It’s over. There is absolutely no way we can put this program in place without reducing some benefits.
It’s over when Kansas City Congressman Emanuel Cleaver says it’s over. That’s what he said today.
“If we are unsuccessful in getting a bill approved by the first of the year, and it looks to me like we won’t, I don’t think health care is going to make it.”
That is coming from a Democrat loyal to the White House. A Democrat in a very safe seat. A Democrat that will probably still vote for whatever Congress votes on. But a Democrat who doesn’t think it will win.
You know you’re in deep trouble when your strongest allies say it might be time to start over.
“I’m willing to try it. I think we can punch the re-set button”.
Democrats, including Cleaver, are willing to blame the Republican/Conservative/Talk radio/Fox News coalition for the torpedo job. But the fact is the Democrats have or had their own problems with health care.
Just hours after Cleaver made his observations, there was a classic example of the Democratic message problem. It happened just a few miles from where Cleaver spoke.
Several groups held a news conference, imploring people to to not absorb the heat, but walk toward the light on health care reform. But even they could not stay on the same message as Cleaver.
The Congressman told reporters his biggest worry about HC Reform is the cost. He called that a “legitimate debate”. Cleaver added he is worried about how health care reform will affect Medicare.
“There is absolutely no way we can put this program in place without reducing some benefits”, he said.
But while the American Association of Retired Persons has not formally endorsed the Democratic plans, Norma Collins of the Missouri AARP prounounced, “Medicare beneficiaries are not going to see any reduction in the services they currently receive.”
If critics are looking to punch holes in arguments, you don’t have to talk about death panels or health care rationing, all you have to do it put two statements like that togther. Then ask the other side, Huh?
What happens in Kansas City in the middle of the congressional summer break may not be the most important development in the health care deabte, but there is an illustration there for those who want to see it.
And when one of your most certain of votes says what Cleaver said today, imagine what what is going through the minds of other Democrats closer to the center. They might be thinking the same thing, just in private.