As the old adage goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”
That appears to be the case with President Obama’s most recent attempt to resurrect his up-until-now-failed attempt to pass sweeping changes to America’s health insurance and delivery system.
And, what’s more, there are rumors that Congress may try to sidestep the traditional process of bill passage and force-feed the legislation – with a process known as “reconciliation.” It’s a tactic, mostly used only for budgetary purposes, that would wipe out any possibility of a filibuster in the U.S. Senate and wouldn’t require a single Republican vote for passage.
The president’s $950 billion plan does have some positive health care reform measures, including requiring people to have health insurance and banning insurance companies from denying coverage based upon preexisting conditions. It also does not have the so-called “public option” in it.
However, to pay for its nearly trillion-dollar price tag, it contains hefty taxes on America’s job creators. Raising taxes on employers couldn’t come at a worse time as businesses are struggling to pull themselves out of the current economic and financial crisis.
With the new proposal, the Obama Administration appears willing to ignore the pleas of 61% of Americans who support health care reform but want federal policymakers to go back to the drawing board in a bipartisan fashion and start the reform process anew, according to Rasmussen.
Apparently the administration and congressional Democrats are considering passing health care reform through the reconciliation process (avoiding the 60 vote requirement to stop any filibuster in the Senate) rather than the normal process of bill approval. If this were to happen, it would be very unfortunate since people have spoken very clearly that health reform should be rebooted, rethought and most definitely not handed over to the government.