee members relied on my vote to get to Congress.

    Amazingly, all the committee members offices answered my calls, did not ask if I was a constituent, and the ladies taking the calls said that they would pass the message on.

    No trouble getting through.

    Somehow, we need to find a way to alert people when action is needed. People can’t give up. There is too much at stake.

  7. goddessdivine says:

    So much for campaign promises. I thought Obama pledged to reach across the isle. Is this the change we can believe in?

    It will most likely be some 1000 page report, which no one will read. It will get passed, people will complain, and Obama will claim innocence.

    Get ready for long waits, diminished care, and skyrocketing taxes.

  8. conservative in exile says:

    I know it has been a while since I have posted, but I finished school today and now have some extra time (Jeff, good luck in wrapping up yours soon, it feels incredible to be done).

    I am not convinced that we really need to worry a whole lot about the Presidents Health Plan getting thorugh Congress as a matter of Reconciliation. For one, Clinton’s health care plan was shot down because it did not stand up to the requirements for reconciliation and Obama’s plan does not meet muster either.

    So long as one Senator raises a procedural objection to the bill it will require the vote of 60 Senators to move forward to waive the objection. I am sure that Sen. Demint or another conservative will raise the objection. The whole reason that the back door deal was struck between Obama, Reid, and Pelosi is because it does not appear that there is enough support to garner the 60 votes necessary to pass the bill. Same holds true for cap and trade. While I still believe that it would be a good idea to bang the hell out of the phones and flood the appropriate committe members with emails objecting to the bill, I am fairly confident in the end, one Senator will object and the bill and the abusive back door deal will die on the Senate floor.

  9. Anonymous says:

    With so many uninsured in this country, I cannot, for the life of me, understand how you people believe we are not already rationing healthcare.

  10. JEFF SCHREIBER says:

    Anonymous said…

    With so many uninsured in this country, I cannot, for the life of me, understand how you people believe we are not already rationing healthcare.Look at the death rate from swine flu between here and Mexico. Look at infant mortality rates between here and around the world.

    Look at the concept of emergency surgery as a whole.

    If you think we’re already there, you’re going to have a wake-up call.

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