Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Make My Day"

The Republican /Tea Party House has been seated and they have wasted no time in pushing their main agenda..."Repeal Obamacare" ...The breif honeymoon, if there really was one appears to be over. They appear to be serious about doing this. The Democrats in the House and the Senate should get Clint Eastwood on them and say- "Go ahead...make my day."

Just so we are clear, there's no chance in hell that a bill repealing the landmark health care overhaul could make it through Congress and be signed into law. Even if Republicans managed to hold together their new majority in the House(which by some accounts is already splintered), they would face the inconvenient fact that Democrats still control the Senate. And even if a repeal measure somehow sneaked through the Senate, President Obama would veto the thing faster than you can say "pre-existing conditions."

So this little exercise of theirs in tilting at windmills can't even be described as quixotic, since that would imply some expectation of success, however delusional. The whole thing is purely theatrical -- and woefully ill-advised.

Yet These Republicans promise to stage a vote on repeal before President Obama delivers his State of the Union address, expected later this month. "If we pass this bill with a sizable vote, and I think that we will, it will put enormous pressure on the Senate to do perhaps the same thing," Rep. Fred Upton, who will be chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said on Fox News Sunday. "But then, after that, we're going to go after this bill piece by piece." Oh yeah? Keep dreaming!

This sounds fine, until you actually look at the pieces. Already in effect are parts of the reform package that no self-interested politician is going to vote to take away.Not if he or she wants to be re-elected!

No child can be denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Coverage can no longer be canceled when the policyholder gets sick. Insurance companies can no longer impose annual or lifetime limits on payments for care. Adult children can remain on their parents' policies until they turn 26. Policyholders cannot be charged extra for seeking urgent care at an emergency room that is not in the insurance company's approved network of providers.

Those measures alreaady took effect this past September. Another set of provisions became law last Saturday: requirements that insurance companies spend a certain percentage of the premiums they collect on care; a discount on prescription drugs for some seniors covered by Medicare; a rule that gives seniors free screening for cancer and other diseases.

Republican leaders aren't dumb enough to explicitly propose taking all these benefits away.(Or Are they?) But Democrats can, and should, force them to have that debate.

To take another quote from Clint Eastwood- "Hey punk...you feelin lucky tonight?"


Sean said...

You're still doing the damn thing over here I see.

James Perkins said...

Wow...You write hard hitting journalism over here and then write great fiction and poetry on your other blog, plus food reviews..You're a very multi-faceted guy Keith.

Brenda said...

Another Great post Keith..Loved the photo of a young Clint Eastwood. Nice touch!LOL


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