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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Democrat's Political Suicide

One would have to have been hiding under a rock to not hear about the townhalls across America where every day citizens are showing up in droves to castigate their representatives over Obamacare aka healthcare reform and the Democrats insistence on shoving a "public option" otherwise known as government run healthcare.

In the past weeks, we have shown poll after poll, from multiple organizations, where the plurality in some and the majority in others are opposed to any form of government run healthcare which involves single payer or the touted public option.

The latest on those came out yesterday from NBC:

A plurality believes Obama’s health plan would worsen the quality of health care, a result that is virtually unchanged from last month’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. What’s more, only four in 10 approve of the president’s handling of the issue, which also is unchanged from July.

And a majority — 54 percent — is more concerned that the government will go too far in reforming the nation’s health care system, while 41 percent is more worried that the reform will not do enough to lower costs and cover the uninsured.

Obama, watching his own numbers go into a freefall over this very issue as well as the economy and his handling of both issues, has backed off some of his rhetoric, allowing Congress men and women and Senators to largely fight the battle, but the Democrats continue to push the single payer and public options, against the majority of Americans standing up to be heard.

Their latest gambit was the "co-op" (Insurance Cooperatives).

A co-op is a member-owned group that assembles a network of salaried providers and negotiates payment rates with them. Membership is voluntary; consumers decide whether a co-op's costs, coverage, provider networks and other features are superior to those of private plans.

Unlike a private insurer, which must produce profits for it shareholders, a non-profit cooperative directs its money toward salaries and improving the quality of care. Health co-ops provide a broad range of coverage, employing a number of specialists who are easily accessible to patients and typically deliver good service.

There was a sizable number of health cooperatives in the 1930s, but most of them collapsed, either because they were unable to compete effectively or because tensions between doctors and consumer-oriented governing boards could not be resolved. But a select few, including Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound in Washington state, have flourished.

"The fact that not many exist now shows us there's not a viable model to compete with private insurers," said Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University who has written on health care policy. "It's effectively a diversion, as far as I'm concerned."

A deversion, yes. A red herring.

Something to throw into the mix, so Republicans would come out against it, which they have, and the Democrats are hoping to use it as a "gotcha" moment, saying Republicans do not want any change.

Not working.

So the next trial balloon, comes via the New York Times, saying the Democrats will "go it alone".

Top Democrats said Tuesday that their go-it-alone view was being shaped by what they saw as Republicans’ purposely strident tone against health care legislation during this month’s Congressional recess, as well as remarks by leading Republicans that current proposals were flawed beyond repair.

Rahm Emanuel, the White House chief of staff, said the heated opposition was evidence that Republicans had made a political calculation to draw a line against any health care changes, the latest in a string of major administration proposals that Republicans have opposed.

“The Republican leadership,” Mr. Emanuel said, “has made a strategic decision that defeating President Obama’s health care proposal is more important for their political goals than solving the health insurance problems that Americans face every day.”

The Democratic shift may not make producing a final bill much easier. The party must still reconcile the views of moderate and conservative Democrats worried about the cost and scope of the legislation with those of more liberal lawmakers determined to win a government-run insurance option to compete with private insurers.

Excellent idea, let them go it alone. Let them go against the majority of Americans, informing them as Representative Eric Massa (D-N.Y.)did, straight up, that he would "vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful."

His next quote was just as arrogant, saying "I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them."

2010 is right around the corner and since the largest voting demographic, the elderly, is one of the demographics the most upset about Obamacare and showing up at the townhall meetings to make their opposition known, I think the Democrats will be held accountable on a large scale.

That is political suicide and I say let them commit it.