Harry Truman - HCR Initiator

Winter has returned to the northern plains today, this is good news for those living in the lowland areas or flood plains of the Red River of the North, the Minnesota River, and of course the mighty Mississippi. The very cold temperatures today will refreeze and slow the thaw some, hopefully with a better result flood-wise. After enjoying the past nice spring-like days in my yard, its back inside to avoid the high winds and snow flurries. I was able to take down a rather large tree in my backyard this week that casts shade over my pool in the mid-day hours. I got it all down and brushed out, but can’t remove the pile from the yard yet because the snow piles are still too deep and are blocking my gates to the front! Oh well, maybe the next thaw will take care of it!

I will hunker down instead in the house in front of the TV to watch the Minnesota Gophers first round game in the NCAA tournament. I will enjoy a lunch of warmed up corned beef and cabbage and cheer for the old maroon and gold. Soon after the game, I will head out to Saint Peter Minnesota to the campus of Gustavus Adolphus College to watch the semi-finals of the NCAA Division III Womens Frozen Four hockey tournament. Our friend Danielle Justice is in the nets for the Gusties, so must cheer her on!

Based on the number of “reads” and comments I’ve gotten the past few days, obviously people are paying attention to what’s happening in Washington. Looks like the vote to move the Health Care Reform Bill to the Senate for reconciliation will be Sunday afternoon. I think Americans are aware there is something going on, but due to the flooding of false information into and by the media from one side and the poor management and foot-dragging by the other side, nobody really knows what the hell this is all about.

The Democrats and the President screwed up royally by thinking the Republicans should be involved equally in the process, therefore a nice bi-partisan bill could be written into law. The President wasted over six months trying to get McChinless, Boner, and Can’tor to be reasonable partners. What President Obama couldn’t figure out is they despise him. They hate acknowledging he is even the President! The Republican track record in the past fourteen months is obvious. More filibusters in one year than the Senate had in the entire 20 years of the ’50’s and ’60’s. Now over 70 judicial nominations being held up, at one time it was over 100, several office appointments for top governmental offices are being held up, and they will not get involved in the job they were elected to do, govern the country. In the private sector, most of them would have been fired a long time ago for lack of production! But, that’s their constituents problem. If my Congressman or Senator was performing as poorly as these lazy representatives are, I would demand they be replaced with someone who has the desire to do the job, governing the country.

I do not like the make up of this bill. I believe it’s a sell-out to the insurance industry and it still cuts too many people out. But, as my allies tell me, it’s a start. On the plus side of the ledger in this bill are the instant coverage of all children in the U.S. that are currently not covered. By the year 2014, 95% of all Americans will be covered by health insurance. The insurance companies can no longer turn away customers with pre-existing conditions. Small business owners will no longer have the heavy burden of carrying employees on a benefits plan. These people will get their insurance from large pools at a much lower rate than their employers could offer. Is it perfect? No. But the fact that offering primary medical care from hospital emergency rooms will no longer happen, the patients will receive better care and the rest of the country’s people will pay lower insurance rates as a result of the hospitals not jacking their fees to outrageous levels to cover all the charity cases coming through the emergency room doors. Another benefit to this bill is the reduction of the deficit. The CBO, Congressional Budget Office, scored this a winner for the tax payers of the country. The first decade after it becomes law, the deficit will be reduced by some $ 140 billion, and the second decade will produce an incredible $1 trillion in slashing of the deficit. The Bush Prescription Benefit Bill, while having great intentions, was scored by the CBO to add
$300 some billion to the deficit, the first Bush Tax Cut of 2001, the CBO scored that as an addition to the deficit $700 some billion, and the second Bush Tax Cut was scored by the CBO to add $394 billion to the deficit! These were all additions to the deficit, but the Republicans wasted no time in voting for them. Now they have a bill before them that can be very beneficial to the health and well-being of the country, promote job growth and wage increases because the business budget breaking health care benefits that employers provide will no longer hold them back, and the deficit will begin to shrink as a result!

The downside to this bill is it is a gift to the insurance industry. Because, contrary to what the hysterical fools from the right will tell you, this is not a government-run program, but a legal directive to the medical care industry of how they must change. Where the bill is lacking is there is no agency oversight for costs or billing to the customers/patients. This was another sell-out to big insurance. The insurance industry will still have anti-trust protection, the only industry in America besides major league baseball to enjoy this carte blanche billing and profit-making set up. I would like to see cross-state selling competition, but that would have to mean the formation of another federal buracracy to over-see it. I believe firmly in caps on medical malpractice suits. Now before you republicans cheer for this one, unlike what the right-wing has been saying, this really does not add significantly to the problem. The biggest problem with health care costs is an aging public. The older we get, the more frequently we need medical attention. As we live longer, primarily due to advances in medicine, there is a price tag. To get a clear encapsulated view of what and what not this bill covers, google The Rachel Maddow Show from last night or the night before, she puts in a real simple pro and con type list with support from both sides of the argument. Sorry I couldn’t give you the exact day, but I’ve caught “March Madness” and it will continue right the final putt of the Masters.

Have a wonderful weekend and I hope all your picks for the first round games work for you, I’ve already missed 5 in the first round, but I picked two that many other people I’m sure didn’t! Thank you very much for reading my commentaries, and if you like them, please spread the word. I like lots of input, pro or con, it’s invigorating!

Cam Obert



  1. Dan Bennington Says:

    Cam, again your one sided thinking has left out the possible obvious. Maybe the republicans just don’t think the bill is good.

  2. elitist Says:

    Well, according to what I have heard — this bill is the EXACT same bill that Mitt Romney championed and passed when he was governor of Massachusetts. Oh, AND Mitt Romney is a REPUBLICAN. Scott Brown, another Republican, voted FOR that same health care when he was in tthe State Legislature in Massachusetts. Gosh, you don’t think it’s a ploy on the Republicans to make Obama fail do you? LOL After all, the Republicans had the White House for 8 years and control of Congress for 6 years. Why weren’t they addressing the health care crisis in this country and introducing bills to help reform our health care system. Say, you don’t suppose they want President Obama to fail do you?? Oh, that’s right, I already asked that question. LOL

  3. Vikings Fan Says:

    First of all- I’d like to say that I completely agree that we need this thing to pass as a start in the right direction. We ARE the only developed nation in the world to not provide healthcare for all of its citizens. Also- you could look at it as an investment for the government. The healthier you keep the majority, the longer they will live, the more taxes they will pay, the more it will benefit the government. One of the negatives of the bill is that you will have to carry a minimum level of health care or you’ll have to pay a penalty. The penalty increases progressively each year. I have had trouble finding out just what the minimum suggested level of healthcare is and what it entails. Perhaps this would be a good thing to investigate.

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