Friday, July 24, 2009

Health Care Reform: Trouble in Paradise

Congress may or may not vote on the job killing (if not people killing), privacy destroying government healthcare takeover bill until the Fall--at least in the Senate:
Senate Democratic leaders on Thursday abandoned plans for a vote on health care before Congress' August recess, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama's ambitious timetable to revamp the nation's $2.4 trillion system of medical care.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., delivered the official pronouncement on what had been expected for weeks, saying, "It's better to have a product based on quality and thoughtfulness rather than try to jam something through."
His words were a near-echo of Republicans who have criticized the rush to act on complex legislation that affects every American.
In the other chamber, although House of Representatives leadership claim they have the votes to go forward now, so-called moderate Democrats--who generally talk a good, fiscally responsible game, but then for example ultimately capitulated on the stimulus bill and cap-and-trade among others--apparently refuse to be railroaded this time:
House healthcare negotiations dissolved in acrimony on Friday, with Blue Dog Democrats saying they were “lied” to by their Democratic leaders.
In advance of a subsequent press conference called by House leadership, Blue Dog liaison Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) said the healthcare bill should be staying in committee.
"I expect the committee process to proceed," Cardoza said.
The seven Blue Dogs on the Energy and Commerce Committee stormed out of a Friday meeting with their committee chairman, Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), saying Waxman had been negotiating in bad faith over a number of provisions Blue Dogs demanded be changed in the stalled healthcare bill.
“I’ve been lied to,” Blue Dog Coalition Co-Chairman Charlie Melancon (D-La.) said on Friday. “We have not had legitimate negotiations....
Melancon said there would be 40-45 “solid no” votes from the 52-strong Blue Dogs, among other problems throughout the caucus. And Melancon said there are more Democrats who will vote against the bill.
Congress needs to get a clue: For one thing, there are any number of YouTube videos available online where ordinary, non-ideological Americans register their strong opposition to this bill during town meetings with lawmakers, administration officials, and other Obama apologists. So far, absolutely none of these officials have committed to giving up their current insurance coverage in favor of the public option. In the meantime, the House majority seems to be engaging in a most undemocratic form of censorship:
Democrats are preventing Republican House Members from sending their constituents a mailing that is critical of the majority’s health care reform plan, blocking the mailing by alleging that it is inaccurate.
House Republicans are crying foul and claiming that the Democrats are using their majority to prevent GOP Members from communicating with their constituents.
The dispute centers on a chart created by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Republican staff of the Joint Economic Committee to illustrate the organization of the Democratic health care plan..a closer look at the image reveals a complicated menagerie of government offices and programs that Republicans say will be created if the leading Democratic health care plan becomes law.
Economist and actor Ben Stein (most recently seen in those tedious and unfunny commercials with NBA star Shaquille O'Neal) is not a fan of socialized medicine either:
The American people have already awakened to the truth that the stimulus bill -- a great idea in theory -- was really an immense bribe to Democrat interest groups, and in no way an effort to help all Americans.
Now, Americans are waking up to the truth that ObamaCare basically means that every time you are sick or injured, you will have a clerk from the Department of Motor Vehicles telling your doctor what he can and cannot do.
The American people already know that Mr. Obama's plan to lower health costs while expanding coverage and bureaucracy is a myth, a promise of something that never was and never will be -- a bureaucracy lowering costs in a free society. Either the costs go up or the free society goes away.