It’s the Mandate, Stupid!

By Salty, November 2, 2010 12:07 am

If the Democrats and the Obama administration are left scratching their heads, wondering what went wrong after the elections Tuesday, they should look no further than the Healthcare Reform debacle. It’s amazing when you think about it: In two short years, the Democrats have managed to squander what seemed to be an unstoppable wave that should of kept the Dems in power for eight to sixteen years. But instead, most of middle-of-the-road Americans feel like they were sold out to the big health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbies. And the media’s no help either. It’s no wonder that cable news hosts across the board can’t correlate this. If you were to take a guess as to who was the biggest advertiser on cable television today, who would that be? I don’t know the official answer, but if I were a gambler, I would put my money on the pharmaceutical companies. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t have to mute, or change channels from at least 20 Cialis or Viagra commercials. It’s ridiculous. And where are all the anti-drug or socially conservative moralists? I’m sorry; a drug can’t be any more recreational than Viagra or Cialis. Without going too far off on a tangent, the bottom line is the salaries of those in the media are paid from those advertising dollars. So whether it’s turning a blind eye to the obvious, or pressure from above – they seemed awful quick to accept the premise of a federally-mandated health insurance program.

So why was this the single most critical political issue facing the Democrats and the President? If you think back to the primaries, the only substantial policy difference between Obama and Clinton was their stance on the individual mandate as a part of health care reform. I’m registered as an Independent, so I couldn’t vote in the Democratic primaries in my state. But I can tell you, as someone who had always liked Hillary Clinton, I hated her during those primaries. It got so bad that I couldn’t stand to hear her speak. And the only reason I was angry was her stance on the individual mandate. I think she would be President today if not for that stance. Obama was clearly against the mandate, and – with that position – won over the Independents and the conservative Democrats. Fast-forward to 2008, after President Obama was sworn into office. One of the first things I can remember him saying was he would now support the individual mandate in order to pass health care. I don’t know about you, but I know when I’m being told to bend over. I was pissed. I like the President; I voted for him and want him to succeed. But this was a political blunder that seemed to be ego-driven, the desire to pass a grand health care bill at any cost. The media was no help here either. All the hosts and pundits on MSNBC and CNN were saying for at least a year that the Democrats and the President would be doomed to failure if they didn’t pass a health care bill. Of course, the opposite was true. Sure, if they had passed a bill without the individual mandate, I think it would have been a great success. With that off the table, however, the best thing in the world for the President and the Democrats would have been for that bill to fail. At least then they could turn around and blame it on the Republicans. Democrats can be so stupid sometimes, but they better get smarter. Because if you think that the healthcare bill is unpopular now, wait until 47 million uninsured Americans receive the official papers in the mail, requiring them to purchase health care insurance. Then it’s going to hit home to a lot of new voters. This may just be the first wave of an oncoming tsunami for the Democrats. I believe that the individual mandate to purchase health insurance violates the 14th amendment, and could be struck down in the federal courts sometime in the future. It would be better for the Democrats and the President if that were to happen before 2012.

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