The Reason Foundation's Shikha Dalmia tells us why the administration finds itself in the mess it's in over health care, and why, even if the current abomination passes, things are likely only going to get worse for the Democrats. The problem, of course, is that the public simply doesn't want what they're selling:
The combined unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security--the federal health care and the pension programs for the elderly--are $107 trillion, seven times the current GDP. Meanwhile, Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program, is consuming on average 21% of state budgets, their single biggest ticket item even before ObamaCare dumps another 16 million people into the program, expanding the Medicaid population by 25%. Beyond that, state and local government have promised their employees a trillion dollars more in pension and other benefits than they have funds to deliver.
There are not enough taxpayers in the country or creditors in China capable of financing all these promises. Expanding this massive, multifarious entitlement state even more strikes most normal people as sheer lunacy--especially now that it is visibly coming apart at the seams.
Nevertheless, Obama's own character makes it impossible for him to step back from the precipice:
His goal is not to remake his party as it could be but "remake this world as it should be." In his book Dreams From My Father Obama gives the distinct impression that his gifts are too great for the smallness of our political stage. He regrets not having been born during the civil rights era when the grandness of the cause would have measured up to the grandness of his ambition. He is in search of something big that will allow him to make his mark on the world as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King did. Hence, the defeat of ObamaCare would not just be par for the course in the rough-and-tumble world of politics for him. It would be sign of his ordinariness, his mortality, and that, to him, is unendurable.