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HCR 2010 March 9, 2010

Posted by ev0rev in Politics.

I’ve been following the recent debates over health care reform for some time now.  There are plenty of aspects I don’t understand and I’ll be the first to admit it.  The issue is complex and can be very emotional.  Maybe I can have some rather glaring inconsistencies clarified on my behalf.At this point, I believe almost all of us agree that health care reform is important and it is necessary.  We may quibble over specifics, such as how important reform is in relation to other issues, but the need for change remains true.

I find it somewhat objectionable that the administration campaigns on a platform touting economic and job recovery and then shifts focus onto such an inflammatory and controversial issue such as health care reform.  I think I’m in the majority when I submit that our attention, as a nation, would be better served staying true to the original plan of helping this nation emerge from recession.   Sure, there are signs that recovery is taking place.  But the main concern of the typical American citizen remains stagnant…jobs.

Even if we are to assume that recovery is underway and jobs are on the upswing, is the need for health care reform RIGHT NOW appropriate?  Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of watching intelligent debate from both sides of the aisle regarding health care reform.  Maybe I’m naive, but I was encouraged by what I saw as a candid discussion that outlined differences as well as common ground. Imagine my shock and horror when immediately following those debates (not 15 minutes after their conclusion!) Nancy Pelosi stood in front of the cameras and emphasized how we, the American people, demanded action immediately.  I was stunned.  I wanted to scream out at her, “No!  Take a couple of weeks… maybe even a few more months.  Get it right!” but evidently I was in the vast minority.  Evidently the need was so great, so urgent, so pressing, that two days later the President himself backed a process for pushing the reform bill through the Senate that he had previously indicated he would never condone.

Reconciliation is a process that allows a bill to be considered without the threat of filibuster.  It was intended as a means of passing budgets and, to be fair, had been used by previous administrations to get contentious bills through that might not have survived otherwise.  The difference in this case, however, is that the reconciliation process was never intended for such far reaching items.  Senator Byrd, one of the principal sponsors of the original reconciliation process had reservations about the bill being subject to reconciliation, stating: “I continue to support the budget reconciliation process for deficit reduction. The entire Senate- or House- passed health care bill could not and would not pass muster under the current reconciliation rules, which were established under my watch.”.

This whole health care reform bill seems to have taken on a nasty and decidedly bipartisan tone.  Republicans seem entrenched in opposition to forward progress while Democrats seem determined to shove this down the throats of the American people despite polls showing it lacks real support.So my questions are simply, why the sense of urgency?  Why now?  Do we not have more urgent issues to deal with at this moment?  Should we not be investigating fraud/waste/abuse in our current health care system before looking to reform?



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