Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Most objectionable provisions of Healthcare bill removed.

This just in: The AP reported that a bipartisan group of Senate Finance Committee negotiators has decided to exclude a requirement many congressional Democrats seek that would require businesses to offer coverage to their workers, the so called "employer mandate." Also the provision for a government insurance option was removed.

This is good news. These were the two most objectionable provisions of the plan. I would prefer that the total plan be scraped and Congress go back to the drawing board and develop a plan based on a modified version of the Healthy Americans Act. Maybe that can now happen.

It is too early to know what the impact of the bill will be with these two provisions removed. They seemed to be the heart of the bill. I suspect that the more liberal members of Congress are not going to be happy. With these two provisions removed, the health care reform will probably do no irreparable harm should it pass. This development is a step back from socialized medicine. The bill still leaves us with higher taxes on upper-middle class people and small businesses, an individual mandate that will force all individuals to purchase insurance or pay an additional tax, federally financed abortions, and a massive increase in the federal deficit. I am not sure what it will accomplish.

While part of what is left of the bill still is objectionable, it appears that it will not be a disaster should it pass. It will not create entitlements and expectations that cannot be undone. This will not be the great overhaul of the American system of healthcare. I don't know what Republicans should do now. If Republicans will vote for it, Obama can take credit for passing a bi-partisan healthcare bill and a much worse bill will have been avoided. It may be time to accept that this is the least bad bill we can get and support it.

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  1. Anything that forces a system on people is flawed.

  2. "...it appears that it will not be a disaster should it pass." Respectfully, I must disagree. What about rationing of healthcare (page 29), government mandates of Advance Care Planning (page 425), govenment mandates for end of life programs (page 427)? To me, if we allow this bill to pass, it will be a disaster of great magnitude. Do not be complacent!


  3. Really I don't understand why America was so into abortion when in fact it is anti-life. Can't the government make some move other than abortion to stop unwanted pregnancies and population explosion? Or should the answer be that so much individual rights or freedom enjoyed by teens be cut a little if only to serve the purpose of controlling their sexual behaviors?

  4. Kim,
    With a Democrat in the White House and both houses of Congress controlled by Democrats, they can pass anything they want. Republicans can’t even filibuster. I agree that what is left of the bill still makes it a bad bill, but if a health care bill passes that does not have an employer mandate or government option, then I will consider it a victory. Face it; what we have now is not all that great. Medicare is not sustainable. Health care costs are rising much faster than the cost of living. And, it is true that the number of people losing their insurance is increasing. What is before us is not the answer but the status quo is not acceptable. Something is going to chance. We Republicans did not make the changes that needed to be made when we had the votes. Republicans can stand on principle and we can get an absolutely terrible bill or we can compromise and get only a bad bill. Without those two major provisions, the bill does not transform or overhaul healthcare, it just makes it a little more worse. It does not create entitlements that can’t be undone. Sometime you need to know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em. We are out of aces.
    If this bill passes,no one will be happy and then when Republicans are stonger we can again look at real reform.