Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Senators bribed to pass health care bill

Posted by sanityinjection on December 21, 2009

Every time you think Congress can’t possibly hit any more new lows, they always find a way to prove you wrong. The latest embarrassment? It turns ou that the only way Senate Democrats were able to herd all 60 of their cats into voting for their Frankenstein’s monster of health care bill was by outright bribery. The bill includes a slew of special provisions and giveaways only for the home states of the Senators  who needed convincing – to the tune of more than $10 billion.

What this means is that on top of the higher taxes we’re all going to end up paying to support this fiasco, most of us will be paying even more to finance Medicaid in Nebraska, Louisiana, Vermont and Massachusetts, community health centers in Vermont (does Vermont even have enough people to fill *one* community health center?), tax exemptions for non-profit insurers in Nebraska and Michigan, and Medicare supplements in Pennsylvania, Florida, and New York.

The most disgusting example was Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who at least had the grace to be embarrassed enough that he referred all questions about the bribe to Senate leader Harry Reid.

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8 Responses to “Senators bribed to pass health care bill”

  1. The Washington Post’s Michael Gerson expands on the nature of Senator Nelson’s shameful behavior:
    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/12/23/public_policy_as_public_corruption_99651.html

  2. Turtle said

    So, preytell, why is state subsidised healthcare such a threat? Surely it’s just like having health insurance, but for everyone?

    • Right – so you’re taking all the worst things about the current health insurance system, magnifying them by a factor of ten, and putting them in the hands of a wasteful, all-powerful and self-perpetuating federal bureaucracy, then raising taxes to pay for it all. Does that sound like a good idea to you?

      If I could have one wish for the coming year it would be that people finally discard the ludicrous notion that government can magically give people benefits without the taxpayers having to foot the bill for it.

      • Turtle said

        Well, actually, I was expecting a sensible answer…

        I understand the rise in taxes, but also someone has to pay for the insurance too.

        Also, taking the worst things about health insurance and magnifying them by a factor of ten? I am by no means saying it’s perfect, or even ideal.

        “and putting them in the hands of a wasteful, all-powerful and self-perpetuating federal bureaucracy, then raising taxes to pay for it all.” Well, it is good to see that you think quite highly of governments who already have a state health service in place.

      • Turtle – I don’t claim to be an expert on how state-run health insurance functions in every country. I can see how if you have a small enough society with a high level of overall health, willingness to pay high taxes, and limited expectations for speed and extent of care, it could work for some country or other. What I’ve heard from the UK and Canada – countries more like the US – has not been encouraging. I think the model can’t possibly work here.

        Under private health insurance, the healthy subsidize the sick – but at least they have a choice of what level of subsidy they want to participate in. Under government health insurance, the healthy and wealthy subsidize the poor and the sick, but they are forced to do so whether they like it or not. I see a difference there – don’t you?

      • Turtle said

        Having been a guest of the UK Health Service several times I prefer it to not having one…

        While it does kind of make sense, your argument I mean, should health care be a right for everyone, regardless of how much money they make? Ok so I admit, with shocking reputation for health the States has, it will no doubt be very expensive first few years. The biggest problem with the way the UK NHS is run, is there are league tables, targets and customer opinion polls. Rather I think if Obama can look at where the NHS is falling short and where it is working fantastically, and the same with the Canadian Service, I don’t believe you will have to fail at the same hurdles.

        Without the NHS I (and there’s nothing particularly unhealthy about me) would constantly be worried about any slight upset to my job that would mean I would lose all protection to my family. Living in Ireland now (where the public health system is no where near as good as the one in the UK) I find myself constantly worrying, and particularly in the ice of this time of year, it’s often all I can think about.

      • I’ve said that I would support a universal insurance program for catastrophic health care coverage. But I don’t think you or I or anyone else who works for a living should need assistance in paying for routine care like an annual physical exam – if we were able to do so within the context of a health care system without artifically inflated costs. I agree that you shouldn’t have to worry about what happens if someone in your family needs surgery or expensive drug treatments. But comprehensive health insurance is bankrupting us all.

        What prevents you from setting aside a little of your pay each week to build a savings account that you could draw on for your family’s medical needs? Isn’t that what you’d do if there were no such thing as health insurance? Then if you lose your job temporarily, you can still pay for routine medical care in the interim.

        Here in the US, the COBRA law allows employees who are terminated from their jobs to continue to receive their health insurance provided they are able to pay the full premium each month (including the part their employer formerly paid.) Again, you save up some money while you’re making it to get you through the tough times.

      • Turtle said

        I’ve said that I would support a universal insurance program for catastrophic health care coverage. But I don’t think you or I or anyone else who works for a living should need assistance in paying for routine care like an annual physical exam – if we were able to do so within the context of a health care system without artifically inflated costs.

        I was lead to believe that the American model was for emergency care only? Stuff that people either cannot live without happening, or at least live a full life without happening?

        What prevents you from setting aside a little of your pay each week to build a savings account that you could draw on for your family’s medical needs? Isn’t that what you’d do if there were no such thing as health insurance? Then if you lose your job temporarily, you can still pay for routine medical care in the interim.

        Mainly the fact that if I did do this it would years before I could even afford to have a deepish cut stitched again. However, saying that, once the government have taken everything else they’ve taken from us, and then the other services (which I also believe should be a right, and not a charged service only available to those who can afford it), I actually end up with very little to save at the end of, least of all enough to plough into a health insurance company whose job it is to pull a profit…

        I can see why you would be apprehensive, but I personally prefer the idea that people I am paying for my healthcare are A: There even if I don’t have a well payed job so that I can pay for healthcare myself/shell out to an external party for insurance and B: Not actively trying to make a profit from me (this goes for both the hospital and the insurance company). I personally don’t mind subsidising other people when I am on top for this luxury.

        I would take it as my Social Duty to help my fellow man when he is sick/ill…

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