I spent yesterday watching the wankers in Washington, specifically the House of unrepresenting Representatives, debate and then vote on HR 3962, the health care “reform” bill. A nauseating experience, really; it left me feeling almost shameful, the way one feels after gawking at a trainwreck. It was clear most hadn’t taken the time to read all of the legislation; few stances or rebuttals were based on facts versus the MSM campaign talking points so every chair’s gavel got a workout as the unrepresenting representatives squabbled like little schoolchildren.
In the end, despite the announcement of 10.2% unemployment and a $1.2 trillion price tag, the Speaker of the Nuthouse got what she wanted. The bill passed 220 to 215. It was aided by the defection of Republican Louisana Representative Cao. True to form, he again fell for the lies of the likes of Rahm Emmanuel and Nancy-Ann Deparle and President Walking Eagle. Closed-door “promises” of future financial and campaign support were the 30 pieces of silver by which they secured his vote, thereby allowing great crowing about “bipartisan support” for the takeover of the entire field of medicine in America.
But I think “bipartisan” is more clearly shown by the sensible 39 Democrats who refused to vote for this abomination. Of course, President Walking Eagle’s campaign arm, MoveOn.org, is now loudly raising money and threatening those Democrats in their reelection bids. My suspicion is, however, they will fare better than their fair-weather counterparts who voted in favor of HR 3962 after passage of the “Stupak amendment”, which rightly locked down the language preventing the use of taxpayer monies to pay for abortions. While passage of the amendment allowed some Democrats to vote yes for the containing bill, it is almost a given that the amendment will quietly disappear in committee since allowing it a vote on the floor was only a reluctant appeasement move on the part of Pelosi to get those yes votes.
Dick Morris provides a further peek into the machinations behind the curtain:
- The American Medical Association (AMA) was facing a 21 percent cut in physicians’ reimbursements under the current law. Obama promised to kill the cut if they backed his bill. The cuts are the fruit of a law requiring annual 5-6 percent reductions in doctor reimbursements for treating Medicare patients. Bravely, each year Congress has rolled the cuts over, suspending them but not repealing them. So each year, the accumulated cuts threaten doctors. By now, they have risen to 21 percent. With this blackmail leverage, Obama compelled the AMA to support his bill…or else! [ My note: this endorsement may be repealed, after it was revealed that the AMA did not follow its own procedure for providing endorsements and thereby rightly raised the ire of both members and non-members. ]
- The AARP got a financial windfall in return for its support of the healthcare bill. Over the past decade, the AARP has morphed from an advocacy group to an insurance company (through its subsidiary company). It is one of the main suppliers of Medi-gap insurance, a high-cost, privately purchased coverage that picks up where Medicare leaves off. But President Bush-43 passed the Medicare Advantage program, which offered a subsidized, lower-cost alternative to Medi-gap. Under Medicare Advantage, the elderly get all the extra coverage they need plus coordinated, well-managed care, usually by the same physician. So more than 10 million seniors went with Medicare Advantage, cutting into AARP Medi-gap revenues.
- The drug industry backed ObamaCare and, in return, got a 10-year limit of $80 billion on cuts in prescription drug costs. (A drop in the bucket of their almost $3 trillion projected cost over the next decade.) They also got administration assurances that it will continue to bar lower-cost Canadian drugs from coming into the U.S. All it had to do was put its formidable advertising budget at the disposal of the administration.
- Insurance companies got access to 40 million potential new customers. But when the Senate Finance Committee lowered the fine that would be imposed on those who don’t buy insurance from $3,500 to $1,500, the insurance companies jumped ship and now oppose the bill, albeit for the worst of motives.
The only industry that refused to knuckle under was the medical device makers. They stood for principle and wouldn’t go along with Obama’s blackmail. So the Senate Finance Committee retaliated by imposing a tax on medical devices such as automated wheelchairs, pacemakers, arterial stents, prosthetic limbs, artificial knees and hips and other necessary accoutrements of healthcare.
There is still a long road ahead of this insane, tyrannical Democratic endeavor and while many feel the Senate is a more sensible group and some have assured me it doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of passing there, where money and control are concerned, I’ve no more personal faith in the Senate than I do in those inhabiting the Nuthouse. To be honest, Harry Reid is just as scary as Nancy Pelosi; they are two peas in a mean and withered old pod, and it will take every bit of Conservative strength to put them soundly in their place.