Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Senate and the health care debate

The Senate and the health care debate

There are at least 40 millionaires in the Senate. Being wealthy does impact a person’s values. The Senate is an elitist (House of Lords-type) club.

The Senate also grossly violates the “one man, one vote” equalitarian dictum.

The two Utah,conservative Mormon Senators, Orin Hatch and Bob Bennett, represent <1>6% of the US population.

Some of the founding fathers even argued against a Senate body as it would violate majority rule.

The wealthy Senate club is an elitist anti-majoritarian institution. This came through clearly in last night’s health care reform debate.

The Utah GOP rightwingers, Hatch and Bennett, led the debate, denouncing the Dem. bill as a budget-busting, big government boondoggle. These two dour Mormons have no sense of humor; no visible Joie De Vivre.

The two Arizona rightwingers, John McCain and Jon Kyl, replicated the Utah Senators’ arguments. McCain also came off as slightly wacko.

I have not read the 2000+ page Senate bill; and few Senators have. The size of the bill is a product of lawyers on steroids. It is mostly incomprehensible legalize.

What is clear is that the bill attempts to deal with the immorality of 40 million + uninsured Americans. This total masks several different sub-groups. But you can slice and dice it all you want. 40 million uninsured is unacceptable.

The bill will have about 15 million moving into an expanded Medicaid. That will be difficult to do. The GOP rightwingers have it right. Medicaid is a health care Gulog or ghetto. It is sub-standard primary care.

If the bill leaves the Medicaid financing the same ( 50% paid by the states), moving 15 million uninsured into Medicaid will not happen.

Like our friend in Vermont, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I favor eliminating Medicaid and expanding Medicare (Medicare for all).

The cost shifting will come with moving $50 billion annually from Medicare. This is doable, without cutting elder care. There is $30-50 billion annual waste/fraud in Medicare.

There is also those Medicare preferred private plans that have infiltrated Medicare. Get rid of them.

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