What Now?
by James Glaser
January 20, 2011
Bookmark and Share

Yes, the Republicans in the House have repealed "Obamacare." Actually they had no choice. They had to repeal it because that is what they ran on and the reason they took over the majority.

Of course that is as far as things are going to go. The Democrats have the majority in the Senate, and they are not about to repeal anything. So, the Republicans may try to get some changes in the existing bill before they will think about voting it back in. However, they might just try to cut all the financing that would allow the healthcare bill to be implemented with the hope that they can get a majority in the Senate and take over the White House in 2012. Then they can vote in what ever they want.

Every poll tells us that most Americans don't like Obamacare and want it repealed, but the Democrats believe that they just haven't explained the bill well enough, and when they do, the American people will back it.

The trouble the Democrats are having is that a large part of their base still wants Single-Payer health care, and many of them realize for there to be any chance for Single-Payer, repealing Obamacare had to happen first.

Progressive Democrats feel so strongly about Single-Payer that they could back a primary opponent who agrees with them against Barack Obama in 2012. That is about the last thing Obama wants right now. It is doubtful that any primary challenge would be successful, but it would look bad for Obama, and would most likely cut into his support in the general election.

If the Republicans are smart, they will hold open the possibility of Single-Payer until after the election, even though there is no chance they would go that way. They would just be planting that seed of doubt with progressive Democrats who really don't want to back Obama for a variety of reasons.

What now? Politics. The Republicans are going to play games seeing what they can get, and the Democrats are going to howl for a while, and tell us how awful the Republicans are. Nothing will get done about health care, and probably when it is all over, we will still have some form of Obamacare.

Then the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical companies can continue to reap their big profits, but with both political parties' approval.

Free JavaScripts provided
by The JavaScript Source

BACK to the Politics Columns.