As has been reported in a large number of places already, the House of Representatives passed a Health Care Reform bill Saturday night. It squeaked through after having provisions for it covering abortions were removed from the bill. There are a couple of things here that continue to show me that Speaker Pelosi is interested in nothing other than her own personal power.
First and foremost, there is no Constitutional authority for Congress to pass anything of this nature. Interstate Commerce, you say? If they were looking at further regulating the health insurance/care industry and were looking at the rules that chain companies to the overhead increasing policies requiring them to have different policies for each state in which they operate, I would completely agree that was within their authority. Wholesale requiring people to have insurance (and threatening them with several thousand dollar finds and/or multi-year prison terms if they don’t comply)? Not in the slightest bit within the Constitution scope of their authority. This, however, matters not a whit to a majority of the members of the House of Representatives (and, arguably, doesn’t matter a lick to most of the minority who voted against the bill).
The other big item of hypocrisy and frustration is Pelosi ignoring the promises of transparency and openness preached when President Obama took office. There had been a promise that any legislation would be posted on the Internet for 72 hours before a vote to allow constituents to read it. As with most other major legislation this year, this did not happen. At least in this case, unlike the stimulus bill, there was an actual written bill before the vote. Regardless, the final version was not available for public consumption for 72 hours before the vote.
At the moment, my only thought of saving grace are the fact that this bill is pretty much DOA when it hits the Senate. As well, there is much less wiggle room in the Senate to be able to get a bill passed to forward on to the President’s desk for a signature. Given this, I have hope the Senate will block this horrible version of healthcare reform from every making its way into law.