Friday, March 19, 2010

Demon Pass and Reconciliation - Total Health Care Chaos in Congress - Who is the Fool?


Okay, yesterday Nancy Pelosi finally posted the Obama health care demon pass rule or whatever the heck it is since it is not a bill that was approved by congress. It is a rather odd demon pass rule in the House that no two people in Washington explain in the same way, and it is also a reconciliation procedure in the Senate yet somehow it morphs into a bill.

The report from the Congressional Budget Office is in and they claim if we spend about a trillion dollars the first ten years we will reduce the deficit by around $134 billion. Then after ten more years we will save another $1.2 trillion. Strange math I think.

If you look at the fine print in the CBO instructions it may very well say the savings are not savings at all but a reduction in future increases, a technique congress has used often to confuse the public. Well a reduction in future increases is no savings and I don't care what school of economics you attended.

Now the financing of the first trillion dollars comes from increased taxes, a $500 billion reduction in Medicaid, taxes on a whole bunch of health expenses like wheel chairs, and who knows what else. I don't remember Obama promising to do any of those things during the campaign and debate over the bill.

Some of the bill does not even start until 2014 so don't expect overnight results. And those promised reductions in health care premiums, don't count on them either. As for punishing the insurance industry, don't you find it odd that with all their billions of dollars there is no evidence of lobbying against the bill or running commercials opposing the bill by those insurers? Wouldn't you think they would be fighting it tooth and nail if they were going to be disemboweled by it as Obama claims?

Fact is as the final action neared those devils on Wall Street, the ones who finance those bad insurance companies while taking million dollar bonuses, have not been driving down the stock market prices but have actually had eight straight days of driving up the market. Yet another sign the big, bad, rich guys are for the bill, not opposed. There is even an internal method to poll Wall Street which shows according to MSNBC the bet on Wall Street is 80% believe it will be approved.

So Wall Street, Obama and Pelosi agree it is best for America. Now we find out if the Democrats in the House first, and Senate second, agree. We know the Republicans oppose it and it seems as if the public is split or a majority oppose it.

Sunday just after 2 pm the House, under Pelosi, will take up the demon pass rule in order to avoid voting on the Senate bill which somehow they think will protect Democrats from being defeated in the elections this fall. Of course demon pass has never been used for this purpose. Then there will be a vote on the changes that Obama and the House want to the Senate bill which has not been approved by the House yet.

Nor will it ever be thanks to the Pelosi and Steny Hoyer rules that will be applied. So 216 votes are needed and it could be a cliffhanger. If they get them the bill thing then goes to the Senate because the House has now changed the Senate bill without voting on it and the Senate must agree to the changes to their bill that wasn't voted on. Still following me?

Now here is one thing the media, president and Pelosi are not talking about. You see, under the reconciliation procedure being used by good old Harry Reid and Obama in the Senate, every single proposal in the House bill must be directly related to the federal deficit or budget process. A Senate parliamentarian must rule on each section. There is no guarantee every section will meet the budget rule and if the Senate refuses to agree with any part of the bill, whoops, it goes back to the House for another round.

No matter what the White House and Democratic leaders say, there have never been votes on such broad bills like the health care reform bill using either the House demon pass rule or the Senate reconciliation procedure. That means it could also be subject to a Constitutional challenge. Add another year to the process for the courts to act.

The House will act on Sunday, but if the bill slips through don't start celebrating yet. It could take a week or more for the Senate to act. If they disagree on any part of it add a few more months. If they agree then we still have the court challenges. And even if we don't have court challenges remember much of the bill does not start until 2014.

Now if you understood everything I just said you should be running for president or moving to South America. If you could explain it, and remember, each thing I said is contested by either the Democrats or Republicans, then you are a better communicator than our president, congress and media.

So in summary, take every step the rest of the way with a grain of salt. No one really knows if it will add to our deficit or reduce it. Based on past government projections and promises, don't count on it reducing the national debt, reducing your health insurance premiums or get you better, if any, health care.

If the timing works out, the Senate could be voting about the same night NCAA March Madness ends with the National Championship game on April 5. Let's hope it doesn't end on April 1, April Fool's Day, because of the chaos node we are in we will have no idea who got fooled. Is it the president, congress, the Democrats, the Republicans, the public, the media or Wall Street who will be the biggest fool?


No comments: