Publisher emeritus Jim Flood hopes for the best but fears for the worst when it comes to putting health care reform into practice.
What do you do if you are in the awkward position of strong opposition to a major piece of federal legislation but at the same time sincerely hope that somehow, in the nation’s best interests, the legislation works out successfully?
That’s the way I feel about the health care reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives on Sunday and since signed into law by President Obama.
As much as I think the mere broad scope of the health care law is probably a disastrous mistake, how can you hope it turns out that way? The nation’s well being is more important.
Enough of my personal quibbling.
The Obama administration approached last weekend intent on doing “whatever is necessary” to get the votes needed to pass the bill, including making special deals with any member willing to change from a “no” to a “yes” vote.
President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi worked single-mindedly in their hunt for votes, and they were successful, culminating in the final special deal with Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Michigan, on the abortion question. Stupak had enough followers committed to him to assure the 216 votes needed for passage. He said an agreement by the president to issue an executive order on abortion was enough to protect the status quo prohibiting federal money from being used to fund abortions.
All in all, the special arrangements process involving individual members of Congress to get their “yes” vote was not pretty. In fact, it was ugly. But it worked.
Republican proposals to improve health care were brushed aside in the long effort to pass the bill in both the House and Senate. As passed, the new legislation is entirely a Democrat product.
Now we will see how it turns out as this massive piece of legislation, with the many twists and turns in 2,700 pages, takes hold.
In the background is the nation’s growing national debt, something that could kick the legs out from under not only health care but other federal programs as well.
Along with major tax increases coming in the usual categories there will likely be truly big tax, something like a national sales tax. In Europe, it is the Value Added Tax, known as VAT, which churns out tons of money by taking cash from all residents.
We are in for a bumpy ride.