Friday, November 20, 2009

Important Health Care Reform Bill Vote Tomorrow in Senate

I encourage everyone to read all 2,074 pages of the Senate Health Care Reform bill if you have the time. It is predicted it would take 34 hours to read this bill not including the required time necessary to understand and analyze it. I personally don’t have the time to read this monstrosity of legislative language, so I look to various places that I trust for analysis.  And then I seek several other sources to verify the accuracy of the information in the first sources.

The truly terrifying part is how this entire process has been rushed.  Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid unveiled his new bill on Wednesday and plans for a vote in the Senate on Saturday.  There is no disagreement, that he is expecting our Senators to vote on a bill they have not read and have not publicly debated.

While most Americans want to see some sort of health care reform, I must ask you, is this really the reform you were expecting?  Are you confident that creating a new government bureaucracy will control costs and perform the intended function better than a free market system?  How sure are you?  Confident enough to saddle future generations with this enormous debt?

If you take the time to read varied analysis of the Senate bill, they all agree they this bill will raise taxes, hurt small businesses, and encourage employers to dump their employees on the government plan to avoid their massive tax increases.  In a time of 10.2% unemployment, can you afford more taxes?  What happens to your job if your employer is confronted with the mandates, fines and taxes in this bill that would go into effect on January 1, 2010?

One of the tricky parts of this bill, that the media doesn't like to address, is the fact that the taxes go into effect on January 1, 2010, but the "health benefit" part of this bill does not begin until 2014.  In order to make the bill appear "deficit neutral", they've front loaded the bill with taxes. What that means is the American people will pay four years of taxes before health care begins – or you pay taxes for ten years and receive health care for only six. But what happens after the first 10 years?  How will they be able to fund  these "benefits" and call them deficit neutral?

The Democrat leaders and President Obama state that we have to pass these bills without taking the time for public debate, analysis or even public reading because our health care system is in such a crisis that there simply isn't time to do so.  If they truly believe that, then how do they explain not starting any benefits for another 4 years?  What about the millions of people who have lost their health insurance when they lost their job this year? 

Another lovely provision added to the bill is a $100 million gift to Louisiana to help their moderate Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu make up her mind to support the bill.  They have also included, in the 17 new tax increases, a 5% tax on all elective cosmetic surgeries, whether covered by insurance or not. The Senate bill also creates a new marriage tax penalty after Congress allegedly removed the previous marriage penalty earlier this year.

I'm sure you've heard by now that new federal health care regulations have been introduced this week that includes limiting mammograms to women over the age of 50 and allowing only one every two years, rather than the current standards set by the American Cancer Society of once a year for women over the age of 40.  This rationing of care for "cost savings" is only a beginning of what to expect under government run health care.

 To secure the last few votes Speaker Pelosi needed for the House healthcare bill, last week she allowed the Stupak amendment to come for a vote.  The amendment, which strips the federal funding of abortion out of the House bill, passed and was included to the House bill immediately before the final vote.  Democratic House Leaders now admit that allowing the amendment was a strategic tactic to secure votes, but assure their voters, they will strip the amendment out of the bill in conference with the Senate.  They are confident that the federal funding of abortion remain in final health care bill

On the Senate side, Harry Reid has created a monthly Abortion Fee on all Americans in the new Government run health care plan. His plan provides for an unprecedented expansion of federally-funded abortion, even though almost 2/3 of Americans oppose the federal funding of abortions.  Don't leave this issue to the Catholic Bishops and pro-life groups.   

There is enough in these health care reform bills that will affect every one of our lives.  We should be paying close attention to the tax increases Congress is passing before it starts coming out of our paychecks and wallets this January, especially in this current economic climate. The deficit was already at an unprecedented high in 2008, and this year it has quadrupled  under the current Congress and President.

These bills propose healthcare for most, but at what cost?

This vote Saturday, tomorrow, in the Senate proposes to create a massive new government bureaucracy that cannot be undone.  I encourage you to take the time to read about the proposals in the links above and the two below, and then call your Senator's office to let them know what you think.  At the very least, they should not be rushing as they are to pass something so large without time for a full and public debate.

The Foundry
American Papist

2 comments:

  1. With due respect, the vote on Saturday is a procedural one to move the bill forward so that there can be a public debate of it on the floor of the Senate. Essentially it is a vote which requires Senators to say, yes, we should now start extended debate of this particular measure or no we should not start debating the bill as it has been proposed. It is a procedural vote related to cloture, which requires 60 people to vote, yes, let's move to the debate phase of the legislative process. It is not a vote on passage of the bill or on directly on its merits. That may not take place for some time yet.

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  2. I should have been more clear in my post. Today, Saturday's vote, is on cloture, a procedural step to move the bill closure to final vote. However, I disagree that you state the vote will simply move to a debate process.
    A vote for cloture is a vote for the Health care reform bill. Senator Reid needs 60 votes to pass cloture today, but only needs a majority to pass the bill. He might not get the 60 for cloture, but he most definitely has the 51 to pass the bill. So, in essence, today's cloture vote is the important defining vote on the bill.
    To shore up my statements, a new study released shows that since 1999, 97.6% of all bills passed in cloture have passed the Senate.

    A vote for Cloture is a vote for this Health Care Reform Bill!!

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