DESPITE IT ALL, HEALTH CARE BILL PASSES

Over the weekend, the people who live in the communities surrounding the Red River in North Dakota and Minnesota found themselves suddenly under water. At the same time, most Americans found themselves in a very similar way thanks to another flood of sorts happening in the nation's capitol as the long debated, and controversial health care bill was being passed by the Congress. Unlike the lawmakers in Washington, the folks surrounding the Red River at least have some means to control the rising waters and prevent ongoing damage from the floods. In Washington this is not the case at all. In Washington there are no dikes to be seen. And even while there was clearly a whole lot of sandbagging going on by the democrats in Congress, it wasn't of the floodstopping kind.

The horrible truth is that this bill passes despite all of the obvious protests by most Americans, and all of the massive bipartisan polling that clearly demonstrated that the majority of Americans were opposed to this health care bill in its current form, and pretty much from the get-go. It passes despite all of the obvious misrepresentations as to how the bill will be paid for. It passes despite obvious areas of the CBO report being misread, and misunderstood, which, I should note, were also clearly pointed out several times in the past few days by Wisconsin republican congressman Paul Ryan to no avail. The fact is, that no matter what anyone in the democratic party, or the president himself, has said, this bill is going to cost the American taxpayer enormously. There is simply no way around that. I think every American is all too aware of that fact, even those American's who support the bill.

For all intents and purposes, it's basically a 'who cares' approach by the democratic party to legislation. The democrats are going to get their way, the deal will be done, and President Obama will finally have his health care bill signed into law. But not to worry. According to the latest statement from the democrats this is all fine and good. We just don't know how good this is for us yet. The proof will be in the pudding once its served up. "Over time, we think that the American people, once they get a chance to see it all in action and begin to realize all of the good things this bill will offer, will grow to be very happy with it," they tell us.

This is a bit of an interesting statement in and of itself considering how smart these guys in Washington purport to be, you'd think that somewhere throughout this whole process the American people might have been able to get a general feel for some of these so-called 'good' points in the bill through some Washington articulation before the fact. There was no doubt plenty of time to get the word out and explain it all to us in great detail. The president himself has been on TV more than anyone in the Congress and the Senate combined since he's been in office, it would seem, and he hasn't been able to clarify anything. They (the democrats)apparently knew how great the bill was going to be, and how much it would improve the lives of every American. They certainly told us that enough. So then, why couldn't they tellus what the good points were? Why could we get only vague generalizations? Why did they have to go into back rooms to hash out those good points outside of the scrutiny of the press and the American people, and the republican party for that matter? What's the big secret? Why do we have to wait and see until after the bill is passed how good it will be for us? And what if we figure out that we don't like it after all? Then what? Will we then just get a shoulder shrug, a coy smile, and an "oops" from our leaders?

Seems something sort of like the whole idea behind an arranged marriage, you know? I may not be the apple of your eye today, baby, but one day you're gonna love me. Just you wait and see.

House minority leader, John Boehner, said it all when he said that the White House is not the president's house, but the people's house. It is absolutely clear that no one in the Washington democratic apparatus is of that understanding. It seems more apparent that this is their House, their show, their bill, and by golly the American people are going to have it whether they like it or not.

The sheer arrogance displayed by the democrats throughout this entire ordeal has been as plain to see as the sun on a hot, summer day. I mean, what they seem to say to the American people is that this president is living large and in charge, and he knows better than his constituents what's good for them. Remember his arrogant, and perhaps eventually classic statement to Senator McCain during the so-called health care summit? "Let me just make this point, John, because we're not campaigning anymore. The election is over." He couldn't have been more right.

What he was really saying to Senator John McCain was that he was the president, the democrats were in charge, and so far as he was concerned, the talking points of the republican party, and apparently of the American people, were not important. What I take from that as well, is that essentially he seems to be saying that campaigns are for telling the American people what they want to hear, and after the elections is for telling the American people what they're going to get. Granted, that's how things generally play out heedless of who is in power, but the arrogance in this adminisration, and this current majority control, does seem more pronounced than it has ever been in the past. In the case of the health care bill, all of the wishes of the American people have clearly fallen on deaf ears. In response, I think every American ought to stop sending their money to the IRS at once. They should send hearing aids instead.

I've said it all along that not everything in the bill is bad. I think all of us have acknowledged that at one point or another. The republicans never once said that they just wanted to leave things as they were. They only wanted to have some of their ideas and proposals heard. Something the democrats simply did not want to do, despite all of their proclamations that the republicans were evildoers hell bent on squashing the debate altogether. Yeah, they did want to squash the bill. But not the debate. The system is not broken, but no one is going to say that it doesn't need a little sprucing up. No one can deny that there are indeed valid arguments that support a need for some bit of health care reform. The problem is that not enough of what is needed to truly reform the system and make health care more affordable, and even available, is in it. Take tort reform, for example. Or what about allowing insurance companies interstate competition? Both of these things would greatly reduce the cost of health care to a majority of Americans.

What is good about the bill is the elimination of disallowing insurance coverage to individuals who have a pre-existing condition, something I have always felt was a ridiculous thing. The fact is that almost all health care insurance is provided through employers, and because people have a tendency nowadays to change jobs every five or so years, one will always have a pre-existing condition at one or another point throughout their lives. Health insurance should cover any necessary medical procedure deemed to be necessary by a health care professional.

Interestingly, this little piece of the legislation would have been in the bill no matter what by my estimation. The republicans, and I think most Americans, fully feel that denying someone coverage for a pre-existing condition is simply not the right thing to do.

As an example, consider that I just had a hernia operation. That would now be considered to be a pre-existing condition. If I change employers and ultimately am insured by another insurer, and if, somewhere down the line, I were to have any complications from the surgery, or any other problems or issues with regard to a hernia, I would likely not be covered and would likely have to pay my medical expenses to treat it out of pocket. That simply doesn't make any sense. It's sort of like saying if you crash you're car into the broadside of another car, broadside crashes in the future will not be covered. In the case of dental insurance you might say only one cavity might be covered because now you are predisposed to developing cavities.

No matter how you slice it, it's a dumb policy that should very well be put into the dumpster.

But major legislation should never be about the "lesser of two evils" making it a done deal. There are simply too many other things to consider in this bill. Too many other costs that need to be taken into account. And there are, as well, too many ideas that simply have been left out.

Dennis Kucinich is one such example of a "no" vote defector. "I think it's more important to leave the discussion open for health care," he told Fox News a couple weeks ago. That's his rationale for changing his vote to "yes?" To leave the discussion open?

It doesn't make any sense to me. We could have left the discussion open by going back to the drawing board. We could have left the discussion open by making the process more bipartisan.

Bart Stupak, a long time pro-life democrat who vehemently opposed the bill also defected, even as he told reporters in a news conference following the vote that he felt the abortion issue was a very important one to him. Yet he caved anyway, and now abortions may wind up being subsidized by taxpayers. A thing which is, to me, a horrifying proposition.

What we have is clearly a mess. How we get out of this one is anybody's guess, if we can at all. I guess all we can do now is wait for the happy surprise that seems to be coming our way. I don't know about you, but I can't wait.

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Comments 33 comments

breakfastpop profile image

breakfastpop 6 years ago

Going back tot he drawing board as a majority of the American people wanted was not in the cards for a President determined "to get it done". I will never accept or understand why pushing this unpopular bill through was necessary or okay with those in Washington. Let's face it, they have the kind of insurance they want and we can never have, so why should they care? It is all so disappointing.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Very much so. It's the one thing I've been absolutely clear on from the start.


greatAmerican profile image

greatAmerican 6 years ago

Spring, I think you are right about the Americans wanting some kind of Health care legislation. I just published a hub with my take on why so many Democrats Supported Obama and ignored the wish of the American People, without fear of reprisals in the November election Check it out my friend


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Yes. Reform. Just not this one. :)


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 6 years ago from Moundsville, WV

Reform is one thing fundamental transformation of the nation is quite another thing entirely.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Agreed.


eovery profile image

eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

So am I going to have to pay for double health insurance for the next 5 years?

Keep on hubbing!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

lol. That's an interesting way of looking at it, and a way I hadn't thought of either. Unfortunately, I think you are right. :)


kowality profile image

kowality 6 years ago from Everywhere

Great hub once again Springboard. I have the luxury of sneaking of to Canada in case of emergencies. Everyone should marry a Canadian..There are a few good ones left. Thanks again Budz


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

You'd never hear me shout out 'aye' to the idea of defection from a country I love so much, though, this time I have to shout out an 'aye.' Today the country I love so much is being run by a radical left-wing nutjob, and that's being far too nice.

Who was it that quipped, "Can I get a refund on my change?" I think we're all about due for it right about now.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

An excellent well written hub that spelled out this horrible mess we had to watch this weekend. The behind closed doors dishonesty has new meaning. I think we crossed a line in our country that is like nothing that we've seen before and our country is forever changed. We will be lucky not to be bankrupt over the next 4 years. The whole think stunk!


Portamenteff profile image

Portamenteff 6 years ago from Western Colorado, USA

The Demicans just don't care what you think, what the Republicrats think either. They're doing this no matter what, then waste millions more in tax money defending the constitutionality of it on up to the supreme court. (Do you think Pelosi is gonna buy the lawyers defending it?) No we will pay for the lawyers to defend the bill.

The unconstituional part of it is that they are forcing us to buy insurance. In car insurance, you can just not drive and your fine. In health insurance, now, the act of living and breathing makes you mandated to buy it, at the level of coverage they decide you to have. This is the insurance lobbyist's little gift to us. Obama said "no lobbyists." His bill is loaded with lobbyists goodies.


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 6 years ago from USA

Howdy Springboard - Your first two sentences say it all. Good article!

Gus :-)))


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Thanks all for stopping by. As I said, it's a mess, and unfortunately a multi-faceted one which will haunt us for some time to come and in many more ways than one. It's my thinking that, as well, there are probably a ton of hidden costs we don't know about yet, and a healthier dose of unintended consequences which will only serve to exacerbate an already big mess.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

I'll be first to admit that I like a couple of things in this bill. But must we throw the baby out with the bath water??


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

My thoughts exactly. I think they would have been better off breaking this whole thing up and voting separately on the issues. I never like these kind of bills where a whole bunch of stuff just gets thrown in and voted on as a whole. There's ALWAYS going to be a ton of bad stuff in a bill like that, and it always winds up screwing up any good that may have come out of it.


OpinionDuck profile image

OpinionDuck 6 years ago

Springboard

Good hub, as usual.

This bill is an example of how dangerous it is to have a simple majority vote on such an important national interest.

Using the total 435 representatives instead of the 431 representatives that voted on the bill, it barely made 50.3 percent.

This health bill is of the same scope and importance on the people as that of Income Tax. Even though Income Tax has been raping the taxpayers for the last sixty years, at least it was passed as an amendment to the constitution.

Compare that with a simple majority, as we have in the healthcare bill.

It should be unconstitutional anytime that the Congress takes a legislative path away from the tenets of the Republic upon which this country was formed.

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has not adjudicated much against any actions of the Congress, and or of the president.

The real problem is where are the hearts and minds of those voters that support the democratic controlled congress and the democrat president. Will they disagree with this healthcare bill passage, by voting against their party as a symbol that country trumps party loyalty.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

OpinionDuck, I keep thinking about that. Those folks out there who support the democratic majority and the policies of this president. I can't help but simply come to the conclusion that they must be the same group of people who are the recipients of all of the social programs they can get their hands on. People who figure they are going to somehow beat or cheat the system by sticking it to every person or business that makes an effort to succeed for themselves. Look, I've said it before. There ARE problems in this country when it comes to big CEOs and wages are terrible, but as a people, as a country, we still have every opportunity to be a part of the system and prosper along with the system. The folks who have gone the way of the socialist agenda, I think, are the ones who've given up on themselves. There isn't another way to see it. They want something for nothing. They figure they breathe, and therefore they are entitled. I just don't buy into that logic. Having a fair shake is one thing. Having things handed to you is entirely another.

They are, thankfully, in the minority. Let's just hope they remain in the minority. We cleary need to turn the tables in November, and I'm inclined to believe we just may.


Paul Revere profile image

Paul Revere 6 years ago from Michigan

Enjoyed the read. Bart Stupak has really got people mad a him over this. From the left he faces a primary battle from Connie Saltonstall. One of the Republican opponents Linda Goldthorpe, who is my choice, is an extremely dynamic speaker. This election will be fun to watch.


American Romance profile image

American Romance 6 years ago from America

we all can vent with each other but are we emailing each and every democrat and telling them they failed America, we must guilt rid them every chance! do not lose faith people, this is MY country not Obamas! My cousins and brother who have served in Iraq give me that right! My grandfather who was on Normady the day after we landed as a medic! my great great great grandfather who fought in the civil war! and my kin who suffered horribly to come to the new world! God gave me and my family this land! and I will not see it taken by some idealog arrogant thug because he believes in his racist preacher and books on marxism!


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Paul, I was very annoyed by the fact that Stupak bent. I mean, you have to stand on your principles if you're going to stand on anything. And on such an important issue? Even by his own admission. Makes you wonder. I'd be happy to see him go.

American Romance, I'm not sure it would matter how many emails we'd send at this point. Or letters. Or how many phone calls we'd make. They obviously did not get the message that I think the American people made more than clear that we didn't want the bill, and they went ahead and passed it anyway. The only thing left to do now is replace each and every one of them.


garynew profile image

garynew 6 years ago from Dallas, TX and Sampran, Thailand

the current crop of DC politician cares nothing about principles, only principal. And why DID Kucinich change his vote?


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Kucinich said he wanted to vote yes in order to "keep the discussion open." I couldn't quite figure that one out either. So what, we vote up crap legislation just to keep talking and deal with the consequences later? And he was so adamant about all the bad things in the bill before. Why couldn't the discussion be left open WITHOUT passing THIS bill? The American people never said they did not want reform. They simply said they did not want THIS reform, so...seems to me perfectly logical to conclude that the discussion WOULD have been left open, and we may have actually had an opportunity somewhere in the near future to have gotten a much better, much more concise and directed bill, and one which would have better addressed the real issues driving up the cost of health care.

Stupak irritated me as well that he turned his back on principle. I just don't get it.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 6 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I'm fascinated by the divide over this thing. I know that one of my weaknesses is that I can be easily persuader on undecided issues, and this is one of them for me.

I can read a great essay FOR the health care bill, and say to myself, "it's simply for the best! How can a great country like ours not have universal health care??"

I can also read something from the right that is well written and go, "INSANITY! Ayn Rand's ghost for president!"

Here's the thing, I want our super genius accountants from all over the country to crunch billions of figures and tell us if this thing will, as the president says, lower the deficit, or not.


Paul Revere profile image

Paul Revere 6 years ago from Michigan

“The second ten years the savings of the bill are huge!”

Congressman Mark Schauer


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

lol. Can't wait for that. :)


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Wesman—there have been many uncontracted ones who've said this is going to cost us. Even the CBO stated that the numbers they gave, based on the way they are calculated, can tell two very different stories. Basically what the dems are trying to do is say the money is coming from X instead of Y. The problem is that the source for X and Y are the same, so even if you account for the dollars in another account, so to speak, it's still coming from the same bottom line.

I dunno. These guys are great at dipping into other accounts to make it look like they're not spending as much. Look what they've done to the social security trust fund, which BTW, is no trust fund at all, because trust funds usually have actual money in them.

What I think should have been done, because of the sheer size and potential impact this bill has on the system, and the deficit levels, is that the bill should have been broken up into smaller, more digestible chunks, and that way each part could be properly dissected and researched as to impact and cost...

Maybe that way someone who voted on the damn thing might actually have read the damn thing. And perhaps they could have better articulated to the American people what the hell was in it, rather than just sort of say "trust us, it's good."


lctodd1947 profile image

lctodd1947 6 years ago from USA

You said it well again...it makes me sick to death...and arrogance is the word alright plus...some other words..I don't use. And Nancy's smile is kinda fake if you ask me.

Thanks for sharing.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

lctodd—all things considered, it amazes me sometimes that Nancy's face moves at all. lol


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

I think you wrote a very good Hub. I agree with a lot of as if I written it myself. Very Good. Keep up the good work.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

Thanks for the compliment. I appreciate it. And thanks for stopping by as well.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

What has happened to the country I love so well? Why do I even bother to vote? Why does our country not have Universal Health Care? So many unasnswered questions. Thanks for a great hub. Fantastic! Rated up.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin Author

No matter what, voting is the most important thing we can do as Americans.

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