“There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. . . And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Let them come to Berlin. Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us.” — President John F. Kennedy, June 1963.
Let them come to Capitol Hill. That is how I would respond to anyone who claims there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats. The stark contrast is readily apparent in today’s debate on health care reform. The announcement this morning by Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) means Obamacare now has a 60 vote filibuster proof majority. The bill has not yet passed the Senate or the upcoming House-Senate conference, but it is now difficult to imagine how we can win.
The Obama Administration has won a great victory. Every Senate Democrat is supporting the President and every Republican is in opposition. Many people complain about RINO’s (Republicans in Name Only), but I hope they will remember today. Lawmakers such as Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) have disappointed us in the past, but they voted on the other side when we did not need them.
We needed all of the moderate Republicans on health care, and every one of them promised not to provide the crucial vote for Obamacare’s victory. Senator Snowe had four private meetings with President Obama on health care. Her colleague Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) also visited the Oval Office and received over $300 million for her state in exchange for supporting the President.
Senator Snowe could have gotten more, but despite heavy pressure all of the moderate Republicans refused to cross over. I watched Snowe in the Finance Committee and she obviously wants to vote for some kind of reform bill. She is a Republican however, and has acknowledged the present bill is fiscally irresponsible and poorly designed. I am definitely a conservative, but now I sure wish we had one more moderate Republican in the Senate to defeat the Obama agenda.
Senators have declared their position on a bill that very few people have seen. No one should die because the government rations health care, and no one should go broke paying taxes to pay for new entitlements. Free health care for everyone sounds wonderful. Unfortunately the government has nothing of its own to give us, it must first tax us to pay for it. Nothing is free. We do need a far better insurance system and tort reform, but government run health care has been a disaster for Medicare/Medicaid, the VA and the Indian Health Service.
We do need health care reform and lets begin by deregulating the insurance companies and putting a cap on law suits. That would be an excellent start to make things more affordable. Many tests right now are ordered just because doctors are afraid to get sued. The costs of litigation (successful and otherwise) are passed along to consumers, further driving up costs. The insurance industry is also heavily regulated, so our country is broken up into 50 separate markets, decreasing competition between companies.
The GOP is proposing vouchers for poor people, and a national market for health insurance so that competition across state lines will improve choice for everyone. Tort reform with caps on awards, and health savings accounts for insurance premiums. We want to help the 22.4 million currently uninsured Americans get health care coverage at lower costs.
Our proposals have been rejected. The gauntlet has been thrown down by the Democratic Party and now we have a clear issue to take to the American people during the 2010 campaign year.