Big Government or Mafia?
Hard To Tell
By Carolyn Cormey
These days, on Planet DC, if you are parta "da-Family" and go along wid-da-Big-Bosses, you get your Earmarks, you get your perks and you get full funding from your political party for your next re-election campaign, along with promises to host large fund-raisers from corporations and special interest groups in good-standing with "da-Family" inner-circle, who also sit at the table. BUT ifa-ya-crossa "da-Family" and get outta line with "da-Family's" political agenda . . . . . . ya-get WACKED and "da-Family" takes a contract out on you (or from you). This is exactly what happed to the health insurance companies and the Chamber of Commerce who used to sit with the inner-circle at the table with "da-Family" and da-current-Big-Bosses, President Obama and the Democrat Majority Party Leaders.
At the table, "da-Family" did some screw-twisting to the not-so-innocent insurance companies, made some deals and gained some significant premium and coverage concessions by promising; to muscle everyone, (young and old) into buying medical insurance (by threats of large fees or penalties) so that there would be enough premium money coming in from the young n' wells to balance the money that must be paid out when each of us becomes a sick n' old. Insurance companies agreed that this balance of young and old would generate enough premium revenue so that they could insure and continue to insure all of us who have lengthy illnesses or preexisting medical conditions. The insurance companies were happy with the deal and therefore the Chamber of Commerce was happy because their employer members would be able to count on more stable and perhaps even lower premiums for their employee health insurance.
For a brief time "da-Family" was also and happy with the deal made with their new best-friends, the health insurance companies . . . until the young n' wells began to make a huge racket about being forced to buy insurance on threat of huge penalties that would be levied through tax returns. "Da-Family" began to quietly reconsider because, after all, the young n' wells were future voters and perhaps WACKING them was not a politically good idea SO "da-Family" simply decided to quietly renege on their side of the deal with insurance companies and significantly lowered the penalties s the young n' wells would be required pay to Big Government for not getting insured. The young n' wells could now choose not to pay the more expensive premiums to insurance companies until they got sick AND at that time, insurance companies would still be expected to honor their side of the original agreement and provide the, now sick, young n' well with health insurance coverage without consideration of preexisting medical condition . . cause only "da Family" can make da changes inna-da-deals to benefit "da Family."
When insurance companies and the Chamber of Commerce had a problem with the one sided changes, they politely tried to point out the obvious - that without stiff financial penalties, the young n' wells would not buy insurance until they got sick. Without the premiums of the young n' wells, there would simply not be enough revenue generated to cover payouts for the medical care needs of the sick n' olds, including those with preexisting medical conditions AND enough revenue to also pay the billions in fees Congress levied on insurance companies to help pay for this health care reform AND enough revenue to provide acceptable profits to investors. This did not set well with "da-Family" who demanded the insurance companies comply with their side of the original deal, regardless of the changes "da Family" made to their side of the deal and when this wasn't resolved their way, "hit-men" were contracted to go out and WACK private health insurance companies and the Chamber of Commerce, to make them the fall guys for everything that is wrong with every aspect of our health care.
Senator Max Baucus, one of the Democrat Majority Party Consiglieres in charge (and control) of this health care legislation, is also the Chair of the Senate Finance Committee that held hearings and ruled on nearly 500 proposed amendments. When Max finally called an end to considerations and scheduled the Committee final vote . . . . it turned out that they were not actually voting on a Bill, they were voting on about 223 pages of notes that were made by Max and his pals. Max gave his notes to the Congressional Budget Office to shuffle through and the CBO came up with some cost estimates of around $870 Billion, loosely based on Max's notes. With these CBO estimates and 223 pages of notes (given a snappy name, "The Chairman's Mark,") Max called for the final Committee vote on 223 pages of notes, which passed with a single Republican vote joining all Democrats! Immediately after the vote to pass Max's notes - Max and pals went into a secret room and behind closed doors turned those 223 pages of "trust me" notes into a 1,502 page bill that was already considered passed by the Committee vote on Max's notes! This takes not reading the bill to another level, US Senators voting to pass a bill that is not even written yet!
Our own Senator Bill Nelson voted against an amendment that would have required Max's notes to be turned into a real bill AND would have required the real Bill to be "scored" by the Congressional Budget Office for more accurate cost estimates AND would have required that the real 1,502 page bill with CBO cost estimates be made available on the Internet for 72 hours (for the Senate Committee Members and all of us to read) before the final vote could be called BUT apparently Senator Nelson and the other Democrat Senators on the Senate Finance Committee thought that Max's "trust-me" notes were as good as a real bill to vote on. Huh? Are these guys for real?
Trust-Me-Max has repeatedly told all of us that there are not the votes in the US Senate for a "Public Option," but now, all of a sudden, after securing a single token Republican vote from a Committee member dead-set against a "Public Option," Trust-Me-Max now tells us there actually may be enough Senate votes to pass a Public Option after all! The insurance company WACKING campaign has helped all of us to understand that every single problem we have ever had with our health care has been the fault of the greedy private health insurance companies AND a Public Option MUST be part of the solution in order to keep them honest and competitive.
Creativity abounds on Planet DC and to get this health care legislation passed, da-Big-Bosses are now considering "Trigger" or an alternative to allow individual states opt in or out of the Public Option BUT (shhhhh, don't tell anyone) after the bill passes, threatening to pass on higher Medicaid costs to states that opt-out, will quickly force them to opt-back in. If the final Bill passes with either a Trigger option or a state "opt-out" provision, there will be a Public Option sooner, rather than later because, once passed, the outcome of that game is fixed. Insurance companies have been saddled with billions in fees to pay for this health care reform AND as soon as these insurance companies cannot deliver health insurance coverage for everyone (including those with pre-existing medical conditions), at the lower premium goals set for them, "da-Family" is all set to pull the "Trigger" to jump-start the not-for-profit Public Option that does not have to pay billions in fees AND has unlimited access to all the money we have OR they can borrow OR print! Once the door is opened to the possibility of a Public Option, we are on the track to the Single Payer Universal Health Care system, where we can all be controlled and managed "for our own good," which the ultimate goal of "da-Benevolent Family," that will continue to protect their own private health insurance options.
Senator Nelson's vote on this legislation is pivotal. Any version of this Bill that contains a Public Option or alternatives that lead to a Public Option, or give government control of our health care decisions, will be partially funded by about $500 Billion in cuts to Medicare/Medicaid programs, while at the same time qualifying millions more people to receive Medicaid benefits. Write a letter and share your opinions with Senator Nelson. Mail it to Senator Bill Nelson, 716 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510-0903. If not you, then who?