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Scrambling Over Health Care

Well, there seems to be trouble in the Democratic ranks:

Conservative Democrats in the House rebelled against their party leaders Thursday, raising concerns about the cost of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and seeking to put the brakes on legislation. The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition planned to present a letter to House Democratic leaders asking for more time, members of the group told The Associated Press.

Democratic Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas said that if the Democrats’ liberal legislative plan came to the floor as proposed, an “overwhelming majority” of his group would oppose it. The Blue Dogs claim 52 members, so that could endanger the bill.

The move comes just as House Democratic leaders are trying to finalize the proposed legislation and unveil it Friday. Committees plan to vote next week and House leaders want to pass a bill before the August recess.

Over in the Senate, Chuck Schumer is now talking about getting a health-care bill to the president “by the end of the year.” And keep in mind these are Democrats who are in revolt. Today we hear that the House Democratic Leadership has delayed the unveiling of their grand plan indefinitely while they fight it out with the Blue Dogs.

It will be hard to paint this development as the antics of those mean Republicans always blocking universal care to the masses. The Democrats have the votes to pass health care — but not the type Schumer and Obama would like.

Perhaps Schumer and company will get their government take-over of health care passed by December. But by then unemployment will be worse, not better, and the deficit is likely to be larger, not smaller. The president’s popularity is heading south and so is his agenda. Recall that he was desperate to pass his agenda while he was riding high in the polls and before the public could wake up to the enormous government expansion underway. Looks like he didn’t act quite fast enough.

Perhaps Obama might instead declare a moratorium on hugely expensive power grabs by government until he gets unemployment down to low single digits. That would be a change many, even in his own party, could believe in.



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