Looks like, since the seven-hour summit didn’t pan as expected, here’s another Obamacare bill, which means this is the fourth? fifth? version, depending on whether you count the Senate bills twice:
- The House version,
- the Senate version, and the Senate Public Option version
- the White House Summit version,
But who’s counting? We’re getting hopey-changed up the wazoo,
Obama to Unveil New Health Care Bill Wednesday; “Much Smaller” Than House Bill, Says Pelosi; But Not a Retreat The White House Blog post needed a rather lengthy update, in keeping with the many versions
UPDATE: White House and Democratic sources hasten to add late today that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not mean to suggest the new plan would constitute a retreat from comprehensive health care reform.
Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said the speaker was trying to say the new Obama health care proposal would take its policy cues from the Senate health bill and the ideas Obama posted online a week ago.
Elshami did not deny Pelosi’s comments about a “much smaller” bill could fairly be interpreted as suggesting a step back from the Senate bill. Instead, Pelosi has come to regard the Senate bill itself as “much smaller” than the House bill, Elshami said.
White House officials also said Obama’s not dramatically scaling back his proposal. No one was prepared to discuss a price tag, but it appears the ballpark 10-year figure of $1 trillion remains.
The revisions, it appears, will focus on adding GOP ideas on tort reform and selling insurance across state lines. White House Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes spoke extensively to Fox today about White House staff dealing with these two issues over the weekend (see post below).
Democrats described inclusion of medical malpractice and selling insurance across state lines as a last-ditch effort to win Republican support. Already, White House officials and Democrats have begun to argue that bipartisanship can be defined as legislation including Republican ideas, even if Republicans unanimously vote against it.
“How Republicans vote on their ideas is up to them,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday. “Bipartisanship can’t simply be none of your ideas and all of our ideas. That’s not bipartisanship.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday President Obama will soon propose a health care bill that will be “much smaller” than the House bill but “big enough” to put the country on a “path” toward health care reform.
A senior administration official told Fox Obama’s proposal will be introduced Wednesday.
“In a matter of days, we will have a proposal,” Pelosi said, pointing to Obama’s forthcoming bill. “It will be a much smaller proposal than we had in the House bill, because that’s where we can gain consensus. But it will be big enough to put us on a path of affordable, quality health care for all Americans that holds insurance companies accountable.”
Yeah, right; “affordable, quality healthcare” while making insurance companies the scapegoat. I’m with Just One Minute on this:
Let me tap my inner paranoia for a moment – maybe Congress will pretend to kick a new bill around for a while. Eventually, when the current clamor has died down and the spotlight has moved elsewhere, they can decide a new bill is hopeless and what they really need to do is pass the Senate bill with reconciliation modifications. Remember, until the current Congress expires next January the Senate bill is alive.
Now, that “hey, look over there” plan is probably a loser, but it allows Pelosi et al to defer the day when they have to introduce their hard core to reality. And who knows what the morrow will bring?
IN AN UPDATE: In an UPDATE Major Garret tells us that this is not a retreat – the new bill will be smaller yet comprehensive, like a Brooklyn Decker bikini. Can’t wait to see it.
Andy McCarthy‘s right about the scheme:
The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitablility of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary. Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with. Clipping the leadership’s statist ambitions in order to peel off a few Republicans is not going to work. I’m glad Republicans have held firm, but let’s not be under any illusions about what that means. In the Democrat leadership, we are not dealing with conventional politicians for whom the goal of being reelected is paramount and will rein in their radicalism. They want socialized medicine and all it entails about government control even more than they want to win elections. After all, if the party of government transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state, its power over our lives will be vast even in those cycles when it is not in the majority. This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you’ve calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state.
Consequently, the next six weeks, like the next ten months, are going to be worse than we think. We’re wired to think that everyone plays by the usual rules of politics — i.e., if the tide starts to change, the side against whom it has turned modifies its positions in order to stay viable in the next election. But what will happen here will be the opposite. You have a party with the numbers to do anything it puts its mind to, led by movement Leftists who see their window of opportunity is closing. We seem to expect them to moderate because that’s what everybody in their position does. But they won’t. They will put their heads down and go for as much transformation as they can get, figuring that once they get it, it will never be rolled back. The only question is whether there are enough Democrats who are conventional politicians and who care about being reelected, such that they will deny the leadership the numbers it needs. But I don’t think we should take much heart in this possibility. Those Democrats may well come to think they are going to lose anyway — that’s why so many of them are abandoning ship now. If that’s the case, their incentive will be to vote with the leadership.
At the end of the summit debacle, President Obama put the best face on a bad day by indicating that he intended to push ahead with socialized medicine and face the electoral consequences (“that’s what elections are for,” he concluded). He’s right about that. For Republicans, it won’t be enough to fight this thing, then deride it if Democrats pull it off, and finally coast to a very likely electoral victory in November. The question is: What are you going to do to roll this back? What is your plan to undo this?
No matter how you cut it, Obamacare in some form will pass, and its exhorbitant cost will sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids, ’cause that’s all we’re going to have left, since the country’s broke already,