Will Obama's Health Care Deadline Change Again?

Consider the labor required to draft a couple thousand pages of health care “reform.” Unless the “bill” had been prewritten by special interest groups, the typing alone would have been painstaking. Even before hitting the keys massive time periods of deliberation would have taken place, working out the specific details.

But then remember that Obama’s reform actually means a complete overhaul of the entire health care system.

The committee appointed by Congress to study the actual problem and report its findings would require a fair amount of time. Then, of course, financial experts and the CBO would need to prepare budgetary calculations working from the data accumulated.

The Congressional hearings, to which experts in the industry, including doctors, medical management and CEOs would be called to testify before the C-Span cameras, would also take a fair amount of time.

Finally, with the data and financial reports in hand, the bipartisan Congressional debates before the promised C-Span cameras would begin.

Of course Obama’s mission to control health care hasn’t worked out quite that way. Demagogues rush in where angels dare to tread.

Remarkably, back in July an uncompromising President Obama warned the press: “We are going to get this done. Inaction is not an option. Don’t bet against us. We are going to make this happen.” Unbelievable as it sounds, Obama was actually demanding that they “get this done” before the Congressional break back in August. That’s either really cocky, really naïve or really something else. Just for good measure, Obama added: “We are whipping folks back into shape.”

After the August deadline came and passed, Obama had to break out his whip again. The hasty goal of August was adjusted to the hasty goal of getting “this done,” by the year’s end. We’ve seen a lot of huffing and puffing since August about getting it done this year.

However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently signaled on Nov. 3 that Obama might have to eat a little more humble pie. “‘We’re not going to be bound by any timelines,’ Reid told reporters in Washington today after a closed-door meeting of all Senate Democrats.”

And when addressing the question of a possible Senate delay until 2010, Speaker Nancy Pelosi disregarded Obama’s demands and affirmed Reid: “I don’t think anybody has a clock ticking.”

At this point, the clock on Obama’s political capital is ticking rapidly.