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ObamaCare: A Bridge Too Far

Last week I speculated that the worm was turning on the popularity of President Obama's spending programs. Today the Wall Street Journal notes American's growing anxiety over the budget deficit and government intervention in the economy:

WASHINGTON -- After a fairly smooth opening, President Barack Obama faces new concerns among the American public about the budget deficit and government intervention in the economy as he works to enact ambitious health and energy legislation, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds.

But the poll suggests Mr. Obama faces challenges on multiple fronts, including growing concerns about government spending and the bailout of auto companies.

A solid majority -- 58% -- said that the president and Congress should focus on keeping the budget deficit down, even if takes longer for the economy to recover.

Today also brings news that the President may be losing control of the healthcare reform debate as the opponents of ObamaCare seem to have discovered that free speech and open debate are still available options in the District.

....And the trouble spilled over to powerful interest groups that have been muting their concern in hopes of keeping a seat at the table. Now they're no longer staying quiet, issuing critical public statements and strategizing privately with allies.

For months, the unusual harmony among interest groups, lawmakers and the White House made the task seem almost easy. But in last few days, the cold reality of piecing together the most complex bill in decades has begun to sink in.

Ed Morrisey observes that this is déjà vu all over again:

Republicans have a great opening here, as the Democrats appear completely unprepared for the mammoth costs associated with ObamaCare. The same lack of realization doomed the Clinton effort in 1993-4 as well. The Democrats tried to impose a massive reorganization of the health-care industry on a nation that clearly didn't want it, at a cost we were clearly not prepared to pay. The end result? A massive loss in Congress for the Democrats as the country made Clinton pay for his overreach.

Supposedly, all of the Hope and Change would make 2009 different from 1993, but so far, it looks like a replay.

Keep your eye on the price of crude oil and the ten year Treasury bond, both of which serve as the canary in the mine for this economy. Americans seem to be stirring to the reckless spending and the damage it portends for the US economy.


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Comments (20)

There is an answer to the h... (Below threshold)

There is an answer to the health care issue, but Obama's plan ain't it. His plan needs to crash and burn so better minds can take over ASAP!

There is an answer to the h... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

There is an answer to the health care problem we have here in America. Its name is tort reform. A Democrat will never pass such legislation. Trial Lawyers own them.

But...but...the most intell... (Below threshold)
Trajan:

But...but...the most intelligent president
of our lifetime has assembled the most
august body of advisors to take the reins
and lead us out of this morass. The MSM
is carrying so much water they may drown
just to keep Obama's feet dry. Why? It's
well known that he can walk on water! Chris
Matthews is a witness. S'nuff for me.

not trying to change the su... (Below threshold)
Jake:

not trying to change the subject, but this is the only way to communicate on the site so...

Are you serious with the near total lack of discussion about Iran?? You have ONE post talking about Iranian military members being arrested and that's it?? WTF?

Five questions:1. ... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Five questions:

1. How exactly does Congress propose to pay for Obama's Big Rock Candy Mountain Health Care Plan? How does Congress propose we'll recover the $15 trillion it has spent in the past six months?

2. How well has government done on any other hearth care programs with respect to cost management? Are Medicare, Medicaid or VA health care good examples of efficient government programs?

3. Why does Congress think they can do a better job than the private health care industry?

4. Does Congress propose to do anything at all about out of control malpractice litigation by trial lawyers?

5. Do my senators (the incompetent Roland Burris and the idiot Dick Durbin) honestly think they'll get a vote from me? How about my Congressmen? Why is it they all expect to get reelected over and over again, and why do we let that happen? Are we all fricking IDIOTS?

Bobdog1a. By taxin... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Bobdog

1a. By taxing everyone who makes above poverty level (exempting their special interest groups).

1b. See 1a.

2a. Dems dont care about results. They just want to say they are doing something regardless of whether it works or not. The intent is all that matters.

2b. Dems believes they are. They are redistributing money. From each according to his means to each according to their needs.

3a. Because they are politicians. Again it doesnt matter if it works. The intent is the only thing that matters.

4. Yes. Make it easier for the lawyers to sue. The lawyers are a key dem demographic group.

5a. They dont care as long as they can get the vote of the folks who arent paying taxes or else can rig the juries enough via ACORN to win reelection.

5b. See 5a.

5c. See 5a.

5d. See 5a.

-----------------

The dems know this has to happen this year. Next year is an election year and the pushback from this may be so big and the economy next year so bad they may not be able to win reelection even with ACORN and massive fraud.

That is another reason why Obama is pushing things through so fast. He knows that this is his best chance of getting anything done with the rubber stamp congress he has.

Next up if it looks like Dems lose in Nov next year will be 2 seats added to the Supreme Court. Judicial fiat is just as good as a rubber stamp congress.

Jake -Ever get the... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Jake -

Ever get the feeling the world isn't run for your convenience?

Perhaps you're new to blog commenting, so let me explain something. People post blogs about what THEY want to talk about - not what YOU want to talk about. Slight difference there, isn't it?

If you want to comment on Iran, there's plenty of blogs covering it. Alternatively, you can start your own blog over on Blogspot.com and comment on ANYTHING you desire. No limits, no boundaries. Good luck to ya!

I don't understand what's s... (Below threshold)
bill-tb:

I don't understand what's so wrong with a buearacrat referee for every doctor patient. It makes for a lively threesome.

Yep, the answers to what ails America's healthcare system is easily cured with tort reform.

And yet Jake, there has bee... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

And yet Jake, there has been more said here about Iran than has come from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave in the same time frame.

Jake,We at WizBang... (Below threshold)

Jake,

We at WizBang wish to avoid any insinuation that we have been meddling in the affairs of Iran. But we also believe that discussion and free speech are important, so we are encouraging Twitter and Facebook to avoid any interruption of service to its users in Iran.

- Mike

Unfort., tort reform isn't ... (Below threshold)
Deke:

Unfort., tort reform isn't the "silver bullet" of rising health care costs. Though not a trial lawyer I do live in a state that recently instituted sweeping tort reform legislation, capping economic dmg's and doing away with punitive and lawyer fees and though a very positive step it basically slowed but did not stop nor decreese the rising costs.

A young friend of mine, who has a very large deductible, in the neighborhood of 5k, simply because he's young and only wants catosrophic coverage, recently went to the ER to have 6 stitches put into his hand, his cost $3,200!! In the ER with him were in excess of 20 families of illegal aliens, believe me I know em when I see em, who were there with full families in tow; their cost $0. Oh they give a false address and a bill that will never be paid will be sent but in truth my friend, you and I, Joe tax payer, foot that bill.

Pharmacutical companies make up the difference they lose on drugs in countries with socalized medicine by charging exhorbitant rates here. The cost of medical school is outrageous and those not from wealthy families come out so far in debt they struggle to make end's meet. The list goes on and as one can see there are many more serious problems than just "The ambulance chasers are at fault."

Most of us have solid plans through work and never question costs when it comes to health care for ourselves and our families and since so much of health care does not seem to come out of our pocket we choose to ignore it. Now I'm not saying that socalized medicine is the answer, it leads to rationing and sub standard care, I've seen this first hand in England, with almost NO inovation, yet something must be done.

1: Tort reform
2: Controlling the Illegal Alien Health care fund ie.; the Emergency Room
3: More open billing records between hospital and insurance.
4: More government funding of drug research and by caveat more control of drug costs.

Our Baby Boomers are retiring and as that HUGE segment of our population retires our costs are going to continue to rise. If we don't do anything the pure demographics of the situation will force us to go in a direction we really don't want to go and will only punish the younger generation and deny us the access to top end medicine that our parents enjoyed, but of course the Baby Boomers are in charge now and they are the most selfish generation to have ever come along. I'm just hoping something is done before it's to late.

I listened to a Dr. on the ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I listened to a Dr. on the tube suggest the medical profession pays something like 100 billion dollars yearly in malpractice insurance. It would seem if that cost could be cut by 2/3rds that would be significant savings passed on to patients and their insurers. There are many other ways to save. Maybe the government couldl pick up the tab for those people who are visiting our country and need medical help even if they are not documented. That would be way cheaper than what Obama plans. But then what Obama plans is not in the fixing of our healthcare system but the intrusion and governmental control over more aspects of our lives. What would you expect of someone who was raised a communist?

Remember back during the ca... (Below threshold)

Remember back during the campaign when conservatives were fretting that Obama was proposing (only) a trillion dollars in new spending (which seemed like an unbelievable, unsupportble sum at the time)?

Boy, those were the days, eh?

I graduated from medical sc... (Below threshold)
epador:

I graduated from medical school in 1976, the last year there was Federal support for tuition. I paid under $5k for that year's tuition. The tuition the next year was 14k and its gone up since then. I don't hear anyone offering a solution to so many folks entering the profession with huge debt, but it would seem to me that resumption of Federal tuition support to medical schools (especially since we seem to have a shortage of providers) with strings attached that encourage Primary Care rather than Specialty training subsequent to graduation could be part of the solution.

The malpractice problem and tort reform efforts are symptoms of a dysfunctional response to dealing with errors. I've said plenty about this before and won't rehash it. I feel that bringing it up in "health care reform" debates is more of a straw man argument than most would like to think.

I had the same thing severa... (Below threshold)
JP Abenstein:

I had the same thing several years ago. Couldn't sit down - pain in my ass and down my legs. Didn't have steroids, after 4-6 months without improvement I had surgery and woke up without pain. Ever since, every once in awhile I get a bit of discomfort, but it's rare. I'm very happy with the results.

I agree with Epador on tuit... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:

I agree with Epador on tuition support. If we're going to be dumping more and more public money into health care, using the money to create more providers seems the best approach to "rising health care costs."
I'd also take medical malpractice completely out of the jury system and put it into an administrative system--like workman's compensation is handled. Juries are not qualified to handle medical malpractice issues.

"...but this is the only... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"...but this is the only way to communicate on the site so..."

Are you THAT new to the Internet? Ever heard of email? Or is the audience not big enough?

Deke, all companies bid out... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Deke, all companies bid out the benefit packages for the best cost. Insurance companies do not have carte blanch. ww

Deke, all companies bid ... (Below threshold)
Deke:

Deke, all companies bid out the benefit packages for the best cost. Insurance companies do not have carte blanch. ww

Def agree and not a question of whether business has involvement in lowering healthcare costs. My issues is with the fact we as consumers never see what the insurance companies and hospital's pay for the proceedures they provide. Unlike auto insurance those with bad health records pay the same as those with good health records relative to the benifits provided. So for example a family with family members with chronic, expensive, illnesses pay the same rate, after deductible, that a person with healthy family members. By using the auto insurance analogy, those with bad driving records pay higher premiums, those with good pay less, the answer, imo, is to ask those family's to pay a bit more. I would almost bet that if they knew what they were paying for they would demand more competition and lower prices so their "overall" share would go dwn, which would have the side benifit of lowering everyones health care costs and if you include the other things I mentioned previously I truly believe we can get things under control

not trying to chan... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
not trying to change the subject, but this is the only way to communicate on the site so...

Hahaha! You mean it's the only way you can communicate without giving your e-mail address to the staff? Wow, what a sly dog you are! Or maybe you thought they would just ignore your "tips" and you wouldn't get paid for the comment. Whatever the reason, you never cease to amaze with your thick-headed conceit, Jake. So, where did you say your stellar blog was?




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