Now or Never for ObamaCare
By JAMES TARANTO
Politico's Mike Allen previews today's White House meeting with Senate Democrats:
When President Barack Obama meets with Senate Democrats at the White House today, look for him to make the case that this is the LAST CHANCE FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM. Sen. Lieberman's rejection of the Dem leadership's compromise, which had put the Senate on track to pass reform by Christmas, makes it possible (though still unlikely) that the measure will collapse. The West Wing believes that it is still on track to pass but that there remains a chance it doesn't.
So with the days ticking away, Obama will spell out the stakes in increasingly apocalyptic terms. White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer: "If President Obama doesn't pass health reform, it's hard to imagine another president ever taking on this herculean task. For those whose life's work is reforming health care, this may be the last train leaving the station."
More bluntly: If Obama does not pass health care in this environment–with 60 senators and a large House majority–no president will ever attempt it again. This is the last chance to reform the system in a comprehensive way. There are people in the middle and on the left who are quibbling over pieces of this. They seem to believe if this bill goes down, there will be a second chance. There won't be. Congress won't come back to health care next year: It will be all jobs. The next president will not stake political capital on this. If Clinton and Obama can't get it done, no one else will try.
In the Bizarro World that is our nation's capital, this is an argument for enacting legislation that would drive up government debt, taxes and insurance premiums while reducing the quality of medical care. Hey, we'll never have another chance to do it! You only live once!