worth-reading.comby Barbara Simpson
Tiger Woods knows the meaning of "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." He learned the hard way.
Harry Reid is going through the same stresses, but not with wives, bimbos or sex. No, in Harry's case, it's politics and citizens on the warpath.
Poor, old Harry. The stress on the Nevada senator is showing. He thought he was in for clear sailing in getting government control over the entire health-care system in this country. After all, he has the 60 votes, doesn't he? He figured he had it knocked.
As my kids would say: Uh â€“ uh-h-h-h.
It's clear the popularity of the Obama health-care plan is causing Harry Reid restless nights â€“ and days, too. And it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
The generally snotty arrogance of the man â€“ comparing Republicans opposed to the bill with those who favored slavery â€“ as he deals with the political minefields on road to the anticipated Democrat success, is haunting him now.
It will only get worse as his re-election battle looms closer. Old Harry isn't as well loved in his state of Nevada as he thought. He may have had a lock on his Senate seat for four terms, but he may not get another. A recent poll shows him behind two Republican potential challengers. To repeat, it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
But while that battle lies ahead, the current Senate fight over health care continues. Despite the lack of voting muscle, Republicans are using every tool in their kit to cut Reid off at the pass and prevent him from ramming "health care" down the throats of the American people, like it or not, and in the process, permanently changing the face of this country and our economy.
GOP tactics resulted in stalling votes on proposed amendments and Democrats responded with a flurry of compromises with the core issues being a public option and the question of abortion funding.
From the beginning, the Democrat plan was for a "public option," a fancy way of misleading people. It sounds as though people would have the option â€“ read that "choice" â€“ of what insurance plan to buy.
Not so. It turns out the proposed legislation was rigged to eventually siphon everyone into the government plan. So why didn't they say that in the first place and just do it?
Cynics would say, "no guts." It's clear politicians know that people don't want government bureaucracy in charge of medical decisions. It raises alarms and comparisons reflected by asking if you'd want the post office or the DMV in charge of your doctor and medical decisions.
The chorus of "No-o-o-o-o-o" echoed across the country and different tactics were quickly devised in closed-door sessions and dumped first on the House where the proposed bill passed. Now, the Senate version is the focus of the battle. Together, both versions of the bill total more than 4,000 pages of new laws, bureaucracies, mandates, fees and controls.
The mind spins!
As last week ended, after the "public option" was compromised out of Reid's plan. The "solution" was an expanded Medicare program, allowing those between 55 and 64 to buy in, adding an estimated 50 million people. In addition, there'd be a separate national insurance program run by a government bureaucracy.
Unfortunately that "solution" would only exacerbate Medicare's major problem â€“ it's already going broke. But Reid's Senate has a solution: Cut Medicare funding by some $500 million. The cuts would affect reimbursement to all medical practitioners and facilities.
The problem is that existing, low Medicare payments have already led many practitioners to refuse new Medicare patients. Forcing new cuts on physicians will lead to many leaving practice but worse, even with the spending cuts, the larger pool of people covered will only speed the flow of red ink. We're dealing with an unfunded liability that could reach more than $38 trillion. It will lead to the bankruptcy of the whole house of cards.
But that doesn't deter Democrats, and the man who is president continues his crusade to get the bill on his desk before the end of the year. Barack Obama apparently wants it the focal point of his State of the Union address in January. He wants it at all costs. There isn't much time left.
Americans are not happy and are holding protest rallies across the country. That and pressure on local and state politicians as they face the 2010 elections is making the pols nervous; some incumbents have declared they'll not seek re-election.
It doesn't mean the bill won't pass, but it does mean the administration and congressional liberals from both parties made one big mistake: that despite their efforts otherwise, they allowed Americans to know too much about what's in the bill.
Polls show increasing numbers opposed to the bill. If elected representatives follow their political ideologies and ignore the will of the voters, they'll feel the heat.
Remember "the fury of a woman scorned?"
Just wait until the politicians who vote for this monstrosity face re-election. Multiply that "scorned woman" by millions of voters of both sexes who'll get vengeance on Election Day.
They won't use golf clubs. They'll use their votes.
And it works!
Barbara Simpson, "The Babe in the Bunker," as she's known to her KSFO 560 radio talk-show audience in San Francisco, has a 20-year radio, TV and newspaper career in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.