On Planet DC They Have Quacking Horses
By Carolyn Cormey
But when you live anywhere else, if it has feathers and quacks, calling it a horse does not make it one. There's been lottsa name changes and re-labeling that's been happening lately on Planet DC. Here are just a few. "The Stimulus Bill" is now "The Safety-Net Legislation." "Cap & Trade" is now the "Pollution Reduction and Reinvestment Program." "The Bailout" is now the "Rescue Plan." "Sanctions" are now "Pressure Tracks." "The War on Terror" is now "The Overseas Contingency Plan." "The Government Option" became "The Public Option" which is now being re-tooled to a friendlier (more obscure) name, "The Community Health Insurance Option." Quack, Quack.
The Health Care Legislation has been named and renamed so many times that none of us is certain about what the current name of this bill is! The various titles have had great words in them like, "America," "Affordable," "Health," "Care" "Choices," "Options" and "Reform." When these and other wonderful words were collected into evolving trial-titles for this bill AND none of these titles warmed our hearts towards this health care legislation, our clever legislators next decided that perhaps fear would be a better motivator for gaining our support. Our Legislators decided that fall-guys were needed to take the heat (away from them) for our current health care predicament - so - they renamed insurance companies as villains.
Our Legislators and President continue to re-affirm "no tax increase for those making under $250,000," - BUT - this Bill spells out "penalties," "fines" and "fees" that will have to be paid out of our pay checks/retirement checks or in added costs passed on to us by drug companies, medical device manufacturers and insurance companies who will be forced to pay substantial fees to offset the costs in this bill.
Our Legislators and President continue to re-affirm that "We can keep the insurance we like" but the insurance that many of us like is, "Medicare Advantage" a insurance plan that this Health Care Bill either eliminates or significantly dismantles. We cannot keep the private or employee health insurance we like because our employers will find it far cheaper for them to pay the fine alternatives written into this health care bill, rather than to pay higher premiums they will have to pay for our health insurance that insurance companies will have to pass on to offset the high fees this Bill forces them to pay to continue to insure us! Do you suppose our Legislators might just know that the fines they levy on Insurance companies through this Health Care Bill - will give a significant competitive edge to the "Public Option" or the government-run local insurance co-op (same thing) because these government-run programs will not be burdened with the high fees that the insurance companies will be forced to pay while also being required to provide greater insurance coverage and lower premiums??? Do you think that this will put many insurance companies out of business, propelling us into the Universal Health Care Single Payer System which is the ultimate goal, freely stated by the Democrat Majority Party Leaders?
Our own Florida US Senator Bill Nelson sits on the Senate Finance Committee, one of the two Senate Committees that are responsible for marking-up, amending and collecting costs for this legislation. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated costs of around $829 Billion for the Senate Finance Committee version of Health Care Reform over the next 10 years, around $450 Billion of these costs pulled from Medicare/Medicaid. However, in collecting estimates of costs for this Bill, Senate Leaders instructed the CBO to begin their 10-year cost calculation this year, when the tax/fee revenues begin while in actuality the new Health Care Program does not even begin until 2013, so this 3 + year lull in the 10-year program cost calculation….. do you think that this just might present a somewhat lower 10 year cost projection? Isn't it amazing that we won't really begin to feel the pain this legislation inflicts on each of us until 2013, a year after President Obama (and oh yes - Senator Nelson too) runs for re-election? Perhaps this is merely a coincidence?
Tuesday, October 13 - the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to vote to pass their version of this Health Care Bill and Senator Nelson with his political party leaders as he usually does in tight votes where his vote is needed. We aren't certain about what will be in this Bill at the time it is voted on because Senator Nelson also voted with his fellow Democrats to defeat an amendment (lost by a single vote) that would have required this Bill be made available for 72 hours for all of us to read before it was voted on. What we do know is that immediately after the Senate Finance Committee passes their Bill, the Democrat Leaders will go behind closed doors to combine it with the far more expensive Health Care Bill containing a "Public Option" that was passed by the Senate Health Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
All day Monday October 12 - I continuously tried to call Senator Nelson's Washington DC Office as well as each of his eight other offices throughout Florida, offices that we maintain for him with our tax dollars. On the day before his vote that is so very important to seniors and all Floridians, the phones in every one of his offices were either unanswered or voice mails were full, not unusual at all during the week or days leading to votes where his constituents feel strongly against the position held by his political party leaders. If any of us was fortunate enough to even get through to reach his recorded message, before we were either transferred to a voice mail that was already full, we would hear Senator Nelson thank us for our call, telling us that he is interested in hearing from us . . . Quack Quack.
The Committee votes are all done now as you read this. There is now a little time before the next vote. You have time to give your opinion. Call Senator Nelson through the Senate at (202) 224-3121 or www.contactingthecongress.org to find all his contact information throughout Florida. Better yet - you have time to send him a letter through the US Mail!
Return to Current Edition