Sasstoday's Blog


Ream the Deem Bill

New Update: House Dems drop ‘deem and pass’ in favor of separate vote on Senate health bill. (Score one for the American people.)

Now back to my original post on 3-19-2010 which I still deem quite worth the read.

As we move forward on the health care non-debate and the House prepares to pass the Senate bill by voting on it, or not, they may just “deem” it passed, at that point I guess they can just beam the deemed, virtually unseen, bill to the President. He will deem it wonderful and voila! A new entitlement unlike any we have dared deem possible takes over one-sixth of the American economy (keep those presses rollin’…rollin’…rollin’…rollin…we need that paper money….your hide!!!!). And then we’ll all find out what government deems best for us.

It’s the compassionate thing to do afterall; we’re talking about people’s lives here. Deem, I mean dern, straight! Problem is government is a “thing”; “things” do not have compassion. People have compassion. But even said people, once named to a board that has to make decisions based on available monies, well, may not “deem” you deserve the health care you need. Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (Rahm’s brother btw, known as “Zeke” to his peeps, and a key health advisor to the President) advocates for a “whole life system”. So,  some Medicare board would decide based on statistics, life expectancy, etc, whether let’s say “you” are worth life prolonging procedures. Those most at risk are people who are sick,  have special needs, are elderly or suffer from conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and Parkinson’s.

When government’s in charge, when the doctor shortage hits crisis stage (one survey indicates nearly half say they’ll get out of medicine entirely or retire early if Obamacare passes) and you throw in 30 million more people, that’s called “rationing”. That’s called nobody’s happy. And the most vulnerable patients are going to be the pricey ones: the ones who just cost too much money and statistically might not be “deemed” such a great bargain.

And let’s go over this… very… slowly….and…. carefully….and… clearly. Yes, the health care system is broken, yes, it needs fixing, and yes, we need something like high-risk insurance pools for people with pre-existing conditions; how-many-times-do-people-have-to-say-that-before-it-gets-through.

But we have this itsy-bitsy problem. We don’t have any money.  Medicare alone has 36-100 trillion (can you write out 100 trillion dollars? How many zeros do you see? Lots and lots of zeros) in unfunded liabilities (ie: no money to pay for all those baby-boomers comin’ into the system, like, ALREADY).

Now the President LOVES to talk about cutting Medicare fraud and waste by 500 billion and then (this just slays me) spending it on something else to save. Savings? Zero (duh).  And sasstoday wonders why the President never talks about reforming or cutting Medicaid, which anyone can tell you is rife with rotgut waste, fraud and abuse. And Americans again have an itsy-bitsy problem believing that the government can spend 900 billion to 2 trillion dollars and save money and cut fraud, waste and abuse in programs it created and from which it has yet to cut fraud, waste and abuse.

And now the House finally has a final (maybe) bill. The Senate has a final (maybe) bill. Now the American people will get to hear a lively and in-depth debate about what’s actually in these bills, how they work and how the American people will pay for all this; it is a new era of bi-partisanship and transparency. NOT! The thing most transparent to the American people is the corruption of government. There are a few undecided Democrats out there who could decide to vote “no”—that is, if they don’t a quick ride on Air Force One first.

(Disclosure: there are some snarky comments about sasstoday and how she gets her health care. They are in my comments box.  I will answer them in six months, so said readers can get used to waiting, Canadian style, for non-essential health care concerns to be addressed.)

Obamacare Chart: Philip KleinObamacare Chart: Philip Klein

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Thelma & Louise Moment (and not just for Pres.)

UPDATE: Bill O’Reilly leads his show with story sasstoday first wrote about Nov. 15, 2009 (Refer to “Docs in a Box”; I love vindication.)

Now back to the main story:

President Barack Obama has said passing health care is a “Thelma and Louise” moment. So I guess that means we’re all going over the cliff as Gina Davis and Susan Sarandon did in the movie? Maybe so. Americans are getting increasingly used to Big Government taking care of all their ills but when it comes to a government takeover of the entire health care system at least the American people are stopping, pausing, asking themselves: “Do we really want government to get this big? Do we really want our children, and children’s children, and children’s children’s children’s children…(could go on and on) to be saddled with inconceivable debt?” And do we want Big Government, which can’t run any solvent program, to be in the hospital room with us when decisions are being made about whether we’re allowed certain procedures, that involve, oh… things like whether we live or die?

The latest Rasmussen poll indicates Americans get it, God bless ’em. We care not just about our immediate, personal health care and its costs but about the long-term implications for the nation as a whole. 57% of voters believe that passage of the legislation would hurt the economy. Only 25% believe it would help. And 81% of the American people, God bless ’em, say it’s likely the plan will end up costing more than projected. Wonder where they get that idea? Only 10% say the official numbers are likely to be on target.

And, and, OMG! Is there any wonder the American people don’t trust Big G to do the right thing by them when it comes to health care when Nancy Pelosi says this week (“I kid you not” as we liked to say in high school, a phrase that could aptly preface just about everything the Democrats are doing in Washington and that I think we should revive in popularity); so anyway, Madam Speaker’s quote (I kid you not!) was, “…we have to pass our bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy.” I kid you…sorry, nevermind, you get my point.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
And most Americans, God bless ’em, seem to get this notion that you can’t spend between 900 billion and two trillion dollars and costs go down.  And when it comes to cost, I’ll pay for your gall bladder surgery, your back surgery, your heart surgery, your knee replacement, but geez, don’t ask me to pay for your abortion.

I’d prefer the fog of controversy stay in Washington where it belongs and not in our doctors’ offices and in our hospital rooms: preferably not the places for “the fog”. I know plenty of people, myself and many friends and relatives included, who, on paper,  don’t look very procedure-worthy (ie: we’d be told to take a painkiller instead of getting a pacemaker as the President urged at a town hall meeting for one woman’s elderly mother). We’re not talking little procedures here, we’re talking life-saving procedures that we might desperately want and need, thank you very much.  By the way, the “virtual” colonoscopy (approximately 15 minute) procedure the President had recently is not allowed for ordinary Americans on Medicare. Two days of dealing with colonoscopy prep and procedure, like everyone else his age and older has to endure, is worth a whole lot o’ speech giving time on health care bills that I still don’t think anyone in Congress has read. Based on Pelosi’s comment we won’t know what’s in the final bill until it’s too late.  Say what? (Another phrase that should come back.) 

For those of you living completely healthy lives and thinking government-run health care is just dandy  keep in mind somethin’s gonna get ‘cha: old age, accident, disease, whatever, sooner or later.  And  somebody, somewhere, in some agency who could care less who you are or how much you want to live and thrive and experience life, making decisions about said life, scares the bejesus out of me. If you think insurance companies are bad (which by the way make whopping profits of 3-6% but the President’s got to demonize somebody at this point) wait ’til government’s calling the shots on your life.

No one’s saying we don’t need changes in health care; we just don’t need THESE changes, whatever they are, which after a year of debate on C-span (hahahahahaha!) are still 4500 pages of mysterious, legalistic gooble-dee-gook.

Political Cartoon by Ken Catalino

By at least a two-to-one margin the people are saying “Stop, No, Don’t Go!” to the President’s Thelma and Louise over the cliff health care debacle. But the President isn’t listening, doesn’t want to listen or is too arrogant to listen,  take your pick, and will send a few Democrats over the cliff and parachute out of the car just in time for his own re-election bid in 2012.  I just wish the American people weren’t in that car and had parachutes too. And darn it, I want a 15 minute, virtual, no-prep colonoscopy next time!