Friday, January 8, 2010

Bad Bills and Basics

I promise I will get back to your somewhat regularly scheduled more light hearted programming soon, but this whole health care reform thing keeps burning a hole in my brain. If I don’t perform a quick cranial enema, I’ll be even worse cranky than I was when the dogs woke me up at a quarter to six this morning. Yesterday, it was the cat at 4:00 AM. Today, it was the dogs. My animals are conspiring to deprive me of sleep. Ungrateful little fur covered turds.

I was reading a little news this morning and came across an article in the Fremont Tribune ( which carries an interview of Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson (astute readers of my previous post will note that I originally reported Sen. Nelson as being from Kansas…that has since been corrected…y’all are supposed to fact check me in the comments…quit sleeping on the job) regarding his support of the Health Care Reform Bill now pending reconciliation between the two houses of Congress.

One part of the article that has me all riled up again today is the following paragraph: “Nelson said by insisting on certain changes before casting his vote he ‘took a bad bill and made it better.’ He pointed out aspects of the Senate’s bill he said will benefit Nebraska, and called the ‘Cornhusker Kickback’ a ‘sideshow’ that’s gotten too much attention.”

I’ve told y’all in a previous post how The Queen’s and my minister counseled us prior to our wedding that a bad marriage is a whole lot worse than no marriage at all. The same concept applies here. Someone needs to tell Sen. Nelson and the rest of Congress that a bad bill is a whole lot worse than no bill at all. Why can’t we take a GOOD bill and make it a GREAT bill? How’s that for an original concept?

The other part of the article that has my grippies in a serious wad and relates directly back to what I was talking about yesterday is two words: “UNFUNDED MANDATE.” This was part of Sen. Nelson’s explanation for the whole “Cornhusker Kickback” thing. He explained that $100,000,000 price tag placed on the kickback by the Congressional Budget Office is just a budgetary placeholder put into the bill because the CBO did not have time to figure out what it was really going to cost since they don’t know how many states will opt in or out of Medicare thus giving our trusted horse thieves time to figure out what the real cost is going to be behind closed doors.

In other words, “We don’t know how much it’s going to cost or whether we can afford it or not, but we are going to do it anyway.”

Sen. Nelson went on to say: ““Several of us have been concerned about the funding of Medicaid because it’s an unfunded mandate from the federal government. The federal government pays a portion of it and the state pays the rest,” he said.”

See? There’s those two dirty little cuss words. He should wash his mouth out with soap. For those of you who haven’t thought it through yet, when Sen. Nelson says “the state pays the rest”, he is talking about you me and the rest of the population in the form of higher state taxes. An unfunded mandate is the Federal government’s way of ordering the states to pay for something the Federal government thinks we should all be doing but for which there is no money in the Federal budget to pay for it. So, they pawn it off on the state’s budgets. Ask California how that’s working out for them.

I don’t think that’s kosher. Not kosher by a long shot, and yet this garbage continues.

I get the fact that there are some people out there who will think the Health Care Reform Bill is great just the way it is; however, by all indications in the news media I’ve read and heard, those people are few and far between. Why? Because we are a nation of individuals who each have our own opinions on any given issue. To paraphrase a quote from Abraham Lincoln just slightly: You can [please] all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot [please] all the people all the time.

Someone needs to remind the American people and the government that money is a finite commodity subject to the same laws of supply and demand as any other commodity. It’s also a fiction, but that topic is for another post.

Like I said yesterday, we need to get back to basics and get our priorities straight. Food, clothing and shelter are the basics of survival for any individual and have been since the beginning of time. Everything else is a luxury. If you can afford to buy a big screen TV, knock yourself out. Don’t expect me or anyone else to buy one for you.

As a nation, the basics of survival are pretty much just the way our founding fathers laid it out in the Constitution: Justice, Domestic Tranquility, Common Defense, Promoting General Welfare and Securing Liberty. Everything else is a luxury. Don’t expect the rest of us to buy it for you with our money or our blood.


  1. And another AMEN for Brother K! I've worked in medicine a long time. Medicine is not broken; we give great care to everyone. Insurance is broken. There are a lot of people out there who believe that Health Care Reform will result in "free" health care. Are you kidding? We'll be paying for it in the form of increased taxes. There ain't nothin' free about it. As Americans, we already bitch about how much of our paycheck goes to taxes. How 'bout when we start losing 50% of our paychecks to fund our "free" health care like they do in France? Or what about the "free" health care in Canada, whose government for a time shut down all emergency rooms and urgent care clinics from 7:00 pm until 7:00 am because of budget cuts. No thank you. I'll figure out how to pay my own medical bills, thankyouverymuch. I don't want some effing Senator or Congressman deciding who, how, or when I seek medical care. Bastards.

  2. GunDiva, you obviously get it where many do not. To quote from the late, great Robert Heinlein "TANSTAAFL" - there ain't no such thing as a free lunch.


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