Not quite dead yet, but buried nonetheless, is the 2009 version of healthcare reform. The pathetic version of the so-called “public option” that managed to sneak through the House last week would do absolutely nothing to control costs, even if it managed to survive the Senate, which it has no chance of doing. The onerous rusty coat hanger amendment that the anti –abortion nutbags tacked on to the bill at the last minute will serve as a poison pill to assure that the liberal Democrats will vote the bill down if it ever returns to the House with the “Stupidpak” amendment still attached.
Lieberman and now Nelson in the Senate, both in the thrall of the insurance industry, are threatening to vote with the Rethuglicans to filibuster any bill with a public option attached, even one as weak as the House version. Several House and Senate Democrats have threatened to vote against any bill without a public option, or one with the coat hanger thing. And, of course, no Rethuglicans in either house are liable to vote for the bill, no matter what’s in it.
So, where does that leave us after six months? Exactly nowhere! There appears to be no way that meaningful health care reform will pass this year, and probably not any other. I lay the blame for this directly on the White house! Obama has provided no leadership on this effort, and what’s worse, they gave the game away early, making a horrible deal with big Pharma.
Personally, I think we’re all screwed! Obama is turning out to be a hell of a lot less then I and many others thought he was. One disappointment after another.
Congratulations to those tea-baggers, know-nothings and all you other seventeen per-centers who have apparently been successful in killing meaningful health care reform. In spite of the wishes of the majority of the country, you have managed to remove everything of any value from the House bill, and add that wonderful rusty coat hanger amendment which will make abortion impossible for those women who need it most.
Looks as though even the watered down public option that survived in the House is a non-starter in the Senate, and will probably be stripped, leaving nothing in the way of further price-gouging by the insurance companies. What a country!
Just one thing, though, I don’t want to hear you whining about your liberties’ five years from now when your premiums are over twenty grand a year, and your carrier won’t cover your wife’s cancer treatment ‘cause you used to smoke years ago, and even exposure to second-hand smoke is now a pre-existing condition. Don’t worry, though, you can have her prayed for, and if the bill passes your insurance company will even pay for it!
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has just sent out an email alerting members that both of the health care bills in the Senate contain a capitulation to the Christian Science lobby that allows, in fact requires that health insurers reimburse claims for “religious or spiritual health care.” The blatantly unconstitutional language is buried in amendments (below the fold) to both of the bills currently in the Senate.
The Senate Finance Committee is currently debating Senator Baucus’ America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009. The Kerry-Hatch amendment C-14 titled “Religious Non-discrimination in Health Care” to the Baucus bill prohibits insurers from denying “benefits for religious or spiritual health care” if the “religious or spiritual health care” is “an expense eligible for deduction as a medical care expense as determined by Internal Revenue Service Rulings interpreting section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as of January 1, 2009.”
Senate Bill 1679, known as the Affordable Health Choices Act, which has already passed the U.S. Senate HELP Committee, includes Section 3103 (a)(1)(D). It requires insurers to reimburse for “religious or spiritual health care” that is “an expense eligible for deduction as a medical care expense as determined by Internal Revenue Service Rulings interpreting section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as of January 1, 2009.” Continue reading