Monday, November 16, 2009

Halt the Political Prostitution

The health care lobby is stuffing politicians pockets with millions of dollars. This is really nothing less than political whoring-- anti-health care reform votes are being bought & sold.
In no other industry or sector would this kind of blatant bribery be allowed.
Is there no ethical consideration or violation? Over $3 million each to Baucus & Lieberman?
Is there any doubt they are opposed to the reform, and have undue influence on the bills they are about to vote on?

Indeed, our "civil servants" are talking about a filibuster on health care reform in the Senate.

A filibuster, or "speaking or talking out a bill", is a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body whereby one attempts to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a proposal by extending a debate on that proposal.
A filibuster can be ended by invoking cloture.

A similar procedure was adopted in the U.S. in response to the actions of isolationist senators who attempted to talk out, or filibuster, a bill to arm U.S. merchant ships. President Woodrow Wilson urged the Senate to change its rules to thwart what he called a "little group of willful men", to which the Senate responded by introducing cloture in the form of Rule 22 on March 8, 1917.

The cloture rule originally required a supermajority of two-thirds of all senators "present and voting" to be considered filibuster-proof. For example, if all 100 Senators voted on a cloture motion, 67 of those votes would have to be for cloture for it to pass; however if some Senators were absent and only 80 Senators voted on a cloture motion, only 54 would have to vote in favor. However, it proved very difficult to achieve this; the Senate tried eleven times between 1927 and 1962 to invoke cloture but failed each time. Filibuster was particularly heavily used by Democratic Senators from Southern states to block civil rights legislation.

In 1975, the Democratic Senate majority, having achieved a net gain of four seats in the 1974 Senate elections to a strength of 61 (with an additional Independent caucusing with them for a total of 62), reduced the necessary supermajority to three-fifths (60 out of 100). However, as a compromise to those who were against the revision, the new rule also changed the requirement for determining the number of votes needed for a cloture motion's passage from those Senators "present and voting" to those Senators "duly chosen and sworn". Thus, 60 votes for cloture would be necessary regardless of whether every Senator voted. The only time a lesser number would become acceptable is when a Senate seat is vacant. (For example, if there were two vacancies in the Senate, thereby making 98 Senators "duly chosen and sworn", it would only take 59 votes for a cloture motion to pass.)

You can see where all this is going. Politicians are bribed heavily by the for-profit insurance lobby. They come to the floor for the vote, having already had their votes bought and sold. It has already been announced there would be a filibuster-- the GOP threatens to prevent the vote from ever happening. They want to kill the bill by refusing to vote, and they can, unless enough Senators can get enough votes for cloture- or to override the filibuster.

The Senate is a sandbox, and the GOP are the bullies. We the people need health care reform, and the Senators elected to vote in our best interests are going to have to face the bullies. They have already thrown sand (the teabaggers), and now they are throwing punches (the threat of the filibuster). There will be verbal pushing and shoving. Our ears may begin to burn from the repeating of the two talking points... "Freedom" & "Government takeover".

What IS at stake here, is the freedom of for profit insurance companies to continue to make obscene amounts of profit by denying claims, and continually increasing policyholders out-of-pocket expenses. Also the freedom of all US citizens to have access to healthcare, that currently yields fatal results.

The Government takeover is actually consumer takeover. Because reform would pull the plug on insurance companies having total control of if & how health care is administered.
Those who argue against the change, are actually arguing against their own best interests- because otherwise, it is only a matter of time before they hit the insurance coverage wall...
their claim is denied, or they now have a pre existing condition, or their fees, costs & co pays become cost prohibitive- or the job they had that provided access to healthcare coverage goes away. The COBRA extended coverage is so cost prohibitive, the majority of unemployed can not afford it, even if someone could afford it, it is of limited duration.

How different this debate would be if these Senators were to have to change to the end result of their vote.... whatever they come up with will be the plan they are required to participate in.

Until then, while votes are for sale, it appears that the highest bidders are winning- in which case the rest of us lose.


enigma4ever said...

great thorough...thank you for this...wish it was better news eh?


thank you for all of your hard work on this...

nonnie9999 said...

most of them are so stinking rich that they wouldn't care if they were forced to live with crappy insurance plans.

i hope the dems go balls to the walls with this. if they want to filibuster, make them really filibuster. if they want the entire bill read, force them to sit through it.

Fran said...

This is turning into such a damned mess.
The thing we really want & need is Single Payer & they wont even allow that item to be on the table... because that would equal REAL reform.
So even the dregs of the plan- yet to be watered down further, or just what the teabaggers are chanting *kill the bill*. ... will that really happen?

What a nightmare.

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