Dan Balz suggests that the Obami actually do realize the health-care debate has been a loser for them. He writes:
Like Democrats everywhere, White House officials are keenly aware that, after two elections in which the party made significant gains, losses will be inevitable in November. The health-care debate has damaged the president’s approval ratings and the cohesiveness of the coalition that elected him. The question is how significant.
It seems then that congressional Democrats have been sold a bill of goods by the White House, which despite horrible polling on its signature legislation, insisted that passing a health-care bill was essential to the Democrats’ political survival. Now we learn that the exercise is to assess how disastrous it has been.
But Balz’s analysis reveals a fundamental flaw in the thinking of political insiders and the administration specifically. Balz explains that now that health care is a nearly done deal, Obama can worry about the economy, unemployment, the deficit and spending. But wait. Health-care reform, at least in its current form, is likely to impact adversely each of these items. Isn’t the mammoth tax-and-spend bill and the Ponzi scheme (which resorts to politically untenable Medicare cuts to fund a new mammoth entitlement program) going to impact the economy, unemployment, the deficit, and spending?
This is a now familiar pattern — the disinclination of the Obama administration to see that its central policy proposal will adversely impact private-sector growth, risk taking and hiring. Labeling health care “social welfare legislation” and everything else “economic policy” is a misnomer. They are part and parcel of a legislative agenda that helps create an environment hostile to employers, which will retard the economic recovery. If conservatives are going to be successful in offering an alternative, they would do well to point this out to voters and explain how preventing Obama’s signature “social welfare legislation” is the best thing we could do to prevent further damage to a still frail economy.