Saturday, November 07, 2009

Listening to Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the House Floor

It sounds like we have the votes to pass, H.R. 3962 on health care reform. The road will still be long and difficult. Passage in the Senate is not guaranteed.

I have to say, having listened to about 2.5 hours of debate, that Republicans are--for the most part--sour grape dickheads. For about half of the 2.5 hours they have done nothing but fear-monger, lie, misrepresent, and acted like their plan is far better. On the contrary the Congressional Budget Office says, in so many words, that their plan is a fraud. Not only that, they had years since 1994 to do something about health care reform. Instead, they chose to obstruct, defend the status quo, and make the lives of hundreds of million of Americans more miserable than they already were.

To this moment, they are still talking about the fact that this bill will destroy jobs, increase taxes, kill seniors, land Americans in jail, lie, after lie, after lie.

What the Repugnant Ones' don't say in their floor speeches is that taxes will be raised by 5.4% on individuals making more than $500,000 and couples making more than $1 million a year.

What they also don't say is that small businesses that the bill is supposed to put out of business because of health care mandates are exempt below a certain size or income.

What they refuse to acknowledge is the fact that guaranteed health coverage is particulary important now that unemployment has broken the 10% threshold, and that real unemployment (which includes those who are looking for full-time employment but can only find part-time jobs or who have stopped looking altogether) has reached 17.5%.

They accuse Democratic health care bills to forecast cost increases of 8% a year (a dubious claim, to be sure), omitting the fact that health insurance companies have been increasing premiums at a yearly pace of 12%.

They warn us about skyrocketing deficits when in fact the CBO has projected that in the first 10 years of the bill's implementation costs will be reduced by $100 billion.

They want to scare us into thinking that the government will play interference between doctors and patients, when in fact the American Medical Association, the AARP, and countless other medical advocacy groups (including nurses and other practitioners) back the Democratic reform plan.

And finally, the Repugnant Ones keep misrepresenting the cost of the bill, putting it at $1.3 trillion over ten years, where in fact the CBO has rated the cost at $894 billion. Consider the fact that Republicans have not had any qualms about supporting Bush's three trillion dollar war or voting for this year's defense budget of $600 billion.

This is why Republicans have earned the moniker of Repugnant Ones. There is nothing they won't do or say to protect the moneyed interests that promote their careers, no matter what the cost, in dollars and lives, to the American people.

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