Days of Change

Day 410 – The Way Backward

December 19, 2009
1 Comment

The Democratic Party Extinction Act, better known as HCRA, is destined to become law in 2010. There are 60 Senators and 220 Representatives with a price tag over their heads. Some are small, like selling out their principles. Others were quite large. Bart Stupak got abortion funding removed, which actually helps with the “deficit-neutral” charade. Sen. Blanche Lincoln got $300 billion and Ben Nelson walked away with true free health care. Nebraska will be paid by the federal government for all their Medicaid bills as long as the program exists.

What’s left to stop this bill are stumbling blocks, not hurdles. The House has one group pro-abortion and another against abortion that will require very precise langauge to get both sides to vote for it. Any wavering will need to be bought off (in a deficit-neutral way, of course). The irony is that Congress has learned the lesson of all welfare recipients, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. No one gets Food Stamps to make ends meet. You only get it when you’ve lost everything else and you apply for public assistance. All these politicians can be bought, but there will be a shopping list longer than the one going to Santa Claus by the time this bill goes to a final vote.

I’d like to indulge in a little speculation on where the health care industry goes after this passes. If the Democrats keep control, expect a number of measures to enhance the “cuts” enacted to pass the original bill. I expect a number of restorations and appropriations to Medicare under the guise of helping people. I see the fine for the uninsured to be severely reduced or eliminated. I see a new stimulus where the government will negotiate a group plan to cover the people required to get insurance. In effect, I expect the deficit portion of this bill to explode in size.

Still, I think a change is coming. The White House could not anticipate the Republicans in Congress. Instead of rushing to worship Jackass, they chose to draw a line in the sand. The party of “no” is instead the party of no more. Most people agree. There is no control in Washington right now. If the Republicans draw a clear ideological difference rather than just relying on party, any bill that passes will be dead meat in the 112th Congress.

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