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Those Aren’t Balls, Harry

That must be a sock stuffed into Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s shorts, because it sure isn’t the new set of cojones I had hoped for. Word is that Senate Democrats, led by balless-Harry has decided to drop any type of public option from a newly agreed to healthcare “reform” bill. Instead, they have decided to mix several plans together, including an ability to buy into Medicare for those 55 and older. Reid just touted this as a major break through. But I don’t get how?
First of all, I don’t know a person on Medicare who is happy with it, and many are forced to buy supplemental insurance to get satisfactory coverage. Oops! … there go your savings!! So, why would anyone want to buy into a plan like that? Nothing like paying for the privilege of being kicked in the nuts.
Plus, what about the rest of us suckers looking for some relief from the ridiculous cost of healthcare who haven’t reached the magic double-nickels? Unfortunately, the patchwork of plans for the younger set will be administered by private concerns. So, don’t expect to get any more of a break than we already enjoy from the “private concerns” running the current health insurance show.
So what happened? Plain and simple, Harry and the Dem-management caved to the lobbyists of the most powerful group in DC. When the going got tough, they folded like Chinese laundry. And, speaking of the Chinese, why not let them compete in the market … that would drive down prices! But, seriously, why not just give us the same plan that members of congress enjoy? Too easy, I suppose. Though, don’t the generals say “the troops come first”? And, it wouldn’t even put us first, just on the same level playing field.
Bottom line is, the Senate plan won’t likely have much of an impact on our collective bottom lines, other than to continue to spiral up. Maybe at a slower rate (and I’m sure they’ll celebrate that when the time comes), but don’t expect to pay any less than you already do. Can you say, “Status quo”?

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Enough, Already!

WARNING: THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND/OR ADULT THEMES

First it was Joe “I’m Sorry” Wilson yelling, “Liar! Liar!! Pants on fire!!” at the President of the United States in front of the entire Congressional gathering; then, it was Rush “I Didn’t Say That” Limbaugh crying in the milk about not being able to play football with the big boys; and, just this past week, it was Rep. Kevin “Schoolyard Bully” Brady making up statistics and “facts” as he went along during finance reform hearings trying to get Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to voluntarily step down from his post. It’s as if the right has been reduced to a whining bunch of 5 year olds, who hope that if they whimper long enough they might actually get their way.
But, can you blame them? Matron Saint Palin is back in the limelight, proving again in interviews that she has absolutely no clue. Unless you consider not knowing the difference between Iraq and Iran (beyond the disparity in 4th letters) an improvement over being able to see Russia from her house.
You’ve got Ms. Prejean showing up in film without her jeans. Illuminating the fact that it’s better to be seen hanging with Camel Joe than it is to be caught playing with your Camel-toe.
And now, it seems as if Harry “Big Balls” Reid is going to take his version of Health Care reform direct to a vote without giving the GOP faithful a chance to read from the local phone book.
I suppose it is enough to reduce anyone to the level a sniveling pre-schooler. But, really … enough, already! I can’t stand it when my own flesh and blood gets crotchety, so I surely don’t want crabbiness from the folks who are supposed to solving our various national crises. I will say to them the same thing I say to my kids when they get too pissy, “Keep it up, and you’ll be going on a permanent time out!”

Is Harry Reid Growing Some Cojones?

WARNING:  THIS BLOG MAY CONTAIN EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND/OR ADULT THEMES

Late yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, announced he would be supporting a new Health Care Reform bill that has a modified public option included, citing strong public opinion in favor of such an option.  Additionally, he said he would consider using “reconciliation” in order to only require a 50% majority, rather than the usual 60%, to pass the bill.

This is a huge gamble for the Nevada Democrat, but one he is apparently willing to back with the rarely invoked “reconciliation” which would give the one-finger-salute to any attempt at bipartisanship.  Since the exact details of his proposal have yet to be released, and will be reviewed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, I won’t discuss the merits of it here …yet.  But, the bold move does deserve some examination.

Is Harry Reid getting “Mavricky” on us?  Suddenly grown a huge set of balls?  Or, just emboldened by the growing public opinion consensus?  I think the evidence points solidly towards the latter.  “Public Option” wasn’t even part of his vocabulary when the Health Care debate began in earnest several months ago.  Then, when President Obama stated that he would prefer a bill with the PO, Reid pretty much poo-pooed it, saying he doubted he could get it passed.  Then, when Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) suggested a PO back-up plan if certain thresholds were not met over the next 5-7 years, Reid said it was a “pretty darn good idea”.  In other worlds, he has waffled more on this subject than breakfast at IHOP!

Regardless of his motivation for the sudden discovery of backbone, Reid’s daring move deserves some applause.  While his bill may not ending up being a full-fledged PO that drives real competition in an overweight, out-of-shape Health Care system, it is a start in the right direction that will certainly drive the debate truly needed on this issue.  Most of all, though it took some time, it’s refreshing to see some of our elected officials seemingly inclined to heed to the will of the majority of the American people.

It remains to be seen if the Majority Leader can stick to his guns and get a bill done that will jive well with what the Pelosi-led House has proposed.  My suggestion to Senator Reid is to add some extra starch to his shirts in order to stand erect during the heated battle that is sure to follow, because I’m not sure if that is a faux Public Option in his pants pocket, or truly a new set of cojones.