That great American forecaster Yogi Berra would say “the ball game is not over till it’s over.” On Saturday night, the House voted to pass HR 3962 by a vote of 220 to 215, a narrow two-vote margin. On Saturday morning, the president gave a pep talk to Democratic members of the House. He followed that with a short address from the White House garden. He reiterated how important it was to have a landmark health-care bill passed by the end of this year. The plan that he has touted and that he supports would cost $900 billion over 10 years and be deficit neutral. It is unclear how the House or the Senate bills will be able to reduce health care spending and at the same time reduce the number of uninsured.
While the bill narrowly passed the House, it is not clear that Senator Harry Reid (D., Nev.) will be able to get the 60 votes needed to pass his bill by the end of the year. In fact, Senator Reid has said recently that it looks like his bill will not be voted upon until early 2010. The president has reiterated many times that the health care bill reform bill must be signed by year end. If not, it will be very difficult to get a bill passed next year as it is an election year.
The American people are against a takeover of their health care system by the government. It has been so evident by the tea parties and town halls. It is more important than ever that the American people stand up against this takeover. They do not want higher taxes, increased deficits, rationed care, and long waiting lists. It the president’s plan is passed, we will all be under a government-run system called “Medicare for All.”
Following the Republican gubernatorial wins last week in Virginia and New Jersey, it seems clear that there is a backlash against the Democrats and their plan to put government in charge of our health care. The Republicans’ plan to take back the House in 2010 is underway. The health-care reform plans as proposed by the House and Senate must be slowed down and ultimately stopped. As Yogi Berra says “The ball game is not over till it’s over.”
– Sally C. Pipes is president and ceo of the Pacific Research Institute. She is author of The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care: A Citizen’s Guide.