Real Americans won’t reconcile with ‘deem and pass’ benefits

Over the past 50-plus years from the Senate floor, Congressional galleries and on CSPAN, AT LARGE has watched passage of legislation that has changed America and perhaps the world.

Almost none of this significant legislation has passed without naysayers.  Not content to say something along the lines of ‘Hey, this isn’t a super great bill,” opponents invariably predict cataclysm, even apocalypse should a bill they oppose become law.

It’s déjà vu all over again when it comes to healthcare reform, popularly known as Obama-care. (The latter nomenclature may be telling:  Seems to me that a lot of folks who oppose healthcare reform care less about healthcare that they care about opposing President Obama, but that’s another story.)

Sure, proponents picture babies and old folks dying in front of unreformed, un-socialized hospitals.  And opponents picture a hellish America where the sun never shines after the government takes over our beloved, all-American insurance companies.  But that’s par for the course.

In the last couple days, however, the healthcare reform silliness reached, well, epidemic proportions on both sides of the aisle and ideological spectrum when discussion shifted from the details of reforms/non reforms to the procedure by which a bill might pass.

If one wishes to retain an appetite for law and sausages, it is best to watch neither made. So whether it’s the transmutation of intestines into andouille or the grinding of a controversial bill into law, the process can be fairly unappetizing.

But history judges sausage on its taste.  And after the legislative dust settles, a law is judged not on how it passed Congress, but on what is does to or for Juan and Jane Q. Public.

“Oh, no!” say the bed-wetters, their delicate bladders bloated with the right’s Kool-Aid. “The Democrats will pay a terrible price if they pass even a good bill through sneaky parliamentary maneuvers. The American people will exact terrible vengeance.”

Wow!  That’s heavy stuff!

So wanting to find out more about the righteous wrath storm to come, AT LARGE dusted off his heretofore faithful crystal ball and dialed up a scene two years after Obama-care became the law of the land.

A typical American family is sitting around the kitchen table discussing finances.

“Little Jared needs an operation to repair his pre-existing defective heart valve that will kill him in 18 months without surgery.”

“What should we do, honey?”

“We could use money from our insurance coverage to pay for the procedure, dear…”

“Goodness, no! I’m not going to take money that came from legislation that passed Congress on an underhanded, self-executing ‘deem and pass’ procedure thought up by Nancy Pelosi and that darn House Rules Committee.”

“I love you even more when you stand on principle over House rules, darling!”

“And I love you, too, sweetie. We’ll just sell little Suzie to human traffickers so we don’t have to take that filthy Democrat money.”

“And if there’s cash any left over after the surgery bills are paid, we can send it to Speaker Boehner for a new spray-on suntan treatment!”

I normally trust my crystal ball.

But if you buy that scenario, you’re smoking something that didn’t come from your neighborhood pharmacy. 

And don’t hold your breath until the insurance company reimburses you for that stash!

2 Responses to “Real Americans won’t reconcile with ‘deem and pass’ benefits”

  1. 1 John
    March 20, 2010 at 6:48 am

    The family next door to where little Jared’s family lives will be saying…”wow, I’ve been unemployed 4 years, inflation is now at 8% and unless I get another payment from the government we are going to have to sell our house and move under a bridge”. Couldn’t we have tried just making the availability of health care more competitive? It has worked in other sectors of our economy – we should have at least tried it. Everyone likes the thought of poor little Jared getting affordable access to health care…but there are (were) more efficient, more effective and less costly ways to accomplish it (but not when our elected representatives care more about themselves than their constituents and the nation they represent).

  2. March 20, 2010 at 11:13 am

    That’s the trouble with crystal balls: They have a lot of channels!

    John is a very smart, thoughtful guy who actually considers issues rationally rather than chanting screeds from talking points; we agree — often to our mutual surprise — far more than we disagree.

    The point of this particular piece — if it’s necessary to restate it, I guess it wasn’t very well communicated in the first place — is: whatever bill emerges from the legislative sausage factory will be judged on what it does to or for little Jared’s family and for/to their neighbors, NOT on the procedures used to get it passed.

    So — here I go again assuming the ill-fitting mantle of The Voice of Reason — I suspect both our scenarios are more than a little overblown, that whatever bill passes (if indeed, it passes)will bring about neither apocalypse nor nirvana…and that the government for the people, of the people and by the people shall not perish from the earth. Call me a dreamer!

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Jared Cameron

It is better to smoke a single candle that to curse the darkness

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