If Democrats want to win on healthcare reform, they've got to recognize it's not just so-called special interest groups who oppose the idea of his version of healthcare reform: it's also mainstreamers such as me. The AP reports:
As public pitchman, President Barack Obama accuses special interests of fighting to block his health care overhaul. "They run their ads. And let's face it, they scare people," he told one weekend audience.
The Democrats are underestimating even some of their own most ardent supporters if they think "special interests" are the only groups opposed to the amorphous version of healthcare reform that Democrats seem to be pushing. I say "seem to" be pushing because no one is yet sure whether:
- The House version will be the same as the Senate version;
- Whether a so-called public option is included and
- Whether middle-class taxpayers will be tagged to pay for other people's health insurance.
It's time the Democrats realized not everyone, not even all progressives, buy into the "it takes a village" routine. There has never been a government program that has proven to be "revenue neutral", nor for that matter, "tax neutral." There has never been a new government entitlement that paid for itself over time.
The sooner Democrats learn to be honest about who is going to pay for expensive new entitlements, the sooner hecklers will stop appearing at town hall meetings. I don't condone the heckling. But I do think Democrats and Republicans (Bush in particular) have lost their minds about the economic sustainability of current and proposed entitlements. Even the nonpartisan CBO agrees with me on that one.