Cynical Synapse

Tue, 15 Dec 2009

Cautiously Optimistic Even Though No One’s Read the Healthcare Bill

Filed under: Behavior, Budget, Citizen rights, Congress, Government, Medicine, Politics, President, Take action — cynicalsynapse @ 7:56 pm

Time for your shot

President Obama met with Democratic Senators today to wag his finger at them and tell them to pass the Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-NV) healthcare reform bill, which has been gerrymandered by a few weeks’ back room deals. I still don’t get the sense of urgency politicians have put behind this at this time. Healthcare delivery and costs has been an issue as long as I’ve been politically aware, but now it has to be fixed before the end of the year? Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sees it this way: “We won’t get another chance for a long time to do something this significant.” What makes December 2009 the critical point in the future of healthcare?

It seems the bill’s fate is up to the whims and fancies of Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CN). You know, the guy who ran for Vice President as a Democrat, but is now an Independent, but went to the White House with the Democratic Senators this morning. Did I mention, while running for Vice President, he kept his Senate seat, just in case? Believe it or not, he did the same in 2004 in an unsuccessful bid for a Presidential nomination. Besides his annoying, whining talking style, why would anyone want to puff up this guy’s head?

Obama after meeting with Senators

After meeting with the Senators, Pres. Obama said he was “cautiously optimistic” the bill would pass. Besides Lieberman and independent Bernie Sanders (VT), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) is a potential holdout. That means Michigan’s Senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, both Democrats, are expected to vote for the bill, no matter it’s final wording or costs.

Here’s the rub. I emailed both Levin and stabinow, asking if they had personally read the bill. I said if they had not, they must vote no. Levin hasn’t yet responded. His functionaries usually send out their form emails after the vote is done. Stabinow’s office sent me a form email that did not answer my key question: has she personally read the bill? The email went on to acknowledge my opposition, which was only ancillary to whether or not she read the bill, and spouted her rhetoric of healthcare is a right. I might also point out that neither has addressed my question of constitutionality. While I don’t necessarily disagree with Debbie, healthcare is not included in the Bill of Rights. And I don’t think there’s anything in the US Constitution permitting the Feds to require me to buy health insurance.

So, I think it’s time to email, phone, and/or fax your Senators and let them know how you feel on this issue. It’s obvious to me that Michigan’s Senators can’t even be bothered to answer my questions. That tells me they’ve not read the bill. And, as I told them before and will tell them again, if you’ve not personally read it, you have to vote no.


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