cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The President called for a bipartisan health care summit; it is scheduled for Thursday, February 25th. The President will be the ‘moderator’, and has just posted “his plan”. He will be a very impartial moderator if we are to believe his rhetoric.
“His plan” is nothing more than the Senate’s version with a few little twists that do nothing to make the Senate plan any better than it is, which isn’t good enough for the American people.
Our President has now decided that the usual manner of conducting business in the Senate should be avoided; he wants to avoid the need for 60 votes as is usually required for such important measures in what is supposedly the most ‘deliberative’ part of our Congress. He is backing “reconciliation” which means that a simple majority of 51 votes would be all that is needed to pass this bill in the Senate. The House would have to muster a simple majority of its members as is usual for that body. "Reconciliation" is, by the way, reserved for budget matters, and was never intended to be used for such legislation as health care reform.
The President’s plan would cost at least $950 billion but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says there is not sufficient detail to permit it to make its reasoned determination as to true cost. That should tell us that the real price tag is significantly higher than the White House is saying.
So what does the President’s plan do for us? Not much that will appeal to the majority of people in the
So what does the President’s plan do to us? It will end the use of health savings accounts (HSAs) and likely will eliminate another very popular planning tool called health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). It leaves flexible spending accounts (FSAs) intact for the moment but those probably will be eliminated in future tax legislation. It will, effectively, drive the smaller health insurance companies out of business in the next few years and it will very probably mean that even the giants (UnitedHealth, Humana, Wellpoint, CIGNA and
Long-term, we will all be participating in government-run health care. That, after all, is what the President has wanted all along; he just couldn’t come out in the open and tell us the truth because he knew we wouldn’t agree with his idea of what is best for us.
This is the President’s idea of “bipartisanship” in the health care arena where we have strongly told him already that we want none of it in its current iteration.
Will this pass the Congress and end up on his desk for signature? Only time will tell, but at this point there are many skeptics. There could easily be fewer than 51 Senate Democrats willing to sacrifice their futures for their President. There could easily be less than a simple majority of House members willing to go to the gallows for Nancy Pelosi, if she is even willing to do so.
This is the time when you and me must make our positions known loudly and clearly to our elected representatives and to our two senators, one of whom stands for re-election this year. We have effectively communicated this message through recent votes that showed the Democrats they were on the wrong side of this issue. We have to be sure they’ve not forgotten our feelings, nor that they think we’re not watching now.
Bipartisanship has never been a requirement for this President, and it still isn’t. If it were, he wouldn’t be taking us down this road yet again.