Can you hear us now?

Democrats should agree to Obamacare repeal, start over

Americans tried to tell Democrats in 2009 town halls that they didn't want this health-care bill.

They tried to tell them in polls thereafter.

They tried to tell them at the ballot box in November, by putting Republicans back in charge of the House of Representatives.

Soon, the American people may be telling instead of asking -- through the courts, where 26 states just won the law's overturning, and, later, in the 2012 elections.

When will they start listening?

The GOP's effort to rescind the law in Congress stalled last week in the Senate on a party-line 47-51 vote, after the House had earlier voted for repeal.

The repeal would have gone through if Republicans had won just a few more Senate seats last November -- or if only a handful of Democratic senators had mustered the courage to break out of lockstep with their party leadership.

There are a number of moderate Democratic senators, especially those up for re-election in 2012, who may rue their dogmatic decision to buck the people -- and quite possibly the Constitution -- instead of their party, which has clearly overreached and exceeded its mandate and likely its authority.

President Obama certainly would have vetoed the repeal in any event -- but he should have been made to. He, too, should reconsider being wedded to the current health-care bill. He has repeatedly claimed, before and after its adoption, that he would listen to alternative ideas. All evidence to the contrary.

The president, if he truly were listening, would allow us to start over and craft a vastly shorter, simpler, bipartisan bill. He clearly doesn't want that, despite his multiple protestations to the contrary.

Senate Majority Leader Harry "The War Is Lost" Reid's shipment of disingenuousness arrived just in time for the repeal vote -- with his claims that a repeal would leave sick children kicked to the curb by evil insurance companies. He knows that's a bald-faced lie: Republicans have made it clear they'd support separate legislation to protect people with pre-existing conditions.

Oh, but the Democrats are listening to alternatives, right?

They'd better start listening. Their intransigence may very well lead to a historic and repudiating defeat in the U.S. Supreme Court, and yet more electorally devastating losses at the ballot box.

Republicans arrived embarrassingly late to the health-care reform party, and they should forever repent the miscalculation. But given an opening, Democrats have sounded the charge and led us over a legislative cliff.

They, too, may live to regret it.

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Fri, 12/09/2016 - 23:31

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