Are the Dems really that clueless about health care?

Newt Gingrich Discusses U.S. Budget Process In Washington

WASHINGTON-- The last time I heard Newt Gingrich predict that Republicanswould take over Congress was 16 years ago when he was pushing his "Contract with America." I said he was crazy then, but he turned out to be right.

Now, he's predicting that Republicans this year will take over Congress again--the House and the Senate -- and not just gain some seats, as the common wisdom holds. The former House speaker made the prediction over the weekend, at the Conservative Political Action Conference before a jam-packed room of true believers, so perhaps he was just rallying the troops. Or he knows something. His forecast of a GOP congressional coup and a 2012 retaking of the White House, might, for some, appear a little reckless. As for myself, what do I know?

And how, might this happen?

Perhaps Gingrich surprised his audience by calling for "reasonable, principled bipartisanship" at Thursday's White House-organized health summit. I expect that it surprised a whole lot ofDemocrats who have been insisting that Republicans have nothing to offer, other than saying "no." Some Republicans, for their part, have been skeptical about the meeting, suspecting a cynical political purpose. But hearkening back to the Clinton presidency, Gingrich recalled that if it had not been for bipartisanship (he said he had 30 days of tough negotiations with then-President Bill Clinton), the welfare reform law would not have passed.

While Gingrich said he hoped GOP leadership would attend the summit in good faith, a few reporters may have misunderstood what he was saying, portraying his call as something of a capitulation. It wasn't, as he reminded the audience that the key to welfare reform was that "we stuck to our principles."

"If (President Barack Obama) is willing to start afresh, we can do it," Gingrich said, referring to health legislation. "If he's willing to focus on what we agree on, we can do it. If he's willing to write smaller bills, out in the open, transparently with the American people seeing every step of the way, with open rules in the house for amendment, open opportunity for amendment in the committee and open conferences." Gingrich suggested that Congress follow the advice of a 2008 presidential candidate -- Obama -- to televise conference committee deliberations on C-Span.

Openness would favor Republicans, I think, because the more the public learns about the gargantuan Senate and House health legislation (and not to mention the out-of-control spending), the more the public will despise what the great Chicago minds inhabiting the White House have in store for the republic. And, believe it, there's still much more to learn. Here's one nugget that Gingrich pointed out:

Pages 25 and 26 of the House version of the health care bill require that when expenses exceed revenues for the "temporary" National High-Risk Pool Program, the secretary of health and human services by herself will "make such adjustments as are necessary to eliminate such deficit, including reducing benefits, increasing premiums or establishing waiting lists."

That's worth repeating: The secretary of health and human services will single-handedly set premium rates, reduce benefits or create waiting lists for services for the most endangered patients. "Anybody who says to you this is not a step to bureaucratic control of America hasn't read the bill or is telling you a lie," Gingrich said. "The fact is these bills, these 4,500 pages, were among the worst legislation to leave the U.S. House or the U.S. Senate." (I'd say that the various bailouts would give it a run for its money.)

Democrats have come to realize that they can pass health legislation only while pretending it's not a health bill, Gingrich observed. But congressional Democrats still are pushing ahead to come up with a health package that they can threaten to pass in the Senate with a controversial and rarely used parliamentary maneuver if Republicans don't cave in to Obama at the summit. Doesn't sound very bipartisan, if you ask me.

This will be interesting. How can Democrats ever think they can get away with passing a partisan bill containing much, if not all, of what the public hates? Are they really that arrogant? Or stupid?

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  • Is Dennis Byrne really that clueless about everything? Well, anyone whose read his columns all these years knows the answer to that. Not only clueless, but dishonest as Hell. That same Newt Gingrich that Byrne is holding up as a paragon of bipartisan cooperation? At that very same CPAC rally (co-sponsored this year by none other than the John Birch Society!) Gingrich had this to say: "I believe we are now in a struggle over whether or not we are going to save America. I believe that the radical left is a secular, Socialist machine so dedicated to values destructive of America..." Yeah, real bipartisan spirit there from the Newtster, hey Dennis?
    Byrne then goes on to lie about polling on the health care reform. Poll after poll indicates that when people are asked about the specific elements of both the House and Senate bills, they support them. Even the public option gets strong majority support. To the degree that people are dissatisfied, it is that neither plan GOES FAR ENOUGH towards reform.
    But Byrne does provide a great benefit to the field of paleontology. Thanks to him and his crowd, we now know the sounds that a dinosaur makes when it is headed towards extinction

  • All democrates believes that ALL government programs are good and never go far enough.Gee what another surprise.I know that any poll that doesn't give the results they want is false,over 60% of all americans DO NOT want this overhaul.2000 pages???? Come on read,oh I'm sorry don't bother no one else did.Sure sections will look good but the bill in its entirety is no good.............

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