The last push on health care has begun with House Democrats releasing their reconciliation bill, 2309 pages worth, which appears to include language that is eerily reads like the public option is back.
Philip Klein at The American Spectator says its a shell game:
Democrats will send this phantom bill over to the Rules Committee, where it will be stripped, and then they’ll insert in all of the actual changes that they’ve negotiated.
Why all of the theatrics?
Well, under the reconciliation rules in last year’s budget, any reconciliation bill would have to have been submitted to the Budget Committee by October 15, 2009. It just so happens that earlier versions of health care legislation cleared the Ways and Means and Education and Labor Committees last year. So Democrats just dusted that legislation off, and are using that as the vehicle to begin the reconciliation process. That’s why, for instance, if you look through the 2,309 page bill that was released Sunday night, you’ll find a public option, which leadership has indicated would not actually be in the final bill. (Interestingly, the student loan bill is also tacked on at the end.)
Just a "simple up or down vote," remember?
Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) in an op/ed for The Washington Post that there is nothing simple about this process.
This convoluted legislative charade demonstrates how far the Democratic majority has wandered from real health-care reform and cost control, employing any means to achieve political victory.
Through any analytical lens, the legislation will not address the central problem of skyrocketing health-care costs. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that families’ premiums could rise 10 to 13 percent; private-sector actuarial estimates top these already high numbers. The higher costs are driven by federalizing the regulation of insurance, narrowing consumers’ options and reducing competition among providers. The health-care market would be dominated by government programs and the largest insurance companies, operating as de facto government utilities.
Rather than tackle the drivers of health inflation, the legislation chases the ever-increasing premiums with huge new subsidies. Already, Washington has no idea how to pay for the unfunded promises in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security — and creating this new entitlement would accelerate our path to fiscal ruin. When you strip away the double-counting, expose the hidden costs that must be funded and look at the price tag when the legislation is fully implemented, the claims of deficit reduction are as hollow as claims of cost containment.
This legislation includes a range of job-killing tax hikes and controls on all Americans — to fund this new entitlement and to penalize employers and individuals who don’t play by Washington’s new rules. The CBO said last July that "requiring employers to offer health insurance, or pay a fee if they do not, is likely to reduce employment." The mix of mandates and higher costs will drive Americans into government exchanges, with an ever-enlarging number reliant upon taxpayer subsidies for their care. The architecture is designed to give the government greater control over what kind of insurance is available, how much health care is enough and which treatments are worth paying for.
Though this is the first step of Congressional Democratic Leadership and President Obama going all in on health care reform. Fortunately it looks like, according to House Democratic Whip, Representative James Clyburn (D-SC), they don’t yet have the votes.
But a lot of pressure is being placed on Democratic legislators on the bubble by both sides.
But it appears that Democrats are trying to ram this bill through without even voting on it in the House, so that may not matter. As Representative Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the House Rules Committee Chairwoman want to get a rule through that prevent a vote. The Heritage Foundation says that it seems like it will be a done deal.
Sarah Palin writes that Americans must stand against this bill with a stiff spine:
And make no mistake, the Obamacare bill is wildly unpopular. The Democrats’ own pollsters warn of an “unmitigated disaster” for them in November if they don’t abandon their plan and start over with real incremental health care reform. Incredibly, at this point, they don’t seem to care. Speaker Pelosi thinks Congress must pass the bill so that the American people can then “find out what’s in it.” We know what’s in it. We don’t want it. The Democrats will take short-term electoral losses in exchange for long-term radical change of the United States of America. They assume we’ll come to accept this new intrusion of government once we’re stuck with it. That’s why we can’t concede this battle. Americans must stiffen our spines and stand against this action that violates the will of the people with centralized government mandates and crippling costs.
Two ways that you can do just that is to sign the Kill the Bill petition that Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is sponsoring or contact your Congressman and Senators through the Call Congress Now website sponsored by Mike Huckabee. I’d suggest that you call, not write. Melt the phones. If you want to write however you can contact your Representative here and your Senator here.