President Obama and the Democrats in Congress intend to completely change the health care system of the United States without permitting any meaningful democratic debate. Rather than hold extensive hearings, allow a full airing of one of the most extensive and expensive changes in law in recent times, and risk having to compromise or lose, our overlords have decided they are going to shove what they want down our throats via a budget reconciliation bill. From the story:
Principals in the talks acknowledged that a tentative budget agreement reached Thursday night between Congressional leaders and the White House would provide for the use of an obscure procedure known as a reconciliation on a health care bill, allowing health care legislation that meets budget targets to be approved by a simple Senate majority. “It will be in there in some form,” said one top official engaged in the talks who did not want to be named since the final details of the agreement were still being worked out.No, he doesn’t want the American people to have a say. We are going to have “reform” forced on us—like it or not. I don’t even think there have been committee hearings on all of this.
But Republicans have strongly condemned the prospect of using the arcane maneuver on an issue as important as health care and have threatened to use their own procedural weapons to bog down the Senate if Democrats plunge ahead. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, warned President Obama in a White House meeting on Thursday that the use of the procedural tool was likely to cause trouble in Congress. But Mr. Obama said that he backed the reconciliation approach to move ahead on health care, one of his legislative priorities, and did not want it to fail if 59 senators were on board rather than the 60 needed to break filibusters.
This is an utter corruption of the democratic process. Fundamentally changing our health care system isn’t a matter of the budget: It is the most profound and far reaching substantive policy change since Medicare. And we don’t even know what is in the bill! And neither will our representatives most of whom will once again be voting for a bill they haven’t even read.
This end run around around the legislative process confirms my fears that the Left is no longer about freedom, it is about raw power. All of their caterwauling about Bush’s alleged tyranny were actually projections based on their own intentions and attitudes.
Even if the policy is the best that can ever be thought of by human beings, shoving it down our throats without our input is subversive of a free people’s right to participate in their own government. And believe me, this will not be the best system that human beings can devise. Look for the beginning of rationing, the enabling of futile care, and the government establishing standards of care that apply to public and privately funded health care—and we will have no idea what is contained in the law.
So much Obama’s promise of transparency and building bridges over the troubled waters that divide us. His method is divide, embitter, and conquer. I never thought I would say it, but America is no longer a democratic country. It is a descending into a bureaucratic oligarchy.
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