The US House of Representatives passed a health reform care bill after a final ramming by her Lordship, Nancy Pelosi. At least it’s a start toward something this country has lacked for generations. When quality of health care for the dollar is ranked below over twenty other developed countries, life expectancy is rated 31st in the world, and infant mortality is ranked 37th in the world something has to be done. This, after all, is the wealthiest country in the world!  How can a country with such high moral standards allow over 45,000 people to die per year simply because they did not have insurance? There is no doubt, Harry Truman was right, the USA needs a comprehensive health care program, now! Of course he said that 60 some years ago. The wheels of progress obviously turn slow in this country.

Reviewing the good of this bill is fairly simple considering what has transpired. It’s a start. Congress got off the snide! It does include the necessary “public option”. Again, it’s a start. I’m sure there’s more “good” in this bill, but at over 1900 pages, I would have no idea. Refer to “bad”.

The bad of the bill is it’s over 1900 pages long! Way to long and convoluted for even the members of congress to wrap their brains around it. A major sticking point for me is the excess use of the term “shall” in the body of the bill. Talk about leaving a lot of open doors for fraud, corruption, and different interpretations of the intent of the bill. The big one, however, is where the house democratic leadership took a huge dump on the woman of the United States. The “abortion”  portion of the bill is the most restrictive since the Hyde Amendment from many years ago. If this stays in the final bill, how are women, particularly progressive minded women, going to react and vote in 2010 and 2012? An interesting dilemma for the democrats.

Now for the indifferent. The bill is so long and convoluted that most all Americans won’t or can’t grasp it, therefore, indifference. The extremes on both sides will spout off their opinions and sway their followers, even though nobody really knows the full content of the bill. Senators Lindsey Graham(R-SC) and Joe Liebermann(R-CT) have both declared the bill from the house will not even get a footing in the Senate. So much for open mindedness! Again, nobody knows, including the members of the Senate, the full content of the bill.

Once the Senate gets their bill together, and it goes to conference with the House and their bill, we’ll see what happens. I certainly don’t see a final bill before the end of the year. The Senate republicans will continue to drag their feet, so as to push the final vote and presidential signature over into next year, an election year. Rep. Anthony Wiener(D-NY) has been right all along. A single payer type and/or a model after Medicare would be the easiest way for the government to administrate. Above all, there must be a “public option” to keep a level field of fairness. I do believe tort reform is very necessary as is open competition over state lines for insurance choices. The final bill also needs to eliminate the anti-trust protection the insurance industry now enjoys. Keep the lobbying money from the insurance industry out of  Washington! If Joe Liebermann’s position on this bill isn’t a call for change in this area, I don’t know what is. Thank you.

Cam Obert


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