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Does the fact that Byrd made the vote despite Coburn's call for prayer mean that God has turned his back on Sen. Coburn? Has Sen Coburn fallen out of favor with the Almighty. There is much to ponder in the theological implications of the Coburn prayer and the silence of the Almighty in response to that prayer. Perhaps God is a Democrat after all. Or perhaps God just wants those whom He/She created in His/Her image to have health care so that they might better enjoy the miracle of their existence. Wow, what a far left wing idea -- God wants His/Her creation to have health insurance.
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Subject: Pregnant military no problem
So one of our generals says anyone getting pregnant will be court martialed, since he needs every soldier he has. That's not a problem. Let's have a mandatory draft for children of congressmen. You'll see the quickest end to a war in history.
The AMA backed Senate Health Care Reform bill that Paul Krugman called both "an awesome achievement" and "seriously flawed" and two, of what are probably three, (Go Franken!) Liberal Senators and backers of not only the "public option" but "Single payer" "Universal Healthcare for all Americans", Russ Feingold (D) and Bernie Sanders (I), supported and signed, passed on Christmas Eve morning. Senator Feingold actually read the bill.
There is good and bad that came from the sausage making process that is the reality of getting 60 Senators to agree on a bill. Here's a break down from DailyKos, who ended up against the bill mainly because of the omission of the "public option". The Progressive Left was not the only side with negative things to say about this bill. They joined the already vocal "tea partiers" (can you hear those who founded this Nation rolling?) and other republicants. One "party of no"er went as far as to ask Americans to pray that a democrat wouldn't be able to show up to vote. I can only hope the senator wasn't refeing to 92 year old Senator Robert Byrd. The party that once howled "unAmerican" and "unconscienable" at the mention of holding up of money for Our troops did just that to delay the Senate Health Care reform bill's passing. Delaying procedural tactics, coupled with the Democrats wanting a bill before the winter break and the end of the year, pushed votes to 1 AM. Tactics like having Senator Bernie Sanders' 700+ page amendment read allowed illustrated the delaying obstructionism taking place in on the Senate floor. Sanders withdrew his "single payer" ammendment without any actual debate after 3 hours of reading.
I'm not sure if the two "national private plans" overseen by the Office of Personnel Management (overseers of Federal Employees benefits) will keep insurance costs down as well as a "public option" would have in the Health Insurance marketplace this bill creates. One of the plans would be non-profit. Mandating that everyone have insurance is hard to swallow without the public option to keep costs down, but arguing that the tax breaks and rebates that help low and middle income Americans afford their mandated insurance as "big insurance subsidies" sounds a little hollow from some, especially those who were for no government intervention. If you want the private sector to run Our health care, Americans are going to need help paying them. It certainly should help lower tax payer funded emergency room visits. Unfortunately, taking the bottom line over health insurance companies completely out to be replaced by a universal health care system for every American would be much more costly and is absolutely a political unreality.
So yeah there are things I do not like and wish were different in the Senate's Bill. I like the House Bill much better (even with the Stupak travesty). But as Ezra Klein recently noted the final Senate Bill looks an awful lot like the Obama/Biden campaign plan (pdf) for Health Care Reform. Pre-existing conditions will be a thing of the past, as will dropping you for being sick. Premptive care will be a thing of the present. Billions more for Community Health Centers for people who can't find primary health providers. Like it or not, it will be the biggest and first real Health Care bill, since the establishment of Medicare, the tax payer cost of which this bill will actually reduce (along with the federal deficit by $132 by 2019) mainly through waste reduction measures. It is not law yet. The Senate and House now go "to committee" to iron out the differences between their two bills. With Congress's winter break, President Obama probably will not sign a Health Bare Reform Bill into law until February. Though it's certainly not everything I wanted, I'd like to thank the US Senate for their work and attention on America's expensive and broken Health Care system over the last 25 days, and the US House of Representatives before that. I know it's your job, but Thank you.
"Despite the bill's flaws, it does meet the test of real reform, and the cost of inaction was much too high." - Senator Russ Feingold
On to the Jobs Bill!
Merry Christmas! (If you're so inclined. If not, sorry about all the annoying music.)
Subject: Just A Tiny Fraction Of The Time & Energy We Devote To X-mas Would Suffice
That's not to say that Jesus shouldn't be celebrated and revered, just that our redirecting even a minute portion of the spirit of X-mas towards the struggle for peace on earth and goodwill to all living beings can only enhance said spirit, not detract from it. Sending an X-mas card, for example, to one's elected representatives, asking him or her to support bringing our troops out now, that there be no war no more, nowhere, never, not even one; surely that would be an X-mas spirit enhancer, if ever there was one. So would a Twitter message to President Obama which said something like, "X-mas greetings & looking forward to the elimination of poverty in America by next X-mas." And what a boost the movement for change would get from the infusion of the X-mas spirit into its veins. Think of the Christmas Day Parade featuring contingents of revelers expressing the spirit of the day with chants such as "Swords into Plowsharew, faster, faster" & "The poor, as inheritors of the earth, must get a fair share of it & now."
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