Last night, Scott Brown (R, MA) won the election to take the Lion of the Senate’s seat, making it theoretically possible for the Republicans to stage a filibuster. Considering how ill-formed the current Congressional Health Care Reform bills are, and how outspoken the new Senator has been in his opposition to that poor legislation, it’s clear that he and his fellow Republicans will do everything they can to stop the current bills from arriving at President Obama’s desk for signature. Hurray!? Uhm, no. It’s still about two weeks too soon to be cheering.
Some Democratic leaders have hinted that they’ll try to push through their hodgepodge legislation; that they’re bound and determined to “win” by getting healthcare reform enacted. Those who feel the current health care bill is a bad idea are hoping that Scott Brown’s win will save the day, keeping that misbegotten alleged health care reform bill from being crammed down their throats.
The reality? That hope may not be the likely result. Now that the Democrats know they’re about to be thwarted, you can lay money on them attempting to push the bill through before Scott Brown can take Kennedy’s seat. Those who voted for Mr. Brown, however well intended they may have been, may have given the Democrats an excuse to cram the current ugly bills down our throats, by forcing Congress to push their legislation through prematurely. Had a Democrat taken the seat, they would have felt safe in taking enough time to try to get the bill right. Now it’s entirely possible that the Democrats will push their HCR bill through, mismatched though it may be, rather than lose the opportunity to get SOMETHING passed. They just about have to. Otherwise, the past year’s sessions have been largely a waste.
Was this an error on the Republican’s part, or a rather clever long-term strategy to give the Democrats enough rope to hang themselves? If the Democrats push the current legislation through in a rush, they’ll most likely alienate a lot of the nation, setting the stage for many Democratic seats to turn sides in the next election. Odds are even on that one.
What’s certain though, is that this Congress will be far too busy dividing along party lines to come together and do what’s best for the United States. Are we wrong, Congress? Show us. Demonstrate that you can put the party lines aside to do what’s best for our nation. Just this once, think about the people you serve for a change, and give us the Health Care Reform bill we need. Yes, that will mean both parties working hand in hand to ensure that all sides are properly and fairly represented. It may mean ditching a lot of favors to special interest groups. Hopefully it will mean adding tort reform to the legislation.
Regarding tort reform, we’re not asking for much. Just some limits, or maybe exemptions for physicians who act in accordance with established procedures. It will mean upholding the concept of justice for the medical profession, so that they can continue to do the work of saving lives and easing suffering instead of defending against opportunistic predators every moment of the day.
Show us you’re worthy of the trust placed with you when We The People voted you into your respective offices. Show us you’re above petty politics, that you can do the right thing. Don’t rush a half-baked bill through just so you can say you did SOMEthing with this past year. We would much rather you acknowledge that your bills are not yet ready for prime-time, and sit down with your fellow elected officials to pen something you can be admired and appreciated for… instead of something that saddles us all and costs you your seats in the next election.