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
They Win; We Lose.
That is the reality of this week-end’s political drama that ended with the 219 – 212 passage of the Senate Health Care Bill, and the following 220 – 211 passage of the House Reconciliation Bill.
Who is “They”? The Democrat Party and its House and Senate majorities, and President Obama.
Who is “We”? The rest of us.
What comes next? There will be a lot of political posturing from both sides of the aisle. The reality will come to the fact that we are now embarked on the road to full government-controlled health care. There will be attempts to overturn this action, but the cynic/realist in me believes those will fall short.
The elections this fall will probably result in the Democrats losing their majority in the House; they may fall short in the Senate but that is far less likely. Even if the Democrats lose both the House and Senate majorities, there is still President Obama to veto any legislation that might be passed to overturn the actions of this week-end. That would require a super-majority of both segments of Congress and that is not very likely.
Having been part of the employee benefits world for 38 years, I have seen other “earth-shattering” changes in that span of time, but those pale in comparison to this set of changes.
Contrary to the protestations of some, there is a stark reality about all of this. The health insurance industry is being dismantled and will survive, ultimately, only to serve as a large administrative arm of the federal government. Physicians will adapt but there will not be the level of service to which we were all accustomed. In the end, doctors and nurses will be employed by a national entity similar to the National Health Service in
We will now, at least, have a new entity that we can blame for the issues we’ll all face in the years to come. We’ll point our anger at the government because it will have become the “brute” that denies services and makes us wait to see doctors and be admitted to hospitals for necessary surgery. We’ll know whom or what to blame for the lack of new “miracle” drugs. We’ll be able to fix a point in time when that last fatal step toward socialism and the redistribution of wealth was taken. And, we will see very large rate increases from health insurers that will have been caused by the ‘cover everyone for everything’ requirements of this legislation. People can now wait until they’re diagnosed with a major illness and then apply for insurance, which has to be issued. Insurance premiums for health insurance will be unable to keep pace with the losses they’ll begin to incur. Some like to claim that the problems we’ve had were all “free-market” driven. Wait until you see the problems caused by the elimination of the “free-market” we’ve had to this point.
Now, all that having been said, should we who were opposed to this outcome continue to push for some kind of redress? Absolutely YES! But we have to become a little more realistic about the chances we have. Our chances to make wholesale changes are very slim unless there is a virtually total upheaval of the Congress and the Presidency in 2010 and 2012.
If that were to happen, then we might well be able to take corrective action to fix the short-sighted changes that have been approved and that will be signed into law on Tuesday as it now stands. If that does not happen, we will become a “European state” as the left’s elitists have desired for many years.