Expensive Option


Democrats don’t have a clear path to passing their health care scam – the idea was just to get it through the House, then to keep the ball rolling while pretending that the bill’s passage is inevitable and hope for the best in the tough waters to follow. Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, though, demonstrates why he, among other friendlies, will not support it in the senate.

“Well, first of all, it has more than a robust public option, it’s got a totally government-run plan, the costs are extraordinary associated with it, it increases taxes in a way that will not pass in the Senate and I could go on and on and on,” Nelson said in an interview that is part of ABC News’ Subway Series with Jonathan Karl.

“Faced with a decision about whether or not to move a bill that is bad, I won’t vote to move it,” he added. “For sure.”

The $1.1 trillion price tag on the House bill, Nelson said, is “absolutely” too high.

Just as in the house, the fight in the senate is how to create a plan that Democrats can support. There are others with problems.

Nelson is not the only Democrat who has threatened to vote against cloture. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has said he would filibuster a bill with a government-run health insurance plan, or public option. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) said on CBSNews.com’s Washington Unplugged that he would even block a motion to proceed with debate on the bill if he strongly objected to the legislation.

There are other possible thorns on the PO.

Moderates Susan Collins, R-Maine and Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., have also indicated they won’t support a bill with a public option.

On the other hand, if you move forward without a PO, or with a Public Option that contains an opt out provision, you risk losing senators on the other side.

While Rockefeller and Schumer would probably be conciliatory to the opt-out plan, other liberals like Roland Burris, D-Ill., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have indicated they will not support a plan without a stronger option.

Of course, when it comes to putting together the 60 votes needed to move a senate bill toward a final vote, some of these senators may fold and cooperate with leadership. But there are other snags, like abortion.

The Left is furious at San Fran Nan (Pelosi) for allowing a vote on the Stupak Amendment, which passed by a wide margin with bipartisan support. Its wide margin of passage makes Planned Parenthood and other abortion supporters even more determined to hold the line in the U.S. Senate, where they have the support of the majority of Democrat Senators and the two Republican Senators from Maine.

They will seek to keep abortion in the Senate bill, then win in conference, and then count on Pelosi to deliver a party-line vote—this time without amendments allowed—in the House. As I say, the battle to keep abortion out of the bill is not over. Complacency could cost the lives of many babies.

It ain’t over, and we have to assume that something will be passed. The good news is that because of the overreach of the Obama Administration, virtually all of Barack’s political capital is being spent on the Public Option.


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