Obamacare on Life Support

As reported in HUMAN EVENTS, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius suggested Sunday the “public option” that facilitates the government takeover of health care is “not the essential element” of Obamacare.

On Saturday, President Obama told his staged and screened Colorado town hall audience, “The public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform. This is just one sliver of it, one aspect of it.”

The White House is being slammed their radical left base and far-left Congressional Democrats.  Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce which was the final of the three committees with jurisdiction, voted in favor of the transition to single payer, government run health care when passing the 1,017-page bill out of his committee.

“Leaving private insurance companies the job of controlling the costs of health care is like making a pyromaniac the fire chief,” Weiner said.  Sounds like no public option is a non-starter for Wiener.

Leaving aside for a moment that it is underpayment for health services by government — in both Medicare and Medicaid — and refusal to limit doctors’ tort liability that are the main factors in the high cost of health care perhaps Wiener would like to point to an example of the low cost of a government run health care program?  Any one example anywhere will do.  But no. Not in Britain, not in Europe, and certainly not in Canada where the system is collapsing.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus also fired a warning shot amid her own attacks on private insurers.

“Any bill without a public health insurance plan like Medicare is not health reform,” Lee said.  “Without a public option there will be no way to keep insurance companies honest and their rates down. A public health option that competes with private insurers will set standards that could help lower costs and improve access.”

Later in the day, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs insisted that “nothing has changed” in the President’s stance on health care.  

The big, fat trial balloon is suffering the slings and arrows of the radical left.  Obamacare on life support.  Stay tuned.

It’s the Economy, Stupid

Where’s the Stimulus’ Effect?

It has been six months since the White House and Congressional Democrats saddled this country with their $1.2 trillion (including debt service) “stimulus” spending bill.  Instead of actually stimulating the economy, the federal tax dollars spent have been largely wasted on a radical liberal wish list of stale ideas that have been sitting on a shelf collecting dust for the last 40 or so years because they could not pass Congress.  

When the federal government is involved, the only  “shovel ready” project is the piles of tax money Congress shovels out.

Since the “stimulus” spending binge was passed, we’ve had plenty of time to see that the real  hurry to pass the bill wasn’t based on the shortness of time for critical government action: it was to deny people the chance to read the bill.  Had we had that chance, the public outrage we are witnessing over the attempted government takeover of health care would have started six months ago.

House Republican leader John Boehner (Ohio) recalled the empty rhetoric from Democrats in their rush to ram through the massive spending bill.

“By any objective standard, the Democrats’ trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ isn’t working,” Boehner said.  “The Administration promised the ‘stimulus’ would provide a ‘jolt’ to our economy and create jobs immediately, but 2.8 million more Americans have lost their jobs since the ‘stimulus’ became law.  The American people are asking, ‘where are the jobs?’  The Administration’s insistence on spending, taxing, and borrowing more than ever is not the answer they’re seeking.  Instead, it is burying our children and grandchildren under an unmanageable mountain of debt.  Families and small businesses expect and deserve far better.  Rather than pursuing more job-killing policies like a government takeover of health care and a national energy tax, Democrats should work with Republicans on better solutions that create jobs, curb spending, and control the debt.”

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, pointed to the unemployment rate as a dire indicator of the big government spending failure.

“Six months ago, President Obama signed a stimulus bill with the promise that government spending would put Americans back to work,” Pence said.  “Congress was told that borrowing another $1 trillion would prevent unemployment from rising over 8% nationwide. With the loss of more than two million jobs since the stimulus was signed and unemployment at 9.4%, the results are in: the stimulus isn’t working. This Administration and this Congress have failed to keep their promise to the American people.”

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee also weighed in on the impotent “stimulus” spending plan.

“Is this the immediate economic jolt Americans were promised six months ago?” Price said.   “Americans envision urgent action and job creation when they think of a stimulus. Yet after 181 days of bureaucratic bungling, wasted tax dollars, and growing unemployment, the American people see clearly that the President’s spending package was anything but an economic stimulus.

“While the results are surely disappointing to all, they are anything but surprising,” Price continued.  “Government spending is the single most inefficient manner of sparking economic growth.  And it didn’t have to be this way. Conservatives offered a positive, proven solution to lift us out of our troubles, yet the President and congressional Democrats demonstrated they have faith in only government to lead this economy. While jobs continue to hemorrhage and deficits pile up, the American people are ready for a new approach. The Republican Study Committee is ready to lead with concrete solutions to restore the prosperity we seek. It is our hope that the President and majority will join us in a bipartisan effort to promote a true, pro-growth plan to put Americans back to work.”


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