Health care "reformers" (meaning those who want to effectively nationalize America's medical system) have long understood that their best hope in the new political environment is to ram through legislation with the claim that it is an emergency and won't wait. The longer the American people think about the increased cost, decreased choice, and other negative impacts of a a government takeover, the less likely they are to support it.
Thankfully, the government health express has slowed noticeably in recent weeks. Even supporters are coming to doubt that legislation can be approved before Congress goes home in August. Reports Politico:
Health care reform proponents are growing pessimistic that they can meet President Barack Obama’s August target for passing a bill — saying the next four weeks must fall together perfectly, without a hitch or a hiccup.
The number of weeks that’s happened recently? Zero.
A series of setbacks has made the task of completing floor votes in both chambers virtually insurmountable, given the plodding pace of the Senate. The official line from the White House and the congressional leadership is it’s possible, but privately, there are a dwindling number of aides who would put money on it.
And without a deal by August, the ripple effects could start to endanger the prospect of health care reform this year altogether — chief among them, the closer it gets to the 2010 midterm elections, the harder it will be to get members to make the toughpolitical decisions needed to vote on a bill.
This is good news. The U.S. health system needs fixing. But the more rushed they are, the less likely policymakers are to do the right thing. We need a medical system that is more responsive to consumers and market forces rather than to political forces and government dictates.