The Republicans made a calculation at the outset of Health Care Bill that if it can defeat the Bill, it can break and defeat Barack Obama. So, instead of actively participating in debate and helping improve the Bill, they adopted scare mongering and negative tactics. However, their calculation backfired and like Hillary Clinton did during the primary campaign, they too under estimated Barack Obama.
Their alliance with the Tea Party movement, which at best can be described a right wing fringe, may have damaged the Republican Party, especially their appeal to independent voters who now form a majority in the US. The blame for this does not rest solely on Michael Steele's shoulders, but on the entire Republican Party and especially the Senators and Congress members. The Republican Party may have shot itself in the foot.
How can a major political party take a position; "Health care in America is the best in the world, so leave it alone" when 50 million people i.e. 15% of country's population has no health care coverage. Apart from scaring many independent voters, Republicans surely have lost the 32 million people, who will now be entitled to health care coverage under the new bill.
US spends 17% of its GDP on health care and still leaves out 50 million of its people. In comparison, Canada spends only 11% of its GDP on health care, with every man woman and child covered. So, where is the money going - to insurance companies I guess? With ten times the population, US should be able to achieve economies of scale and spend no more that 8 or 9% on health care. If it could cut down the spending to 10% of GDP, the savings will be a staggering $994 billion a year reducing the budget deficit from $1.4 trillion to $406 billion.
So, is this the status quo the Republican Party wanted to maintain? And what about the Tea Party crowd, who love to talk about cutting down big Government, don't they get it? Where was the Tea Party movement when George W. Bush was launching illegal war on Iraq, giving tax breaks to the high earners and turning surpluses into deficits? Why did they not come out on the streets then and not protest even louder about Government spending?
Even with the new Bill, it is quite obvious that US health care system is far too expensive and needs substantial improvement. President Obama should quietly set up a team to study Canadian, British and Scandinavian public health care systems and have them devise the best public health care system possible.
It is imperative that a Public Health Care system be introduced in the US as soon as possible.