Senator Reid: Bring It On Home To Mama

Roses are red,

Blue Cross/Blue Shield are …. well, blue.

Today’s the next step for health reform,

It’s gonna get through!

Count on it.  We will get a health care bill.  Harry Reid has assured us that the bill will have the votes to proceed to the Senate floor for debate.  Mind you, this vote is simply to allow the bill a chance for debate in the Senate.  He announced that it is as good as done.  The vote is scheduled for Saturday, November 21 at 8:oo P.M.  No politician in his right mind would make a statement like that if he didn’t already have the votes.  I do not know whether this legislation will pass with sixty votes on the Senate floor or by reconciliation.  Joe Lieberman has obviously been bought and he says that he no longer will block the bill.

If nothing else, Representative John Boehner’s response to Reid’s bill  has proven to be as void of any intellect or concern for our citizens as were his previous statements.    Once again, Boehner’s loudest and strongest criticism was that the pending legislation is 2074 pages in length.  If this issue of health care reform is not worthy of extensive reading and in-depth discussion, what is?  He has proven yet again to be the personification of an intellectual midget, a rabble rouser and  public official who continues to ignore the needs of his constituents.  Remember: this vote is simply to allow debate on this issue.  What, may I ask, is so detrimental about talking about such a critical policy issue on which Boehner vehemently wants to slam shut the door?  This opportunity to discuss the new reforms would also give the opposition their chance to offer improvements.  Oh, I forgot: the Party of No does not want to make any improvements as they just want to shut down the entire process in the hopes of shutting down President Obama.

Hold on to your hats.  The bill will be far from perfect but it will be a beginning.  For example the public option will be weak and leave many of us wanting.  My astute nephew Joslo had these comments:

A public option is destined to fail if it is not available to most everyone.  It is being set up so that the people who get it will be those people who are more expensive to insure than the general public, which means this narrow public option won’t be able to compete with private insurance.  Private insurance will get the lower risk patients; the public option the higher risk patients.  I think that a trigger for a broad public option is a better choice than the narrow public option that doesn’t need to be triggered.  The irony is that the stronger and more generally available the public option is the cheaper the cost of reform.  Either our elected officials are idiots or there are other issues at play here.  But I would prefer a trigger (one that actually can get pulled fairly easily) for a broadly available public option to what we have now.  Who knows?  It may actually give Olympia Snowe the ability to support the bill and save face.  Then we do not need to worry about Lieberman.  Assuming the rumors are true, maybe there is a  reason that the White House preferred a trigger to an immediate public option.  A narrow public option is destined to fail.  So instead, set up a trigger that would result in a broad public option–one that employers can choose to make available to their employees in competition with other insurance plans.

The trigger is only good if it actually triggers and if what is triggered is a full public option; not the half-assed one in the current legislation before the Senate and the House.

Allow me to add that the proposed weak public option, because it will cover those people who are sicker than the normal population, i.e. those that private insurers have denied coverage, just might wind up being more expensive than private plans.  Ironic, no?  Also, the public option will become the dumping ground for coverage of the poor, i.e. it will be the poor people’s plan, rife with class division and as a result, possibly offering a lesser quality of health care.

Nevertheless, this new legislation will be far from perfect but it is a start in the right direction.  Two items seem particularly relevant in this historic measure.  First as Victor Hugo said, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”  Every advanced, industrialized nation on our planet has universal health coverage.  The time has come for the United States to join the party.  This new legislation is imperative for our own individual well-being and the overall fiscal health.  No one can justify providing universal health coverage for seniors (Medicare) while not providing the same benefits for children and adults.  Even though the GOP was staunchly against the formation of Medicare in 1965, they appear to be its biggest defender today.  Go figure.  Logically, the GOP cannot refuse care for everyone else if they agree to give it to seniors.  That strategy defies logic.  An officeholder would be committing political suicide by voting against the greater good.

Secondly, we have an actual leader in power who is choreographing this bill into passage.  Sure, sometimes President Obama’s behavior seems to lack direction and conviction.  Do not be fooled.  He is the architect of his own agenda and plays his cards exactly as he wishes.  My cousin Roselie, has described so well the President’s style of leadership:

I’ve heard he is a shrewd operator, everything is planned and that he wouldn’t do things haphazardly.   It is said he knows EXACTLY how he wants to play the thing.  He holds his hand close to his vest and is a fantastic player. He is letting the Congress play their role … for now.  Bush made them feel obsolete.  Obama wants to bring them back to a three-tier system.  It’s just what appears as negligence is really strategy, even constitutional strategy which government is supposed to be.

So we currently have an idea that will not go away backed up by a leader with vision and determination.  This is an unbeatable combination.  Health care reform will become reality.

P.S.:

Do I have smart family members, or what?


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One Response to “Senator Reid: Bring It On Home To Mama”

  1. Natalie R Says:

    You really DO have smart family members. Moreover, to add to the prescient, gifted and well articulated message, I just found out l think listening to PBS that poker was the president’s game of choice when he was a fledgling politician in Chicago. It was said he was excellent at it and used the strategies of poker in forming his political modus operandi. I am not a poker player so I don’t know but I have heard that the secret of the game is not revealing your hand but to orchestrate its strengths to lead you to a win.

    If that is so it seems that this COULD be the reason for his enigma at times to me. The goal is winning and apparently at poker he did!

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