Because I’m a masochist, I sat through the first hour or so of the Health Care Summit held at the White House Today.
I also sat through it because (a)my mom is in the hospital and I can only imagine how much she’d need to pay if she had to pay for the care that she’s currently getting. Of course, there’s no accountability in the current system so the jokers who left her in the middle of the floor of the rehabilitation center she was in will not be punished unless we sue ’em, but at least she’s got insurance and (b)I don’t have insurance, which can be kinda tough when you are also a diabetic.
I saw exactly what I expected to see, which was a whole lot of posturing, the talking points that will be used in the 2010 Midterm Elections and a repeat of the 2008 Presidential Election.
(By the way, it ended the exact same way as last time.)
I’ve said more than once that it’s time that President Obama gave up the whole bipartisanship thing because it only works when both sides want to play. Since no one else seems to be able to get this through his thick head, I think that it’s time that Michelle had a talk with him.
But one thing I’ll hand the President is that he realized that the only way he was going to come within 100 miles of getting something done is if he kept the participants in this travishamockery focused, even if it was only for a few minutes.
As the Republicans came at him with entreaties to scrap the bill, complete with visual aides, talking points and the like, the President kept saying pretty much the same thing: “Got a better idea? Bring it! What do you like about the bill?”
He, unsurprisingly, got nowhere.
Now I know for my Republican friends, this is great. They think that we have the best health care system in the world, despite the fact that 30 million people are left out of it. They think that if you don’t have money for health care that you don’t deserve it. And whatever you do, don’t be a freelance writer or someone with a pre-existing condition that might need some financial assistance. We can’t afford to help you, we have wars and unneeded defense contracts to pay for.
Besides, if the Democrats don’t pass heath care reform, the Republicans can use it against them in 2010 and possibly get the one thing that they really want: a return to power and another chance to finish the job of turning the country into a place where the poor and the rich move even further apart.
However for the rest of us, this kinda sucks. Health care needs reforming. There are folks that are going without it. Something needs to be done now. Our economy takes a hit everytime someone has to spend money that they could have spent on something else on something related to health care.
So I personally am hoping that the Democrats realize that they have the majority in Congress and decide that they have had enough of the Republicans obstruction tactics. There’s an option that they can exercise, and it looks like they may decide to do it to get health care reform done.
It’s called reconciliation…and it means that a simple majority gets a bill passed. What’s cool about this is that it also takes some of the power away from those conservative Democrats that have decided tht the insurance companies shouldn’t have to compete with the government or anyone else to provide health insurance at reasonable rates.
What’s not so cool, at least to the Republicans, is that it takes their favorite weapon, the filibuster, out of their hands.
We’ll find out over the next few weeks how things are going to go down in terms of this bill, but it should be interesting.
If nothing else, we won’t have to put up with another travishamockery like this one again any time soon.