The honest truth is that Obamacare, at its heart, is not really about healthcare. To the contrary, it’s about giving more power to the government and by extension, the Left. If this health care bill breaks the budget, leads to millions of Americans dying prematurely because of rationing, and drives costs up, liberals are fine with it as long as they have a roundabout shot at a single payer system. That’s the whole game for them and when they’re talking to each other, they admit it. For example, here’s Barney Frank saying that the public option is all about getting to a single payer:
So now that Joe Lieberman has insisted that the public option be taken out to acquire his vote, liberal support for this bill is rapidly peeling away. Yesterday, bloggers like Kos and Jane Hamsher joined MoveOn and Howard Dean in bashing the bill.
Now today, in addition to Ben Nelson and Roland Burris, who have problems with the bill for different reasons, Bernie Sanders is signaling that he doesn’t support it either:
I’m struggling with this. As of this point, I’m not voting for the bill. … I’m going to do my best to make this bill a better bill, a bill that I can vote for, but I’ve indicated both to the White House and the Democratic leadership that my vote is not secure at this point. And here is the reason. When the public option was withdrawn, because of Lieberman’s action, what I worry about is how do you control escalating health care costs?
Perhaps even more significantly, the unions, who’ve been jerking Obama around like a puppet since he got into office, are also starting to get cold feet:
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) backed out of an event with other organizations promoting the Senate healthcare reform bill Wednesday over concerns about changes made to the legislation to accommodate centrist Democrats.
…The SEIU executive board will hold what Lodes described as an “emergency” meeting Wednesday night to decide how to move forward. “Right now, they don’t have the information they need to make this decision,” said Lodes, who added that the SEIU informed the other organizations on Tuesday they would not be joining the press conference.
The board meeting likely will not produce a final determination by the union about whether to support advancing the Senate healthcare bill, which not only lacks a public option and the Medicare buy-in but also would levy an excise tax on so-called Cadillac health insurance plans that some union members have, Lodes said.
Most of the Democrats in Congress are lickspittles for the unions and if the SEIU gives the thumbs down to the bill, it’s likely to be die a horrible death.
If that’s the case, the only remaining option may be an attempt at jamming the bill through the reconciliation process in January. By then, this bill, which is already a political disaster, would be even more unpopular. Moreover, although the Democrats could probably ram it through Congress, the process is simply not designed to work for something like health care and trying to use it that way would create a huge, incomplete, non-functional mess of a bill.
Whatever happens, with Jim DeMint and Tom Coburn insisting that the bill be read in Congress, we’re probably headed into January, which is good news since it means the Democrats in Congress will get an earful from angry constituents over the holidays before they take a final vote.