The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, has concluded that if Majority Leader Reid’s “compromise” health care legislation becomes law, America will spend $234 billion more on health care over the next decade.
This is only the latest blow to “Reid-care.” The Mayo Clinic has already denounced the expansion of Medicare and the American Medical Association also opposes this concept. These developments reinforce the sense that Reid threw his “compromise” proposal together in desperation and without much thought to its consequences.
In essence, Reid is treating the process as a game of “60 pick-up.” In a sense, that is what this is. But Reid seems to have lost sight of the fact that the health care reform debate is also much more. He and his colleagues are legislating about a huge segment of the economy and a segment that, more than any other, pertains directly to the physical well-being of Americans. The thought that he is letting purely political considerations drive the process will not sit well with the public.
But this is just what Reid’s conduct is commuicating. That, I think, is why Olympia Snowe, a natural candidate to support legislation that compromises even minimally on the left-liberal agenda seems to have become disgusted with Reid.
Conservative Republican Senators too are perceived as playing politics with this vital issue, and not without justification. Early on, for example, Senator DeMint cast the debate in partisan political terms when he spoke of the prospect that defeating the Democrats on this issue could help bring down the president.
But now the focus is on the Democrats — the price a party pays for being in power — and they are behaving very badly. The result, I suspect, is that respect for Congress will continue to decline and this time the Dems will pay the price.
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