Why Obama holds the cards on healthcare reform

The House of Representatives voted yesterday to repeal the centerpiece of President Obama’s first term in office. To hear congressional Republicans tell it, healthcare reform is well on its way to repeal. The voters certainly dislike the landmark law, and if their voices carry to the corridors of the Senate and that body votes for repeal, the Congress will have spoken.

And yet, that’s where it will end. In fact, few in this town believe the legislation will ever get to the other side of the dome. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) still controls that chamber’s calendar, and no one sees him bringing up the bill anytime soon.

Dream a little more and say the Senate does the unthinkable. There’s no way Obama signs the bill to repeal his own measure.


Liberals are winning the healthcare debate

Bad news for conservatives and Republicans in the new AP healthcare poll, which has the following results: 

Number of voters who favor stronger healthcare laws that do more: 43 percent. Number who favor repeal: only 26 percent. Number who favor the current law: 19 percent. Number who favor a healthcare law that does less: 10 percent.


The great healthcare showdown: Round One

The debate over healthcare reform will be a fascinating one, and already its unexpected twists and turns illustrate that no one can tell exactly where this showdown is ultimately headed.

As Republicans prepare to vote next week (Jan. 12) on a full repeal of the entire law enacted last March, Democrats are gearing up for a public-relations blitz, hoping to defend the program and reframe it in time for the next election. No matter that it was radioactive during the recent election just two months ago and Democrats chose not to campaign on its virtues. The now largely liberal and quite diminished Democratic Caucus is ready to sing its praises in the face of a sustained GOP effort to undermine what's left of healthcare's appeal. Polling shows the bill's disapproval at between 50 and 60 percent. 


Republican healthcare repealers want government healthcare for themselves

What phonies! Most of the Republicans in Congress who want to repeal the healthcare law are now demanding that they keep government-sponsored insurance for themselves. This includes many Tea Party members of Congress.

Excuse me? They oppose what they call a government takeover of healthcare, unless they benefit from it, in their government plans, which they demand they keep. Every honest Tea Party voter and every true conservative should demand that no Republican practice the hypocrisy of trying to repeal healthcare reform for others while fighting to keep their government healthcare plans for themselves.


Repeal healthcare, really?

We see the new members of the Republican freshman class (and most of them are “men”) just chafing at the bit to “repeal” the healthcare bill — lock, stock and barrel.
And the date they have chosen for this hysterical (as opposed to “historical”) vote? Next Wednesday, January 12 … Rush Limbaugh’s 60th birthday… how appropriate! A gimmick, a charade, political payback to the Tea Party — to be sure.


Healthcare repeal: Big loser for Republicans

The healthcare law will not be repealed. Attempts to repeal healthcare reform will be a big loser for Republicans. Some of the most vehement Republicans pushing for repeal will find their seats endangered in 2012 because of it.

There will be some changes enacted that will include provisions appealing to conservatives, and provisions appealing to liberals, but the most radical advocates of repeal are in for a rude political awakening.


Solutions for making ObamaCare effective

Judge Hudson's ruling was correct. You can't mandate that "we the people" must purchase healthcare. Unlike a federal mandate that you must have a driver’s license to drive: It's not unlawful not to have a license, for you don't have to drive. However, in order to live you do have to exist. If we allow the government to make such unreasonable mandates, where does it all end?

If the healthcare mandate is defunded, what will we replace it with? It's not enough to celebrate the defeat of ObamaCare. We still have significant problems with cost and access. Unless we address the issues, we will again find ourselves in a crisis mode that will lead to more bad legislation. We need to find immediate solutions to guide effective healthcare reform.


Republicans’ deep hatred of the poor?

The prevailing assumption throughout the healthcare debate was that Republicans were a monolith — all of them rich, well-to-do whites who themselves, of course, couldn’t possibly have known anyone who lacked health insurance — not even anyone from the huge swath of poor whites who lack it — and that their opposition to running a healthcare system for more than 300 million people out of Washington couldn’t have stemmed from a different understanding of economics or public policy, but instead necessarily had to have been motivated by the drive to keep minorities out of their hospitals.