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Monday, October 5, 2009

Legislative Process Light is Creating Heat on Healthcare

Legislative Process Light is Creating Heat on Healthcare

As the Health Care bill goes through the legislative process in the US Senate, some very interesting discussions, drama and defining moments have occurred.     And things have not gone exactly as the Democrats or Chairman Max Baucus (D-Montana) had planned.  [Remember the President’s demand that the Congress have Health Care bill to his desk before the August recess?   The subsequent town halls back in the states and Congress districts caused even more reality of citizen concern that the Congress was move way to fast on nationalizing 1/6 of the US economy].   In fact, the debate has become more multifarious by the day, which is the way of the US Senate and the American system of government is designed to work.    Despite the desire of the Democrat leadership, you cannot just cram through a massive Health Care bill without due process.   This is a republic (at least at this point), not an oligarchy as the Washington elite has hoped for during the attempted Health Care legislative end run around the American people.

Here are excerpts on a recent excellent article, written by Mark Hemmingway in the National Review Online ( from the September 29th post:

Baucus & Dems are hiding the true cost of Healthcare legislation:

The actual cost of the Baucus bill is $1.7 trillion over ten years, but Democrats prefer to say it will cost $900 billion over the next ten years — this is true, but only because the main spending provisions don’t kick in until 2013. The Democrats also aren’t advertising that the $838 billion in new taxes and fees in the legislation begin being collected next year.  Mark Hemingway, NRO, 9.29.09

Even the Congressional Budget Office (the only watchdog at the table, that is somewhat neutral in the process) is doubting how much (more) the bill will cost the US taxpayers:

And then, it will be hard to tell how much the legislation costs; the Senate Finance Committee doesn’t work with the actual legislative language. They work in “conceptual” language or what they call “plain English.” Senator Baucus himself admits, “This probably sounds a little crazy to some people that we are voting on something before we have seen legislative language.” It doesn’t just sound crazy; the CBO says that it is (crazy). Without the actual legislative language, any CBO review of the bill “does not constitute a comprehensive cost estimate” and makes it impossible to get an accurate sense of the cost. When CBO said they would need two weeks to do another formal cost estimate of the amended bill, Baucus balked.  Mark Hemingway, NRO, 9.29.09

The Chairman (Baucus) and Congressional Democrats don’t want the public, the press, the healthcare professionals, the medical industry or their colleagues to see the bill over time (just 72 hours in the light of day), because that is too messy, too transparent and will introduce too much accountability.  Instead the Democrat led US Senate Finance committee is attempting an efficiency approach.   Why take time to get Health Care right, when you can just slide socialized medicine through?   Or maybe not.

It's not just the CBO who won't get a chance to look over the bill. Senate Democrats voted down an amendment by Sen. Jim Bunning (R., Kent.) that would have required that, after mark-up, the final language be made available to the public for 72 hours on the Internet. Senator Baucus says he’s against putting the bill online because that, too, would take two weeks.    Mark Hemingway, NRO, 9.29.09

Finally, according to a new Rasmussen poll regarding private insurance and the public option   the American people indicates that 63% of the respondents favor keeping their private insurance versus the Democrats “public option” offering.     So why are the Congressional Democrats so focused on the public option?     Simply put, they are dedicated to a socialized approach to medical care in the United States and the political Democrat elite have decided that our system of private insurance and choice of medical providers is second rate.   This in spite of the overwhelming evidence that socialized medicine (when tried in other countries) has resulted in a government run system that rations care, reduces quality and limits choices in medical providers.   

With the Congressional majority dedicated overhauling medical care, health insurance and health care in the United States in the socialized image of Europe or Canada, now is the time to contact your Congressman or Senator.    Or even run for Congress yourself.   Most members of Congress have better health care coverage and options that the rest of the taxpayers.   What is wrong with that picture? 

© 2009, Jasper Welch, Four Corners Media,

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