While watching the news this morning it occurred to me how often the health care debate was talked about. In fact, every 10 minutes or so something was said about the so-called health care "reform" bill making its way through the Senate right now. One issue that has really been in the news lately is the artificial deadline that Harry Reid (D- Nevada) has imposed upon his colleagues of passing the bill before Christmas. I find that to be very interesting since Christmas is supposed to be about giving gifts to others, not taking from them. This bill does nothing but take much needed health care from millions of people through rationing and Medicare cuts and, the devastating blow - from our pockets as taxpayers when we so desperately need tax relief. This bill is a travesty on our American system of legislation. In poll after poll, the health care bill ranks far below the economy and creation of jobs, yet our elected officials seems hellbent on passing health care reform that doesn't go into effect for four more years, rather than focusing on the immediate needs of the people - the shrinking economy. This baffles me, because I thought that the reason that we elect leaders is so they can express the will of the masses and are beholden to the constituency that elects them. This is obviously NOT the case in Washington today. The Senators on the left side of the aisle cannot seem to agree on this bill as a group, not to mention that the entire right side of the aisle and Joe Lieberman (D - Connecticut) have nothing but absolute distaste for it. Of course, they do not have a majority so their opinions and votes do not matter at all. The Democratic party leadership is determined to pass it in spite of the 40 Republican Senators disagreement, which represent half of the country's opinions as well.
Looking at the different issues with this bill, one that comes to the forefront for me is the inclusion of federally funded abortions. Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) is opposing his party because of this section of the bill. He is a Pro-Life Democrat from a conservative state and he does not believe that the Federal government should be paying for abortions, like many in America also believe. I am one of those unashamed, pro-lifers and I am in total agreement. It is NOT the choice of the politicians to take my tax dollars and pay for someone else to commit murder! I would not personally pay for an abortion, therefore my taxes should not do so either. I will not accept that blood on my hands. This is a sticking point for Nelson and well, it should be. Even Pelosi allowed the Stupak Amendment to pass in the House. And all this time I thought Reid was the more mentally balanced of the two. This provision should not be allowed in this bill and it is abhorrent that our elected officials are fighting to keep it there. For this reason alone, they should lose their seat in the Senate during the next election.
Another ridiculous section of this bill deals with the over $500 billion in cuts to Medicare. Will someone please explain to me how you can drastically cut Medicare and add millions more people to the plan and not have to ration care? Currently, physicians receive the lowest reimbursement rate for Medicare patients than they do from any private insurance company. A physician cannot build a practice on Medicare and expect to make ends meet. If Medicare is cut more, the reimbursement rate will plummet and physicians will be forced to deny Medicare patients access to their practice. This will, in turn, force Medicare patients to choose from fewer physicians which will amount to rationing of care. The math simply does not add up - more patients + fewer physicians = limited access (rationing). But, once again Congress is determined to pass these cuts even though this scenario is inevitable. This is how they intend to fund the reform bill, on the backs of our senior citizens. These cuts also apply to Tricare, which is the insurance provided to retired military and their families. In actuality, this bill will be paid for with the blood, sweat and tears of those who have served this Nation. What a wonderful Christmas present to give!?
The debate in the Senate has gotten ugly too. Reid is threatening to take away Lieberman's committee chairmanship if he does not vote for this bill and the Republicans are not even being allowed to speak their mind on the Senate floor. Just yesterday, John McCain (R-Arizona) scolded the newest member of the Senate, Al Franken (D - Minnesota) for refusing to allow his colleague Joe Lieberman an extra one to two minutes to complete his statement. This is dirty politics, plain and simple. I guarantee if that had been Mary Landrieu (D- Louisiana)asking for a few more minutes, he would not have been opposed. I realize that the Democrats control Congress with a majority, but there are many states and millions of people that elected the Republicans as their representation and those voices should be heard equally. To ignore them is to ignore millions of Americans and that is simply unacceptable.
I hope that this bill fails miserably in the Senate and that the American people receive a Christmas present they deserve - a legislature that LISTENS to their concerns and follows the wishes of the people. That would be a present worthy of the sacrifices made by so many to keep this nation free and maintain it as the Democratic Republic that our Founders gave us. This "health care reform" bill is the first step towards socialism and that step cannot and should not be taken. We are the last great bastion of capitalism and our system must be preserved. Perhaps, they should consider the words of a great statesman and President. Their duty is simple: to "preserve for our children, this, the last, best hope of man on earth".