1,018 Pages and That Is Just The Start
by James Glaser
July 16, 2009
President Obama is pushing hard to get a health care bill passed this summer. He wants both chambers of our Congress to vote on it before they take their August recess. The first thousand plus pages have nothing in them about how Washington is going to fund this new health care package.
Some Democrats want to tax the rich. Some say there will be enough savings in a streamlined system to pay for it. The Republicans are not buying it and probably are not voting for it either.
Senator Kent Conrad, a Democrat from North Dakota, says he doesn't think there will be a vote this summer, and Senator Richard Durbin, another Democrat, says he doubts the Senate will vote to tax the rich. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel said that they were going after the rich as it "causes the least amount of pain on the least amount of people." Of course Rangel has forgotten that almost every Senator is a millionaire and would have to pony up their share. Senators will talk about being patriotic all day long, but try hitting them with a surtax, and they will shut you down every time.
From what I have read the last few years, a thousand page bill is pretty sparse. You have to know by the time this bill is ready to vote on, it will contain many thousands of pages, with additions and amendments that have nothing at all to do with health care.
On top of that, like so many bills in Washington, hundreds of pages will be added in the middle of the night, before any final vote. So, I don't think we really have to worry about any attempt at passage before the August recess. For one, the bill isn't near large enough yet.
As much as I want health care for every American, I think our choice is clear. We cannot afford to add this cost on to our economy now or ever. If Barack Obama really wants this bill passed, he is going to have to come up with cuts some place else in our budget to pay for it.
I vote for taking it from our military spending. We all know that is not going to happen. We also know that the rich in America are not about to let the Senate pass a huge cut to their income, so that way of paying for health care is gone, too.
Poor and not so poor Americans are going to have to suffer longer before they finally get fed up enough to take to the streets and demand that they get the health care all of our government workers get. That would include the premium package Congress voted for themselves.
BACK to the 2009 Politics Columns.