Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: December 24, 2009


“Health Care Reform” Passes The Senate, Lady Liberty Passes Out

As I and others have been saying when this legislative process began, the Democrats are going to pass something and call it “health care reform”. The absolute best that can be said about this abomination of a bill just passed in the Senate is they’ve managed that.

In every measure possible, this became about politics, not the people. It clearly degenerated from a goal some considered worthy (and others considered beyond the scope of government and wasteful) to simply an exercise in raw power with an aim at producing anything they could label as reform.

Well, apparently we have it. The New York Times reports:

The Senate voted Thursday to reinvent the nation’s health care system, passing a bill to guarantee access to health insurance for tens of millions of Americans and to rein in health costs as proposed by President Obama.

Or course the bill doesn’t provide insurance for other tens of millions (but it does provide fines or jail for them if they don’t get it) – the supposed original purpose of the legislation.  And the NYT doesn’t report that President Obama, on the day that he signs the bill, will break yet another vow about refusing to sign anything that bends the health care cost curve up. In a disgraceful gaming of the system, Democrats used the 10 year window within which the CBO is statutorily required to work (and other machinations) to present a false picture to the American people of the cost of this monstrosity. And when President Obama signs it into law, he will know full well that he’s breaking his word and has set the future of American health care on a steeper path to insolvency.

This bill belongs solely to the Democrats as Olympia Snowe, the Republican most likely to be picked off by Democrats in any effort to make the process “bi-partisan” attests:

“I was extremely disappointed,” Ms. Snowe said. After Senate Democrats locked up 60 votes within their caucus, she said, “there was zero opportunity to amend the bill or modify it, and Democrats had no incentive to reach across the aisle.”

It also made an absolute travesty of the legislative process – a bill concocted in secret by the Senate Majority Leader, unavailable to other Senators until very late in the process and, of course, leaving no time to carefully read, consider or debate what was in it. Bribes for votes were blatantly written in to the bill. As one person noted, when you bribe a public official, usually you use your own money. Harry Reid bribed public officials using our money.

It was a pathetic and disgusting performance by the supposed “greatest deliberative body on earth”. There was no deliberation. Raw politics shoved a grossly costly, freedom limiting bureaucratic nightmare which we can’t afford through based on bribes and politics. Even David Broder wondered how you celebrated this mess, asking “how do you applaud while holding your nose?” Everyone who voted “yes” for this, and especially those who engineered its passage in the manner they did, should hang their head in abject shame. They made a mockery of a system set up to serve the people and instead made it a slave to party politics.

And, as Warren Meyer at Coyote Blog notes, even the silver lining isn’t so shiny:

The bad news: The Democrats are going to pass a half-baked mess of health care insurance changes. Several opponents of the bill are saying there is a silver lining — that this will allow Republicans, who did such a bang-up job when they last controlled Congress and the Presidency, to get back in power. Color me less than excited.

We’ve all been badly served by this government and these political parties. This legislation is a culmination of a decades long process, participated in by both Republicans and Democrats alike, which has essentially turned a liberty loving people into serfs who are answerable too and controlled by an ever increasingly powerful and intrusive government.

Richard Fernandez, at Belmont Club, uses the Detroit and California as the inevitable ends of this sort of “governing” and wonders:

Given the scale of the failures of Detroit and perhaps now of California why is repeating the same mistakes not only inevitable but actually described as being desirable public policy? Maybe it is because we cannot help ourselves. Consider that before the year is out the Senate may have voted in health care bill which a majority of voters, if polls are to be believed, actually detest but which they are going to get anyway. Like the residents of Detroit, we take the handout we know will kill us and do it despite everything.

Yes, like good serfs, we’ll knuckle our foreheads and thank the aristocracy which has just taken more of our freedom and money to use as they wish to use it and reward them by giving them additional chances to increase their power and further erode ours. And anyone who stands up in the shadow of this monstrosity and the process that brought it to fruition and says this is exactly what those who founded this country envisioned is a damnable and contemptible liar.

~McQ