There will be a healthcare reform bill passed sometime this year, but it will not resemble the healthcare reform that has been debated and drafted in Washington during the last several weeks.
When faced with a choice between their own reelection and handing President Obama an expedient piece of legislation, Congress will do what it does best: act in its own self interest. Barrack Obama had a slim chance to change the debate tonight and he failed. He failed because his rhetoric long ago reached the point of diminishing returns. He failed because voters are singularly focused on their pocketbooks and their jobs (or lack of one). He failed because voters believe he owns the economy and they see nothing on the horizon but more job losses and a shrinking economy. He failed because the charm, while it may still captivate the Washington press corps, is not working anymore in flyover country and the Democrats in Congress know it.
President Obama’s biggest political problem for the next year and one half will not be the Republican Party even though he will use them as a convenient straw man, the ubiquitous “they” in every debate he can’t win on substance (which is almost all of them). The President’s major problem is a Democratic Congress that he can’t run with and he can’t run against. And the economy. ObamaCare is dead. Cap and Trade is dead. However, unemployment and a shrinking economy will torment this President everyday until the 2010 midterms, at which time he may well become a lame duck.