I am in complete support of President Obama pursuing a course involving reconciliation on health care reform. Yet, the reconciliation I’m advocating has nothing to do with improperly using a rare Senate procedural rule.
President Obama needs to reconcile over health care- he needs to reconcile with the American people. The American public has clearly rejected Obamacare time and again over the past year. It started in angry town halls all across the nation, and then continued with elections in New Jersey, Virginia and, most shockingly, Massachusetts.
Now a recent CNN poll reports that 73 percent of Americans fully reject Obamacare, with 48 percent wanting Congress to start from scratch and 25 percent saying they want Obama to stop work on reforming health care altogether. And how did the President and Democrats in Congress react to this clear rejection? Like that person at a party who just won’t take a hint.
They’ve used secret talks and sweetheart deals to ram through this unpopular and extremely costly legislation through the House and are poised to use reconciliation in passing a related fix-it bill in the Senate.
How did the public respond to this latest move? That same CNN poll reported that 52 percent of Americans were outright against the use of reconciliation to pass health care reform. With these numbers in mind, you can understand why Congressional Democrats wince every time Nancy Pelosi and President Obama mention reconciliation.
The reason America rejects Obamacare is due to a fundamental flaw in the bill. The glaring problem with our health care system is cost, yet this bill does not do enough to reduce it through medical malpractice reform, increasing private competition or a myriad of other ideas that have been offered.
Instead, Obama chooses to concentrate his efforts, and our overextended wallets, on expanding coverage. That’s like having a party which is too expensive for the people already attending, then inviting even more people who have even less income than those already there.
Regardless, President Obama needs to be cognizant of one important thing when using reconciliation: there is one time when Washington must pay attention to the desires of America- election day.
Danny Hanlon is a senior majoring in political science. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.