"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Health Care Reform: What's Left in the Bill?

I've been avoiding the current health care "reform" bill as it is rent and glued by the Senate. After reading two versions of the bill (the ill-fated HR 3200, the Senate HELP Committee bill), plus a decent portion of HR 3962 before it was quickly passed by the House, I've been pretty much burnt-out on reading health care regulation bills. After weeks of wrangling, onerous debate, political attacks on spouses, Reid's attempt to massively expand a bankrupt Medicare (a bluff perhaps?), we must ask what are we left with?

Well, according to Jennifer Rubin it's this:

"Really, what’s left after they take out the public option and the Medicare buy-in? A GOP leadership aide put it this way: '$500 billion in Medicare cuts, $400 billion in tax increases, raises premiums, raises costs, onerous regulations, individual mandates, employer mandate, and expensive subsidies.' So what’s not to like? Well, just about everything. Perhaps, in a moment of clarity, everyone will go home, think this through clearly, and come back with a list of a few discrete reforms that will have bipartisan support. Then they can declare victory. Makes too much sense. Instead the Democratic leadership seems hell-bent on coming up with the umpteenth version of ObamaCare no matter how unpopular it may be with the public and making vulnerable members walk the plank. Seems crazy, huh? It is."

$500 billion in cuts, $400 billion in taxes... And exactly what is gained by all this?

Does anyone remember way back in September when Obama solemnly took to the political stage of Congress and promised no new deficits (h/t Pundit & Pundette)? "Here's what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits – either now or in the future. Period." Just words... just words... But here's some more anyway: "That is why not a dollar of the Medicare trust fund will be used to pay for this plan."

Ah well...

As Obama promises that we that we are "on the precipice" (not the best choice of words) of passing the health care "reform," even as Howard Dean demands that the bill be scrapped, we "commoners" are left standing on the sidelines wondering what will become of it all. Members of the Senate seem completely flummoxed as to what the current proposals actually entail. And Obama's disingenuous promise that it contains "all the criteria that I laid out" has as much authority as his clumsy red pill/blue pill analogy, and that Benadryl is a viable alternative to a tonsillectomy.

Since none of this is vitally pressing, one would think that this would indeed be a time to step back and reorganize... to look at what is now being presented within the twisting and convoluted structures of the unpopular current proposals. That seems unlikely, even with Dean's coincidental endorsement of such a course of action. It seems Rubin is right. "[T]he Democratic leadership seems hell-bent on coming up with the umpteenth version of ObamaCare no matter how unpopular it may be with the public and making vulnerable members walk the plank." Sanity must return eventually, but great amounts of lasting damage can be done with historic follies such as this bill.


  1. Liz Stephans at Breitbart's B Cast said today that the point of just passing any old thing was that Cass Sunstein as regulator in chief will, with endless streams of administrative rules and directives, turn whatever is passed into what Obama and his ilk wanted all along. But we will end up with a lot less freedom. And there will be major attacks on the finances of anyone who is not a government employee or union member.

  2. I think Stephans is correct. It's clear now that that charitable-sounding speeches about helping the sick and uninsured were just window dressing festooned on this bill to impress the gullible. Once this administration pulls one thread of their program through any crack in the legislation, they can use that thread to knit what they like. Without regard for decency or the Constitution.

    But it could be worse. At least many Americans are awake to much of what is going on, and the Senate and the House are so on edge they are working on Sundays! Imagine it. Come January, Congress will have a whole lot of mopping up to do before the 2010 elections. I wonder if the Dems have any mops.