ObamaCare – Dead?

by Sal on January 27, 2010

in Health Care,Politics

So what’s the deal with ObamaCare?  Yesterday, the news was out that the Democrat leadership was going to attempt to pass the Senate bill along with a reconciliation ‘fix’.  The rank-and-file had not yet lined up around it, however.  Now, it seems that it may very well be dead.  It appears that Reid will have a hard time getting even the 51 votes needed to pass reconciliation.  As of now, at least eight Democrat Senators have come out opposing the reconciliation approach, leaving Reid with a margin of one.  In the House, Majority Leader Hoyer has stated that his caucus would go along with the idea, only if there was a virtual guarantee that the Senate would be able to get it through.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have laid down the gauntlet and stated that they will propose an unlimited slew of amendments to the ObamaCare Reconciliation bill to keep it from being voted on.  You see, although debate on Reconciliation measures is limited to 50 hours with no cloture votes required, an unlimited number of amendments can be offered and they all have to be voted on, as long as they are germane to the bill.  This is often done in reconciliation when the clock runs out, and is known as a vote-a-rama.  Since the bill is so wide-reaching, the GOP has a lot of room to delay indefinitely and virtually shut down the Senate if reconciliation is tried.

In breaking news released late last night, the New York Times is now reporting that Democrats are putting a lower priority on ObamaCare, talking about how “there is no rush” to pass ObamaCare, and how they have the whole year to try.  The dirty secret is that as the year goes by, they lose momentum going into the mid-term elections.  For all intents and purposes, the ObamaCare as of now looks dead.  Still, as often as we thought this thing was finished, it seems to keep coming back, so I’m cautiously optimistic but still skeptical.  One theory out there is that the Democrats set this up for Obama’s State of the Union tonight, so he could attempt to “rally the troops” and come out the hero.  Given his general popularity at the moment, however, I doubt that to be the case.

So while ObamaCare keeps being knocked down, is it out for the count yet?  The bill reminds me of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  No matter how many times we knock it down, it constantly struggles to keep going, even though it is incapable of inflicting any damage.  Let’s hope that ObamaCare has lost all of its limbs.

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