Monday, November 9, 2009

No Alternative - That Is If You Want Affordable Health Care

So the U.S. House finally came up with a health care bill!

"After a daylong clash with Republicans over what has been a Democratic goal for decades, lawmakers voted 220 to 215 to approve a plan that would cost $1.1 trillion over 10 years. Democrats said the legislation would provide overdue relief to Americans struggling to buy or hold on to health insurance."

"“This is our moment to revolutionize health care in this country,” said Representative George Miller, Democrat of California and one of the chief architects of the bill."

"Democrats were forced to make major concessions on insurance coverage for abortions to attract the final votes to secure passage, a wrenching compromise for the numerous abortion-rights advocates in their ranks."

"Many of them hope to make changes to
the amendment during negotiations with the Senate, which will now become the main battleground in the health care fight as Democrats there ready their own bill for what is likely to be extensive floor debate."

After a summer of angry, hysterical protests throughout the country; name calling, labeling, fear mongering, misinformation and meanness - sometimes from both sides of the aisle there is finally a bill that can be sent to the Senate. Of course, the name calling, labeling, fear mongering, misinformation and meanness, will continue until the appropriate compromises are reached.

But, there's a House version of the health care reform legislation that has been vetted through committees, give and take and compromise has had its way late Saturday night the bill was produced. If you want to stretch all bounds of credulity, you can even say it's bipartisan - after all one Republican House member voted for it.

Of course the rest of the Republicans who did not vote for it are not happy.

"“This bill is a wrecking ball to the entire economy,” said Representative Jack Kingston, Republican of Georgia. “We need targeted specific reforms to help people who have fallen through the health care cracks.”"

So, if that is the case, where was the GOP's version of health care reform legislation? As I've said before, even if it is true that it would never see the light of day in the vaunted House chambers, let America see it and let us raise 'you-know-what' with our representatives to give it a full hearing! Let us know what we are missing.

Oh. I forgot. They did.

"Late last night [apparently November 4], the Congressional Budget Office released its initial analysis of the health-care reform plan that Republican Minority Leader John Boehner offered as a substitute to the Democratic legislation. CBO begins with the baseline estimate that 17 percent of legal, non-elderly residents won't have health-care insurance in 2010. In 2019, after 10 years of the Republican plan, CBO estimates that ...17 percent of legal, non-elderly residents won't have health-care insurance. The Republican alternative will have helped 3 million people secure coverage, which is barely keeping up with population growth. Compare that to the Democratic bill, which covers 36 million more people and cuts the uninsured population to 4 percent."

"But maybe, you say, the Republican bill does a really good job cutting costs. According to CBO, the GOP's alternative will shave $68 billion off the deficit in the next 10 years. The Democrats, CBO says, will slice $104 billion off the deficit.""

"The Democratic bill, in other words, covers 12 times as many people and saves $36 billion more than the Republican plan. And amazingly, the Democratic bill has already been through three committees and a merger process. It's already been shown to interest groups and advocacy organizations and industry stakeholders. It's already made its compromises with reality. It's already been through the legislative sausage grinder. And yet it saves more money and covers more people than the blank-slate alternative proposed by John Boehner and the House Republicans. The Democrats, constrained by reality, produced a far better plan than Boehner, who was constrained solely by his political imagination and legislative skill."

So let me get this straight: after months of name calling, threatening, birther rallies, cries of socialism, death panels and throwing old people off Medicare THIS is the best they could come up with?! I say 'after months', but most Republican legislators, along with their Democratic colleagues, have said that health care costs are out of control, have been for years and Americans need relief. That means that for eight of the ten years that the Republicans were in the majority knowing American's needed relief, was spent coming up with something the Congressional Budget Office (embraced, when pointing out the weaknesses of Democratic proposals), won't cut the deficit as much as the Dems proposal and won't cover nearly as many people?

I want to be clear: I'm one of those who believes that the House version of health care reform doesn't go far enough. After compromise with the Senate, it will be less strong still. But, no one ever gets everything they want in a political process and you live to fight another day.

But on the other side of the aisle, to cry 'Liar', 'socialist takeover' and 'the end of the free market' and have no competitive plan?! Are you serious?

I've never seen a group so anxious to be marginalized!


Chris said...

Welcome to Obama's America:

If you do not have acceptable health insurance you will be subject to an additional tax.

A misdemeanor failure to pay this tax is punishable by a fine of $25,000 and one year in prison.

A felony willful evasion is punishable by a %250,000 fine and 5 years in prison.

This is unconstitutional, but then Obama has never had regard for the Constitution.

Gerald Britt said...


You are aware that there were many people in this country who feel that the previous administration played fast and loose with the Bill of Rights?

Sorry you can't celebrate the prospect of more people will have access to health care...