The Obama administration has been hit with a swift boat-like attack on their health care plan. President Obama should do what George Bush should have done with Iraq, declare victory, call in the blue hats and go home.
No, President Obama doesn't have the option of calling in the United Nations Blue Hats but he can find a health care plan that looks like it offers some reform, call it a victory for change and forget about it. Just like the Iraqi insurgency it is impossible to compete with the anti- heath care reform guerrilla warfare. It is also impossible to compete with the cascade of money being spent by the health care lobbies to stop a public option or other meaningful reforms.
According to The Center for Responsive Politics' Web site OpenSecrets.org the total amount of lobbying money spent in 2008 and 2009 by groups representing pharmaceutical/health products was a whopping $370,440,214. The insurance companies are responsible for $144,738,590. To put this in perspective, the amount spent lobbying would pay for nearly four years of the estimated full cost of the Obama health care plan. The lobbying groups have managed to spend that in less than two years!
Make no mistake there needs to be health care reform, there needs to be a way every citizen can purchase health insurance but it is not going to happen now and it is using up too much of the president's political capital.
When he started on this issue the president had no idea how many sharks have been swimming in the health care waters and he must squeak out victory in order to get other parts of his agenda completed. Trying to avoid the Clinton-era health care fiasco he let Congress put forth a bill rather than having it come from the White House. That was probably a mistake. Creating some form of universal health care has been part of the Democratic Party platform since the 1948 convention. It is admirable that President Obama has tried but if five Democratic presidents have not been able to make it happen, it is doubtful that he will. My advice is for President Obama is to make some small meaningful reforms, do it quickly, declare victory and move on.