Over the weekend, your House of Representatives passed a bill that would, depending on who you listen to, make health care coverage affordable for the vast majority of Americans or plunge the nation into a dark netherworld of socialism, its discontents and large, building-sized pictures of Josef Stalin.
Although we’re inclined to think it’s the former (for obvious reasons), here are some raw facts and a few quotes courtesy of our local elected officials to help shed some light on what happened and what’s in store for the biggest piece of reform legislation since Harry Truman built a fabulous deck on the White house.
First, here’s Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3, saying what his counterpart Ben Chandler, D-6, could not:
“The citizens of Louisville, Kentucky, sent me here to this body largely to help bring us to this historic moment. By an overwhelming margin, they’ve told me they want changes to the system that will guarantee them access to high-quality care that is always affordable and accessible. It is the day we take a giant step toward that more perfect union that we all seek. I am very proud to be a part of this day, and I’m also very proud for the all too patient citizens of America.”
According to Yarmuth, 452,000 area residents will find employer based coverage ”strengthened,” which we take to mean no denial of pre-existing conditions, no “cap” placed on life-saving treatments and lowered premiums. Additionally, 176,000 Louisivillians will gain access to our shiny, state-of-the-art hospitals via federal subsidies, including 18,700 small businesses.
And for those “deficit hawks” riled by the $1 trillion-plus price tag, $236 million will be saved in the Louisville-area alone by reducing the amount of uncompensated (i.e. uninsured) care, which would include my uninsured ass were I ever to get hit by a car. (Click here to see a full list of the bill’s endorsements)
But what of that “loyal opposition” we heard so much about? Ha ha, here is Mitch McConnell, on the eve of the legislation’s passage, sounding like an arrogant prick:
“Rarely has the disconnect between Congress and the American people been clearer than the vote tonight. Americans want lower costs, less government intrusion, a simpler approach and less spending. Instead, the Democrat leadership has just forced through a partisan, 2,000-page bureaucratic monstrosity—a trillion-dollar government experiment that raises premiums, raises taxes and slashes Medicare to create more government programs. That’s not reform.” [C-J]
“Partisan?” “Disconnect?” “Not reform?” Hmm… we will not touch these, but instead wait for McConnell to say something exponentially more egregious during the upcoming debates in the Senate, where hopefully his co-pilot, Sen. James Bunning, will keep the smelling salts at the ready for the demon Harry Reid. And how much of the current bill will remain intact by the time it — and a potential public insurance option — passes through the clutches of these two great men? Only time will tell…