Late One Saturday Night
November 16, 2009
By Humphrey Stevenson
Late one Saturday night the Democrats' dream of dragging the US citizens into the all-encompassing, inescapable control of socialized medicine took a giant step toward becoming reality. Why in the dark of night when most people are sleeping or watching the fourth quarter of a college football game? Maybe they would prefer people not see what they were doing.
By the narrow vote of 220 – 215, Nancy Pelosi's Health Care Bill passed the House of Representatives. One Republican, Anh "Joseph" Cao of Louisiana's Second District, voted in favor of the bill. Interestingly, he is the Representative that defeated William "Cold Cash" Jefferson. (Remember the guy with $90,000 in his freezer?) No word as yet on how much money Cao has in his major appliances.
This one Republican vote has allowed the Democrats to tout their victory as bipartisan. However, the true bipartisanship was in opposition to this bill. Thirty-nine courageous Democrats crossed the aisle to join the Republicans to vote against the bill.
Possibly the biggest joke of the night was the so-called Stupak Amendment. This amendment was ostensibly to forbid Federal funds to be used for abortions under the Health Care Bill. I am as staunch an opponent of abortion as anybody, but everyone knew this was a political ploy to allow a comfort zone for twenty-five Blue-Dog Democrats to vote in favor of the bill and give Pelosi just the margin she needed for passage. The plan is for this language to be stripped out in conference committee anyway. There is no way the liberals are going to pass a Health Care Bill without funding abortion.
Once the Stupak Amendment passed, final approval of the bill was a fait accompli. Given this, I don't understand why the Republicans didn't play a little politics of their own. There were 240 votes in favor of the Stupak Amendment. If the 176 Republicans that voted "Yea" had voted "Present" on the amendment, it would not have passed. This would have removed that "comfort zone" from the Blue-Dogs and forced them to either vote for Nancy's Bill without the cover of the Stupak Amendment or join the Republicans and vote against the bill. I realize that the Republicans don't want to be seen as supporting Federal funding of abortion, but don't lose sight of the ultimate goal. Moreover, if you defeat the bill, you don't have to worry about abortion language. Besides, had this plan failed we would be no worse off than we are now.
I have discussed in previous articles that Obama and Pelosi are willing to sacrifice the careers of some Democrats in order to get government-run health care. Not only does this give them control over one-sixth of the economy and the very physical body of each and every citizen of the United States, they believe this will place Democrats in power in perpetuity. The reason they believe this is because government-run health care will place the American middle class in the same boat as the poor as it pertains to health care; dependent on the Federal Government.
You see, the American people are a remarkably adaptable people. No matter how bad government-run health care is, if it is all that is available, then over time, the people will adapt to it. Once that happens, the argument will no longer be over government-run health care versus private health care, but who is trying to cut or increase funding for health care. If some well meaning Republican comes along and talks about changing health care, the Democrats will demonize him by saying, "He wants to cut funding for health care and make the lines at the doctor longer."
That's how ingrained these programs become once they are implemented. Consider Medicare. This program was signed into law in 1965. In just over forty years, this program is so fixed in our society that no politician will even discuss the possibility of changing the program. It used to be that Democrats accused Republicans of wanting to cut Medicare, now we have Republicans accusing Democrats of the same. In fact, recently Republicans have used Medicare cuts as part of their argument against government-run health care. While true, I still find it demoralizing that we have stooped to using the threats of cuts in one failed, government program to argue against another.
Our parents always warned us that not much good happens late on a Saturday night. We didn't realize that they were talking about the House of Representatives. However, if some way is not found to stop this bill from becoming law, we will all regret what happened on that Saturday night.