As several political observers have noted, the Senate Democrats scraped together just barely enough votes this weekend to start the health care debate.
At least 4 Senators who voted to begin the debate have stated that this should not be construed as support for the bill itself. Hence, the battle is not yet lost.
The actual debate in the Senate is expected to begin after Thanksgiving and will extend through December. The goal of the statists is to have a bill that Obama can sign by Christmas (or at the very latest by his State of the Union address in January 2010).
Our side has definitely suffered some setbacks lately, but we still have a chance to win:
1) Public opinion momentum has shifted slowly but steadily in our direction as more Americans start realizing that they will suffer under health care “reform”.
2) The controversy over the proposed federal mammography restrictions has made the claims that “government care = rationing” very real for many ordinary Americans.
3) There have been a steady stream of articles and OpEds in high-profile outlets like Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, etc., making pretty good economic arguments (and sometimes good moral arguments) against universal health care.
4) The other side is still deeply concerned that their health care agenda will collapse at the final step. Numerous news stories discuss the Democrats’ internal divisions on this issue and their fears about polling data against their proposal. (For example, “How health care reform could fall apart“.)
Hence, if we keep up the pressure, we can still pull this out. So DON’T GIVE UP YET.
As a form of motivation and encouragement, I also encourage folks to read this fairly good analysis from the Washington Examiner written right after the crucial Senate vote:
“Why was it so hard for Dems even to start health care debate?“
Byron York, Washington Examiner, 11/21/2009