After Thursday health care summit two two things are clearer than they were prior to the summit. And both tend to favor the republicans.
First, it was clear republican had either been essentially been shut out, or ignored by democrats over the past year. The republicans were able to debunk the allegations that they are just saying no for the sake of saying no as they put forth reasonable alternatives to the democratic health care plan.
Second, the power drunk statist democratic President and democratic congressional leadership will force health care through congress using the "nuclear option", or the process known as reconciliation, to push a bill through with a simple majority senate.
Here is what the President had to say in his closing remarks;
"I’d like Republicans to do a little soul searching to find out if there are some things that you’d be willling to embrace that get to this core problem of 30 million people without health insurance, and dealing seriously with the pre-existing conditions issue.
I don’t know frankly whether we can close that gap.And if we can’t close that gap, then I suspect Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner are going to have a lot of arguments about procedures in Congress about moving forward."
The Presidents comments, while perhaps requiring one to read between the lines, clearly indicate his parties intent to use reconciliation if the republican's don't bow to their desires and jump on board. This is a calculated political risk for the President and the democratic congressional leadership.
Aside from the majority of the public not being behind the democratic bill, it is also clear that the American public does not want the act of reconciliation, or nuclear option used. This for two reasons, 1) reconciliation is intended to iron out small differences house and senate budget bills, and 2) the people want to see bipartisanship as they believe if a bill has support from both parties then it will be a by far better bill than when only one party (ideology) supports it.
If the President and his statist allies are able to garner the 218 votes in the house, and 51 votes in the senate (to use the nuclear option), and push their ill crafted break the bank health care bill through, there will likely be a voter backlash come November 2010. And one that could very well carry over into 2012. The Presidents words about being a successful one term President may turn out to be prophetic.
Gergen sums it up well in the following CNN clip.
Via: Hot Air