My prediction: I write this before the President’s much-touted speech to Congress on what he now calls “Health Insurance Reform.” (If you can’t change the bill, change the name.) He is not really speaking to Congress, but to centrist, middleclass voters whose support he needs to bring wavering Democrats into line to support this Big Government Boondoggle. The Congress Critters will vote in the interests of their re-election, so BO needs popular support for HCR/HIR/BGB.
The usual way a demagogue rallies popular support is to find a villain, and whip up fear and hatred of the villain through fiery rhetoric. Tonight the villain in certain to be the Evil Special Interests and the Evil Insurance Companies. Everyone who has insurance has issues with his or her insurance company, and many may not grasp how many more issues people will have dealing with government bureaucracy, despite experience with the post Office and DMV.
The villain will not be Evil Big Pharma, as the Pharma Association, headed by a former Lawyers Party Congress Critter, has bought BO off, pouring a ton of dollars into ads supporting HIR in exchange for a promise the government won’t use it’s buying power to force lower drug prices. It won’t be Evil Doctors, as the AMA got on board, endorsing HCR in exchange for a promise that it would fix the flawed Medicare Payment Formula, called SGR, which if not patched ever year would drive most doctors out of Medicare. Right now it threatens to reduce the already meager reimbursement by 21% next year. Think your doctor will participate with a 21% cut, with a looming shortage of both primary care and, in many areas specialist docs?
If the Evil Republicans are also the villain tonight, it means that BO & the leaders of the Lawyers Party have decided to go it alone, abandoning his pretense of being bi-partisan. That was always a pose, as the Republicans have had Health Care Reform proposals, and the President keeps saying they don’t. It’s just that they include things like free-market competition, reducing mandates and, especially tort reform to cut into the billions of dollars spent on defensive medicine and liability insurance—which comes out of YOUR pocket. But anything that takes dollars from lawyers is not a reform as far as the Lawyers Party is concerned. Any anything that doesn’t grow government at the expense of individual liberty, or supports free market competition is anathema to the statists who are dominant in the Lawyers Party. This will be a bell-weather of the administration’s direction.
Strong support for a Public Option or opposition to tort reform would also signal abandonment of the “bi-partisan ploy.” Ditching a Public option creates a revolt on the statist left. Watch to see if he can go on finessing this one. Best guess: He’ll say he supports a Public Option, but will sign a bill without one, if it contains the Insurance Reform the public desperately needs. Same on Tort Reform.
For those not paying attention, I say “Lawyers Party” because the Democrat leadership of the House, Senate and White House is almost entirely lawyers, so naturally thinks that what is good for lawyers is good for the USA.
Leaked First Draft of the President’s Speech