Saturday, March 13, 2010


Political Prediction --- Healthcare Reform

I'm not sure whether it will be a good thing that ObamaCare passes for the Democrats. Taxes will be raised and Medicare for seniors will be cut without any change but up in health insurance premiums with no new benefits for nearly 3 years. The bill in a nebulous form (but thousands of pages long) is generally hated. The Republicans will have a "repeal it" rallying cry for the next two election cycles at least. There is the other side that failure to pass a bill, when the Democrats have the White House, an 80 vote cushion in the House and until recently, a filibuster proof 60 vote block in the Senate, will be looked at as a failure of epic proportions. Kimberley Strassel has a great takedown of the myths Democrats have created to psych themselves into passing this horrible, hated bill. The Democrats who vote for it in the House in anything less than perfectly safe districts will really have to fight for re-election. It's not all sweetness and roses if it passes.

But will it pass? There are certainly 51 votes in the Senate, willng to break the rules to avoid a filibuster. The only thing that could cause it to fail now is the moral courage of the handfull of pro-life Democrats in the House. Whom am I kidding? It will pass. The blogfather Hewitt is admitting it will pass. The intrade prediction market is at 61, down from a 65 high, saying it is very likely to pass. The smart money thinks it will probably pass. (Of course, the same markets show the likelihood of the Democrats holding on to the House in 2010 is at 56--down from a high of 87 just three months ago--and with no flattening of the trend line down). It will pass and it will be a disaster for this country. Way to go, Democrats.


Much as I hate to say it, in the long run passing Obamacare will be good for the Democrats, even if they lose big in Congress this year and even the White House in 2012. The reason is simple; once healthcare passes the GOP will never be able to undo it.

Don't believe me? Remember how Reagan said he would get rid of the Dept of Education by folding it back into HEW, and then never did? Remember how Newt said he would zero out funding for the arts and PBS and never could?

If Reagan could never get rid of a pipsqueak dept like Education, and Newt could never end funding for PBS, what makes us think we can reverse something far larger like healthcare?

So in the end the progressives win because they will have fundamentally changed our country.

You may well be right, I fear, but the deficit spending has morphed from a shame into a real danger and it may be possible to repeal it in 2013 about the time it begins to pay benefits. Just possible.
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