Health care “reform” is dead in the Senate.

The current bill, watered down by too many compromises and too much influence from the very industry it is designed to regulate, is a joke.

If the so-called Democratic leadership of the Senate and President Barack Obama could put their egos aside for at least a nanosecond, they would accept failure and pull the plug on the brain-dead concept of “reform.”

Perhaps, as former Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean suggests, true reform can be salvaged in the House version of the bill but that is a long shot at best.

Maybe it’s time to throw in the towel and focus on the many other problems that affect the nation.

Maybe it’s time to recognize that health care reform just isn’t possible with a Congress and White House controlled by special interests.

Maybe “reform,” as a legislative concept is an impossible dream.

Obama the reformer is now Obama the conformer, playing politics as usual, pandering to the very lobbyists he promised to eradicate from control of government.

Congress is owned by the well-heeled political action committees and the high-paid lobbyists their organizations control.

The health care industry poured millions into protecting themselves from any serious reform and they have won. The odds now indicate that any health care legislation will leave cash-strapped Americans facing higher premiums with a system that’s even worse than the one that fails to protect them now.

Obama and Congress need to focus on the economy, jobs and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

We need to acknowledge that true reform will never happen until the system that controls Congress is reformed and that reform is impossible as long as it must be approved by the very people who benefit most from the current, failed way of doing things.

The push is on in the Senate to vote on a health care bill — any health care bill — before Christmas.

Christmas is one week away.

Whenever our elected officials do something in a hurry, they usually screw up.

That’s how we got the USA Patriot Act.

Under the present system of government, Congress cannot truly reform health care or anything else.

True reform is impossible unless Congress first reforms itself.

And that just ain’t gonna happen.

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