As it now appears all hope for a dramatic agreement on Climate Change is fading and President Obama will return home empty handed, we can turn our attention once again to the healthcare debate.
The failure in Copenhagen all but assures that there will be no Cap and Tax bill passed in the Senate anytime soon. The populace is in no mood for self-defeating rises in energy costs simply to fund third world dictators like Hugo Chavez who once again equated the US President with "sulfur" and announced evil capitalism dead.
Copenhagen continues a streak of sorts for Obama who likewise failed in his overseas junket to secure the Olympics for Chicago. It seems the world is cooling to his godlike charisma. His poll numbers here are also dropping faster than Tiger Woods' sponsorships. His one triumph, receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize, widely panned as undeserved, was not without controversy as he snubbed the King of Norway on the way through and skipped most of the required events. This isn't exactly "Change-You-Can-Believe-In" to Europeans who tend to stereotype Americans and their leaders as arrogant.
So now Obama returns home where his centerpiece healthcare proposal is stuck in the Senate between hardcore liberals who envisioned the bill as the gateway to a single payer system and moderates who actually thought the purpose of the reform was to open health insurance to more people and to control costs while maintaining quality of service. Among the sticking points are provisions for Abortion funding, elements of which practically elevate Planned Parenthood to a government agency, a public option, which many House Democrats say they have to have, and expansion of Medicare while simultaneously reducing Medicare costs by $500B. As each of these proposals come off the table, the House and Senate bills become more incompatible by the minute.
As someone who is completely against expansion of the federal government and sees these bills as only a further way for the government to control our lives, I can only hope it fails. True healthcare reform will come when the parties are more balanced in power and better ideas can be blended together including tort reform and competition across state lines.
Lacking bipartisanship, commonsense and transparency, I only wish Obama had to make a return trip to Europe in order to enact healthcare. He's got a streak going there.