The leverage of Ben Nelson and Bob Casey Jr. will never be greater than before cloture is secured to take up debate on Obamacare–The Reid Edition. Senator Mike Johanns urges them to refuse to allow debate to open:
Who knows what the Harry Reid 2,074 page chamber of legislative horrors holds. The Botox tax is simply the most amusing of the early finds:
Desperately seeking money to pay for the legislation, Mr. Reid came up with a new source of financing: a 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic medical procedures. The tax would be paid by patients, but collected by doctors and clinics and forwarded to the government.
The tax would be calculated as 5 percent of the amount paid for an elective cosmetic procedure, whether by the patient, insurance or other sources. The tax would not apply to cosmetic surgery for people with congenital abnormalities, disfiguring diseases or traumatic injuries.
The New York Times admits that Reid has loaded up his version of the bill with gimmicks like delaying the start of the most expensive provisions until 2014 in order to hide the cost of the massive expansion of government.
But even the bill’s incredible bulk cannot hide the enormous cuts to Medicare on which the bill’s “deficit neutrality” is premised. The bill is an open declaration of war on senior citizens and the costs they impose on the medical system.
It can be beaten, but it will require an enormous outpouring of opposition from every corner. The energy of the Tea Party participants, the passion of the Townhall attendees, the willingness to act and to spend their own time and money of the 9/12 demonstrators –all this and more will be required to stop the last desperate lurch towards the finish line by the Obama-Pelosi-Reid Democrats.
As I write in my new Townhall.com column this morning, funds have to pour in to the ReverseTheVote.org account dedicated to defeating the 24 House Democrats from red or purple districts who voted for Obamacare on November 7. If Democrats in both the House and the Senate see the proof that passing Obamacare means involuntary retirement, they won’t pass it, no matter how much the president and the Speaker and the Majority Leader push. These aren’t people with great career paths waiting for them on the other side of their public lives. Many are backbenchers in their first or second terms. They won’t be asked on to corporate boards or given chairs in think tanks. The president and the speaker are treating them as expendable. Do they agree?
Even Democratic staffers used to the majority’s perks after three years have got to be wondering about the electoral avalanche being triggered by this assault on seniors, doctors, and the employed-with-insurance-they-like. So too do the consultants and lobbyists and permanent Democratic Party apparatus. The president wants a win, but at what cost will his party go along?
So please give generously to ReverseTheVote.org. And participate this weekend in the Docs4PatientCare.org rallies if you are in one of the cities where they are being held. Finally, use the 202-224-3121 number to call Senators Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and urge a no vote on cloture. Raising the stakes on every vote is the only way to stop Obamacare.