Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sen Webb and his Re-Election

Democratic Sen. Jim Webb today said that we should wait for Sen. Brown to be admitted before any votes on health care take place. It's only fair that the voters of Massachusetts be represented on such an important issue. As one commenter has noted on another site, in 1998 the Republicans had lost several seats in the House and Senate midterm elections, yet they went ahead with the impeachment of Bill Clinton before the new Democratic legislators could be seated. So much for respect for voters wishes.

“In many ways the campaign in Massachusetts became a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process,” Mr. Webb said. “It is vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated."

Huh? Prudent? Massachusetts already has universal coverage. The rest of us don't.

I think Sen. Webb has a lot of nerve allowing the failure of health care reform because of a "principle" which is defective and has not been applied by the opposition in the past. This all is just pseudo-statesmanship and is further evidence that the Democratic Party is losing its ability to govern. First they make up a requirement that 60 votes are needed because this is "important "legislation." Complete bullshit. If it's really important legislation and this is a good bill then pass it with 51 votes. Is it really more important than impeaching a president?

If a recent Harvard study is to be believed, 45,000 Americans die every year due to lack of health insurance. So Sen. Webb's pseudo-principle trumps the lives of 45,000 people. I don't want to overstate the drama of such a large number but even if it were 5000 people per year that would be too many. Even if no lives were saved but we could reduce costs and improve insurance coverage that would be reason enough to pass legislation with 51 votes.

The current bill has many moving parts and that is the nature of such wide ranging legislation, which is necessary to reform such a broad-based industry. Half measures never work because players in the economic system will merely seek out loopholes on which to capitalize.

At least the Republican party has principles. They have stated clearly that they want to kill health care reform. They do not believe that working class folks deserve a break. and the GOP is sticking to its principles. Health care stocks are up!

The Democratic Party has no principles and they continue this game of attempting to read tea leaves to garner some advantage in the next election. If the purpose of health care reform is to reform health care then pass this bill now; if the purpose of health care reform is to allow opponents to tear it asunder, then wait for Sen. Brown to take his seat.

But, Sen. Webb, the working parent with two kids is watching and she will vote in the next election. The small business owner whose health-care costs have risen 50% in the last eight years is watching and he will vote in the next election. The majority of physicians who are in favor of health care reform are watching and they will vote in the next election.

Good luck in the next election Sen. Webb, you'll need it.

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