Halfway through 2009, the Obama administration and the Democratic majority in Congress seem to have forgotten that the 2008 election is over.
Hoping that rhetoric and promises can continue to substitute for substance, Democrats remain stuck in campaign mode on an issue that requires an open and thorough debate: health care reform. Their promise of date-certain results on universal health care lacks one critical component: a legislative proposal.
While it is within the majority's power to ignore the Republican minority, a group of people that shouldn't be ignored are the American people. The closed-door internal debate -- focused mainly on the insistence of a government-run "option" and what current (or future) Americans will be taxed to pay for it -- is a debate they've calculated is too risky to hold in public view.
It is not an unwise strategy, as it would be difficult to reconcile the administration's and the majority's rhetoric with their oft-discussed (but not yet introduced) new gov- ernment health entitlement or their oft-discussed (but not yet introduced) federalization of health insurance with stifling mandates. You can't create a public program -- where the government serves as both the referee and the player in the game - setting up a stacked deck where private insurers would quickly dump 120 million Americans onto government insurance -- and call that greater choice and fair competition.
Read the entire piece here.