Friday, March 19, 2010

Health Care and the Fate of the Republic

This Sunday the U.S. House of Representatives will convene (other than times of war--when has Congress ever been specifically called together on a Sunday?) and "vote" on whether or not the U.S. Senate's version of health care reform should be "deemed" worthy as passing. Though this maneuver is often done, it's supposed to be for something small, e.g. a few words of difference between two bills. This procedure of "deeming" has never been used and was never intended to be used for a piece of major legislation. This process will allow Representatives to "vote" for the bill without actually voting for anything.

Should the procedure pass this Sunday, I fear it will be the beginning of the end of our Republic. Should the procedure pass, I think it will be used time and time and time again in the future by whatever party that has the majority. I don't believe the procedure is Constitutional in this matter, but I have very little faith left in the judicial system to believe that it will be overturned and ruled unconstitutional and even if it is, the damage done will be tremendous. I haven't had time to read the entire bill (it's over 2,000 pages long), but I do know that there are lots and lots and lots of new taxes. For instance, do you ever buy soda, juice, or flavored water from a vending machine? As part of this bill beverages (except for water, I believe, though I'm not sure because the language is a bit confusing) sold in vending machines will have a tax levied on them. Those things typically cost between $.50-$1.00 now but if this current health care package passes those things will cost between $1-$2 more.

Those in support of the bill say that according to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill will reduce the federal deficit $130 billion in the first decade, and by by $1.2 trillion in the second. This makes no sense whatsoever. You cannot create a massive entitlement program and expect it to actually reduce the deficit. Every single entitlement program the government has ever offered has only further increased the federal deficit and debt. Even those Congresspeople in support of the legislation say that the initial cost to just start the new program will be around $1 trillion. Let's see, it'll cost $1 trillion dollars just to start but in ten years if everything goes right, it'll cut $130 billion from the deficit. You don't have to be very good in math to see the numbers do not add up. The U.S. has already been warned that our AAA credit rating is in jeopardy (unless we stop our reckless spending) and this health care overhaul will only add to that. I don't have any children right now, but when I do, I don't want them to have to speak Chinese because that's the national language.

I've been working as a temporary office employee for over 20 months. There isn't much chance the company I work at will bring me on as a regular employee. However, there is a chance. Should this pass, I won't ever have a chance of being a regular employee. Several smaller businesses have already gone on the record as stating if the health care package passes, they will be making all of their employees contract workers. What that means is that all of those workers will be like me, they will be working on their own without any sense of job security or any benefits (no insurance or perks) and in some cases it will mean a pay cut. Let me tell you something, though I'm thankful to have a job, being a contracted worker doesn't allow one to make much gains in ones financial situation. I've been poor and living near the poverty line most of my life. Should this health care legislation pass on Sunday, I'm afraid there are going to be a lot more people who will be living like me. They say that misery likes company, but not me. I'd rather not have others experience any of the misery I've known. Unfortunately, Congress seems to think you should.

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