Health Care Reform is all the rage these days. But who’s interests are at work here in this health care bill?
The people’s? The insurance company’s? The health care industry? The Government’s? It’s hard to tell and depending on what your overall political views are it can vary from person to person based on the same evidence.
It does seem to be that this Health Care Reform initiative isn’t really “good” for anyone. I’m not real sure anyone, especially those in congress, the ones voting on the bill, have any clue what’s really going on in the thing.
This brings up the first of an initiative by a small group called the Downsize DC Foundation. The first is the “Read the Bills Act“. The general gist is that congress members should be required to actually read bills before they act on them. You can tell because the name is simple and obvious (I’m pretty sure obvious names for bills was one of their initiatives too).
This also suggests that congress members should be actually familiar with the implications of bills before they pass them as well. The problem with this is that so many bills are written in what I like to call “Extreme legalese”. Don’t these people know real fucking English? Why can’t the bill just say what it means and not this crap that amounts to a run on sentence with multiple loopholes string into it?
Which leads to another bit of an issue I have with the way Congress operates. Sure, “Anyone can run for office”, but it’s such a closed system and ultimately, if John Smith actually managed to get elected he won’t have any clue what half these laws and bills mean. They’ll have all been written by a handful of deeply entwined incumbent cronies that head up the party. There’s basically just a wall of old school glut in the way of any new people or ideas making their way in.
This is one reason that honestly there should be term limits for Congress.
Then there is the “One Subject At a Time” act. This may sound corny, but I believe it was an episode of the Simpsons, or possibly Animaniacs, or maybe even both many many years ago when I was still a kid, when I learned about how Congress will often tack unpopular bills onto popular ones in order to get them passed.
For example, there bight be a bill to give Flak Jackets to military troops over seas. This would be pushed for it’s merits of “saving the lives of our heroic soldiers”. No one wants to vote against saving the lives of heroes! Think of the reelection time! (One argument for Term Limits is lame duck style members who only vote “election friendly”). On the back of this bill, which under the system would be called something manipulative like the “Save Our Heroes Bill”, might be tacked a bill to give an excessive tax breaks to companies in Arkansas that make Steel Rails for trains. Basically, some sort of stipulation that only one company would qualify of ever and that would be a company that happened ot contribute to a particular canidate’s campaign a lot (CONVENIENTLY). Also there might be a secret tack on that let police search homes of people without warrants if they are suspected of having “drug connections”. Both of these secondary addons would be otherwise be completely shot down for obvious reasons but the idea of a tack on bill is that it gets passed by riding the coat tails of something extremely popular.
One Subject At a Time would stop this sort of action.
Also I realize that both of the example are rather extreme (the Tax break one probably less so) but they are simply examples.
The point here is that the system is broken. It has been broken for a while actually. Technology like the internet and blogging and the general connectedness that has been happening to society is only just now opening up the eyes of the people to see these problems more obviously. In the past people might notice these issues but think that they were the only one who really saw the problem. Now, millions of people can stand up and say that they see it too.