Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is the Health Care Reform debate really in its last throes?

The 111th Congress and the Obama administration appear to be on the verge of doing what other (mostly Democratic) officials and "leaders" have failed to do for decades, pass a meaningful Health Care (insurance) Reform bill. I'll believe it when I see it, but if the bill/bills do pass, we will be able to say goodbye to "pre-existing conditions". We will be able to say goodbye to insurance bureaucrats ending our coverage when we get sick. Businesses with more than 50 employees will have to cover their workers or pay a fee. The deficit will be reduced by $130 BILLION in ten years. Medicare spending will be reduced, extending the life of the program. The list goes on for a couple thousand pages. No, the public option will not be in there, nor will a "single payer" system. But 32 Million more American citizens will be covered if they get sick, instead of having go to the emergency room on Our dime and/or going bankrupt on their own. And the bill is paid for, unlike failure 43's skewed to the rich tax cuts, prescription drug plan, or the two wars he rushed us into and failed to finish.

Of course, the party of no is against reforming the system that is bankrupting and killing millions. One red "leader" recently referred to the Democrats in the US House of Representatives as getting "liquored up on sake" for a "suicide mission" (stalin, hitler, and mao references are so last year). On the Democratic Party side, the Man who may find himself in a position not unlike Ralph Nader, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, is among those (me included) that think the bill does not go far enough. But we disagree when it comes to taking an "all or nothing" stance on a problem that desperately needs to be addressed. A step in the right direction is a step in the right direction The President gave his 58th and final address on Health Care reform in Rep. Kucinich's district. After President Obama introduced him, someone in the audience yelled "Vote Yes" to which the president asked Kucinich "Did you hear that?". Congressman Kucinich now says he will switch his vote from no to yes on the Health Care Reform Bill, and encourage other progressives to do the same.

Of course the bill will not pass by a super "majority" (60-40), but reform (and it's looking like the Senate Bill) is supported by a Majority in both houses of the United States Congress. My best guess is the next thing that will happen is the House of Representatives will pass the Senate's bill, with the understanding that additional reforms, especially those that will bring more of a reduction in the deficit, will be advanced through budget reconciliation. This will not be the first time reconciliation has been used, or the first time it's been used for social issues, like health care. Another option that seems to be coming out of DC is passing two bills at once, "fixes" first. The latter strategy sounds a bit more out of the ordinary, and a little like Congressional leaders are bending over backwards so that Congresspeople can avoid voting on the record on Health Care reform. It too is nothing new or "unprecedented". The reds did it 35 times when they were last in charge. I say have an Up or Down vote, like Our Democracy was founded on, but you know republicants don't really believe in the government they try so hard to get elected to serve in. They have no interest in governing, only campaigning.

People (mostly the minority) have been talking about the next big election since they lost the last one (well two really). Quite frankly, I'm surprised that we're still talking about Health Care Reform now, what with the Vatican choir boy gay sex scandal, the Rangel scandal, the massa scandal, possible criminal charges against CEO's, the governor paterson scandal, the family values state official gets a DUI coming out of a gay club scandal, little miss dick jr.'s "al qaeda 7" affront to Our rule of law, cnn's "department of jihad", white Americans attacking US government agencies, Brooklyn dropping charges on ACORN after the US dropped 3 million dollars in their funding. How about former vice dick and the Alaskan quitter's kid using government health care, or even more shocking, the Alaskan quitter going to Canada for health care??? Or the biggest shocker of all... The United States of America may be confronting Israel. To really understand the political discourse has been reduced to, look no further than the republican national conference's talking points on how to fundraise using fear and hatred of the President of the United States over anything else to collect money from sca(red) American tax payers.

Oh yeah, the US Congress just passed the first, of what looks like many, Jobs Bill and the economy is slowly but surely looking better, though unemployment is going to be around for a while.

To Progress (one step at a time).
David Calamoneri
Hoboken, NJ USA