The “Any Bill” strategy

Here we go again: health care reform must be passed by…fill in the date. First it was last August, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas. Now it’s March 18, just before the Easter recess.

I have to ask, is it better to do this fast, or well? It’s clear that Congress, in its sausage-making capacity, has operated in the dark and with all sorts of deals that would not survive the light. If the current bill, with its kickbacks and deals and special set-asides is passed, who benefits?

Not Congress. No representative or senator who voted for this bill is going to be able to ignore it. Just ask Senator Martha Coakley. Oh, right. The point? Senator Scott Brown campaigned specifically against the current health care bills. And won the seat long-held by Ted Kennedy.

The message should be read loud and clear, especially by Democrats: the American people aren’t ready for a government takeover of such a large part of our economy; a part that effects each and every one of us.

The current frenzy to pass health care reform, regardless of the consequences on the nation or, for that matter, the Democratic Party, should give Democrats pause. At least those Democrats in the House and Senate who must face the voters this year.

This frenzy is the “Any Bill” strategy. As in, any bill is better than no bill. And that’s just wrong. If Democrats can’t do the right thing by America, America will turn on them at the polls. If the current bill becomes law, you may expect many repeats of the Scott Brown victory in Massachusetts.

Finally, Senator or Representative, is the resultant legislation something you will put yourself under? As of now, Congress has exempted itself. If it’s good enough for citizens, surely it’s good enough for you. If not, how can you support it?

Start over; be truly bipartisan, not just have photo-ops. Operate in the light, without special treatment for favored constituencies or bribes to win votes.

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