What started as a $6 trillion Build Back Better grab bag of every crackpot left-wing idea has shrunken dramatically. The tax hikes are out. The Green New Deal spending is gone. The government takeover of nursery schools is off the table as is welfare for illegal immigrants, as well as unions and trial lawyers.
One doleful House Democrat put it this way:
So what’s left? A two-year extension of supersized Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies paid for by raiding Medicare prescription drug spending via price controls.
National Review explains:
If Manchin ever wanted to get serious about fixing the problems with Obamacare, as he previously claimed he did, the answer would be to work on ways to remove regulations so that individuals could find affordable options more tailored to their individual health-care needs. Instead, he is supporting patching over its underlying problems by throwing more money at the program when inflation is at a 40-year high. In the process, by offering this deal, he is relying on the sort of budget gimmickry he previously denounced and embracing innovation-killing federal price controls.
Democrats are now left with drug price controls (which delay the race for the cure for killer diseases) and a raid on Medicare to bail out Obamacare’s financial losses. The last time they tried that ploy was in 2010 and Democrats got wiped out in the election in that November’s elections.