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Hugh Hewitt Book Club

Killing Medicare, Medicine, and the Dollar

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Nancy Pelosi has embraced the suicidal idea of expanding the insolvent Medicare program as a means of improving American medicine
, which should be all the warning any rational voter needs to receive about the merits of the scheme. The Speaker would not even nod towards a genuinely “centrist” compromise, and of course a radical new commitment to cover those 55 and older by Medicare isn’t “centrist” at all, which is why the Washington Post correctly notes that the proposal “has met with a wall of opposition to the idea from hospitals and physicians.” The polls have consistently relayed large and growing opposition to Obamacare’s obvious incoherence, but still the Democrats press on.

Democrats are also scheming on ways to hide their fiscal recklessness from the public. The Post also carries a story on the “push by Democrats to increase the debt limit — now set at $12.1 trillion — by as much as $1.925 trillion so they don’t have to revisit the politically uncomfortable issue before facing votes in November.” North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad is looking for a fig leaf –a deficit commission!– because his colleague Byron Dorgan is on the ballot in 2010 and North Dakota voters understand a runaway spending spree and their senators refusal to stop it. (Dorgan or Conrad could also stop the massive fiscal hemorrhage of Obamacare, but has thus far chosen not to do so. , the fiscal irresponsibility of the Democrats will prompt moderates and conservatives across the country to support Hoeven with contributions from the day he declares forward.)

A massive spending bill has passed through the House –one that is simply gorged up on pork– and trial balloons are being floated for massive tax hikes via a VAT. And yet another version of cap-and-tax has appeared. The parties in Copenhagen continue, and as Mark Steyn remarked on the program yesterday,
“Copenhagen is essentially a kind of left wing Democrat view of government gone global,” a sort of glimpse into our future if we don’t see the so-called “moderate” Democrats take a stand soon.

It is hard to miss the sense that the nation’s Capitol is out-of-control and running off in ten different directions at once, leaderless except for the policy lurches to the left beloved by Nancy Pelosi and the day-to-day enthusiasms of the Obama White House. About the only thing the Democrats can agree on is spending more and more money and raising more and more taxes with which to do so. The president is a celebrity president, seemingly spending more time abroad than in town, clueless on the grinding nature of the employment crisis and obstinately refusing to see that tax relief for small business is the solution to the jobs problem.

2009 was a dreadful year, and that it is closing on some decent economic news is a tribute to the powerful motors of democratic capitalism and international trade, but the pressing worry is that Ben Nelson and/or Joe Lieberman won’t step up to their historic role as the senator(s) who save American medicine. We have to slog through 11 more months to get to the moment when D.C. can be rebalanced, and a great deal of responsibility falls on those two and any other Senate Democrat awake to the truly crucial need to stand for fiscal sanity for a while. (For excellent assessments on the political landscape of 2010, see this article by Richard Baehr in the American Thinker and this piece by Karl Rove in the Wall Street Journal.)

There are some things every voter can do to help the country get through the next year, and here’s my list of five. Some take only time and a phone call. Others call for a small donation. It is very difficult to get Americans to focus on anything other than Christmas at Christmas season, but as Senator Jim DeMint noted yesterday on the program, D.C. needs to hear from voters right now more than ever.


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