The current mission of this blog was to reflect on my academic readings for my Political Affairs and Finance Internship. However, I was e-mailed this column from Peggy Noonan.
It is title Now For the Slaughter a play on the so called Slaughter Rule or deem and pass rule that will be used by the House to pass the Senate bill. Ms. Noonan insists that President Obama is obfuscating the real disagreements the American people have with healthcare and is not addressing issues of Congressional procedure. First, I am confused. Healthcare already passed both Houses of Congress. A conference procedure has been completed; a procedure that occurs to overcome all of the differences in all House and Senate versions. Now the Senate could vote for healthcare and pass it... again. The current bill is the Senate version anyway. Or they could leave it to the House. Seems simple. Healthcare has been passed by a majority of our representatives. How a bill is passed is the business of Congress.
Never mind that deem and pass, reconciliation, and other procedures have been used by both parties for a variety of pieces of legislation. No one owns the high ground on Congressional procedure. So a question remains, is the argument on procedure the real problem conservatives have with the bill? They argued that the nation cannot afford it. Then the CBO reported that the first ten years of healthcare reform would reduce our deficit by 182 Billion then 1.2 trillion the next ten years. Republicans voted for the Bush Tax Cuts and Medicare Part D when the CBO report on each was dire. Each bill contributed to sending our nation into greater debt. We have a chance to save money and cover 32 million Americans. There is so much good that can be done. Even if you desire a more progressive bill than what is currently being proposed, it is a great first step. Even Former Governor Dr. Howard Dean who made news late in 2009 by breaking ranks with the President recognized that this bill is good legislation and could lead to more reform. If healthcare reform (or as my fellow liberals would want me to say) health insurance reform is passed on Sunday, it is not the end of the world. History will remember that legislation was passed and the implementation will be the next challenge. Let's get it right or much more than this blog entry will seem misguided.
Also, one more thing on the column by Ms. Noonan. She mentions that the President Obama has postponed his state visits to Australia and Indonesia to stay in Washington to help the passage of health care reform is embarrassing. Embarrassing? REALLY? I have spoken to people all over the world and I can tell you what is truly embarrassing to America's image in the world and image abroad is that we have 47 million Americans without health insurance and so many more dropped from their coverage for the sake of a bottom line. THAT IS EMBARRASSING. The President has a simple choice: the health of his people or one of several state visits he will make in his years as President. I am all right with his choice.
Here is the link to the Fox News interview that Peggy Noonan references in her column. It speaks for itself. Mr. Baier should have been more polite, yet the President was right. Healthcare reform is the right thing to do. Period.