We Must Have Health Care Passed This Year In Spite Of Scott Brown

As of today about 17% of our gross national product is spent on health care.  Without meaningful government control that number will grow.  It is also a number that is not sustainable.  The economic drain from our health care costs inflicts the economy in staggering ways.  The ‘little guy’ who buys into the GOP rants against  health care legislation is the same one that does not get a pay raise due to the employer needing to take money and put it into the health care plans at the workplace.  Ever increasing health care costs limit purchasing dollars to every aspect of the economy.  For those who do not have health care and require expensive emergency room care the ‘little guy’ also picks up the costs through higher premiums.  The lack of preventive care for everyone creates a huge fiscal mess as more costly and time-consuming procedures will take place due to a lack of essential primary services.  The current health care system is one that covers too few at too high of a cost.

The fact we have an employer based system is nothing short of absurd in 2010.  While the current bill in Congress does not address that problem in the way that many progressives had hoped, and what the economy requires, there are still enough positive parts to the current legislation passed in the Senate version to qualify it as needing President Obama’s signature.  For some to now suggest, based on what happens in the Senate race in Massachusetts, that we stop this bill and start over is nothing short of immoral and indecent.  Instead I am behind the mood and words of Speaker Pelosi.  As I have stated before we need to get the door opened with this bill so future sessions of Congress can improve it and add onto the foundation that is contained in it.  Slow for sure, but right now we have no other alternative.

“Let’s remove all doubt, we will have healthcare one way or another,” Pelosi said during an event in San Francisco on Monday. “Certainly the dynamic would change depending on what happens in Massachusetts. Just the question about how we would proceed. But it doesn’t mean we won’t have a health care bill.”

There is one way to pass the bill, even without 60 votes in the Senate, that’s getting a lot of attention now. But Pelosi probably won’t like it, and neither will a fair amount of her members.

The procedure in question would involve simply having the House vote on the bill that the Senate has already passed. That would mean avoiding yet another cloture vote in the Senate, one Democrats would be likely to lose if their caucus is down to 59 members after the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday.

House liberals will be upset about this idea, and progressive activists would likely be angry as well, but it may well be the only option left, and Democrats are reportedly leaning towards it. On Monday night, the New York Times reported: “The White House and Democratic Congressional leaders, scrambling for a backup plan to rescue their health care legislation if Republicans win the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday, are preparing to ask House Democrats to approve the Senate version of the bill, which would send the measure directly to President Obama for his signature.”

5 thoughts on “We Must Have Health Care Passed This Year In Spite Of Scott Brown

  1. At a number of times during the health care debate, opponents have declared that the whole bill should be scrapped and the process started anew. Such statements are incredibly simplistic because they assumed that nothing in the bill was worth saving. However, for the GOP who disapproved of reform efforts entirely as a political strategy, it was a simple way to try to shut down the process. If the reform process is to begin, the bill needs to pass in order to provide the first step toward significant change.

    1. patrick

      Republicans proposed no less than twenty other views of health care reform. These were ignored by a president who claimed he was looking for any good idea. The claim that scrapping the current bill is overly simplistic is like saying not taking that first step off the cliff is an overly simplistic solution to not falling to your death.

  2. Ferrell Gummitt

    So the only way the health care bill has gotten this far is by bribing two senators, closed door meetings – when transparency was promised and now if Scott Brown wins today, delaying his entrance to vote in the senate.

    Anything and everything, the end justifies the means. Damn the voters.

    If Scott Brown wins the Administration will double down on their bypassing of the constitution to get something that looks like government health care passed and so Obama can say “Look I should get an A+” now.

    Uh, huh do you understand why the Tea-Parties exist?

  3. Dennis

    The American Medical System is on its death bed, but government health care reform can never provide the cure. Both models for health care reform – government and business — are fatally flawed. More often than not they leave their victims fatally wounded. Better grab your wallet and head for the hills when government proposes to “reform” anything. The only hope for any effective and efficient reform lies in the Bible and with the church.

    The current system is pretty good at what we might call “body & fender” work. But they are generally clueless about what’s going on under the hood and addressing the root causes. Here is a short list of the deficiencies:

    1) A mechanistic view of the body underlies the system, treating a diseased organ in isolation, like the independent systems of an automobile.

    2) This leads to treating symptoms and ignoring the underlying problems creating the symptoms.

    3) Treatment of symptoms with drugs fails to address the underlying pathology. Nutrition and natural healing techniques are typically suppressed.

    4) Drugs usually have side-effects worse than the disease or its symptoms.

    5) Costs are driven into the billions, with money wasted on marketing the alleged benefits of drugs to doctors and the general public.

    All of this leads to skyrocketing costs and makes health care generally unavailable without so-called government assistance. The failures of the prevailing business model are legendary and invite government meddling to “fix” the problem with health care reform.

    We clearly need health care reform, but we’ll never get it from big government. Government of course, presents itself as the cultural balm to heal all wounds. Instead it is the cultural bomb to wound all heels — the vast majority that refuses to accept responsibility. They expect the government to force somebody else to provide for their health, education and welfare.

    The U.S. Constitution – flawed as it is – makes no provision for government health care. More important, there is no provision for government health care in the Bible. Thus, civil government has no business meddling in health care beyond punishing medical malpractice. Anything more is usurping the social function of God and his church, which God will surely punish.

    An out-of-control government will exploit a crisis to magnify its power over the private sector, trampling liberty in the process.

    The Biblical approach addresses both the mode of healing and the method of delivery. First, we must recognize the church as the God-ordained cultural institution of healing. The words “salvation” and “salve” are derived from the same root. We have seen how the government model and the business model of healing alike are terminal and beyond reviving.

    The Levites were assigned a medical responsibility in the Old Testament, which was supported by the tithe. For example, when leprosy infected a person or building they were responsible for dealing with it.

    New Testament elders have a similar responsibility for healing duties. Even before consulting a doctor, a sick person is told to summon the elders to pray for him and apply medicinal oil (James 5:14). The operative Greek word is not chrio (annoint), but aleipho (apply). This represents application of the best medical means of the day along with appeal to God as the Great Physician. It is not simply a ceremonial anointing.

    Thus, the church must reclaim health care as an aspect of Christian ministry. When profit enters the picture, the best interests of the patient soon take a back seat. Legalized (prescription) drug sales become the driving factor. Civil government gets involved not for profit, but for power. Health care is the proper domain of the church. It is funded by tithes and offerings, so that no one is excluded for lack of means.

    The church must gradually reclaim this lost ministry. At least two things are required: 1) Elders must study to develop a doctrine of medicine so they can recognize quackery and guide their flock away from ineffective practice. 2) Individuals gifted in the healing arts must be funded by the tithe, possibly as part of the deaconate.

    Proper mode of delivery is important, but the Bible also requires appropriate means of healing. In general, this points toward abandoning risky drug “therapy” in favor of natural, plant-based remedies. This is according to the pattern of Ezekiel 47:12 where – “Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”

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