A Post-Health Summit Warning: Is Incremental Control Next for Obamacare?

Robert Moffit /

In the wake of the White House’s health care summit, reconciliation is still seen as the likely route that congressional leaders and their liberal allies will take to jam Obamacare through Congress. Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama already are using the summit as a public relations vehicle to help fast-track the Senate health care bill through a parliamentary process used primarily for budgetary issues.

But beware Plan B — the more “modest” plan. There’s a surer, well-worn path that the Clinton Administration took after the collapse of Hillarycare in 1994: A careful, well-coordinated, step-by-step march to the Left on federal health care policy.

The Republican congressional victory in 1994, even though it reflected public revulsion at the Clinton Administration’s proposed takeover of the private health care system, did not change the fundamental direction of federal health policy. It only changed the degree and velocity of liberal policy success. The Clinton team started taking baby steps to expand federal control over health care financing and delivery, lulling often clueless congressional Republicans into cooperation with long-term consequences for doctors and patients. In some cases, the GOP majority enacted provisions of the Clinton health bill word for word. (more…)