Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not a Word

I just spent a little time skimming NYTimes.com, LATimes.com, FoxNews.com, and CNN.com, trying to find out what the provisions of the ultimate health reform bill that is going to be voted on this week actually are. Nothing in the first three sources. CNN was promising for a moment with a headline “What’s in the House and Senate bills?” But it turned out that was a 5-slide slide show that said next to nothing about what’s in the bills.

From all the back and forth in what I did see, the “plan” now is for the House to simultaneously adopt the Senate bill passed a few months ago, coupled with changes to it necessary to get enough votes in the House to pass the newest version by “reconciliation.” What are those changes? It doesn’t appear that they’ve been worked out yet.

I hate to take the GOP’s side; but, is a Democrat in the House being responsible casting a vote for a bill when he or she hasn’t a clue as to most of its contents? Are the Democrats being responsible even scheduling a vote this week when as of mid-afternoon on Tuesday, the contents aren’t fully known to anyone?

But, the Republicans bear part of the responsibility for this farce. It is hard for a GOP defender to argue that the party has not been the party of No. It decided months ago that it would use health care reform for political purposes in this Fall’s mid-term elections. And which “wing” of the party do I blame? Not the ultra-conservative, reactionary, tea party types. Nope, the majority of the party that isn’t crazy. With them, I blame not the ultra-liberal wing of the Democratic party. Again, most Democrats are moderate (and even if they aren’t, their constituents are).

Lop off the fringe members on the left and the right and there’s more than sixty people in the Senate and 200 whatever in the House that, if they had any courage could sit down together and craft and pass a health care reform bill. It is their fault that that isn’t happening.


Jeni said...

Amen to your theory there, Dave.
Frankly, I don't understand why supposedly "intelligent" people can't see the need for decent and affordable health care being available to ALL. But what do I know -other than having had to juggle all kinds of issues for many years with no insurance whatsoever! The ones who really annoy me the most are those with their heads in the sand who just can't imagine that health care is as expensive as it is and also, as exclusive as it can be too -exclude this, that, any other conditions, etc.

The Curmudgeon said...

Three stories on the news yesterday, all read by the announcer without a seeming clue that they are all intimately related:

1. President Obama says Congress will vote this week on health care, that the House has the votes.

2. Speaker Pelosi says the House doesn't have to vote this week on health care because they can just pretend/wish/imagine it passed under some arcane procedure to be prostituted for this purpose.

3. Doctors are dropping Medicaid patients around the country, claiming they're losing money on them. With the Recession, Medicaid rolls have swelled and state payments have lagged further and further behind.

But, no worries, the Golden Age will begin just as soon as Speaker Pelosi claims the health care bill that no one has seen has passed the House without a vote. These are tactics worthy of the Hugo Chavez regime -- but, hey, it's all for a good cause, right? Because health care for all is a good thing, right? So whatever the Democrats in closed rooms and the various lobbyists who could gain entry decide to call health care must be good, right?

Sorry, Dave. No sale.

As for Ms. Pelosi, here's her quote about passing the health care bill: "You go through the gate. If the gate's closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we'll pole vault in. If that doesn't work, we'll parachute in. But we're going to get health care reform passed for the American people."

Her oath to the Constitution can be cheerfully disregarded, right?

Or is this kind of extremism only offensive when it's employed by reactionary revival preachers? (As in this quote from the late Billy Sunday: "Listen, I'm against sin. I'll kick it as long as I've got a foot, I'll fight it as long as I've got a fist, I've butt it as long as I've got a head, and I'll bite it as long as I've got a tooth. And when I'm old, fistless, footless, and toothless, I'll gum it till I go home to glory and it goes home to perdition.")

J said...

Right on Curmudgeon!!!