Sadly, it looks like the answer is no.
Speaking about the Left’s health-care strategy amidst the week’s huge political tsunami that stripped Democrats of their Senate supermajority, Speaker Pelosi yesterday conceded the House lacks the votes to adopt the Senate bill “at this time.” With that said, she did acknowledge that, regardless, “everything is on the table.” A main House complaint with the Senate bill is that it’s simply not radical enough.
Her remarks were quite revealing, to say the least. A logical person would think that, after the voters of Massachusetts spoke in such a definitive manner, liberal leaders would get the message and humbly take a step back or start over. Fortunately, Speaker Pelosi does not have the votes to pass the Senate bill, which would irreversibly expand the role of government in health care while simultaneously delivering a bitter pill for patients and doctors alike. Her comments, however, imply she is indeed looking for those votes and, even after Tuesday, would still be willing to ram an increasingly unpopular program down the public’s throat. Such remarks indicate a leader totally indifferent to the concerns of John Q. Public and hellbent on passing her ideology at any cost. It demonstrates a shameless abuse of power.
So what’s next? Will Obamacare soon be scheduled for another make over, or will liberals simply wait for a “time” when Ms. Pelosi can barter some well-placed earmarks in exchange for fence-sitter votes to pass the Senate bill? Either way, it seems Scott Brown’s victory has fallen on deaf ears and the same, arrogant, closed-door, partisan dealmaking that voters found so repulsive in the Bay State is here to stay.
— Jason Fodeman is an internal-medicine resident at the University of Connecticut. A former health-policy fellow at the Heritage Foundation, he is the author of How to Destroy a Village: What the Clintons Taught a Seventeen Year Old.