I am all for health insurance reform. I really am. And when the senate got the 60 votes over the weekend to make this bill filibuster proof I was happy for the dumbocrats. I am not one of these "uber" leftist who say give me a public option or nothing at all. I understand how the A-merry-can political system works, and I am willing to take the baby steps. Do I want a public option? Of course I do. A government run health insurance plan would drive the cost of health care down for everybody. In fact, if I were King of this A-merry-can world, we would have a single-payer health plan tomorrow. But I am not. the King of the A-merry-can world is money. And right now the insurance lobby and their fat cat friends have damn near all of it. But I digress.
So I am glad for these sixty votes, but I am not happy at how they got there. If what is being reported is true,(the wingnuts are calling it a bribe) Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) cut a sweetheart deal for his home state of Nebraska. Seems they won't be paying their fair share of the contributions to Medicare for a long time to come. He is not alone. Apparently Mary Landrieu from my favorite state, Louisiana, did the same thing. She held out for a cool one hundred million.
Honestly, I have no problem with folks looking out for their home states. (Unless their name is Joe Lieberman ,who has just become a whore for the insurance industry. Wait...did I say just become? Sorry, l I take that back; he has been a whore for them for a long time.) But shouldn't these people be voting their conscience and convictions? If you think health care reform is needed, why hold out to the highest bidder for your vote? The whole thing just stinks a little too much for the kid.
Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) was on one of the Sunday talk shows, and he was talking about how unconstitutional it all was. He argues that 30% of the people he represents in his state are African American, and if Nebraska gets this deal there will be some equal amendment issues to consider. Ooooo kaaaay. Like when was the last time a GOP official cared anything about the equal rights for black folks? Still, there is something to that argument. The one that says that some citizens shouldn't get certain benefits at the expense of others just because their elected official happens to be slicker.
But, at the end of the day, it looks like his O ness might have a nice Christmas present. And he will be able to say that he got some historic legislation past. That will be something for dumbocrats to run on in what will be a tough election year in 2010.
And if what the CBO chief is saying is true; it's a bill that A-merry-cans could find themselves being able to live with in the long run.
" The bill would cost an average of $87 billion a year for the first ten years. It would expand coverage to about 30 million Americans. It is projected to reduce the deficit by $132 billion over the next ten years. Here's the summation from CBO chief Doug Elmendorf's blog:"
I am no economist, but that doesn't sound like a bad deal to me. Certainly not as bad as some of the deals that were cut to get to 60 votes.
*Pic from Jen Sorensen @ Slowpokecomics.com