It was almost too much to watch. Not that it was compelling television – it wasn’t. Just the sheer amount of time (nearly eight hours) devoted to what amounted to nothing more than a photo-op for President Obama and the Congressional Democrats to tout their health care plan.
There wasn’t much bipartisanship exhibited here, but what did become apparent is that the real goal of the summit was to clear the way for the Democrats to go-it-alone and force their health care plan on the American people using ‘reconciliation.’
That’s really too bad. The fact is that ‘reconciliation’ should not be used to pass health care reform. It’s a partisan, legislative maneuver and is usually reserved for minor budgetary issues – not massive policy reform. Sure, Republicans have used reconciliation in the past – but never to revamp one-fifth of our economy.
After repeatedly dismissing pleas from Republicans to scrap the existing health care bills that most Americans have already said they don’t want, Sen. Harry Reid actually sat there and denied that this legislative scheme is even in the mix. This from the Senate’s top Democrat who has repeatedly joined with House Speaker Pelosi in acknowledging that this tactic is an option to pass health care.
Well, the summit proved one thing – it’s much more than an option now. It’s the game plan. President Obama said as much when he proclaimed that Democrats are ready to move forward – with or without Republican support.
And, now there are reports about a fast-track timeline - a plan to use this ploy in the next four weeks – before Easter break.
The goal seems clear: push a health care plan through Congress in a partisan manner that limits debate. And, pass a health care plan using a method that most Americans oppose.
And, there’s something else that most Americans don’t want - a health care plan that permits federal funds to be used to pay for abortion.
Of course this issue wasn’t even on the agenda. Why didn’t President Obama invite fellow Democrat Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan who spearheaded language in the House bill that prohibited using federal taxpayer funds for abortion?
The Democrats didn’t want to focus on this issue – not with the American people watching.
House Minority Leader John Boehner did bring it up, though, and tried to express his concern to the President over the fact that the Senate-passed bill, which President Obama has embraced, clears the way for taxpayer funding for abortion.
But President Obama sidestepped the issue – even chastised Boehner calling his concerns political talking points.
It’s clear what’s going on – the Democrats are moving full speed ahead – trying to push through a faulty, pro-abortion plan.
Senator Reid says “we are going to do this” and Speaker Pelosi adds “we’re going to move forward.”
It really doesn’t matter what the American people want. It really doesn’t matter that there’s no Republican support for this. Just ram in through.
By the way, it should come as no surprise that President Obama and the Democrats monopolized most of the summit – taking more than twice the time afforded to Republicans.
No matter how much the President and Congressional Democrats talk, it won’t change the fact: this health care package is not what the nation needs or deserves.
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