Very few people know that the sausage business was started by an ex-senator who learned everything he needed to from his career in The Senate. Including rolling in contributions from rats into the final product.
So now that The Senate is chopping up and rearranging the health care bill, what will it look like when it is finally put up for a vote? Almost unbelievably, talk is now common about killing the private option in the Senate…again! They are talking about going back to non-profit co-ops, triggers and just sending Band-Aids and Neosporin along with everyone’s income tax refunds. Once again, all bets are off, forget the bills that were passed in committees, they’re old news, this is all about watching sausage getting made.
And out of all the slicing and sewing together of all these different proposals, will the Health Care Bill emerge from the Senate as a Frankenstein, roaring angrily at its own hideous composition and throwing the most vulnerable citizens down the well (“Oh dear. Nothing left. What shall we throw in now?”) ?
What if there is a mandate for all Americans to buy health insurance but no cost controls or public option? Should the bill be supported and passed?
There is now talk about an amendment to lower the age for Medicare and allow people down to age 55 or 60 to buy their way in. Not a bad idea at all but where were these people when this all started out? Imagine how easy this all would’ve been to just say, “We’re going to open Medicare for all with a low buy in option that will actually bring more money into Medicare!”
But no, Dems couldn’t be that straightforward and focused. Single payer health care is scary unless applied to all seniors, the poor, the military, convicted prisoners, suspected terrorists, etc.
The one thing to watch for is if there is a public option in any form in the Senate Bill. If there isn’t, the Public Option is dead and will be removed in Reconciliation with the House bill. If there is some form of a Public Option, it could be revised in huge ways in Reconciliation to be more robust…and would only need a 51 vote majority in The Senate.
And what about the abortion issue? Will the Senate Bill contain a provision basically preventing what is a legal procedure in this country through financial blackmail, as the Stupak bill did in the House bill? It’s hard for me to imagine that will be the case or that Dems will reconcile the bills and leave that in…or there will be hell to pay (though you do need to get a pre-approval from your insurance company for hell to be paid under your current plan).
Lastly, will Obama be forced to make a decision between signing a bad Frankenstein-like health care bill that ultimately does nothing to reduce the health care costs for most Americans and provides no option to the greedy insurance industry or by not signing it, be labeled a failure?
Or, as Pres. Obama promised, will he indeed sign a bill that brings down the cost of health care for all Americans?
Stay tuned for the sequel, “Frankenstein v.s. Dracula and other blood-sucking Health Insurance CEOs”.