Or why we should stop worrying and love ObamaCare.
We have nothing to fear from ObamaCare.
According to Tom Daschle, the former Senate majority leader and one-time nominee to be the administration’s health care guru, those who are afraid of the beneficent new law are simply falling for “scare tactics.”
“Most Americans are happy with their health care, even if they are sympathetic to other people’s problems,” Daschle writes in his new book, Getting It Done: How Obama and Congress Finally Broke the Stalemate to Make Way for Health Care Reform. “So when reform opponents try to tell them that reform might ruin what they like about their health care, the scare tactics often succeed.”
Daschle later reminds us that people “are vulnerable to scare tactics” and that there have been “a lot of scare tactics about how much power the IRS will have” and that right now, “Many Republicans are doing everything they can to stoke the public’s fears about the law…”
Instead of falling victim to these tactics, now’s the time for everybody to embrace the new law, because it “will have the best chance of success if the country accepts it.”
He writes that, “as patients, all of us can help by accepting our new responsibilities…” and while the states may see their “new responsibilities” as a burden, “For their own good, as well as the good of millions of Americans, they should see it as an opportunity.”
Originally appointed to serve a dual role as Obama’s top advisor on health care as well as the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Daschle was forced to withdraw his nomination after it surfaced that he failed to report free chauffeur services on his tax returns. But he still provided help to Democrats from the outside throughout the health care debate, advising Obama, sitting in on strategy meetings, and even lobbying members of Congress when asked, including Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson.
Given his intimate knowledge of what was going on behind the scenes throughout the health care debate, Daschle was in a position of writing an interesting book. Instead, most of its pages rehash what we already know about the events of the past several years, from Obama’s bitter disagreements with Hillary Clinton over the individual mandate during the Democratic primaries through Bart Stupak’s decision to give in on abortion funding in the final hours, paving the way for passage of the new law.
The book also serves as a defense — not only of every aspect of the new law, and the process that led to its passage — but of himself. In an attempt to rehabilitate his image, Daschle explains his tax issues as an honest mistake, and his withdrawal as a noble sacrifice because he didn’t want to distract from the health care push. He opens the book by recounting how around this time, he had just found out his brother had a brain tumor.
AS DASCHLE TELLS IT, at every stage of the health care push, Obama was confronted by advisors who were telling him to put off or scale back the health care effort. Just after he won the election, the Obama economic team led by Larry Summers had questioned whether a health care push in the middle of the economic crisis was “more than the nation could handle.” At times, even Vice President Joe Biden and senior advisor David Axelrod expressed doubts about the wisdom of prioritizing health care. But from the beginning, Obama assured Daschle that it would be the defining issue of his presidency.
“Tom, health care is the most important thing we will ever do,” Obama told Daschle days into his presidency. “It will be my legacy. And it is more important to me now than ever before. Don’t ever doubt that.”
Early on, the Obama team decided on a strategy aimed at avoiding the problems that doomed President Clinton’s health care effort in 1993 and 1994. In addition to allowing Congress to write the bill, the White House was determined to pass a bill as quickly as possible “so opponents wouldn’t have time to tear the bill apart.”
Daschle describes in heroic terms how Democrats rammed through health care legislation in the face of overwhelming public opposition, even convincing themselves that the hostility toward the law was overblown. After the August 2009 recess, during which opponents of the health care legislation voiced their concerns at town halls, House Democrats had a meeting to discuss the where things stood. Daschle writes:
Leonard Boswell of Iowa stood up and told his colleagues that if the events taught him anything, it was that they had to pass the health care bill. Others quickly echoed him. They had all seen the protesters, but many came to see the demonstrations for what they were: a made-for-reality-TV-spectacle. When they talked to the “regulars” — the constituents they knew, the ones who always come to the town hall meetings, they heard a different message. You have the best opportunity in generations to solve the serious problems we’re all having, these constituents said. Don’t miss the chance.
After Scott Brown won an upset victory to take the Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy, giving Republicans 41 votes, Obama decided to charge ahead on a massive overhaul anyway. This decision came over the objections of chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who argued for a scaled-back approach. In contrast to Emanuel, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Obama that she was “only a player on comprehensive health care reform” and that “anything less is not an option.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?