The Democratic leadership appears to be at it again. After a series of setbacks, intraparty squabblings, and moments of tense disagreement with their own constituents, they now seek another option to make their vision of a massive single-payer health care entity a reality.
As the Wall Street Journal reports, Congressional Democrats are now looking to the idea of splitting the bill into two parts, and passing one of them through via the reconciliation process so as to only need the support of 51 Senators on the reconciliation part.
The first of the two bills (the one that will be rammed through on more or less a party line vote, with some Democrat defectors) is, as the rules of reconciliation allow, a package of strictly budgetary matters, primarily involving federal insurance subsidies (say hi to Fannie Med!), expanding Medicaid (see SCHIP expansion, odds are you won’t recognize it as its intended purpose once it’s done), and (oh joy) devising the tax increases necessary to pay for it all. The second one will be everything that isn’t strictly budget-related, namely their Byzantine series of regulations for the insurance industry that seek to make getting health care coverage every bit as pleasant as your typical TSA cavity search, and, of course, the actual creation of a government “public option”, “co-op”, “single-payer system” or what have you to actually dole out their goodies to their pet special interests those who are most in need.
Overall, the goal as it appears is to try to cause a head-fake among those following the bill and hopefully stuff down the throats of the public as much as they can without getting any input or support from the other party (which will likely include a new massive tax hike) while opponents are still trying to figure out what exactly they are looking at.
Drudge’s headline calling this a “shell game” couldn’t be more accurate. That being said, I’m not really aware of the last shell game that I’ve ever seen that had the power to determine whether people lived or died.
The government, in this increasingly bizarre turn under Obama, has completed its grotesque morph from Jimmy Stewart’s character in “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” to Javier Bardem’s character in “No Country For Old Men”.