Monday, 26 June 2017 12:40

McConnell's Senate Healthcare bill on fast-track to failure

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mitch mcconnellDemocrats have complained about the speed of the Republican Senate healthcare bill set for a vote before the July 4 recess. Minutes after a 140 page draft appeared House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer were at the microphones condemning. It was a very quick read even for the fastest speed-reader.

The bill contains plenty of what people will find objectionable but, at least, it should be looked at with greater scrutiny than is possible while the ink is still wet. The public will be the ultimate arbiters and its deliberations will take considerably longer than the bill’s fast tracking.

Health expenditures, it’s said, equal one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Even if that’s true, cost is a callous way to analyze legislation that should have less to do with the GNP than the physical well being of Americans. The young mother-to-be who suffers from preeclampsia and requires twelve week of hospitalization before her baby’s due date doesn’t care about the economy. She cares about the new life she’s carrying. The aged man or woman doesn’t care, either, nor the disabled person, or the sick child. To them any economic argument is a no starter. Cancer doesn’t check anyone’s credit score before it kills.

The issue of healthcare for Americans is far bigger, more personal, than what’ll happen to our economy if we truly care about ourselves and our fellow citizens. It’s not a rich vs. poor calculus or about a tax cut for the upper class. Tax cuts don’t need to be buried inside any other bill because they’re enough votes in the House and the Senate to pass them directly. Health care is about compassion not wealth.

Donald Trump has flaws, many, but his overall message isn’t consistent with throwing the lame, the halt, and the blind out into the cold. During his campaign the President said that no one would die on the streets of America on his watch. Among those who do so, now, are addicts who can’t kick their habits without help. Many need several tries at rehabilitation to get well. To cut funding that helps them, because imprisonment does nothing, will litter the streets with bodies of the victims of the opioid epidemic.

The long battle against abortion rights won’t end with this administration. Though abortions are a small part of the many services provided by Planned Parenthood that right has become a litmus test for the organization’s existence. If maintenance of one service utilized by few, however, causes many to lose regular, necessary, care there is a way to resolve that problem without making millions of women sick.

Obamacare lasted seven years. What are the odds that McConnell care will last longer? There are elections coming that will shape the future just as they have for more than two centuries. No party stays in power forever. Democrats criticized Republicans for taking them to task over Obamacare without offering any substitutes. Democrats should take their own advice, get their pens out and start writing.   



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