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To Conservatives Dismay Liberals Play Let’s Make A Deal

Healthcare reform passes in the Senate along partisan lines.  Not a single Republican Senator supported the bill.  Whatever you think of Republicans, one thing you can say is that when they smell political blood they are ready to transform into the political equivalent of a pool of sharks.  They pulled out all the stops to sink this thing.  They talked about death panels and fiscal irresponsibility and judgment day and President Barack Obama’s Waterloo and all manners of nonsense to keep this bill from becoming law.

The conservatives are trying to tell the public that they were railroaded.  The liberals took over the legislature and refused to budge on any issues.  The Republicans were locked out of any meeting to discuss the bill and therefore could not bring themselves to support any part of it.  The liberals were unwilling to negotiate and were unwilling to listen and it is the liberal’s fault that this bill passed along partisan lines.  So much for Mr. Obama’s promise to reform Washington and reach across the aisle.

At least that’s what they’re saying.  The reality is much different.  In the final stretch, the liberals were making all kinds of deals to pull this bill through its darkest hour.  Massachusetts Senator Joe Lieberman got the public option scratched.  Somebody else got stronger anti abortion measures installed into the bill so anyone who wants their insurance to cover abortion related procedures has to write a totally separate check.  And Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson was able to negotiate a deal where the people of Nebraska do not have to contribute their fair share of funding for Medicaid expansion into perpetuity.  The conservatives are upset over all the deals that were cut to keep the not a Republican majority from falling apart and succumbing to a Republican minority filibuster.  So what do the conservatives mean when they say that the Democrats were unwilling to negotiate?

From what I’ve been able to gather, it looks like the liberals were doing nothing but cutting deals.  In fact, South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham wanted the South Carolina attorney general to launch an investigation to get to the bottom of all the deals that were made in the last few days leading to the historic healthcare reform bill vote.  So if the Democrats were so busy cutting so many deals, why do the Republicans insist on maintaining their claim that they were railroaded?  They can’t have it both ways.

If Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was willing to give the people of Nebraska a pass on Medicaid expansion, it seems pretty obvious he was open to negotiation with anyone who was willing to negotiate in good faith for the bill’s passage.  Therefore, I can only assume that no one in the Republican camp was willing to do any negotiating to pass this healthcare reform.  To me, it appears that no conservative Senator was willing to cross that high profile line in the sand drawn by the collective conservative body.

And the idea that the majority was trying to rush something through at the very last minute is a grand example of intellectual dishonesty at its finest.  This country has been trying to reform healthcare for the past four decades.  The last great attempt during President Bill Clinton’s administration went down in flames.  The political muscle to push something through just wasn’t there and nobody has bothered to do anything about ever since.  That was fifteen years ago.

By some estimates, forty five thousand Americans die every year because of a lack of healthcare.  We are willing to wage war because of what happened on that fateful day on September 11th that wound up killing three thousand Americans.  But we are more than ready to wait and tolerate the annual death of so many tens of thousands of Americans because we don’t want to do anything to rush a healthcare reform bill through our legislature.  These people say let’s wait a little while.  Give it a few more years so we can work out something a little more agreeable.  And while we’re waiting, pay no attention to those people who continue to die because of a lack of coverage.

People know that if they defeat this bill now the political winds of change would loose their steam and would take years to gather again.  Mr. Obama would lose any political momentum on this issue and would never get another opportunity to try again.  No one is trying to rush anything through.  But the legislative process is an ungainly behemoth that is difficult enough to move when there is overwhelming support to get anything done.  It’s downright resistant when there is such solid opposition against changing the status quo.

Personally, like many other people, I don’t particularly care for this bill.  It is my opinion that too many considerations were made to protect the insurance industry making a watered down bill that is only a symbol of anything healthcare reform.  The insurance industry should have been totally removed from the healthcare equation.  Anybody who profits from denying people healthcare should not be involved with reform.  But that’s just my opinion.

Hopefully, this bill will have some redeeming value.  I am cautiously optimistic.  Anything has got to be better than the status of quo of letting the insurance companies have their way with the public.  Their lame promises to always do better sometime in the future have gone unfulfilled for so long that they stopped believing they could do it themselves a long time ago.  We’ve been taken for granted for so long that the only way change was going to happen was at the end of a political gun aimed squarely at their figurative head.

The American public needed each and every deal possible with so much organized opposition to healthcare reform.  And if the conservatives wanted to be part of the process, if they honestly wanted to participate in the reform process, chances are they could’ve cut their own deals as well.  But unfortunately, the only deals that they were interested in was the type of deal that kept the status quo.  And the status quo was no deal for reform at all.  Besides, so many people want to focus on all the backroom deals to get pass healthcare reform.  What about all the backroom deals to assure its defeat?

Sunday, December 27, 2009 - Posted by | Barack Obama, Democrats, Healthcare Reform, Life, Politics, Republicans, Thoughts


  1. Patient goes to doctor and gives him an IOU. Doctor takes IOU to bank and gets his money. Bank records who owes the USA for services rendered. Patient gets to work it off in work camps, Government positions or pay it off at tax time. Why do you people make things so complicated?

    Comment by chris tidman | Monday, December 28, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thanks for the feedback chris tidman,

    But why do you insist on oversimplifying the banking system? Do you honestly expect people to believe that there will be a bank that will give people money based on nothing but an IOU? If that was the case, I’d write myself an IOU for a million dollars, take it to the bank, and voila, I’m a millionaire. I’ll happily go to work at the work camp to pay off my million dollar debt. That actually sounds like a pretty good deal.

    But when everybody gets a million dollars and goes to work at the camp, what would happen to the inflation rate? If everybody has a million dollars, wouldn’t the price of everything go up because there will be so much money chasing goods out there? This is what happens when people simply print money to keep an economy going. Look at what’s happening in Zimbabwe.

    And people will go to the work camps to do what? Smash rocks? Who is going to pay a million dollars for people to smash rocks? Your easy answers are not answers at all.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Monday, December 28, 2009 | Reply

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