End fibs about health care
Is there no end to the fibs about the health care bill? Laying them to rest is like playing Whack-a-Mole. As soon as one is answered, another one pops up. The latest one is expressed at great length in a previous letter to this paper ("Changing the rules," Morris Sun Tribune, March 27). The letter writer claims that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, just passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, was not voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives!
The letter writer claims that the Senate version of the health care bill was passed by the House by a procedure called "deem and pass," in which a vote is not taken, but various other tests are met. (This procedure has been used in the past by both the Republicans and the Democrats.) This claim is not true. I watched the vote on C-Span last Sunday night, because my daughter's future health care depended on the passage of that historic bill. I saw the men and women of the House speak for and against the bill. And I saw the electronic vote of 219-212 registered in favor of health care for all the American people.
It is true that there was some talk of using "deem and pass" to approve the Senate's version of the bill, which had already passed the House in a slightly different version. However, that proposal remained only "talk." It was not used in this bill.
I will try to be charitable. Perhaps the letter writer is confused. The "reconciliation" bill, which was also passed that night by a vote of the House, was a "fix-it" bill which brought into harmony the final wishes of both the House and the Senate as to some parts of the bill which improved the federal deficit. This reconciliation bill was also voted on by the House, as it was later by the Senate. Due to a very few technical mistakes, this bill was then remanded to the House, which re-passed it and sent it to the president.
Finally, the letter writer states that "the people" are angry over the passage of this law. I say, "Speak for yourself!" Polls show that the majority of the people either approve of this law, or are dissatisfied with it only because they think that it should have been more liberal and gone further to take power away from the greedy health insurance companies and grant it instead to the people's elected representatives. The obnoxious Tea Party demonstrators have misrepresented themselves as the voice of the people for too long.
As for me, a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, knowing that my hard-working daughter will soon be able to afford adequate health insurance.
Elizabeth J. Hinds