It was a fitting end to the healthcare debacle/squabble when the House passed the Senate’s healthcare reform legislation in a night session, not that it couldn’t have done it in the normal run-of-the-mill daily routine. The president had already called off his important(?) weeklong trip to Indonesia and Australia, so there was no need for such an unusual circumstance as a night session. However, it was great theater, always a political perk since the networks treated the ordeal the same as a presidential election, with their well-coifed otherworldly anchors in place, their panels of “experts” to explain every nuance to the hoi-polloi, and all the rest.
The fitting-end, of course, was how the bill made it through, i.e., the mind-change (or sellout) of Democrat Congressman Stupak, who had fought the bill on principle, claiming the Senate bill included language that required the government to finance abortions, anathema to Stupak and his holdouts. Coincidentally, of course, an earmark of some $726,409 for three small airports just happened to go toward Stupak’s bailiwick late last week. The cover Stupak presented in a press conference in which he was backed, presumably, by congresspersons sharing his view and also changing their minds, was that the president promised him an executive order (but only after, not before passage, trust being as nebulous as is) absolutely denying any government payout for abortions…as if he could actually do that and make it stick.
The sellout route marked the passage of the Senate bill, also contrived in an “emergency” session on last Christmas Eve, as if that couldn’t also have been done between Christmas and New Year’s, or shortly thereafter. The buying and selling of votes in the Senate process was published/discussed ad infinitim in the media as the citizens were treated to how things are actually done in the august chambers of Congress, such terms as the “Louisiana Purchase” and the “Nebraska Compromise” coming online. The process stank!
Stupak should have kept his mouth shut about that executive order, which just on the basis of the provisions of the Senate bill will be worthless, if it actually is delivered. President Clinton issued an executive order dissolving the ban on homosexuals in the military in his first week in office in 1993. Before the end of the year, Congress had passed a law upholding that ban and trumping Clinton’s executive order, so all Clinton actually achieved was the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, still in force and allowing any homosexual (or any GI wanting a severance) an automatic discharge, no strings attached, whenever he/she wants out.
If Obama actually issues such an executive order he, as a former professor of Constitutional law, will actually engage in disengenuousness (actually outright dishonesty) that defies belief. Since one assumes that Stupak, also a lawyer and in the House in 1993, understands this, he made himself look terribly silly and in the process insulted the voters’ intelligence. Of course, he may think the voters are dumb enough not to see through this, but he may wonder about that in November, although he may be from a district that’s republican-proof.
Since the abortion matter was settled when the House passed the Senate bill, an executive order to the contrary about abortion is already null and void. It’s the law now, stupid, when the president signs. The normal procedure, of course, would have involved a conference committee of Senate and House members to settle the differences between the Senate bill and the one already barely passed by the House early last November (220-215, 218 votes needed at that time). This conference was conveniently bypassed when the House collectively held its nose and made the Senate bill the settlement…a done deal, both protocol and public be damned.
The poop now is that there will be a reconciliation process in which the House’s disagreements with the Senate will be assuaged. Anyone who believes that will happen is invited to buy the Brooklyn Bridge for seventy-nine cents. The tipoff on the Senate’s “promises” is seen in the letter that was supposedly signed to that effect by 51 senators and delivered to the House. The letter was made available to the media but without even one senator’s signature, much less 51. Surely nobody believes there was ever such a letter, not that it would have been worth the paper wasted on it anyway.
Business has always been done like this in Congress, but not in recent memory stretching back a long way have there been dishonesty and conniving to the extent witnessed in the last year. Legislators passed “stimulus” and “cap-and-trade” bills without reading them. It’s doubtful that even 10% of Congresspersons have read either of the healthcare bills, not that the House bill matters now anyhow. Speaker Pelosi probably doesn’t know what’s in the bill and even said publicly that the people would know the bill’s contents when it becomes law. It’s hard to imagine a statement that dumb, but she made it.
The czars in the White House know what’s in the bill. They know that it constitutes a long jump toward the socialism that Obama is intent upon delivering. His most recent remarks lambasting insurance companies give the tipoff on method, to wit, the dissolution of private insurers, driving every individual and institution into the so-called “public option,” which will not be an option at all but a requirement involving penalties for “violations.” The IRS will be the enforcer! As that happens, the government will make all decisions regarding treatment, not patients and their doctors. Unless changed, this means the end of the best healthcare system in history.