Batkid in San Francisco is a pretty neat story to watch this weekend. The Department of Justice’s thanks to the Batkid are here.
Also a terrific weekend on which to get your order in for The Happiest Life. (Multiple orders bring freebies via the promotional website, which also features the advance reviews from folks like Archbishop Chaput, Eric Metaxas, and Dennis Prager.)
And of course another weekend of Big 10 bashing by the in-the-tank-for-the-SEC CBS team. Urban Nation knows perfect over two seasons. No one else does.
Now that I have spread some good cheer, on to the dismal reality of Obamacare.
My interview Friday with House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Fred Upton is here. Here is the exchange that Mediaite focused on:
HH: Okay, now you have tempted me into breaking my no first name rule, because I’m going to use two of them. So Fred, yesterday, Rush urged the House not to touch this, because it in essence, it’s throwing a lifeline to the President and saving a bill that’s collapsing, don’t get near it, don’t ruin the brand, go for full repeal. What’s your response to that?
FU: Well, a couple of things, and you know, it would have been nice if he had maybe checked in with us and gotten information. We had a lot of groups, Club For Growth and others endorse our bill. A couple of things. First of all, what do you say to those millions of people that are all of a sudden out of luck come January 1st? That’s not what we ought to be doing. We ought to be thinking about those people.
The Fred-Rush debate is a fair one, and there is a good argument on both sides. As Congressman John Campbell later explained on the show, the reason all but four Republicans voted for the Upton bill is not because they have suddenly become fans of Obamacare but because there are millions of Americans suffering real losses of coverage under the foolish, absurdly constructed Obama-Pelosi-Reid law. They are like Americans ravaged by Sandy, Katrina or the Colorado flooding, only this disaster was wholly of Democrats’ making. The Upton bill is trying to help them. No doubt Senate Democrats will block it for the same reason the president has refused any serious attempt to rework Obamacare: They aren’t driven by the desire to improve healthcare for the most Americans but to redistribute wealth and with it power.
I pointed out to Upton that allowing the policies to be purchased until 2017 would have given voters a chance to act via the presidential election necessary to repeal Obamacare, but his response is he wanted something that would pass. Here I think the Chairman underestimated Democratic panic and public anger as well as the power of a broken presidential promise. When and if Landrieu’s fake bill comes up in the Senate, I hope the GOP insists on a 2017 expiration date. If there is a fix out there, no one wants to go through another health care roller coster next year.
Powerline’s Steven Hayward posts a couple of Michael Ramirez cartoons that summarize where we are here, and Yuval Levin dissects the president’s “fix” here. Whether you laugh or shake your head in wonder, the country is a terrible bind right now, and the chaos– compounded by the president’s patently political dodge– will get worse before it gets better.
The biggest problem is that millions won’t have insurance when their existing policies end and won’t be offered renewal. Those who can even make the exchanges work for themselves or who can find a private broker will be paying thousands if not tens of thousands more, and the tsunami of changes in 2015 impacting employers is still headed right at us.
All elected Democrats –even the 39 who voted for Fred Upton’s bill yesterday– know that the Upton bill if passed would destroy Obamacare. According to the Washington Post’s Ed O’Keefe and Sandhya Somashekhar, “[m]ost Democrats believe that the Upton bill fundamentally guts the health law.” (The report I read to Upton over the air appears to have been edited, and Somashekhar’s name dropped, but a similar report from O’Keefe is here.) But endangered Democrats flocked to Upton’s standard, and callers worried that they will be protected –given cover– by Upton’s bill. I don’t think so. The only way to save yourself on this one is to witch parties and campaign against the bill full-throated and relentlessly from now until November.
The collapse continues. Chaos reigns in the insurance markets. And the president is in full political panic mode, rushing off to talk about energy production in Cleveland yesterday afternoon in yet another transparent and futile attempt to change the subject.
The last paragraph in the lead editorial from the Las Vegas Review Journal sums it up: “The Obamacare debacle is just getting started — and it only gets worse from here. Repeal and replace.”
I fully expect all of next week’s programs to deal in large part with the ongoing fiasco, and the week after that and the week after that. This is the media future for Democrats because they have created a tale of immense woe for millions and millions of Americans. Even MSM will cover it. Early voting begins in 46 weeks.