I know the recent election of Scott Brown to the US Senate throws a monkey-wrench into the current health care reform bills. And I also know that a lot of mis and disinformation about health care has been put out there by BOTH sides.
Regardless of where on the political spectrum you fall, most Americans believe there is a need for health care reform. That includes both Democrats and (despite the insinuations of the Democratic leaders in Congress) Republicans as well. The difference is largely in the approach of how to reform health care.
In the days leading up to Brown's Massachusetts victory, Rep. Steny Hoyer, was suggesting that the House should pass the Senate bill as it's "better than nothing." This is an idea I take serious umbrage with. This is my health, your health, our collective health that we're talking about. And if our government is going to reform health care I sure as hell don't want them settling for "better than nothing."
Much of the criticism of the current bills is tied to a belief that it's unconstitutional-- how you may ask? Largely due to the 10th Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.The argument against the current bills (both the House and Senate bills) is that there is nothing in the Constitution giving the government the power to intervene in health care... that being said there's also nothing in the Constitution preventing individual states from coming up with their own health care plans (like Massachusetts has already done-- which is either a resounding success or a glaring failure depending on who you talk to).
Incidentally Massachusetts current health care plan has been cited as a reason for why Brown beat Coakley. The federal plan is modeled after the Massachusetts plan (incidentally that plan was put in place by then governor, Mitt Romney-- a Republican). Those in Massachusetts who don't like "Romneycare" (as it has been billed) certainly don't want the plan spread nationwide and even many who DO like Romneycare don't necessarily want it spread nationwide because it's been shown that the federal plan is more expensive than the existing state plan. Thus their costs would be going up.
As many of you know, I listen to a bit of talk radio on my morning and evening commutes. Out of curiosity last night on my evening commute I chose to listen to progressive talk radio host, Ron Reagan (the son of a much more conservative former president) to get the liberal spin on Scott Brown's recent election win in Massachusetts.
What I heard was a certain level of disgust and disdain for our Democratic Congress. Apparently the mood on Capitol Hill over Brown's election is one of relief. The idea being, "Now we don't have to fight so hard for health care. When it doesn't pass we can just blame it on the Republicans." There was a general tone of frustration over the general mood of defeat and resignation that now exists in Washington in light of Brown's election.
Progressives are generally hardcore bleeding hearts. They WANT the public option they want a lot of the things in the health care bill that had to be taken out for the Senate to get their 60 votes and they're frustrated with Congress for not putting up more of a fight. They're pissed that Congress was so hell-bent on getting those 60 votes they haven't even attempted "reconciliation" which would forego the need for 60 votes and the bill could pass with a simple majority instead.
Another interesting point that was discussed on Reagan's radio show was a complaint of Obama's failure to effectively communicate the message of health care reform. I find this interesting because many Republicans have the same complaint of George W. Bush's handling of the War in Iraq (and to a lesser extent, the War in Afghanistan)-- ineffective communication of the message (the reasons why we went to war, etc.)
For those who are still befuddled over how the Democrats could manage to lose not only a senate seat, but the one held by Ted Kennedy, the liberal lion, for over 40 years (and by his brother, John, before that) in Massachusetts-- one of the most liberal states in the Union, I believe The Wall Street Journal put it best. The Democrats in Congress misread the results of the 2006 and 2008 elections as a shift in ideology. In reality it was merely a shift in party. The ideology of a majority of Americans is generally centrist or slightly right of center. That hasn't changed.
In 1994 Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress with the Contract with America. The trouble is that the Republican Congress initially elected in 1994 breached that contract. I may be wrong here, but I believe most Americans still like many of the principles put forth in that contract... Principles that BOTH parties are guilty of not only ignoring but blatantly disregarding-- things like fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability.
When was the last time the US Congress exhibited any of those principles?