Obama and his band of liberals have gone to great lengths to avoid the mistakes made by the Clintons on their failed health care plan. The Clinton's wrote the entire plan from Hillary's command post. Obama is leaving the bill-writing entirely to congress, with barely a nudge here and there. Clinton took the better part of a year to get the plan out. Obama has done nothing but hurry, lest his charisma lose its glow. Insurance industry ads helped bring down ClintonCare, so Obama has bought off the insurance industry, big Pharma, the AMA, the AARP, the unions, and anyone else he can think of.
However, just as the stimulus bill contained every tired liberal idea filed in the bottom drawer of David Obey's desk, so too ObamaCare is built on the same flawed ideas that made up ClintonCare. A column by Ramesh Ponnuru at Time.com, titled "ObamaCare's Fatal Flaw," describes some of the many contradictions inherent in the Obama/Democrat health bills: the status quo is unsustainable, but you can keep your doctor, the plan will add 50 million [sic] uninsured but cut costs at the same time, fixing health care is critical but it needs to be done in three weeks. Ponnuru then cuts to the heart of the matter:
Everything is different this time--everything, that is, except the plan. The Democrats are seeking mostly the same policies they sought 15 years ago: mandates, regulations on insurance companies, new government-managed markets. The major difference is that this time they also want a "public option," an insurance program open to everyone and run by the government. Obamacare is Clintoncare with a little more liberalism.
The Democrats have apparently concluded that it was tactical blunders that sank Clinton. It wasn't. It was his plan. Like today's plans, it had too many conflicting goals. [italic added]
No amount of clever strategizing is going to make the sales job easier this time. Instead, the President is in a series of double binds. The more he emphasizes how much has to change, for example, the more people are going to doubt his pledge that they can keep their doctor.
It is health-care reform's own contradictions that are causing it to sink.
Like a seventeen year locust, the Democrats resurrect their health care utopia every time the political pendulum swings far enough their way, and it will no doubt return again if it does not pass this time. The fate of the current incarnation remains to be seen, but there is sure to be a bruising and bitter battle ahead, as public resistance grows while Obama, Emanuel and Axelrod strategize, with the media in their corner. The Democrats have the numbers if they can heal their rifts, and they have threatened to use reconciliation if they can not. With Americans learning more each day about the ObamaCare plan, the growing public resistance to all the unpleasant and chilling aspects of a government takeover is the wild card. For all of the months of Democrat strategy and tactics, the public is now focusing squarely on the plan, and they do not like what they see.
"It's the economy, stupid" was Bill Clinton's signature phrase during his 1992 Presidential campaign. In the 2009 health care campaign it might be rephrased as "It's the plan, stupid."