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The Battle Over Obamacare's Obituary Has Begun

The Foundry at Heritage

Last month, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rammed through her version of Obamacare almost a week before the agency in charge of running Medicare and Medicaid, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMMS), could issue its non-partisan and independent analysis of the legislation. And for supporters of the President's plan, it's a good thing she did. The CMMS report eviscerated almost every single promise the President has made about his health care plan.

According to that report, Obamacare: 1) raises health care costs; 2) causes millions of Americans to lose their current health care coverage; 3) forces millions of Americans to pay fines and still receive no health insurance; 4) causes millions of seniors to lose their Medicare Advantage plans; 4) places millions of Americans on welfare; 5) jeopardizes Medicare access for all seniors; 6) worsens health care access for the poor.

This past Friday, CMMS issued another report, this time on Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) version of Obamacare and the verdict was in many ways worse: 1) health care costs would rise by $234 billion; 2) 17 million Americans would be forced out of their existing health insurance; 3) 19 million Americans would pay $29 billion in taxes/fines and receive no health care in return; 4) 33% of all Medicare Advantage customers would lose their health care plan; 5)  18 million Americans would be put on welfare; 6) the $493 billion in Medicare cuts would force 20% of Medicare providers to become unprofitable thus jeopardizing access to care for all seniors; and 7) the explosion in Medicaid recipients would exacerbate existing health care access problems for the poor.

The week before the Senate began debating Obamacare, CNN conducted a poll and found that Americans narrowly opposed the plan, 49% to 46%. Now that the Senate has been debating the plan for two weeks, and CMMS has issued two devastating reports on what the impacts of Obamacare would be, opposition to the plan has skyrocketed. This Friday's latest CNN poll showed 61% of Americans now oppose Obamacare compared to just 36% who support it.

Liberals are is beginning to see the writing on the wall. They know that if Obamacare fails to pass the Senate this year, the battle will be on to explain its failure. For them, the story can not be that President Barack Obama tried to push too ambitious a government health plan. It must be that the President and Congress did not go far enough to the left to satisfy the supposedly government-hungry American people. Hence the left is now attacking the White House and Reid over the public option, the employer mandate, drug reimportation, abortion, and health insurance spending caps.

Obamacare is not dead yet. Speaker Pelosi has signaled that she will quickly pass anything that comes out of the Senate, so Reid could still cave on almost everything and get a terrible bill from everybody's prospective on the President's desk by New Years. But Senators thinking about moving quickly should remember that the public strongly opposes this bill, and that opposition is only rising.

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