“When his lips are moving!” goes the old joke.
How do you know when a legislative bill is a "good one"?
When almost all of the special interests are squealing about it and how it is going to devastate their constituencies.
You don’t hear any of that surrounding this health care ‘reform’ (sic) bill, now do you?
You don’t hear any of the trial lawyers yelling about the tort reform in it. Why? Because there is none to speak about.
You don’t hear the labor unions screaming bloody murder because the tax treatment of their overly generous health care plans are being reduced to cover only a basic standard BCBS plan, instead of the Cadillac version they now enjoy. You are ‘subsidizing’ those plans whether you know it or not through the excessive tax deductions being taken by the major automobile companies (which you just bailed out this spring) to satisfy the unions while you are paying for the standard plans.
You don’t see the AARP waving the bloody shirt because, well..because there really is very little that is going to change anything a senior on Medicare is now getting. Most seniors will continue to be able to pay about $100/month for Medicare Part B premiums and get approximately a $12,000+ per year subsidy from the taxpayers and future generations while you will either pay an increasing share of the health care premiums through your business for reduced coverage, most likely, or close to $1000/month or more if you are self-employed.
How's that working out for you?
We are not going to defend the health insurance companies to within an inch of our lives although they do play an important role in this whole health care game. But they are not really squealing either. We just heard of a so-called 'non-profit' health insurance company that shall remain nameless which notified a small business they were ‘terminating’ their plan without notice or reasons explained. The small business has a surviving cancer patient as an executive, an administrative assistant with MS and a few others with health problems associated with high blood pressure and obesity. They have never missed paying a health insurance premium on time for the past 33 years and have always complied with any request made of them by the company.
That just ain’t right. Any reform that will rectify that situation is ok by us. We need insurance to cover adverse health outcomes and costs, not to cover our hangnail removal or routine checkups.
But we are more than a little bit ‘troubled’ by the lack of screaming and shouting and carrying-on that usually attends the passage of any major legislation in Washington. In times past, when certain major interest groups were getting their ox gored (don’t ask us why this is a popular political analogy…it just is), there was all sorts of gnashing of teeth, rending of garments and lamentations being offered on the front steps of the Capitol and the back ones too.
What that tells us is that this bill is more of the ‘same-old, same-old’ and all of the major structural issues such as higher retirement ages for Medicare eligibility and other necessary reforms for the good of the Republic as a whole have once again been kicked down the road like an old soda can. “Our kids will figure it out” current ‘leaders’ (sic?) such as Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid seem to be saying.
The French have a saying to describe such insouciance to the damage we are doing to the public fisc and common welfare: “Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose!” ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same!”
This is not the change we can believe in, ladies and gentleman, and it saddens us to say that. Next up: higher inflation rates and interest rates to follow. You can almost see it now.