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Wanted: Courage on health care vote

If I were a member of Congress struggling with how to vote on the imperfect health-care reform bill, I'd lift a line from Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich's speech announcing his grudging "yes" vote. "I have to make a decision, not on the bill as I would like to see it, but the bill as it is," he said. "If my vote is to be counted, let it now count for passage of the bill, hopefully in the direction of comprehensive health-care reform."

The legislation the House and the Senate will vote on this weekend, among other things, does far too little to rein in costs, and the implications for the deficit could be eye-spinning. But once signed into law, people will gain coverage, won't be dropped if they already have it and won't lose it if they get sick.Those are real benefits to real people right now. Congress and the White House have never come as close to passing such a monumental reform as they have today. Those who want to make the perfect the enemy of the eh-it's-okay-for-right-now, who want to start from scratch, who want to take more time to get it right have enormous faith that Congress will have the courage to "get it right." Look how tough it is now for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to scare up the 216 votes needed for passage. She's whipping so much she's either a dominatrix or a baker.

Congress will never "get it right" -- and if this vote doesn't happen or if the measure fails, these lawmakers will never regain the considerable courage needed to take it on again. The problems caused by our current health-care system will continue to grow. The solutions and the votes needed to implement them will only get tougher.

By Jonathan Capehart  | March 19, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments


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Posted by: karenmark19 | March 19, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

This "healthcare" bill is no more than a ponzi scheme...taking money from one entitlement to pay for another. As lofty as the goals are, as compassionate as the ideas are...they do not make up for the fact that THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY. Social Security and Medicare were supposedly going to deal with all this stuff they claim to be fixing now...why do these problems still exist? Could it be that government is incapable of running a single program that actually works like it is supposed to? Social Security is already a ponzi scheme all by itself...taking from one worker to pay for another...sooner or later there will be fewer workers and more retirees..what's the plan to deal with that? Oh...no plans to deal with this at all. What's the plan to deal with the fact that doctors are losing money accepting medicare and medicare? Oh..no plan to fix this either? Instead the congress should be fixing the existing entitlements rather than adding another onto the pile of government programs that have lofty goals but fail miserably...social security, medicare, welfare, etc...have enough problems without adding another giant entitlement that will no doubt be filled with "fraud and abuse" just like the ones in existence now.

Posted by: faktcheker | March 19, 2010 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I see that everyone signed up on the "courage" talking point.

Courage to defy the ignorant American people...

Posted by: happyacres | March 19, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Socialist revolution is at your doorstep! Either take the small steps to compromise with us or we will take what we want,.... there will be a NEW contact with America the terms of which will be wealth re-distribution. THAT'S right someone actually dares to admit that that is what we want! Socialist Revolution! That is what you will get if you continue to hold us hostage to the insurance companies and pharma-industrialists. It'll will be the disappearing old white guys' nightmare. SO PAY NOW OR PAY BIGGER LATER! You decide.

Posted by: witchofwestghent | March 19, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Ignorant only means lacking knowledge..
Elected officials have access to facts that the American people do not have access too that are prevy to those who represents us.
It is easy to be misinformed than to study the facts.
It is easy to let party politicians guide us and tell us how to think than to think for ourselves.
It is easy to let our misguided passions of prejudice, bigotry and selfishness cloud our reasoning.
The Constitution of the USA has to evolve and be interpreted to our times.
It is ignorant and down right dumb for us The People to think that corporate America AKA Health Insurance companies care anything for you. All they care about is profit and the more health care they take away from you the more money they make. All of us is but a number (a small number) on there balance sheet.
Let the people speak and say, "No more"!

Posted by: KBrustmeyer2003 | March 19, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the previous posts here. If our government can't handle the programs they already have, how can they expect us to believe they can handle health care for the whole Country. Secondly is the Senate and Congress, and President also included in the new health care reform they are proposing, or will they be exempt? Whats good for me is good for them.

Posted by: cketcham | March 19, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Stop with the argument that "it's not perfect, but it is something."
This is insanity; people are willing to give up control of their lives to allegedly "fix" healthcare.
Why is the bill 2,000+ pages?
Why is it necessary to bribe representatives to vote?
Why will they not post the bill early enough so people can read it?
Why are avowed communists so happy with this monstrosity (that is, other than those that think it not communist ENOUGH for their taste)?
For that matter, why does Obama have so many Socialist/Communist advisers and Cabinet members?
Is the USA really ready to give up the freedoms that were bought with the blood of our founders?
Please call your reps so we have a say in this disaster!
And pray that God will forgive us for electing valueless and unprincipled representatives to public office!

Posted by: WheresTheWisdom | March 19, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the previous posts here. If our government can't handle the programs they already have, how can they expect us to believe they can handle health care for the whole Country. Secondly is the Senate and Congress, and President also included in the new health care reform they are proposing, or will they be exempt? Whats good for me is good for them.

Posted by: cketcham | March 19, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse
-----------------
cketcham,

The government is not going to handle health care for the entire nation. There will not even be a public option. Private health insurance will still be around. I'm not sure where you got the idea that the government will be handling health care for the entire nation.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | March 19, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

All that is required to vote for this terrible bill is stupidity. It reforms nothing, does not reduce the cost of health care, and basically destroys the existing poorly managed and bankrupt government health care programs. But then our legislators do not care because it does not impact their families.

VOTE NO! Save America. Start over, do it correctly.

Posted by: staterighter | March 19, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

In cases where government agencies are consistently and reliably funded, where department heads are appointed or hired with an eye on their merits rather than their loyalty, we have had very competent and dependable public service. With its noted failures from time to time, our military overall has performed with merit and distinction in many conflicts. Despite its "bogeyman" reputation, our IRS has one of the best records in the world for efficiency and has improved its customer service role in recent years. We have FAA, NASA, and other agencies which have shown very good results in spite of limited budgets. We can do great things through government if we pay attention and keep our representatives noses to the grindstone. And if we elect presidents who support that kind of government (as opposed to viewing government as a problem).

We have to work with how people are, how they can be encouraged, what limitations we have and not seek personal characteristics which we don't ourselves possess. And we have to rely more on ourselves to look and analyze - really analyze, not just repeat what we hear - so that we can guide the process. This last go-round really pointed out, I think, where the weaknesses of our system can be. How do we really link with our representatives and do they really reflect what we really feel we need? Do they come back with substantive reflection on possibilities and explain how the community needs are being inserted in the process? Or do they try to convince us that needs of "business" or other interests will take precedence to ours? We're in this for the long haul, folks. History shows that when governments fail, the societies that built them tend to go down too. We made our choice for format in 1776. Now it's time to show we meant it.

Posted by: Jazzman7 | March 19, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It is almost funny to see a article written about courage and health care. The government that is responsible for the health care mess, is now going to "fix it" with more of the same old, tired regulations and tricks. My wife and I have a combined 36 years experience in the Health Care field, and we know first hand how badly the Government has interfered in the Health Care field. The Government has created the so called "Health Care Crisis" as we see it today through regulation and price fixing. Many of the newest regulations, imposed within the last year were designed to make this crisis worse.
Imagine owning a business where the government was your biggest customer and came to you and said they would not pay you enough to cover your cost. What are your choices? you can close down or you can charge your non government customers more for your services. This is the case with Health Care. The Government will not pay the "Going Rate" for services provided under Medicare or Medicaid. This in turn causes hospitals and Doctors to charge more to Private insurance patients, in order to keep their doors open. Insurance companies must raise rates to keep pace with the increasing cost to them, caused by the Government and thus the Government has created it's own crisis to "fix". Regulations put into effect by the government this past year have also allowed the government an "out" on paying anything at all for your care. A hospital acquired infection means that the Government will NOT pay one cent for your care. Seems fair on the surface, to those that know nothing about health care, yet imagine going into the hospital for a $250,000 heart operation and not getting a urinary catheter and having to wet yourself (and your bed) because your doctor knows that a simple and easily cured bladder infection would result in him taking a total loss on your care. The Government knows that the odds of such a simple infection can range from 25 to 50% or more and therefore they will not have to pay anything for 25 to 50% of all the patients treated under Medicare and Medicaid as a result. It is much the same as the Government requiring all stores to give any person on food stamps free t-bone steaks, then calling the butchers robbers and crooks when they have to raise their prices to their paying customers. There is only one true demon in the health care system and if you want to see real courage, then the Government need to step up and admit that it is them.

Posted by: eparamedic44 | March 19, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Who said:
"Don't invade Iraq! Save America. Start over, do it correctly!"

OH Yeah, it was un-American to question the war. Well it’s un-American not to reform health care. $940 Billion over ten years equals 4 ½ years in Iraq.

Others ask:
“Why is the bill 2,000+ pages?”

I ask, how big are other bills such as Reagan and bush’s tax cuts or Reagan’s theft of Social Security funds to balance tax cuts?

“Why is it necessary to bribe representatives (aka blue dogs) to vote?”

Because republicans refused to participate and will pay the price at the polls. How can a politician run and say I don’t care if you got a 37% rate increase or pregnancy is a pre existing condition “I have lifetime gold plated health care and pension benefits and I voted against health care reform!”.

Posted by: knjincvc | March 19, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

The statement that
"This Congress will never get it right" is, unfortunately, right on he mark. So far, this Congress has abdicated virtually all of its responsibilities because it hs chosen not to work as a cohesive body. We cannot afford a Congress that won't work. People all across the Country are angry and getting angrier over the petty bickering and refusal to even pretend to move along with honest bi-partisan efforts.
When one side of the aisle gives absolute disapprovel to a concept within a proposed piece of legislation, even though the concept was initiated by the side of the aisle now refusing its support, our government has reached something far worse than an impasse. It has embraced dishonesty in the worst of its forms. The current hypocrisy in Washington is screaming for monstrous cleanout of the rascals. Every where I ever worked I was expected to actually work with my contemporaries and to produce outcomes that were in the best interests of my employer. Maybe it is the air in Washington that has directed Congressmen away from their sworn duties. Whatever it is, failure to begin to "get it right" might be the downfall of the majority of those in the current Congress. How discouraging and maddening it is to watch the smirking faces of the party of no, as they speak against everything, and the confused faces of the party of go, as they stumble along without a clue as to how to place their efforts in front of the people. This is not a congress. It is not even a kindergarten. We seem to have a government operating under the guidance of 500 e-trade babies, if, in fact, we are operating at even that level. Here come the Romans!

Posted by: 1mountaindoc | March 19, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

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