Senate, Help Your President -- Deep-Six ObamaCare!
"The political risks of failure are pretty high."
A former congressional aide offered this ominous assessment following the House of Representatives' passage of "health care reform." Warning to the Senate: President Obama and his party face political catastrophe if you fail to do your part so that the President can sign a bill!
The political risks of success are much, much higher. Taxes would go up — and not just on "the rich." And since "the rich" provide jobs, they would hire fewer people, spend less on their businesses, and take fewer risks. Costs would explode beyond government estimates — which conveniently limit the estimated price tag to only the first decade.
Expect insurance companies to deny requests for medical treatment at a greater rate than today. Why? The bill would require insurers to take people with pre-existing illnesses, so denying requests for treatment would be the only potent weapon to reduce costs. And since those with pre-existing illnesses could not be denied coverage, people would simply wait until they required care before getting insurance — only to drop it and risk paying fines once they were treated.
Government eventually will start "controlling costs" by rationing care — denying requests; imposing waiting times for treatment; and withholding treatment from those with "bad" lifestyles (e.g., those who smoke cigarettes or those who fail to exercise and eat "appropriately") and those considered too old to "sufficiently benefit."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during the Great Depression, launched the New Deal — a blinding array of expansive and expensive government programs designed to "rescue" the economy. Obama, as did FDR, calls this expansion necessary in order to achieve economic recovery. Government expansion — in this case, ObamaCare — and economic prosperity supposedly go hand in hand.
Henry Morgenthau served as FDR's Treasury secretary. Thus Morgenthau, who served from 1934 to 1945, was to FDR what current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is to Obama. Morgenthau wrote in 1939: "We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. ... I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started ... and an enormous debt to boot!"
Political Armageddon if ObamaCare fails? No. A recent Rasmussen poll shows more "likely voters" opposed than in favor. Preventing Obama from being Obama is job security for both the President and the congressional Democrats.
The then-Republican-controlled Congress stopped President Bill Clinton from passing HillaryCare.
Because of Republican pressure or support, Clinton signed measures unpopular with his base — the NAFTA and GATT trade agreements; a reduction in capital gains taxes (as part of a larger budget compromise); and 1996's welfare reform act, which, for the first time, refused recipients more money if they had additional children and imposed benefit time limits. Many congressional Democrats opposed these measures.
Though he successfully blamed the Republicans for temporarily shutting down the government over a budget impasse, Clinton signed a budget more modest and less expensive than he wished. For these reasons, among others, Clinton left office with a budget surplus that Democrats constantly brag about — never, of course, giving Republicans any credit for restraining Clinton's desire to spend.
Besides, if ObamaCare fails in the Senate, watch Obama and the sycophantic media round up the "usual suspects" — "anti-women" pro-lifers who reject government money for abortions; anti-illegal-alien "racists" who wanted some teeth in the legislation to stop illegal aliens from receiving benefits; "in-the-pockets-of-insurance-company" opponents of the noble "public option" (government-subsidized insurance designed to keep insurance companies "honest"); "evil and greedy" health insurance companies that "misled" the public about the wonders of ObamaCare; "the rich" who selfishly resisted tax hikes; and, of course, Republicans who "failed to offer an alternative."
The media will praise the President for his "heroic" effort, for "going down swinging," for getting the House — for the first time in history — to pass health care "reform," for going further than any president since President Harry Truman first proposed government-based universal health care.
After spending trillions to "save" our financial system, signing an $800 billion spending package to "stimulate" the economy, and pushing government takeovers of financial firms, banks and car companies, the President stands — pen in hand — ready to enact a dangerous government takeover of one-sixth of the nation's economy.
President Clinton survived — not in spite of but, in part, because of his "failure" to "reform" health care. Obama will survive — and benefit — from this "failure," as well. So, Senate, do the President, yourself and the country a favor.
Larry Elder is a syndicated radio talk show host and best-selling author. His latest book, "What's Race Got to Do with It?" is available now. To find out more about Larry Elder, visit his Web page at www.LarryElder.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2009 LAURENCE A. ELDER
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