Monday, March 15, 2010

Damned If You Do...

With the health care reform bill back in Congress's hands, people are speculating whether it will pass or fail. At this point, it may not matter because it doesn't end well for the Left in either case.

If the reform bill passes... Democrats will own it, lock, stock, and barrel. Although this sounds like a good thing, it's actually not because the kind of health care "reform" being proposed has already been tried. And it's failed. For a President who needs a boost in the job performance area, Obama can't afford to fail, not even after winning an important vote on reform.

Furthermore, the length of time necessary to pass the health care reform bill has had a toll on the Left. Ideological rifts have been formed that have the potential of hamstringing President Obama's agenda worse than anything the Republicans could do, real or imagined. With enough progressive Representatives and Senators voting against a more moderate approach to any issue, the Republicans wouldn't need a majority to block the Obama agenda. That doesn't bode well for Obama or the Democrats in the short or the long term.

Also, an unintended consequence will occur: higher unemployment. How many doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals will be willing to stay in their practice if the reform bill passes? Some will quit or retire because they oppose the "reform," while others will be forced out of practice. In either case, there will be more unemployed Americans at a time when the economy is tanking. That, in turn, will drive Obama's numbers down further as more and more Americans see that he doesn't have any answers on how to fix the economy.

Finally, if the reform bill passes, insurance companies will be demonized for their efforts. Sure, they helped to write the current "reform" bill on the table, but the Left has no loyalty to anyone but the cause. Insurance companies will continue to be made villains by the Left, and their reward for helping pass the reform bill will be an enraged populous screaming for their heads.

If the reform bill doesn't pass... it will be a major blow to the Obama Administration and the Congressional Democrats. They've spent a lot of political capital on this agenda item, and failure will mean they lose all of it in the early part of an election year. And it wasn't like they couldn't have pushed this if they really wanted to, either. This was a collective failure of leadership on the part of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.

A failure to pass the reform bill will also benefit Republicans and conservative Democrats because it becomes harder and harder for the Democrats to paint the GOP as the "Party of No" if members of their own party break ranks with Pelosi and Reid. Of course, this will also further widen the gap between the conservative Democrats and the Leftist Democrats, which also helps the Republicans. Strategically, Republicans and conservatives are in a very good position right now.

Insurance companies will still get blamed if the bill fails, but they might be tempted to look elsewhere for candidates to support. You know, candidates who don't get bought and then turn on you. That's going to leave the DNC a bit more strapped for cash during an election year, something that should be giving them nightmares.

Finally, if the current reform bill doesn't pass, maybe we can finally go back to the drawing board and fix what is really wrong with the American health care system instead of putting Band Aids on a broken leg. If you're going to reform health care, then do it, but don't jerk us around with pie-in-the-sky promises with no grounds in reality.

In other words, the Dems are damned if they do...and damned if they don't.

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