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Senate Passes Health Bill

This year most Americans can add another gift to the list of things we didn’t really want. While fruit cake, socks, holiday themed ties and ugly sweaters have topped that list for decades, the U.S. Senate has placed a new present at the top of that infamous grouping: Health Care Reform.

The Senate passed the measure 60-39 with a pure party-line vote and only one non-voting member, Jim Bunning (R-Ky). This bill began its life as Max Baucus’ Chairman’s mark in the Senate Finance Committee. It has been amended to remove the public option, take out the extension of Medicare, and several changes that make Medicaid require more Federal funding.

Oddly enough, the Democrats are pointing out positives in this bill… that were in the Republican bill. They no longer want to talk about how it controls costs, because it doesn’t (and never did). The method by which the liberals chose to prevent undercoverage for those with pre-existing conditions will simply mean that premiums must go up or that services will have to be rationed.  Certainly, both will occur.  There are no protections in the bill to insure that premiums rise slower than they are today.  There are no mechanisms to do much of anything other than make more Americans reliant on an overbearing central government.

So what does the bill do?  It puts more Americans into Medicaid while failing to remedy a broken medical malpractice mechanism.  This will cause fewer Doctors to choose to work in Rural or underprivileged areas due to increased risk for little-to-no reward and insurance costs that will ultimately outweigh any income from those areas.  This will create a system of have and have-nots that will be fundamentally egregious.

Many Conservatives take solace in the fact that this bill has to be reconciled with the House version before it can make it to the President’s desk.  They shouldn’t.  Not only will that occur, but it will more-than-likely happen in a back room with Reid and Pelosi making all the decisions out of the public eye.  This Administration and Congress have been less transparent despite Obama’s broken promise (that pile is growing by the day).  Instead of an open Conference Committee to reconcile the two bills, C-Span coverage, and public debate, we’ll get shown the bill very shortly before it goes in-front of both houses for final passage.  There won’t be any time for informed dissent because no one will know what’s in the bill until it’s too late.

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