I'm hearing talk from pundits (radio, TV and print) that health care reform, or at least health care reform with the "public option" being the cornerstone, is dead. Do you think it is?
I think this is unabashed optimism on the part of conservative commentators. It may even be part of the strategy to get people to relax a little bit, only to get people going again if and when Congress tries to push through a plan that will destroy our current system.
I don't think there is any way health care reform is dead. And when I say that, I mean a leftist view of health care reform that includes either long term or short term plans to include a government-run system that would be designed to eventually run insurance companies out of business, leaving us with a single-payor, socialist program.
The left has been drooling over socialized medicine since the 1950's (or earlier). This is their big chance. What conservatives fail to understand about the left is that they have really drunk the kool-aid. They believe that socialism is the solution to America's problems. They really believe they can push through a plan that Americans don't want, and when the voting public sees just how "good" it is, and how much it "helps" America, they will be redeemed and be voted back into power. They want to be part of the legacy. They want to have their name attached to the biggest sweeping socialist takeover in the history of our country. They think that's a good thing.
Keep in mind that many of these leftists are nearing or well past what most of the rest of us would consider "retirement" age. Even if they get voted out of office, they have pensions, not to mention the opportunity to be lobbyists and speaking opportunities. They don't necessarily need to be in power, if they think they can accomplish a huge majority of what they have been working for all their lives in this one year.
(Don't pick apart the sentence "they don't need to be in power." It's all relative, and I'm trying to get inside their thinking. Yes, they want to be in power.)
The bottom line is, the left sees 2009 as their one chance to do "everything."
Health care "reform" is not dead. Nor is any other liberal program they think they might be able to ram through between now and when the campaigns heat up next year.