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Jewish World Review
January 13, 2010
/ 27 Teves 5770
The coming Republican tsunami?
President Obama's greatest success: passage of health care legislation
in both Houses and ultimately into law. The President's greatest failure:
passage of health care legislation in both Houses and ultimately into law
in its current, near toothless condition.
If the president had totally committed himself to this health care
legislation and had called in every wavering Democratic Senator and
yes, the two or three Republican Senators who appeared cooperative as well
they would have come along and the final legislation would now include
anti-trust prohibitions aimed at preventing insurance companies from
continuing to conspire to fix prices. It would also include a tort
reform scheme that could have saved the government $54 billion over the
next ten years; authorization for insurance policy shopping across state
lines; use of U.S. funds by poor women to pay for abortions; allowance of
Medicare to negotiate volume discounts on prescription drugs that over a
ten-year period could have saved a trillion dollars; and a government
option that would have provided insurance companies with competition.
In my view, the President could have achieved all this by promising that
in return for the Senator's support, he would not only campaign for them
in their reelection battles in November 2010 and the prior primaries, but
if they lost, he would take them into his government with a high position
recognizing their sacrifices for our country.
Instead, the President sold out to the insurance companies and the
prescription drug companies. Why he took the less idealistic course
instead of reaching for the sky, historians will some day uncover and tell
Instead, he and
the Democratic Party now have an albatross bill around their necks. The
current bill and the final legislation coming out of conference, which I
support in the hope that if the legislation will be amended and improved
in time, may lead to a shift to the Republicans in the next Congressional
election. This half-baked health care bill, along with our continuing to
remain in Afghanistan and the failures of the administration to go after
the Wall Streeters who nearly destroyed the country financially, may
result in a tsunami in the coming election.
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© 2010, Ed Koch
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