Sunday, March 21, 2010

The health care reform bill

Ever watch sausage being made? That was the scene on the House floor as each representative made sure they left some comment, verbal or via the Congressional record, about the bill. The post vote was pretty astounding. I listened to the most outrageous claims by those who support the Stupak amendment regarding abortion. Then I listened to the President make comments that would lead the unknowing to conclude this was a bipartisan victory. Pelosi's speech sounded like the most patriotic event since the revolution had just occurred. Heck no.

The vote was clear - the Republicans voted as a block and all of the President's, and Nancy Pelosi's, spin doesn't change that fact. All of the Republicans and 30 something Democrats opposed the health care reform. All of the Republicans and a number of Democrats wanted the Stupak amendment reinserted. Those Republicans represent Americans, and it is no secret that many, many Americans had serious reservations about this bill. It's a Democratic victory, to be sure, and the Senate needs to do some more work so the shouting isn't over just yet. But, mark my words, the Republicans will continue to oppose it.

Is it a good bill? I don't think so. Over 2,000 pages is many hundreds, if not a thousand or more, in excess. It's a cobbled together extension of the rule of insurance companies (with some reforms) over your health care. Not the government; the health insurance companies.

Will it deliver what the people want? They will find out over time.

Pelosi's (and Schakowsky's) cynical dismissal of the voters because the voters only care about what affects them personally may be true, but there is another aspect that needs to be considered by the voters. Make no mistake, pious pronunciations about the issues that so moved our representatives aside, that's not what is important to our legislators. That is not what moves them in considering how to vote. It's whether or not you think you got something out of it, you selfish so-and-so.

Think about it. If all we care about is what's in it for me?, then why are we surprised at the level of corruption in local and state politics, characterized by John Kass of the Chicago Tribune as "The Chicago Way"? We feed that corruption when our consideration of significant issues ends with what's in it for me? All our legislators need to do is feed us the reassuring pablum that all will be well with our personal situation, and we'll sign off on whatever they want to do, and then complain later about being jerked around. If our interest in what our representatives do really does extend beyond our pocketbooks then we must hold our representatives accountable. They need to understand that there are consequences when they treat us like sheeple, because we aren't!

Or are you?

No comments: