If you watched the debate yesterday in the Senate Finance Committee on the Health Care Bill, it became abundantly clear that some of our Senate leaders are not very bright. When obvious flaws in their logic against a public option was pointed out, they just stammered that it was a government run program and would eventually, like the blob, eat Chicago. Listening to Senator Grassley explain why it might be good now, but bad later and then having to say Medicare is good was like being Alice in Wonderland. They were making no sense whatsoever.
Now conservative Democrats took one of two tacks. The first one from our spineless and obviously bought chairman was that although he was for a public option, he had to be against it because he didn’t think it would get 60 votes. Well, not if you are not going to vote for it. This also made absolutely no sense. Let me vote for a bill that I think is wrong because I think it will pass?
The other tack was that I have to be against this because a government program would force Medicare reimbursement rates on rural providers and these rates are too low for them to survive. Now this one has a shred of truth, but strained at best. If the rates are too low, then raise them in rural communities. Ah, but therein lies the rub. This program has to be revenue neutral so where does the additional money come from? How about from the funding for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan? One has to ask themselves, if the present system continues, what is the cost to the government as health care costs spiral upward out of control. This is truly a head in the sand approach if one is to take it on face value.
So one has to wonder where is the Democratic anger? We now know that 65% of the population wants a public plan and that includes those populations that these Conseradems represent. After the hearing and the defeat twice of a public option, here were all the Democrats putting a happy face on the situation and saying stupid things like we never having gotten this far before. Sort of like any bill, even a bad bill is a real step forward. Harry Reid, the Democrats’ bumbling leader, has indicated that he is not sure whether the final bill will contain a public option. And of course where the hell is the President, off to Copenhagen to fight for the Olympics in Chicago?
Maybe I am missing something and there is some grand strategy to all this, but I doubt it. I think Democrats may be on the verge of committing political suicide as they destroy the best opportunity we have had for real reform. Where is the discipline? Why not say to Democrats that if you want to keep your chairmanships, and you want to stay in the Party then you will vote against a filibuster and then we will allow a real public option with teeth to be voted on? Then majority rule will be reinstated in our government and maybe we can get something done.
I think there is a gathering anger out there that will only get worse if the Democrats fail to pass real heath reform. It would be nice if we could see that anger now, because it might wakeup a few who are on the fence. Remember the real, but totally irrational anger from a minority this summer that changed the course of the debate. How about some real anger based upon real issues for a change?