Earlier this week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the vote to increase government control over our nation’s health care system is just the beginning:
In a conference with left-wing bloggers Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that passing the current Democratic health care bill is the beginning, not the end, of the process of creating a national government health care system. “Once we kick through this door, there’ll be more legislation to follow,” Pelosi said, according to an account by Washington Post reform advocate Ezra Klein.
Most likely, she spoke of kicking through this particular door in order to bring left-wingers on board who don’t think the current legislation goes far enough. Others interpreted it to mean that there’d be more statist legislation to follow and not just in health care. Now, to be sure, if this passes, Congress will still be working on health care for weeks, if not months to come, “fixing” the bill, then fixing the fixes, batting legislation back and forth across Capitol Hill while other problems fester.
And given just how unpopular this bill is, should it pass, there will be more legislating as the incoming Republican Congress in January moves to repeal it and enact real reforms which reduce the federal regulatory burden and promote private sector innovation.
But, I’m beginning to wonder now, given all the arm-twisting and deals top Democrats have been offering wavering members of their caucus, if come this afternoon’s vote, they will have spent their entire political capital and have nothing more to offer those representing swing districts–or even marginally Democratic ones as citizens, like those in Massachusetts, turn against the incumbent party for its indifference to their concerns.
Our representatives in Washington will be more wary of controversial legislation, including, alas, repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell. Pelosi may not be able to get them to walk the plank again on that or any issue.
Just look at the lengths to which the president and House Democratic leaders are traveling to try to squeeze our their majority. If this passes, it will be by the barest of majorities. And Democrats won’t be putting as much energy into future such issues.
Nancy may gloat if this passes, but its passage will diminish her power. As will its defeat.