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Why Obamacare is Tanking

Been trying to craft a post today on the Democrats mad rush to pass a bill, any bill, just so they can do what they (public opinion polls notwithstanding) believe Americans have long been wanting Congress to do, you know, complete the unfinished business of the New Deal and enact massive health care reform.  It seems their zeal to overhaul our nation’s health care system has superseded concern about the particular contents of said reform and their commitment to a transparent political process.

Rather than post the bill online and have our representatives return to their various jurisdictions to hear what their constituents have to say about the bill, they prefer to craft in behind closed doors (with only Democrats present), while making back room deals to secure the support of wavering Senators.  No televised negotiation on C-SPAM as per a certain Democrat’s campaign promise.

Two bloggers (actually one blogger and one blogress) have offered succinct explanations for the Democrats failure to rally popular support behind their efforts at overhaul.

Jim Geraghty faults proponents for refusing “to listen to the skeptics or engage those who think it’s a bad idea“:

Every step of the process, the leaders of the majority have engaged in the worst possible responses — avoiding meetings with skeptical voters, clinging to talking points in the face of counterarguments, attacking the motives of the critics, demonizing them as extremists, un-American, etc. If they had treated the concerns that the plan will only expand bureaucracy and increase costs with respect from the beginning, the debate would be quite different today.

Ann Althouse doesn’t believe Democrats made the case for the various reforms put forward:

People just don’t want this bill. I think the big mistake was skipping the step of winning public support for a particular plan. It wasn’t enough that people believed there was a problem. People needed to believe the solution wasn’t worse than the problem. We were supposed to look away and trust them. The trust was never won, never earned. It’s been a horrific mess, and it just looks messier and messier as time wears on.

Emphasis added.   Perhaps, they would have won that trust had they (as per Geraghty above) handled concerns with respect rather than labeling those articulating them as astroturf paid for by the demon insurance companies.



  1. And in related news, looks like screaming petulant child Barack Obama is threatening to close a military base in Nebraska to force Senator Ben Nelson to give the brat what he wants.

    Not as if it’s the headquarters for the US Strategic Command or anything.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 16, 2009 @ 6:40 pm - December 16, 2009

  2. I’m a democrat who voted for McCain because I believed the best solution in this political climate was to have insurance companies compete across state lines. Now, we won’t even have that.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — December 16, 2009 @ 7:16 pm - December 16, 2009

  3. I have a suggestion to put forth on why the Democrats think the way they think – Are you familar with the people who voted for them in the first place. I believe that is why they have the “We know better than you what is good for you” mentality. A great demonstration of this is the majority of people in Los Angeles who voted for a measure that raised the tax in that city to almost 10%!!! After the vote was taken and done – that is when everyone started complaining about the high tax situation in Los Angeles.

    Comment by Duffy - Native Intelligence — December 16, 2009 @ 7:40 pm - December 16, 2009

  4. Ash – in addition to McCain’s proposal to allow insurers to compete across state lines, there are 1,001 other reforms (e.g. changes to tax policy, tort reform, MSAs, immigration) that would serve to streamline the healthcare system.

    None of these have been put forth by the Dems because the goal is not to broaden coverage and remove inefficiencies from the system. The goal is to extend the reach of government control into every orifice of the body politic. Where’s the “keep your hands off our bodies!” crowd when you need them?

    Comment by SoCalRobert — December 16, 2009 @ 8:15 pm - December 16, 2009

  5. Why Obamacare is Tanking…

    Thank you for submitting this cool story – Trackback from PunditKix…

    Trackback by PunditKix — December 16, 2009 @ 8:24 pm - December 16, 2009

  6. None of these have been put forth by the Dems because the goal is not to broaden coverage and remove inefficiencies from the system.

    You are too diplomatic. The goal is to INCREASE inefficiencies and INCREASE costs in order to force people and corporations off private insurance, and force the nation into fascist healthcare.

    Comment by American Elephant — December 16, 2009 @ 8:50 pm - December 16, 2009

  7. I say it’s tanking because the ends (i.e. the provisions in the bill that have been revealed in the media) don’t match the beginnings (i.e. what the bill is expected to ‘fix’). The walk of this particular bill don’t match the talk of the folks proposing it.

    This ain’t a fix – it’s a suppository. BOHICA if it passes. And there’ll be sand in the lube.

    Comment by Jax Dancer — December 16, 2009 @ 9:24 pm - December 16, 2009

  8. As with the Amnesty debacle, the problem is when Congress assembles a “comprehensive” bill instead of dealing with separate components of a problem discretely. The result is huge, monstrous bills with so many moving parts, it is difficult to form a coalition around the whole.

    Comment by V the K — December 16, 2009 @ 9:32 pm - December 16, 2009

  9. What?! No negotiations on C-SPAN?! You gotta be kiddin’ me!

    Comment by Seane-Anna — December 16, 2009 @ 9:44 pm - December 16, 2009

  10. The AP says that single-payer “dies in the Senate”.

    Now we just need to get the entire Democrat health bill dead. Then the next Congress, which will hopefully be saner and more balanced, can do some good free-market reforms.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 16, 2009 @ 9:51 pm - December 16, 2009

  11. The so called “Obama Health Care Bill” has nothing at all to do with health care. It has everything to do with ensuring the Democraps will be in power forever and rule this eurpoean styled socialistic country as a ruling elite. Hell, they have told us as much. The “wicked witch of the west” from San Francisco openly admitted she would be happy to lose 30-35 seats. Similar in the Senate. They figure that they will have a grip on the majority that they will rule forever – have we forgotten that Newt won the house back in 1994 – that was AFTER 40 YEARS!!!!! Get it. Don’t be sucked in by their constant missdirection – this is a cold, viscious, well thought out plan to put them in power for many decades.
    Something along the lines of King Obama, Queen Michelle, and Regent Nancy. GOOOOOD LUUUUCK!!!!!

    Comment by slimedog — December 16, 2009 @ 10:06 pm - December 16, 2009

  12. Hey, check this out!

    Why I Prefer French Healthcare

    This from the editor of Reason – the leading libertarian mag!
    Whaddayaknow….let me guess – anyone here capable of handling the truth?

    Comment by Tano — December 17, 2009 @ 12:46 am - December 17, 2009

  13. Certainly.

    From the article:

    It’s not that I think it’s either feasible or advisable for the United States to adopt a single-payer, government-dominated system.

    Which is what ObamaCare is all about.

    And farther down:

    Those who (like me) oppose ObamaCare

    So you fail, Tano. Epically. Go back to molesting little boys — or better yet, try to figure out why you think that’s normal behavior and why Obama Party administration officials are so supportive of it.

    Is that why you’re getting so desperate? Are you afraid that your Obama is going to be shamed and humiliated into taking pedophiles like yourself off his payroll?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 17, 2009 @ 1:21 am - December 17, 2009

  14. Interesting, how quiet the lying Tano pedophile gets when he’s confronted with facts. Guess he doesn’t want to have a reasonable or thoughtful debate.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 17, 2009 @ 1:58 am - December 17, 2009

  15. #12 FAIL

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 17, 2009 @ 6:10 am - December 17, 2009

  16. Another Democrat analyst is saying this bill, if it is passed, will be toxic for Democrats. Those insurance mandates — forcing younger workers to pay thousands for insurance policies they neither want nor need — is going to piss off a key Democrat voting bloc, and since the Democrats completely own the health care bill, there will be no one else to blame.

    Comment by V the K — December 17, 2009 @ 7:14 am - December 17, 2009

  17. #16 “the Democrats completely own the health care bill, there will be no one else to blame.”

    Sure there will:
    a. blame Bush
    b. blame the Republican minority in Congress
    c. blame Bush
    d. blame the turncoat blue dogs
    e. blame Bush
    f. blame Bush
    g. repeat ad infinitum

    Comment by Pink Dragon — December 17, 2009 @ 7:25 am - December 17, 2009

  18. Hmm, Tano posted a link to undermine his own arguement?

    See, this is why I don’t swear at the little anti-semite. He does a good enough job of shooting himself in the foot without letting him play the ‘i’m so abused’ card.

    Now I’m all for the Senate having to have the entire heath care bill read aloud.

    Comment by The_Livewire — December 17, 2009 @ 8:37 am - December 17, 2009

  19. Hey Livewire,

    How on earth do you figure that this undermines my position? Welch is, obviously, a committed libertarian. He is profoundly against any kind of a health care system that is run like France’s. As a professional editor for a libertarian mag, heck, that is his core identity.

    And yet he has something inside him that so few people around here have – a certain level of intellectual integrity and honesty. He can look at a system like that and deal honestly with its qualities. In the end of course, he doesn’t endorse it – but if you notice, he is reduced to just repeating boilerplate generalities for why he can’t get on board. And, of course, he is continuing to go to France for his medical care.

    I hardly excpect him to endorse Obamacare, let alone a French type system, nor did I claim that he did. I merely pointed out the link to you guys so you might actually have something interesting to read. Its bizarre how so many of you assume that I was making an argument of some sort.
    Just read the interesting article, and think about it.

    Comment by Tano — December 17, 2009 @ 9:02 am - December 17, 2009

  20. Save your time thinking Tano might have found something this one and only time. Here is all you need to know from the link:

    By now I’m accustomed to being the only person in any given room with my particular set of cockamamie politics. But even within the more familiar confines of the libertarian movement, I am an awkward outlier on the topic of the day (and the topic of this issue of reason): health care. (………….)

    For a dozen years now I’ve led a dual life, spending more than 90 percent of my time and money in the U.S. while receiving 90 percent of my health care in my wife’s native France.

    The Tano solution? Partner up with a French citizen and ride on his healthcare system. No need to have any US health plan. If you break your spine, just fly economy class to Paris and have the taxi driver deliver you to the French Healthcare System, if it is not on strike or vacation.

    Tano tells us that we should be interested in this concept. Frankly, Tano, I think your link is only appealing to those who plan to fiddle the system from the outset.

    Comment by heliotrope — December 17, 2009 @ 9:31 am - December 17, 2009

  21. True, heliotrope.

    I forgot the parasitic method of sucking off the work of others would be the ‘truth’ Tano decided on.

    I stand corrected.

    Comment by The_Livewire — December 17, 2009 @ 9:33 am - December 17, 2009

  22. I’m most intrigued by the drop in support for the bill on the left. Didn’t it seem Kabuki for people like Sanders or Burris (or Kos and Hamsher for that matter) to threaten the legislation if their conditions weren’t met?

    Did anyone believe this? Even for a second?

    The Kaus post you mentioned, Dan, has the left’s opposition at on 16% yet everyone is talking about it. Is this a pre-emptive justification for the coming failure or is there some other undernews here that we’re not hearing about?

    They hold all of the cards. What gives?

    Best wishes,

    Comment by MFS — December 17, 2009 @ 9:36 am - December 17, 2009

  23. ……doesn’t believe Democrats made the case for the various reforms put forward…..

    Dan, you are such a gentleman and far too kind.

    Please ditch the “reform” nomenclature as the whole Democrat scheme has morphed from supposedly targeted reform to “Whack-a-Mole” on steroids while blindfolded, drunk and overwhelmed with body rash.

    Comment by heliotrope — December 17, 2009 @ 9:40 am - December 17, 2009

  24. From V’s link:

    “The mandate is toxic,” [Democracy for America] warns, “and Democrats will own it.”

    Well, well, well. Is that ice out my window there (in this socialist Hell that Obama wants to create), or do Howard Dean and I finally agree on something?

    Of course, Dean and his group probably think that mandates are constitutional in principle. I don’t. (Mandates couldn’t be more egregiously unconstitutional.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 17, 2009 @ 9:41 am - December 17, 2009

  25. The failure of this reform is a disaster for Obama and the democrats. He so utterly misunderstood the national mood and completely mismanaged the support he does have. If the bill passes in it’s current form, the activist left that shilled for him in the election (and readily abadoned single payer due to the promise of the public option) will become a source of ever softening support, the activist right will continue their campaign against him, and the center will be an even smaller, ineffective political location. Utterly dispiriting.

    Comment by rumpy — December 17, 2009 @ 10:18 am - December 17, 2009

  26. New piece from Karl Rove today, pointing out the truth about Obama, should send a few lefties into conniptions:

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 17, 2009 @ 11:01 am - December 17, 2009

  27. This link from corner is even better.

    Comment by The_Livewire — December 17, 2009 @ 11:41 am - December 17, 2009

  28. If Democrats had really wanted universal health care, they should have elected Hillary. The real villain in this is all those sexist Democrats who wanted the cool, young, black guy instead of the woman who knew what she was doing.

    This is not to say that universal health care is a good thing–but Hillary would have got it done. Not only would she have threatened to close Offutt in NE, she would have an envelope of photos of Nelson with some male goats. Because that’s what Presidents with backbone do.

    Comment by Ashpenaz — December 17, 2009 @ 12:36 pm - December 17, 2009

  29. I’m curious to see how Obama is going to react when the Dems get routed in the House and the Senate in 2010.

    Comment by Sharp Right Turn — December 17, 2009 @ 12:57 pm - December 17, 2009

  30. He is tanking because he sucks

    Comment by LCRW — December 17, 2009 @ 4:13 pm - December 17, 2009

  31. If we feel confident that the Republicans will cancel
    1. cap and tax
    2. Obama care
    we should hope they pass both with just Democrat votes,
    then rout them in the 2010 and 2012 elections.
    Both measures are now opposed by 60-70% of the people.
    Obama today flies to Copenhagen site of his Olympic humiliation, to beg
    third world countries to take $100 Billion of our money each and every year.
    Now the American public is gonna love BHO for that…..hehe

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — December 17, 2009 @ 7:06 pm - December 17, 2009

  32. I merely pointed out the link to you guys so you might actually have something interesting to read. Its bizarre how so many of you assume that I was making an argument of some sort.
    Just read the interesting article, and think about it.

    Now there’s a textbook CYA if I ever saw one.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 17, 2009 @ 9:44 pm - December 17, 2009

  33. #26 ILC nice piece by Rove….he skewers Obama. Proves the slickness of the man.

    More horrible news for the Dems, even the liberal NBC pollings shows horrific numbers for the liberals.
    Country on the wrong track, who do you prefer on HCare,
    Which party do you prefer to control Congress.
    It’s all bad for the Dems. And if they pass cap n tax and Obamacare
    they”ll disappoint another 70% of Americans.
    I’m looking forward to the liberal leftists spending like 30 years in the darkness when this is all done. It may be a long time before someone the likes of Obama gets another crack at being President.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — December 17, 2009 @ 10:09 pm - December 17, 2009

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