Saturday, December 19, 2009

Depending on the far left to stop the health care bill?

According to the Washington Post this morning, Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska will vote for the Reid health care bill.

Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), the final Democratic holdout on health care, was prepared to announce to his caucus Saturday morning that he would support the Senate reform bill, clearing the way for final passage by Christmas.

"We're there," said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), as he headed into a special meeting to announce the deal.

Democratic leaders spent days trying to hammer out a deal with Nelson, and worked late Friday night with Nelson on abortion coverage language that had proved the major stumbling block. But Nelson also secured other favors for his home state.

Asked if he was prepared to support the bill, Nelson said, "Yeah."
I guess my hopes for Nelson were misplaced.  While I am confident that the GOP senate leadership will use every parliamentary device at their disposal to prolong the debate and delay the passage of this bill, it looks like our last hope to stop this version of the government takeover of health care will come from the far left.  From the Heritage Foundation:
This afternoon, reports surfaced of a petition to ask Senators to block the health care bill—not from the right, but from a source none other than the liberal campaign organization In an e-mail to supporters, said:

But there’s enormous pressure from all sides to pass a bill quickly, no matter how weak it is…Let’s show Bernie and other progressives that we’re counting on them to block this version of the bill–and we’ll get their backs if they do.

Earlier this week, Howard Dean said, “The best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill and go back to the House. …The vast majority of Americans want choices, they want real choices. They don’t have them in this bill. This is not health care reform and it’s not close to health care reform.”

Seemingly, the only thing the left and the right entirely agree upon right now is that that a Christmas deadline for a health care vote is arbitrary and political, and that the Senate bill is a disaster and should be abandoned, regardless of what everyone’s specific reasons seem to be. If it is hated equally by both sides, why is there a steam engine rush toward a final vote, especially when not one senator other than Harry Reid himself even knows the details of the bill to begin with?

Even today, the Daily Kos started down the road toward blaming Majority Leader Harry Reid and moderate Democrats for the death of this bill, which is yet uncertain, saying: “If health reform dies, it will be at the hands of the Joe Liebermans and Ben Nelsons of the world — and the people who negotiated with them.”

It leaves one to ask why, if both the left and the right have sounded a death knell for this bill, are the President and Sen. Reid so set on going against the whole of America? Could a checked box in a State of the Union speech really be worth plunging our country so deep in debt, alienating their base, and hardening their opposition?
It is imperative that conservatives keep up the pressure on their elected representatives.  It's not over until it's over.

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