The votes are in and the health care war has now begun. Dozens of states are preparing their legal cases to negate the verdict of the politicians. Republicans are on the campaign trail and crying repeal.
In the last few weeks it has been “just pass anything.” Show leadership! The protracted debate has built such impatience that has obscured the workability and indeed the validity of the legislation.
Early results showed that most health care stocks rose yesterday. This might mean health care providers are happy. This stock-trading vindicates the criticism that inadequate attention was given to the unit cost of American health care by the bill’s writers.
Should this bill remain roughly intact, the emerging dispute will involve money. People are very skeptical of the CBO report. There are so many unknown unknowns, as well as the known unknowns. to get reasonable accounting.
The reduction of personal responsibility in this legislation means, philosophically, we are drifting, at a pretty good pace, toward Europe. At times, during this debate, it seems like we were boasting as emulators of Europe. Why? Europe, for a few decades now has been a decadent continent. Country after country in the EU has been faced with a variety of seemingly intractable problems, both economic and social. European countries, for the most part and more or less, are socialist countries. They are on the decline as a power and as a culture. Even the demographics are working against them, and will sharpen in the projections of the coming years. Why do we want to be like them?
In the final hours before the vote a number of Stupak Democrats folded like an accordion on the matter of abortion. It was hard to watch. For weeks, the Stupak’s had refused to sign on to the health bill due to the fact that language effectively provided federal funding for abortion. At the end they accepted the President’s promise to prohibit the funding by executive order and not statue. This would facilitate passage, as their votes were absolutely critical. It was this “get it done” mentality that provided steady pressure on this group and they were not strong enough to hold out. Now, the President can wake up any morning and rescind the executive order. I don’t look for him to break his promise on the matter, but it is an open call for his successor as well. So, the federal funding, reversing the Hyde Amendment is now left in jeopardy. There are some matters so weighty, so sharply defined, self-contained, and so well understood that it does not lend itself to compromise. Abortion is that issue.
All in all, health reform was a job poorly done, in most every respect. Par for Congress.