Never let a crisis go to waste

President Barack Obama may need a crisis in order to put the momentum in the health care debate back in his corner:

President Barack Obama returns to Washington next week in search of one thing that can revive his health-care overhaul: a sense of crisis.

Facing polls showing a drop in his approval, diminished support from independents, factions within his Democratic Party and a united Republican opposition, Obama must recapture the sense of urgency that led to passage of the economic rescue package in February, analysts said.

“At the moment, except for the people without insurance, we’re not in a health-care crisis,” said Stephen Wayne, a professor of government at Georgetown University in Washington. “You do need a crisis to generate movement in Congress and to help build a consensus.”

Earlier this year, we saw the public over-react to the H1N1 virus (swine flu). With fall and winter coming up, we’re already starting to hear estimates of tens of thousands of deaths.

We know that politicians will use a potential threat to shift public and perception into what they want politically. Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s Chief of Staff, has already made it clear that “you never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

Still No Consensus On Health Care Reform

A new Gallup poll shows that American’s attitudes on the health care reform bill currently before Congress are virtually unchanged from where they were when Congress began it’s August recess:

PRINCETON, NJ — The American people are no less divided on healthcare reform today than they were a month ago. A new Gallup Poll finds 39% of Americans saying they would direct their member of Congress to vote against a healthcare reform bill this fall while 37% want their member to vote in favor.

One in four Americans (24%) say they have no opinion about which way their representative should vote on a healthcare reform bill, down only slightly from early August.

The new Gallup Poll, conducted Aug. 31-Sept. 2, suggests the issue could be politically potent in 2010. Sixty-four percent of Americans say their representative’s position on healthcare reform will be a major factor in their vote in the next congressional election; just over a third say it will be no more than a minor factor.

Opponents of reform have the edge in intensity here. Among Americans who want their member of Congress to vote against healthcare reform, 82% say the issue will be a major factor in their vote in next year’s elections. Among those wanting their member to vote for reform, 62% say the issue will be a major factor for them.

Unless Obama finds a way to turn that around tomorrow, I would say that the odds of anything resembling HR 3200 passing this year are virtually nil.

Triggers are just another trojan horse

The latest trick in the debate over ObamaCare is placing a “trigger” in the legislation that would allow for a government-run option in five years or so if private insurers don’t lower premiums and get costs down:

The so-called “trigger” has been floated by Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, a member of the “gang of six” Senate negotiators who are trying to broker a bipartisan compromise. Under such an option, if agreed-upon goals are not met by the insurance industry, then that would pull the trigger on government-run insurance.

It’s unclear whether President Obama will address the idea when he delivers a high-stakes health care address to Congress Wednesday night. But even as the White House signals it’s open to considering alternatives to a hard-and-fast “public option,” administration officials and congressional negotiators are hard-pressed to find an alternative that could win more votes than it loses.

Liberals complained the trigger would likely prevent a public option from ever being implemented. Conservatives complained, to the contrary, that it would act as a surefire public option — only several years down the road.

Congress sets the rules that insurance companies work within. It’s convenient for them, because they can set them up to fail by place more restrictions and regulations that will further drive costs. You need only look at the last 40 years as an example, as the cost of care has risen dramatically since the inception of Medicare.

Another Democrat acknowledges “public option” trojan horse

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is the latest Democrat to acknowledge that the so-called “public option” is just a step towards a government takeover of health insurance:

H/T: Hot Air

The Public Option Isn’t Dead Yet, Folks

George Stephanopolous reports on an exchange with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs:

I had a pretty spirited go around with White House Press Secretary Roberts Gibbs and the latest on this dilemma over the public option. The bottom line: Gibbs says the President will make the case for a public option in his speech to Congress on Wednesday but he won’t issue a veto threat if it isn’t in the final package.

Gibbs also said the White House is willing to draft its own health care legislation.  Here’s our exchange:

GEORGE: There has been some talk about whether the President will draft legislation is that what’s happening now?

GIBBS: “Well look, We have been looking a legislation for months. You have now several different proposals in the House and Senate that have made the way to the committee process. Obviously the Senate Finance Committee continues to work, so you are going to have ideas coming from a couple different directions and the president has take all those stands and pull them together.”

GEORGE: So he will do that and put his ideas on the table?

GIBBS: Were going to certainly..People will leave that speech knowing where [Obama] stands and if it takes whatever to get health care done the president is ready willing and able to do that. We are closer George than we have ever been before.”

Stay tuned…..

Reason on how to solve the insurance crisis

Nick Gillespie gives his suggestions on how to fix the insurance “crisis”:

Sen. Mark Warner Admits There Is No Constitutional Authority For Government-Run Health Care

But, he doesn’t seem too disturbed by the fact that we’ve turned our founding document into so much toilet paper:

Coburn educates “public option” supporter

Watch and take notes on how to deal with government-run health care supporters:

IRS will enforce “individual mandate” in ObamaCare

As you know, there will be an individual mandate in ObamaCare, at there is to this point. Do you know which agency will be responsible for enforcement of the mandate? The IRS:

[H]ealth care reform, as currently envisioned by Democratic leaders, would be built on the foundation of an expanded and more intrusive IRS.

Under the various proposals now on the table, the IRS would become the main agency for determining who has an “acceptable” health insurance plan; for finding and punishing those who don’t have such a plan; for subsidizing individual health insurance costs through the issuance of a tax credits; and for enforcing the rules on those who attempt to opt out, abuse, or game the system. A substantial portion of H.R. 3200, the House health care bill, is devoted to amending the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 in order to give the IRS the authority to perform these new duties.

The Democrats’ plan would require all Americans to have “acceptable” insurance coverage (the legislation includes long and complex definitions of “acceptable”) and would designate the IRS as the agency charged with enforcing that requirement. On your yearly 1040 tax return, you would be required to attest that you have “acceptable” coverage. Of course, you might be lying, or simply confused about whether or not you are covered, so the IRS would need a way to check your claim for accuracy. Under current plans, insurers would be required to submit to the IRS something like the 1099 form in which taxpayers report outside income. The IRS would then check the information it receives from the insurers against what you have submitted on your tax form.

The End Of Civil Discourse

Can it really be a civil society when we’re no longer talking to each other:

THOUSAND OAKS — A 65-year-old man had his finger bitten off Wednesday evening at a health care rally in Thousand Oaks, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.


A witness from the scene says a man was walking through the anti-reform group to get to the pro-reform side when he got into an altercation with the 65-year-old, who opposes health care reform.

The 65-year-old was apparently aggressive and hit the other man, who then retaliated by biting off his attacker’s pinky, according to Karoli from DrumsnWhistles.

Billy Beck, it seems, was right when he said:

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