Democrats squabbling and buying votes for the Health Care Reform Bill

Here is a fascinating article on the battles that are brewing among Democrats over the Health Care Reform bill, now that a delicately compromised Senate bill will have to be reconciled with a delicately–but differently–compromised House bill. The story contains this tidbit, the price Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb) extorted in order to compromise his pro-life convictions:

Nelson, who got the federal government to pick up the cost of any Medicaid expansion under the health reform bill in the state of Nebraska forever. Republicans said Democrats have refused to say which state would get about $100 million inserted into the bill on behalf of a still unidentified university hospital.

“This process is not legislation. This process is corruption,” said Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). “And it’s a shame that that’s the only way we can come to consensus in this country is to buy votes.”

Nebraska would get its Medicaid bills picked up by the rest of the nation’s taxpayers FOREVER! What a deal.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Mary

    I think Rod Blagojevich was asking much less for a senate seat in my state of Illinois. He was just a little ahead of his time I guess. He would have fit right in if he had just appointed himself to the seat!

  • Mary

    I think Rod Blagojevich was asking much less for a senate seat in my state of Illinois. He was just a little ahead of his time I guess. He would have fit right in if he had just appointed himself to the seat!

  • dave

    Even just one Republican vote could have made that unnecessary.

    And yes, providing health care for millions who have limited or no access shouldn’t require such compromises but it did.

    Dozens of other countries provide health care to their people and their people live longer than ours and do it for less money.

    And I say this as someone who got needed health care as a kid from charity –Christians you say? No, the Shriners.

    And people wonder why I’m doubtful the church would step in to provide if the government does not. And I’ve been a church member all along.

  • dave

    Even just one Republican vote could have made that unnecessary.

    And yes, providing health care for millions who have limited or no access shouldn’t require such compromises but it did.

    Dozens of other countries provide health care to their people and their people live longer than ours and do it for less money.

    And I say this as someone who got needed health care as a kid from charity –Christians you say? No, the Shriners.

    And people wonder why I’m doubtful the church would step in to provide if the government does not. And I’ve been a church member all along.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Actually, health care is provided to all people regardless of income. It is the law that no person in need of medical attention can be turned away from the emergency room. And why would anybody want a government that can’t balance its own books to run something as vital as the health care system? I also don’t by the statistics that claim their health care systems are so much better. Part of that stems from my time as a chaplain at Md Anderson and the number of foreign patients that were on my floors, the other part is that there are more variables involved than are being accounted for in these studies.

    By the way, you do realize the majority of people without health insurance are people in their 20′s and 30′s who have opted out.

    In addition, churches for a long time operated charitable hospitals, however, operating costs were such that many ended up privatizing. Congregations I have served in have helped people with medical bills, so don’t give me that song and dance, Dave.

    I hope this bill crashes, burns and dies a horrible death. Maybe then people will realize that the reason we are in this mess is because the government got involved in limiting employee compensation and the health care system in the first place.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    Actually, health care is provided to all people regardless of income. It is the law that no person in need of medical attention can be turned away from the emergency room. And why would anybody want a government that can’t balance its own books to run something as vital as the health care system? I also don’t by the statistics that claim their health care systems are so much better. Part of that stems from my time as a chaplain at Md Anderson and the number of foreign patients that were on my floors, the other part is that there are more variables involved than are being accounted for in these studies.

    By the way, you do realize the majority of people without health insurance are people in their 20′s and 30′s who have opted out.

    In addition, churches for a long time operated charitable hospitals, however, operating costs were such that many ended up privatizing. Congregations I have served in have helped people with medical bills, so don’t give me that song and dance, Dave.

    I hope this bill crashes, burns and dies a horrible death. Maybe then people will realize that the reason we are in this mess is because the government got involved in limiting employee compensation and the health care system in the first place.

  • sjd

    It is so frustrating to watch our “leaders” ram this incredibly harmful legislation down our throats, with bought-off votes to boot. Corrupt government officials – the norm in our world, and the rest of us so numb to it.

  • sjd

    It is so frustrating to watch our “leaders” ram this incredibly harmful legislation down our throats, with bought-off votes to boot. Corrupt government officials – the norm in our world, and the rest of us so numb to it.

  • Garry

    Dr. Luther in the stone age @3

    You’re wholly ignorant of the purpose of an emergency room and of the dire needs of sick people in this country.

    Dave @2 You haven’t asked for my comment, but you’re going to be miserable the longer you stay LCMS. Synods like LCMS, WELS, etc., are increasingly irrelevant as they define what makes a Christian, not by adherence to the creeds, but by fidelity to the religious right’s war on the poor and sick. Find a church with a conscience.

  • Garry

    Dr. Luther in the stone age @3

    You’re wholly ignorant of the purpose of an emergency room and of the dire needs of sick people in this country.

    Dave @2 You haven’t asked for my comment, but you’re going to be miserable the longer you stay LCMS. Synods like LCMS, WELS, etc., are increasingly irrelevant as they define what makes a Christian, not by adherence to the creeds, but by fidelity to the religious right’s war on the poor and sick. Find a church with a conscience.

  • DonS

    dave @ 2: Maybe so, but you have to work with members of the opposing party to craft a bill that is reasonable if you want their votes. It is obvious that the Democrats wanted a bill they could own, and they own this one big time, with every bit of its corruption, sleaze, and waste.

  • DonS

    dave @ 2: Maybe so, but you have to work with members of the opposing party to craft a bill that is reasonable if you want their votes. It is obvious that the Democrats wanted a bill they could own, and they own this one big time, with every bit of its corruption, sleaze, and waste.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I generally let insults slide as they are worth my time and usually they indicate how tenuous a position is.

    Garry, I am hardly ignorant of the purpose of an emergency room. Not only have I been a chaplain in a hospital but I was also a volunteer medical first responder in college. I also have a degree in the medical sciences. I know what they are about. I merely brought them up as only one illustration as to how lack of medical care is a false claim.

    Most of the poor who have trouble with medical coverage isn’t because there is no available medical coverage it is because they mismanage their time and do not take care of necessary business in a timely manner. Our current government system as inefficient as it is provides rather good coverage as long as you take care of business. I know because for a time we were not in a financial position to afford medical insurance and needed to rely on medicaid for coverage. We didn’t have to pay a dime for my wife’s medical bills during that time, but we took care of the needed paperwork. There is hardly a lack of medical coverage.

    Please don’t mistake not trusting our government to properly handle medical care with lack of compassion. I have always been willing to help out as I can.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    I generally let insults slide as they are worth my time and usually they indicate how tenuous a position is.

    Garry, I am hardly ignorant of the purpose of an emergency room. Not only have I been a chaplain in a hospital but I was also a volunteer medical first responder in college. I also have a degree in the medical sciences. I know what they are about. I merely brought them up as only one illustration as to how lack of medical care is a false claim.

    Most of the poor who have trouble with medical coverage isn’t because there is no available medical coverage it is because they mismanage their time and do not take care of necessary business in a timely manner. Our current government system as inefficient as it is provides rather good coverage as long as you take care of business. I know because for a time we were not in a financial position to afford medical insurance and needed to rely on medicaid for coverage. We didn’t have to pay a dime for my wife’s medical bills during that time, but we took care of the needed paperwork. There is hardly a lack of medical coverage.

    Please don’t mistake not trusting our government to properly handle medical care with lack of compassion. I have always been willing to help out as I can.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    ugh… you need an edit function for comments should read
    *they are not worth my time*

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in 21st Century

    ugh… you need an edit function for comments should read
    *they are not worth my time*

  • ELB

    The logical gaps in this debate are breathtaking. Just one example: How does the voluntary giving of care through a Shriners hospital at all equate to the mandatory redistribution of resources?

    Another: If a church has a conscience then it must campaign for an elitist bureaucracy to take from some citizens to give to others?

    The winner in this move toward collectivism is not the poor person. Every move from democracy toward tyrrany has been based on an appeal for the poor – who somehow never end up better.

    Just think what it means that congress declares an entitlement to be an inalienable right! Who has given such power unto men?

  • ELB

    The logical gaps in this debate are breathtaking. Just one example: How does the voluntary giving of care through a Shriners hospital at all equate to the mandatory redistribution of resources?

    Another: If a church has a conscience then it must campaign for an elitist bureaucracy to take from some citizens to give to others?

    The winner in this move toward collectivism is not the poor person. Every move from democracy toward tyrrany has been based on an appeal for the poor – who somehow never end up better.

    Just think what it means that congress declares an entitlement to be an inalienable right! Who has given such power unto men?

  • Bruce Gee

    What has me most concerned is that the people of this country, once this debacle (and a host of others that parallel it) is passed into law, won’t run the lawmakers out of each of their towns on rails. Can it be that our fine educational system in this country has so dumbed us down that we just don’t care any more? People, we’ve actually got a Congress THAT DOESN’T READ THE BILLS IT PASSES INTO LAW.

    I’m willing to let them do their dirtiest, as long as the price they pay is to lose their jobs, once and for all. If it takes this sort of nationwide damage in order for the people to wake up and realize the inmates are running the asylum, fine. The damage can be eaily undone once the true nature of these freaks in Washington is known.

    That IF is a big IF.

  • Bruce Gee

    What has me most concerned is that the people of this country, once this debacle (and a host of others that parallel it) is passed into law, won’t run the lawmakers out of each of their towns on rails. Can it be that our fine educational system in this country has so dumbed us down that we just don’t care any more? People, we’ve actually got a Congress THAT DOESN’T READ THE BILLS IT PASSES INTO LAW.

    I’m willing to let them do their dirtiest, as long as the price they pay is to lose their jobs, once and for all. If it takes this sort of nationwide damage in order for the people to wake up and realize the inmates are running the asylum, fine. The damage can be eaily undone once the true nature of these freaks in Washington is known.

    That IF is a big IF.

  • dave

    Garry @5

    I’ve been slowly coming to the same conclusion, and I have left one congregation because of it, which I was never willing to do before.

    Also, your comment about emergency room care is spot on. Sadly, it went over the heads of some commenters here who could understand, but choose not to. For those that want to know, your right to an emergency room will provide you with emergency care. It will not provide you with care for a chronic condition that is not an emergency.

    And you know what, I don’t hear the folks in the Lutheran Church Canada saying that they can’t be confessional and still keep “Medicare” –Canada’s single payer health care system.

  • dave

    Garry @5

    I’ve been slowly coming to the same conclusion, and I have left one congregation because of it, which I was never willing to do before.

    Also, your comment about emergency room care is spot on. Sadly, it went over the heads of some commenters here who could understand, but choose not to. For those that want to know, your right to an emergency room will provide you with emergency care. It will not provide you with care for a chronic condition that is not an emergency.

    And you know what, I don’t hear the folks in the Lutheran Church Canada saying that they can’t be confessional and still keep “Medicare” –Canada’s single payer health care system.

  • Doug

    #5 Garry you seem to be saying people who are right of center don’t have consciences. I could think of a church where you might not run into those irrelevant and conscienceless conservatives.

    http://www.herchurch.org/

  • Doug

    #5 Garry you seem to be saying people who are right of center don’t have consciences. I could think of a church where you might not run into those irrelevant and conscienceless conservatives.

    http://www.herchurch.org/

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Garry (@5), as a member of a WELS church for over a decade now, I really don’t see much truth in your statement that Dave (@2) is “going to be miserable the longer you stay LCMS. Synods like LCMS, WELS, etc., are increasingly irrelevant as they define what makes a Christian, not by adherence to the creeds, but by fidelity to the religious right’s war on the poor and sick.” And I say that as one who often agrees with Dave’s positions.

    I won’t claim that I know how things are/were in your congregation, but I really don’t remember any political ramblings from the pulpit, ever. And I read Forward in Christ, the WELS magazine, regularly, and I think it’s a pretty balanced publication. Of course, the few times that politics have come up in conversations with my fellow congregants, I’ve found that most tend politically conservative. And that is their right, as it is mine to tend the other way. But it’s a far cry from there being some Republican mantra that we all must adhere to.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Garry (@5), as a member of a WELS church for over a decade now, I really don’t see much truth in your statement that Dave (@2) is “going to be miserable the longer you stay LCMS. Synods like LCMS, WELS, etc., are increasingly irrelevant as they define what makes a Christian, not by adherence to the creeds, but by fidelity to the religious right’s war on the poor and sick.” And I say that as one who often agrees with Dave’s positions.

    I won’t claim that I know how things are/were in your congregation, but I really don’t remember any political ramblings from the pulpit, ever. And I read Forward in Christ, the WELS magazine, regularly, and I think it’s a pretty balanced publication. Of course, the few times that politics have come up in conversations with my fellow congregants, I’ve found that most tend politically conservative. And that is their right, as it is mine to tend the other way. But it’s a far cry from there being some Republican mantra that we all must adhere to.

  • Carl Vehse

    Don’t forget to include the promises of the Liar-in-Chief.

  • Carl Vehse

    Don’t forget to include the promises of the Liar-in-Chief.


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