Congressional Democrats on Friday have given “reconciliation” protection to the universal health care provisions of the 2010 budget. That delightful sounding word means the kiss of death for any open, fair and honest debate over the wisdom of universal health care.
Overhauling the nation’s health-care system is a top Obama goal, and Democrats in the House and Senate are determined to begin moving legislation this summer. But the initiative is certain to be contentious: It would come with a big price tag and a possible mandate that everyone who can afford health insurance must buy it.
The bill will easily pass in the House, but, in the Senate the rules are different. There, the bill could be filibustered, thus effectively killing it. To overcome a filibuster, 60 votes are needed, and, Democrats in the Senate account for 58 seats. However, with the “reconciliation” tag placed on the health care portion of the bill, only 51 votes are needed. As a result, no more than 51 people are necessary to enact a health care plan affecting over 300 million people in this country. One would think that on an issue of this importance Congress would want to listen to everyone’s views, but, as those views don’t always agree with the President’s wishes, apparently it is better to stifle them. Why wouldn’t Congress want debate on something as important as this? You won’t believe the answer.
The health-care protection [i.e. reconciliation] would be at the heart of a compromise version of the fiscal 2010 budget, which Democratic leaders in the House and Senate hope to push through both chambers early next week. That would provide Mr. Obama with a symbolic victory in time to mark his 100th day in office Wednesday.[emphasis supplied]
Are you kidding me? A plan that hasn’t worked anywhere in the world, including in Massachusetts, that is dangerous to patients, that will sound the death knell for private health insurance in this country, that will inevitably lead not only to rationing of health care, but also to a drop off in new medical technology and treatments, and, which we can’t afford no matter how high we raise taxes, is being treated by members of Congress as if it were some kind of a “birthday” present for our President?
Could Congress be any more pathetic if it tried?