What is wrong with the following sentence? Congress wrote the Kennedy-Dodd health care bill while meeting in Washington on the backs of envelopes. Hint: there are at least two correct answers.
I have written many posts about the Kennedy-Dodd health care bill. There is only one problem. I learned Saturday, courtesy of The Wall Street Journal, that what we all thought was the Kennedy-Dodd bill, isn’t the Kennedy-Dodd bill. It seems that after the bill was released to the public in June, on July 15, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, under the “leadership” of Sen. Dodd (D. Ct.), passed an amended Kennedy-Dodd bill. It includes nearly 200 amendments to the original bill.
Want to know what is in the amended bill?
Well, so do Republicans. They wrote to Dodd, over three weeks ago,
to reiterate our request for a full copy of the bill as amended…
So far, Dodd has refused their request, as well as a similar request from The Wall Street Journal.
Consequently, no one but Sen. Dodd knows what is in the final bill passed by that committee…not Republicans, not the press, and, more importantly, not the public. In spite of that vacuum, I am confident if we don’t like what Sen. Dodd condescended to release to the public, we really won’t like what the good Senator has kept secret.
But, here’s the “best” part of the amendment proceedings. During what we can only assume must have been a fairly chaotic process, Sen. Mikulski (D. Md.) declared,
Giving me language on little pieces of paper on which I’m going to commit the sacred fortunes and honor of the United States for decades, this is not the way to go. We can’t do this on the backs of envelopes.
A similar charade has also played out in the House. According to Rep. Brown-Waite (R.Fl.) there are numerous passed amendments to the Waxman bill which also haven’t been made available to the public, or, for that matter, to Congresswoman Brown-Waite. I wonder why Rep. Murphy (D.Ct.) didn’t reveal that when he was interviewed by Jim on WTIC this past Tuesday.
The most “open, honest, ethical government”, according to Speaker of the House Pelosi, and a “new age of transparency”, according to President Obama…you decide.