UnNews:US health care done, except for posturing
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25 March 2010
Senate Democrats, having lost in January their ability to stop endless debate, induced the House to pass an old version of the bill and then to pass a separate bill to take out some of the sweetheart deals.
The other party returned to its specialty, endless debate. It proposed 29 amendments that Democrats would be embarrassed to vote against. They were, and they did.
The minority's goal was to make the Senate bill slightly different from the House bill. That would require sending the bill back to the House, delaying reform for an entire day. Leading this heroic fight was Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who last year, told a newspaper back home that, "in a perfect world," he would prefer not government-provided health care, but simply mandates on individuals and businesses--that is, exactly what became law. Sen. Gregg has also been adamant about the deficit, making him perfect to rail against the bill's tax increases.
The 29 amendments included a ban on tax-paid Viagra for sex offenders--not that anyone had proposed it--and they all got slapped down. But then, a stickler for The Rules noted that the Senate was required to strip out two sections anyway, and send the bill back to the House.
Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan reported getting death threats from constituents. One tape played widely on U.S. media has a constituent comparing Stupak to excrement. The comparison could not be verified, but as it is clearly a threat on his life, the FBI and Secret Service investigated. All Rep. Stupak did to deserve that was posture for months as an anti-abortion champion, then sell out when the pro-abortion President signed an anti-abortion Executive Order promising not to enforce the pro-abortion part of the law. (Got that?)
The minority party, whose name could not be determined, warns that constituent anger will translate to victory in the general elections in November. However, set against such warnings must be the party's continuing expertise, shown again in the health-care episode even after a stunning win in the Massachusetts by-election, of "snatching defeat from the jaws of victory."
- Alan Fram "Senate will have to return health bill to House." Associated Press, March 25, 2010