Examiner Editorial: Don’t believe hype: Health bill far from certain 

Obamacrats at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are peddling the notion that passage of Obamacare is a stone-cold inevitability. Don’t believe it for a second, if for no other reason than the fact that nothing the Senate has done on its version of Obamacare in recent weeks actually amounts to a legislative hill of beans.

All of the sound and fury about the latest “compromise” and amendments being introduced, then defeated or adopted, means nothing. In fact, if 60 senators showed up at noon on the Senate floor and demanded a final vote, it couldn’t be done. There’s no bill to vote on, never mind that it would have to clear multiple procedural hurdles first.

As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said, “They want us to vote on a bill that no one outside the majority leader’s conference room has even seen. That’s right. The final bill we’ll vote on isn’t even the one we’ve had on the floor. It’s the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private. That’s what they intend to bring to the floor and force a vote on before Christmas. So this entire process is essentially a charade.”

Even if such a vote happens in the Senate, a Senate-House conference committee will have to be appointed and convened. There, many of the battles that have so entangled the Senate will be revisited, along with the multiple substantial differences between the respective Obamacare versions approved by the two chambers.

So there’s no guarantee that a viable conference report will be produced. If that hurdle is overcome, the Senate and House will have to hold yet another vote on the conference report before the measure can be sent to the president.

Oh, and don’t forget that Obamacare isn’t the only issue the Senate must address in coming days: The defense appropriation, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the debt-ceiling increase also must be voted on before the Senate can adjourn for the holidays. In other words, contrary to the whistling-in-the-dark Obamacrats and their enablers in the liberal media, there is nothing inevitable about Obamacare being approved by the Senate before Santa Claus hitches up his reindeer and takes off from the North Pole on his annual world tour.

Still hovering over the Senate is that magic number of 60. The inevitability mythmakers would have us believe that Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., is the last remaining Senate holdout on the road to 60 votes. That will come as news to half a dozen other Senate Democrats, most notably Evan Bayh of Indiana and Ben Nelson of Nebraska. Obamacare appears to have reached its high-water mark and has nowhere to go but down.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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