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Obamacare: Getting a Virginia US Senator To Vote No

Written by Richard Falknor

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Blue Ridge Forum

Next Tuesday the U. S. Senate returns to Washington, D. C. for business. Unless the House accepts the Senate version of Obamacare in its entirety, the Senate at some point will have to muster 60 votes again for this freedom-erasing measure. 

There are substantial differences between the versions approved by the House and the Senate, as the Republican Study Committee (RSC) summarized yesterday.

Click here for the timely details in the RSC's "Stumbling Blocks to Merging the House and Senate Government Takeover of Health Care Bills."

Last week, Virginia state senator Mark Obenshain in his Washington Times article "Webb and Warner owe Virginia an apology: Senators place party before commonwealth" declared - -

"Mr. Webb, in particular, had the tough talk down pat - insisting that true reform must not create 'a cumbersome, overly bureaucratic system.' He pledged that his vote would be contingent on eliminating proposed Medicaid cuts, excluding abortion coverage, and ensuring fair and equal treatment. His statements were refreshing - and ultimately meaningless. Mr. Webb's Democratic colleagues ignored his objections, and he dutifully and passively submitted, voting for precisely the kind of bill he said he would reject.

Meanwhile, Mr. Warner insisted that he would 'only support a final bill if convinced it will lower the deficit.' Does Virginia's junior senator think adding 15 million people to the Medicaid rolls nationwide is a cost-cutting measure? It is a mathematical impossibility. And he knows it."

Kathryn Jean Lopez of National Review on Line (NRO) pointed out the now-governor-elect's opposition to Obamacare during the campaign last September - -

"Bob McDonnell vs. Obamacare"

"Interesting purple play: The Republican candidate for governor in Virginia is tying his opponent to Obama as a strategy to win:"

Last month, we asked - -

"Where is the Sense of Urgency in Stopping Obamacare?

Virginia Republicans Bob McDonnell and Ken Cuccinelli can rightly glow in their November electoral triumphs - -  and consequently have in their pockets some real political capital to spend.

Isn't now the time to put their political credibility into play by bringing the Old Dominion's two U. S. Senators to a better mind on Obamacare?

For the 'we-can-repeal-it-later' crowd, we explained last Friday

'Under what realistic set of assumptions would we have a willing president in 2013, who is a principled conservative as chief executive, and a willing Senate, that is 60 Senators for repeal? Repeal is an outcome based as much on hope as on experience.'"

This is to take nothing away from conservative leader and delegate Bob Marshall's thoughtful effort to build a legal fallback position here to limit the damage from an enacted Obamacare.

But prudence would suggest that we win this 2010 version of the Battle of Britain in the air before putting all our efforts into fortifying the beaches and the Cliffs of Dover - - that is, that we stop Obamacare in the Congress rather than expecting a majority of the Supreme Court to construe the constitution the way the framers intended.

Governor-elect Bob McDonnell's political capital is now substantial. Consequently we suggest that he very publicly urge the Commonwealth's two senators to join him in a bi-partisan effort to send Obamacare back to the drawing board, and to focus instead on cutting taxes and Federal regulations here and here, to bring jobs to Virginia and to America.

Certainly a full-court McDonnell press is indicated to persuade Mr. Webb in particular - - as a run-up to next Tuesday. Last Monday, Connecticut Democrat senator Chris Dodd reportedly said that "health care hangs by a thread."

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