Friday, September 20, 2013

House Votes to Defund Obamacare

The Washington Post officially reports:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/house-passes-gop-spending-plan-that-defunds-obamacare/2013/09/20/4019117c-21fe-11e3-b73c-aab60bf735d0_story.html?wpisrc=al_comboPN_p

Here's one Tea Party's official response:

"Your hard work is paying off and for now it seems the House Leadership is listening to the will of the American people. The House just voted 230 to 189 to keep the government funded while stopping funding for Obamacare.

Now the ball is in Harry Reid's court. What will he do? Will he continue to ignore the will of the American people or will he finally listen to the people he represents and stop Obamacare from further destroying our economy?

This is a critical moment and we need everyone making phone calls to Harry Reid to tell him to listen to the voice of the American people.

Call Harry Reid now and tell him that we will not rest until we stop Obamacare!

Harry Reid: 202-224-3542

In Liberty,
Tea Party Patriots National Support Team"

Fellow Virginians, I'm seeing a different problem. As the Senate votes to acknowledge or (illegally) ignore the will of the people, we will be represented by two Senators who belong to the party that traditionally disagrees with the majority of us. Convincing these Senators to vote with their actual constituents rather than their co-partisans is like convincing a thirsty horse to walk up the hill, away from fresh water. It's not impossible, but neither is it easy.

Frankly, I don't know much about our junior Senator, but I believe Mark Warner is a reasonable man and will support a reasonable plan if we can convince him that a critical mass of Virginians will also support one.

"Reasonable" is a critical word. If fiscally conservative Virginians lock horns and scream about any form of national health care being a Communist Plot, while our fiscally reckless neighbors dig in and scream about the lack of a national health care plan being an Evil Greedhead Scheme to Steal Grandpa's Wheelchair, we can hardly blame our Senators for ignoring the screams and voting with their Democratic Party friends, who will then seem to be the most reasonable people they know.

As regular readers know, this web site defines "a reasonable plan" for a medical care safety net in specific terms that include:

1. There must be some sort of guarantee that the medical treatment that saves someone's physical life won't be allowed to destroy the person's socioeconomic life. We've had this guarantee, de facto, for a long time: people who've been rushed to hospital emergency rooms have been saying, "How much is this going to cost?" and hearing, "You'll receive a bill, a large bill, but if you can't pay it the state will cover it," at least as long as I've been alive. The idea of government chipping in what patients can't pay is not new. Only acknowledging it in an official law is new.

2. However, this guarantee must ensure that only the actual cost of treatment will be paid, from a fund that's created for this purpose, without subsidizing any unnecessary expenses such as the cost of financing insurance gambling schemes.

3. Patients must be able to obtain medical treatment anonymously, as long as they can pay for it themselves. Any attempt to tie medical records into tax records must be thwarted. Sharing this information via the Internet must be treated not as a legitimate requirement for a medical care plan, but as a crime...because otherwise embarrassing, contagious medical conditions, from head lice to AIDS, will go untreated and become epidemics. Only when patients give up the effort to pay their own medical bills should there be any contact with any government records of any kind.

4. Decisions about medical care must be made by patients, their doctors (in case of doubt they should be able to consult as many additional doctors as they consider necessary), and, if patients are unconscious, their next of kin. Neither government nor insurance company employees should have any influence on any medical decision.

5. The medical care emergency fund must be financed as a straightforward tax, without any mandate that any individual buy into any kind of long-term scheme. Government should report to the public on the amount of money required to pay last year's emergency medical expenses, and should collect no more than that amount this year. Only when and as actual medical expenses increase should the amount of money allocated to paying those expenses increase. There should be at least a one-year period between the issuance of a patient's medical bill and the presentation of the unpaid balance of that bill to the fund, during which the patient should be encouraged to pay his or her own bill.

The cost of having developed medical science to the point where most people can expect to be active into their eighties, with a little medical help when necessary, is that we will have to help retired and disabled people pay for that medical help. However, there's no need to allow any collective medical care expenses to be inflated by allowing third parties to add their own blank checks to Grandpa's medical bill. Nobody minds buying the neighbor's Grandpa a wheelchair, or a kidney...but nobody should ever be asked to pay some insurance company executive's son's tuition at The Fearfully Expensive Private University for Wealthy Slackers.