President Obama wants healthcare reform this year.
He said at a town hall meeting the other day that he won't tolerate "endless delay" and that we probably won't reform healthcare if we don't do it this year.
Now why is that Mr. President? Will Congress be on vacation for the remaining three years of your term?
Consider that it's not unusual to take a full session of Congress -- two years -- to pass legislation a fraction of the size and consequence of healthcare reform. Yet our president is demanding that a bill to overhaul a $2.5 trillion sector of our economy -- one sixth of it -- be considered and passed in a few short weeks.
It ought to be clear that this is not about taking an honest and sincere look at how to make this a better country and how to do a better job at delivering healthcare to Americans. It's impossible to look at something this massive and deal with it in such a short time frame.
This is about raw politics. When Mr. Obama says that if we don't get "it" done this year we probably won't get "it" done, he doesn't mean reforming healthcare. He means reforming it the way he and Ted Kennedy want to do it. Government-run, nanny state healthcare.
To pull it off, they have to move fast.
First, the White House knows that Mr. Obama's honeymoon won't last forever. While his personal approval ratings remain high at 60 percent, his disapproval rating now at 33 percent is almost twice where is stood last February. And, in latest Gallup polling, the majority now disapprove of how Obama is handling government spending. So the White House wants action now on healthcare while their man is still popular.
Second, the White House knows that next year is an election year. It will be far more difficult to get senators and congressmen to play ball.
Third, they know that the big reason that Hillary Care failed in 1993 was that the American people were given an opportunity to look at it and consider it. They don't want to make the same mistake of giving voters a chance to actually understand what is about to happen to them. They know that the more Americans have an opportunity to take a look at the bureaucrat-run, nanny state healthcare freight train, the more likely they will jump of the track.
Breathlessness is a great political technique. Telling voters that the world will end if we don't get X passed now.
This is how the $800 billion dollar "stimulus" bill got passed earlier this year. We were flashed images of the Great Depression of the 1930s and told our only hope is the stimulus bill.
Now, three months later, it's clear that our current economy bears no resemblance to the 1930s, that signs of recovery are emerging, and thus far only six percent of the $800 billion "stimulus" pot of political lard has been spent.
The trillions in new debt have been piled up at such a dizzying pace in the last few months Americans are numb. The federal government take from our economy has jumped from one-fifth of it to one-fourth.
Now, Mr. Obama and his Democrat colleagues want to layer on a new government healthcare plan to "compete" with private plans. "Compete" means raising taxes a few trillion dollars to provide subsidized insurance, and in some cases, free insurance, through a government plan in which all Americans will eventually wind up -- and putting federal bureaucrats in charge of approving what healthcare procedures we are permitted.
The healthcare nanny state freight train is moving. Will we wake up before it's too late?