Christmas Hubris and Partisan Willfulness

Today, on Christmas Eve, Congress is scheduled for a final vote on a massive, destructive, and unpopular health care bill that was cobbled together in secrecy and foisted on the American public via backroom deals and unprecedented partisan willfulness and arrogance. While the public looks on aghast at the flaunting of established procedures in a representative democracy combined with the desecration of one of Christianity's holiest seasons, Harry Reid and his senatorial comrades are ramming through a vast expansion of government control of health care in the U.S. Under ObamaCare, fully 55 percent of the nation's health care costs will be controlled by the federal bureaucracy. If you like the efficiency of the License Bureau at the Department of Motor Vehicles, you'll love ObamaCare. Take a number and wait; you'll be served if you're the right age, if you have an approved condition, if there are still doctors willing to work at the rate dictated by a government panel, and if there are facilities available.

By now, it is obvious that nobody understands all the convoluted provisions in the "manager's amendment" that came out of Reid's secret meetings, but there is no way to hide how that the essential 60th vote was bought: Senator Ben Nelson cut a deal for Nebraska that the rest of us will pay for in perpetuity. And there was no credible evidence that Nelson's capitulation would improve the bill; instead, it is obvious from the experience of many other countries who've the socialist medicine route that health care quality will suffer, costs will rise, and choice and flexibility will be greatly curtailed. Worst of all from a moral point of view is that taxpayers will be forced to pay for abortions. In the face of overwhelming public opposition, the Democratic majority -- in a display of raw political power -- forced their partisan agenda onto a resisting populace in blatant disregard for the will of the majority of their own constituents.

The best analyses of the costs of ObamaCare reveal hefty increases in the costs of health care for all the various configurations of users. Critics have laughed at the idea of paying for ObamaCare through cutting Medicare "waste." If there are all those hundreds of billions in waste, fraud, and abuse just waiting to be pruned away by bureaucrats, you have to wonder why they've waited all these years to do it.

The Congressional Budget Office agrees that flexible coverage is not possible under the plan -- choice and quality will be sacrificed. Cutting-edge medical research will be a thing of the past. Already, many are suggesting that the recent recommendation that younger women forgo annual mammograms is the kind of health care "innovation" that will be common under ObamaCare. The medical advances that bring people around the world to the U.S. for the best available treatment -- like MRI machines and drug-coated stents -- will be deemed too expensive.

Sadly, the Democrats have ignored the criticisms of groups like the American College of Surgeons and Physician Hospitals of America. These professional organizations have gone on record warning of dire outcomes from ObamaCare. The Urban Institute describes the Democrats' plan as a new "welfare and tax system" -- an acknowledgment that the primary goal is not a new health care plan, but a new way of financing health care in the U.S. in order to buy votes from the growing number whom politicians will exempt from paying taxes -- and who will now receive health care on the backs of those who do pay.

One of the most egregious aspects of the whole health care reform debacle is the sense of urgency that surrounds the debate and the rush to decision. If voting were held during the holy days of any other faith beside Christianity, there would be a national hue and cry from the media and others. Yet, there has been almost no comment in the public square about the way the Democrats have usurped the celebration of Christmas.

All the rushing seems contrived, especially since the costs happen immediately, but the benefits of the so-called "reforms" won't take place until 2014, well after the next presidential election. Hmmmm. While the specifics of the bill are too vague to allow any kind of legitimate cost estimates, it is obvious that taxpayer costs will rise substantially and future generations will be burdened by mountainous debt.

The demagoguery associated with the health care reform debate has been outrageous. Those who argue against the bill are being vilified, even when the evidence and logic are in their favor. The bill's support comes wholly from the Democratic Party; there are no supporters outside the liberal wing of the House or Senate. In order to get the necessary votes from their own party, Pelosi and Reid had to stoop to bribery and make concessions that they hope they won't have to honor when the final bill is sent to the president. Those members who will face a tough election in 2010 have been "thrown under the bus," which is a small price to pay to "make history" by paving the way for future political dominance by those who can buy votes with government handouts.

Ultimately, the bill to come out of the Congress will be the product of a few powerful Democrats who are willing to sacrifice American ideals and principles of individual self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and independence to ram through their scheme to extend government control over one-sixth of the American economy. If they prevail -- as appears inevitable -- generations to come will pay for their reckless disregard of warnings and common sense. Unless more rational minds prevail, these days during Christmas 2009 will be known as a time of unprecedented party hubris and rank willfulness -- when the American republic was hijacked and partisan special interests prevailed.
Today, on Christmas Eve, Congress is scheduled for a final vote on a massive, destructive, and unpopular health care bill that was cobbled together in secrecy and foisted on the American public via backroom deals and unprecedented partisan willfulness and arrogance. While the public looks on aghast at the flaunting of established procedures in a representative democracy combined with the desecration of one of Christianity's holiest seasons, Harry Reid and his senatorial comrades are ramming through a vast expansion of government control of health care in the U.S. Under ObamaCare, fully 55 percent of the nation's health care costs will be controlled by the federal bureaucracy. If you like the efficiency of the License Bureau at the Department of Motor Vehicles, you'll love ObamaCare. Take a number and wait; you'll be served if you're the right age, if you have an approved condition, if there are still doctors willing to work at the rate dictated by a government panel, and if there are facilities available.

By now, it is obvious that nobody understands all the convoluted provisions in the "manager's amendment" that came out of Reid's secret meetings, but there is no way to hide how that the essential 60th vote was bought: Senator Ben Nelson cut a deal for Nebraska that the rest of us will pay for in perpetuity. And there was no credible evidence that Nelson's capitulation would improve the bill; instead, it is obvious from the experience of many other countries who've the socialist medicine route that health care quality will suffer, costs will rise, and choice and flexibility will be greatly curtailed. Worst of all from a moral point of view is that taxpayers will be forced to pay for abortions. In the face of overwhelming public opposition, the Democratic majority -- in a display of raw political power -- forced their partisan agenda onto a resisting populace in blatant disregard for the will of the majority of their own constituents.

The best analyses of the costs of ObamaCare reveal hefty increases in the costs of health care for all the various configurations of users. Critics have laughed at the idea of paying for ObamaCare through cutting Medicare "waste." If there are all those hundreds of billions in waste, fraud, and abuse just waiting to be pruned away by bureaucrats, you have to wonder why they've waited all these years to do it.

The Congressional Budget Office agrees that flexible coverage is not possible under the plan -- choice and quality will be sacrificed. Cutting-edge medical research will be a thing of the past. Already, many are suggesting that the recent recommendation that younger women forgo annual mammograms is the kind of health care "innovation" that will be common under ObamaCare. The medical advances that bring people around the world to the U.S. for the best available treatment -- like MRI machines and drug-coated stents -- will be deemed too expensive.

Sadly, the Democrats have ignored the criticisms of groups like the American College of Surgeons and Physician Hospitals of America. These professional organizations have gone on record warning of dire outcomes from ObamaCare. The Urban Institute describes the Democrats' plan as a new "welfare and tax system" -- an acknowledgment that the primary goal is not a new health care plan, but a new way of financing health care in the U.S. in order to buy votes from the growing number whom politicians will exempt from paying taxes -- and who will now receive health care on the backs of those who do pay.

One of the most egregious aspects of the whole health care reform debacle is the sense of urgency that surrounds the debate and the rush to decision. If voting were held during the holy days of any other faith beside Christianity, there would be a national hue and cry from the media and others. Yet, there has been almost no comment in the public square about the way the Democrats have usurped the celebration of Christmas.

All the rushing seems contrived, especially since the costs happen immediately, but the benefits of the so-called "reforms" won't take place until 2014, well after the next presidential election. Hmmmm. While the specifics of the bill are too vague to allow any kind of legitimate cost estimates, it is obvious that taxpayer costs will rise substantially and future generations will be burdened by mountainous debt.

The demagoguery associated with the health care reform debate has been outrageous. Those who argue against the bill are being vilified, even when the evidence and logic are in their favor. The bill's support comes wholly from the Democratic Party; there are no supporters outside the liberal wing of the House or Senate. In order to get the necessary votes from their own party, Pelosi and Reid had to stoop to bribery and make concessions that they hope they won't have to honor when the final bill is sent to the president. Those members who will face a tough election in 2010 have been "thrown under the bus," which is a small price to pay to "make history" by paving the way for future political dominance by those who can buy votes with government handouts.

Ultimately, the bill to come out of the Congress will be the product of a few powerful Democrats who are willing to sacrifice American ideals and principles of individual self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and independence to ram through their scheme to extend government control over one-sixth of the American economy. If they prevail -- as appears inevitable -- generations to come will pay for their reckless disregard of warnings and common sense. Unless more rational minds prevail, these days during Christmas 2009 will be known as a time of unprecedented party hubris and rank willfulness -- when the American republic was hijacked and partisan special interests prevailed.