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Health Care Reform: We Can Agree on Two Things, Can’t We?

October 19, 2009

Whether you do or do not support the pending health care reform legislation, there are two things on which we can agree if such law is to be decided with a purposeful and sincere intent:

(1) a complete and proper analysis of the proposed legislation’s cost and benefits must be performed; and

(2) the Congress and the People must be afforded sufficient time to review the legislation prior to voting.

These two items would appear to be natural and fundamental prerequisites to big-time decisions like this.  Not so fast. ……..

(1)  A complete and proper analysis of the proposed legislation’s cost and benefits must be performed. The organization mandated to do this is the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).  The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires the CBO to estimate the costs of federal mandates in legislation that would affect state, local, and tribal governments or the private sector.  The CBO has been involved all along, except none of the bill variations could be scored as deficit-neutral, which is a primary test of the President and the Congressional leadership. The most recent language that was sent to the CBO via the Senate Finance Committee was returned with a letter on October 7th noting the “preliminary analysis” was not in “legislative language” and that if it is converted as such, there could be “significant changes in the estimates of the proposal’s effects on the federal budget and insurance coverage.”

Without the full legislative language, a full analysis cannot be completed.  Consequently, we will have a preliminary and incomplete evaluation on which the Congress will vote to overhaul one-sixth of the nation’s economy.  Defenseless and wholly un-American, say I.

(2) The Congress and the People must be afforded sufficient time to review the legislation prior to voting.

There are very clear signals that this critical step will be bypassed.  Keeping with the pledge of a transparent government and the plain-old Constitutionality of taxation through representation, there must be sufficient time for the People and their representatives to review the proposed legislation prior to a vote in either house.

.

Ol’ Hugo’s olfactory senses may not be what they once were, but something here stinks.  So dust off that trophy for Participation in the American Experiment, remember it daily, and pick up the phone and alert your representatives that you’re up from you nap.  Contact your senators.  Contact your congressman. Let them know that you want them to vigorously and publicly demand both a full CBO analysis and at least five (5) business days for the Congress and the People to review the final legislation prior to voting.

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2 Comments
  1. tomdegan permalink
    October 20, 2009 9:45 am

    I don’t know what kind of health care reform will come out of this session, but I strongly suspect it won’t be much. There is, however a silver lining behind this very dark cloud. I am reminded of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Don’t be embarrassed if you’ve never heard of it, there really isn’t a hell of a lot to remember about it; a mere pittance, really – a scrap of leftovers tossed out to “American Negros” (in the parlance of the age) in order to appease them. But it made the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 – the one we remember – all-the-more easier seven years later.

    We’ll live to fight another day.

    http://www.tomdegan.blogspot.com

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

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