Throughout the administration of President George W. Bush, the Senate passed much of its key legislation by majority vote:
* The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 passed 54-44
* The Energy Policy Act of 2003 passed 57-40
* The Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 passed 51-49
* The Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 passed 54-44
* The FY2006 budget resolution and Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 passed 52-47
* The Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act passed 55-45
* The FY2007 budget resolution passed 51-49
Today, under the administration of President Barack Obama, the House has passed bills preventing climate destruction and reforming our broken health care system, while the Senate searches for 60 votes in the face of Republican obstruction. Every day the Senate delays, more people die from lack of health care.
The filibuster should apply to the initiatives of both parties or to neither. Why should launching wars, and cutting taxes for the rich, require only 51 votes while saving lives requires 60?
If it wasn’t tragic, it would really be funny.
Our politics is based on lies and pay-offs. The Republicans we don’t even question any more – we know they’re just corporate hacks. On the Democratic side, the blue-dogs are making it fairly easy to see just how much it costs to buy off a politician ($3 million for Max Baucus; that’s the going rate these days).
In health care it seems we like monopolies, says Dylan Ratigan who points out the following:
a health care system was created in which a single health care company controls at least 30 percent of the insurance market in 95% of the country, including states like the following:
– Maine, where Wellpoint controls 71% of the market.
– North Dakota, where Blue Cross controls 90% of the market.
– Arkansas, where Blue Cross Blue Shield controls 75% of the market.
– Alabama, where Blue Cross Blue Shield controls 83% of the market.
Your insurance company is the death panel, America!
Here’s a dollar from Mr. Wendell >>
Meanwhile the Supreme Court is plotting on corporate free-speech…
This plot needs a deus ex machina – Obama, wherefore art thou?
The insurance companies have spent over 375 million dollars blocking this with their Republican friends and their blue lap-dogs. At 300 million Americans, they could have given us each over one million dollars!
Heading into the health care debate, there was only ever one genuinely dangerous idea out there, and that was a single-payer system. Used by every single developed country outside the United States (with the partial exceptions of Holland and Switzerland, which offer limited and highly regulated private-insurance options), single-payer allows doctors and hospitals to bill and be reimbursed by a single government entity. In America, the system would eliminate private insurance, while allowing doctors to continue operating privately.
In the real world, nothing except a single-payer system makes any sense. There are currently more than 1,300 private insurers in this country, forcing doctors to fill out different forms and follow different reimbursement procedures for each and every one. This drowns medical facilities in idiotic paperwork and jacks up prices: Nearly a third of all health care costs in America are associated with wasteful administration. Fully $350 billion a year could be saved on paperwork alone if the U.S. went to a single-payer system – more than enough to pay for the whole goddamned thing, if anyone had the balls to stand up and say so.