Friday, December 18, 2009

Close your eyes and vote

It's hard to believe that the Senate is cramming through legislation that will affect one-sixth of the whole U.S. economy and nobody knows what's in the bill:

With the clock ticking down on health care reform, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has until Saturday to strike a 60-vote compromise if Democrats hope to meet a Christmas Eve deadline - but the obstacles kept piling up Thursday.

Reid still had no legislative text and no cost analysis to release.
That seems like a rather large obstacle (no CBO score either). Which begs the question: what's the big rush? Why must this legislation get passed in December instead of January or February, especially when most of the provisions of the proposed bill don't go into affect until 2014? As Jennifer Rubin notes, every day that ticks by reveals a new low in popular support:

Time, of course, is the kryptonite of health-care reform, the one phenomenon that disrupts the hype and pressure on lawmakers to vote on something, anything, and do it right now. It forces lawmakers to reflect and to worry (Sixty percent of the voters in my state oppose this?), and it reveals that the only thing ReidCare has going for it is an illusion of urgency.
I strongly suspect that the rank-and-file Democrats don't want to pass this awful legislation on a party-line vote. There's now strong incentive for at least a couple of Democrats to say: "hey, let's slow down, and do this right."

Extra - Everybody hates it.

And now this - Politico: "MoveOn opposes Senate bill." Uh-oh.


Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe that the Senate is cramming through legislation...and nobody knows what's in the bill...the hype and pressure on lawmakers to vote on something, anything, and do it right illusion of urgency.

Let's rename it the Patriot Health Act.

Nigel Tufnel said...

The health care/insurance industry is playing both sides in this fight. They have a (short term, at least) fiduciary responsibility to keep in place the profitable system that leaves all of us paying more and more for less and less.

The same political/regulatory dynamic that led to the recent economic collapse will lead to a collapse of the health care system. When this happens the answer will be predictable: some companies will be 'too big to fail' and the government will take big piles of our money to bail them out. This will be the answer regardless of which of the current political parties happens to be in charge.

Kool-Aid drinkers on either side cut and paste whatever makes them feel better about their team, yet the effluent that flows out of Washington DC smells the same regardless of which party is in charge.

It is politically convenient for Republicans to 'take a stand' against this health care reform effort, but what happened when the GOP had the White House and control of both houses of Congress and real conservatives were needed to reign in runaway budgets and prevent elective wars?

Ideology is dead and needs to be resurrected. It is time to stop pretending that either political party represents anything but the interests of lobbyists and the pursuit of political power for its own sake.

The citizens of America do have the final say: their vote. But the public is so conditioned to view everything through the Republican/Democratic prism that people are fooled into thinking they have no options. Democrats will continue to vote in whatever knuckleheads are in their party because they can't vote for a Republican and vice versa. Meanwhile, Rome burns.

Eric said...

I agree with what that guy said with the following clarification: the Tea Party (whatever that is) is now more popular than the GOP or the Democrats.


We all live in the Age of Tea now said...

That poll result that showed the teabaggers as having more support than the Dems and Reps is HUGE, absolutely staggering.

I do not exaggerate when I say that this is the most significant game-changer in American politics since H. Ross Perot.