Politics – the AHCAA

I have been biting my tongue and thinking about the House’s health care bill passing with the Stupak amendment added. Bluntly, I’m mixed plus I have a host of ancillary issues, and the tangle is hard to separate.

Some of the people on both the pro-choice and pro-life (as each likes to label itself) are zealots. ANY deviation is anathema. It reminds me of much of what is happening in the Republican party at this time. However, it is part of why saying anything is an invitation to verbal assault. Nonetheless…

I think the Stupak amendment is a bad amendment. It’s poorly written and poorly discussed. These are on top of my opinion that the alleged intent is a wrongful intent.

I think the way it got included used some sleight of hand that is going to build a nasty bit of backlash in the consolidation phase. Specifically, two democratic groups were given promises that their amendment would be brought to the floor. One group was asked to withdraw under the condition the other would do so as well. The first – the “single payer” group, agreed. Then the second went to the floor and worse it got approved. There is some resentment and it is not quiet. When consolidation comes around don’t be surprised if Stupak doesn’t make the cut. In fact I sincerely hope it does not make the cut.

I’m a male. Further, I’m not (normally) low-income. The Stupak amendment would not affect me and probably won’t affect my daughter. There are poison pills that would stop me from accepting other things. As a consequence I acknowledge this might be too poison for some to accept. That acknowledgment made, I want the health care badly enough to ask my congressmen to vote for it even if it has to have Stupak included.

Again, I don’t think it’ll make the cut. The Senate is being special, and Nelson is now saying he insists a Stupak-like amendment be in the Senate version or he’ll vote against it. I think that when push comes to shove, however, the amendment won’t be there and that the bill will come to a final vote. I don’t expect Nelson to vote for the bill. I do think he’ll vote for closure. There are other senators of whom the same can be said – Conrad, Lieberman, and Snowe being three easily recognized. The bill won’t be overwhelmingly approved, but it will pass.

And we’ll spend the next couple of generations tweaking it just as we did social security and medicare and medicaid.

See, that in the end is why I’d hold my nose with stupak. The bill won’t be engraved in stone. Taking the first step is always the hardest; once done, it becomes almost impossible to remove. Once done, injurious and irritating and idiotic elements can be sliced and shifted without the glare of the spotlight.

Get a national health care plan in place, then get clean it. Insisting on a perfect bill up front means you get nothing.

And I hate that this is so.


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