By Ric Joyner, CEBS, CFCI (A constitutional conservative watching the debate.)
I watched the coverage throughout the day yesterday and postponed going to a movie to watch the debates on C-Span! I was struck that this vote was so close! 1 republican voted in favor while 39 democrats voted against. The 39 were persuaded to vote in favor because of an amendment on abortion funding called the Stupak Amendment which confirmed that no federal dollars be used for abortions, even in the Exchanges (where people can buy insurance). The conclusion that I came too while watching the wrangling was; The entire struggle was about ideology. On the democratic side the main focus is (in my opinion) “government run” versus the republican version of “free market” as the solution. As the debate unfolded the democrats NEVER mentioned the $750,000,000,000 taxes on business and individuals, or the $1.3 Trillion cost of the 1990 page bill! The talking points were about covering the uninsured. Currently, 85% of Americans have health insurance and 15% don’t. But of the 15% many are illegal aliens. Thus we are grabbing the entire 17% of the economy to fix 15% of the uninsured! Yet if this is about covering the uninsured we could purchase insurance for miniscule the cost of the democratic bill.
It was a historic day, and the republicans had 8 years to fix health care and were touted as doing nothing in the 8 years they were in control yet they created many programs that put the control of health care decisions in the hands of the individual. On the Republican side their focus was on the tax burdens,administrative burden and the unemployment rate at historic highs, now was not the time and the cost. And that is why I love politics. It is similar to watching a football game. Many people are offended when talking politics however, in my view it shapes our destiny and is “the game of ideas”. What caused a cold chill of apprehension was the fact that most of the democrats debating, had not read the bill in any detail! I also can’t help thinking that the moniker associated with the democrats “tax and spend” is reality! I also saw from my perspective, the massive redistribution of wealth taking place in the bill.
The game now is in the 4th quarter with all eyes on the Senate. The Senators are going to experience intense pressure to “finish the job” before the new election year opens in January . Why is the goal line January 1? Because many democrats/republicans are up for reelection in 2010 and for the democrats with the high unemployment, “tax and spend” programs that have driven up the deficit and now another massive health care entitlement, many could lose their jobs.
So a new game begins starting in January with the finish line November 2010. The game of ideas then turn into “ideas have consequences”! Sorry this is exciting stuff for me!