“I understand about winning elections, because that’s what we do.” “But it should be a competition of good ideas, not erecting barriers to solving the problems of a great nation.”
Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine last Wednesday after voting on the historic healthcare policy.
The last two weeks have seen some of the most progressive and interesting developments in Washington and around the globe.
In a Bill passed by the Energy and Commerce Committee, comprehensive health care is almost here. In a 31-28 vote on Friday, the ECC has come up with a plan to merge two other healthcare plans already on the floor before it goes to chamber. With both the Senate and House in tact, the “all out war” is about to begin on the rights to a public option plan.
The ECC’s plan is estimated to cost lower than the House’s original plan by $100 billion over a decade. Also, businesses with payrolls below $500,000 will be exempt from having to provide health coverage to employees.
Even though this looks good on paper, the surprise came from Republican Senator Olympia Snowe’s (Maine) groundbreaking vote with the Democrats. Snowe was the first to part ways with her loving G.O.P constitutes. When she voted with the Democrats, her take was that a public option alternative be a similar to a Medicare type program for small businesses or employers who can’t afford or provide health insurance.
According to 57 members of the House Progressive Caucus letter sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday; feel the new bill will call for all government run public options be reimbursed by contracts and discussions with the insurance industry. Also, cuts to the legislation’s senior programs would financially put programs like Medicare and other social programs in jeopardy for the next generation.
So for the next year, both the House and Senate will be in the driver’s seat in adopting and creating a comprehensive program that both you and I will have to pay for. What does this mean for the common, everyday person? One, since it will be mandatory we have health insurance, if you choose not to get covered, we’ll be fined and charged a fee by the government. The House calls this a “penalty tax.” Two, the competition will now increase the HMO and insurance health game. Employers who are currently offering health insurance will get break both in their taxes as well as the employees. All workers will eventually get covered, but the choices for coverage will be endless. So, that means the government once again, will create a “insurance czar” to monitor and better regulate the insurance industry. Yes, government will get bigger and we’ll get caught, as always, paying for the bill! I believe we need more insurance and oversight commissions to further regulate the new competition. This will curb the latest trend of insurance companies dropping and practicing discriminatory practices that forbid people getting coverage.
Finally, since I was so boggled down last week, I didn’t have time to write on the Obama Nobel Prize award. So, I think I can somewhat tie this in with the whole healthcare debacle.
The commission that voted on President Obama’s nomination for the prize, voted two weeks before he was elected to office. So, the award was based on his efforts to try to unite and bring peace with America’s friends and foes globally. Since all of the controversy has died down, the President still is under the gun. Not just here, but abroad. The Nobel Prize was awarded way too early in his political career. This country, along with the House and Senate, are fighting for their lives. Healthcare expenses and insurance liabilities are at an all-time high. The war in Afghanistan is mounting for a troop increase costing America over a billion dollars a day. Finally, the economy, although the dow has increased to over 10,000 this past week, still sees homeowners filing for bankruptcy at the highest rate in three years. I’m not even going to hit the latest unemployment numbers.
In my eyes, I’ve seen the President do nothing! Don’t get me wrong, I love the Obama’s. President Obama represents the next generation of sleek and savvy politicians that have hit DC since John F. Kennedy and Jesse Jackson. Jr. But, I haven’t seen him put his foot down to Iran, when the world leaders have the President’s back and has the highest approval ratings to do so! I haven’t seen him aggressive towards Wall Street and greedy CEO’s that continue to bleed our bailout dollars. Yet, Washington continues to slap the wrist on our already failed FDIC and SIPC that have allowed the Enrons, Countrywide and Rock Financials, Bernie Madoffs, and Jeff Skillings ruin the economy and people’s American dream.
I’m not being critical of President Obama, but to give him this award for accomplishing nothing, is a bit much. Come on people, he’s only been in office less than 10 months, and the world is treating him like he’s a god! Let’s support President Obama and his family and let him accomplish his vision. Not give him his desert before he’s even eaten his dinner!
The Revolution Will Be Televised,
The Pace Report