Healthcare for Immigrants -Delayed by Design? – A Moral Agenda Paid For by Moral Bankrupy – The Eagle’s Eye for October 28, 2009

Posted on October 27, 2009


eye of the eagle

The Eagle’s Eye for

October 27,2009

by SamHenry

The story of  health care reform in 2009 is summed up by the press in terms of the ebb and flow of legislative prowess in the House and Senate.

Let’s review the current state of affairs as of this date:

[In the House, t]he principal stumbling block is an internal disagreement over terms for setting fees for doctors, hospitals and other health care providers treating patients with government-sold coverage.

Liberals want the government to set the rate unilaterally, pegged to the charges the government pays Medicare beneficiaries. Moderates want the government to negotiate with the providers in setting fees.

Pelosi favors the approach liberals want, but officials say she has all but concluded she cannot gain the necessary majority of 218 votes for it.

House Democrats also must resolve internal disagreements relating to abortion services and health care for immigrants before they can send the bill to the House floor for a vote.

Remember the above sentence in bold.  Now for a quick summary of progress for health care reform legislation in the Senate:

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., one of several Democrats unhappy with Reid’s proposal, said he may seek changes on the Senate floor, a move likely to be welcomed by moderates. He backs a government role in states where one or two insurers control the market and premiums are high.

While Reid is expected eventually to secure all 60 Democratic votes on the critical first test to bring the bill to the Senate floor, Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Evan Bayh of Indiana all declined to say on Tuesday how they would vote.

In an indication of the pressure Reid faces, Bayh said the majority leader had agreed to cut an earlier proposal for a $40 billion tax on medical device makers. Culpepper Star-Exponent for October 27, 2009.

Meanwhile Obama continues to hope for a bill moderates and a few Republicans can support but that is his public sentiment; his private mutterings are meant only for Rahm, his Congressional operative.

It doesn’t take a very long recital of recent congressional actions to know that special interests and not special convictions are guiding this health care reform process. But I keep circling back to an issue that will dog this legislation and haunt this government until it is hammered out:  health care for illegal immigrants.

Remember that quote in bold  above?   “House Democrats also must resolve internal disagreements relating to abortion services and health care for immigrants before they can send the bill to the House floor for a vote.”  This is the straw that could break the back of the public option but you will not see it debated anytime soon.

At the blog site, Where’s the Outrage? that has been shepherded by a medical doctor and progressive, Errington C. Thompson, MD, I found a kindred spirit on this fine point.  He is one of few who have publically commented:

When is somebody going to stand up and say that immigration reform is part of healthcare reform? Hello, Harry and Nancy, I’m talking to you!! Out of the 46 million Americans who don’t have health insurance, somewhere around 12 to 15 million are economic refugees (illegal immigrants); therefore, these two topics are linked. When is a politician going to stand up and tell us this? That would be leadership. Informing the American people and leading Congress through potential pitfalls is what we’re paying the majority leader and the Speaker of the House to do and they ain’t doin’ it.

If  we had real leadership in Congress and the White House, these issues would have been tackled early on not left to fall needlessly from the health reform tree. But the falling away of this issue is by design. The Administration would have us believe that we now know the true cost of health care reform – even with a so-called “public option.”

A public program has never been an “option” in the minds of either the Democrats in Congress nor in that of the President no matter how he demurs.  And there is little that has been “public” about health care reform either in the process or  in the glaring omissions and/or fuzzy language in the pages of the legislation.  All has been shrouded in secrecy and back room dealing.

The truth is that we will not know the true cost of health care reform until coverage for immigrants is either factored in or out.  It will  be factored IN under future ammendments.  That is the strategy the White House thinks we cannot see.  And it will all come at a cost to all of us: for the young in higher taxes, and for the old in reduced services and care.

Some say that it is our moral obligation to provide basic services even for illegal immigrants. This is a lofty and noble ideal but  when our country finds itself in a financial depression with fewer tax dollars to fund programs it will mean decisions – hard ones.  But we have not determined who and who not illegal or legal among those immigrants currently here. This has to be done.

The true “cost” of health care reform is not just in dollars but in the cost to us in choosing who will get less so that others will get more.  When we have taxed the wealthy into oblivion, we can do nothing more than turn to  the most weak and frail among us and sacrifice their care. In this, legislators are beginning to be god-like in their picking and choosing among populations in our country.  The illegal immigrants, for the most part, are healthy workers who will not demand much of “the system,” least of all our corporations.

High regard for younger workers and lack of regard for the welfare of older Americans did not begin this year or this month.  It has come after years of allowing companies to fire them under the guise of “downsizing” because of the high cost of their years of experience and expertise.  Why pay for so much when you can get it for so little from someone younger.

It is entirely possible that when the heart and soul went out of hiring in this country that its best talent was lost in the shuffle.  The young think it will not happen to them and the government will anesthetize them to the reality as time goes on.  They will make it an honor to pay taxes!

The elderly will become invisible citizens and it will become accepted to treat them as less than human.  Once in this less than human state, it will be accepted that anything may be done with them.

A society is judged by how they treat the weakest among them.  By these standards we have become morally bankrupt.  The Chinese cannot loan us money to cover this cost.  And the financial loans we have from them now?  Because of them and their outrageous amounts, do we really know anything concrete about our financial future?

Do we really have an accurate accounting of what we have now and what we would realistically need for untried and tested large government programs? This becomes not a matter of morals but of common sense and time will not permit an examination of common sense as practiced in Congress and the current White House.

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VotingFemale Speaks! – REDSTATE reports Pawlenty follows in Palin Path of full support for Hoffman; Daily KOS responds with attacks on REDSTATE; Glenn Beck gives Hoffman on-airFace Time

hot air – Can the House deliver a robust public option?

Sister Toldjah – Am I seeing things? AP takes on “skyrocketing health insurance industry profits” smear – Am I seeing things? AP takes on “skyrocketing health insurance industry profits” smear

Frugal Cafe – Semper Fi: Marines Meeting Bush vs. Obama, Rahm’s Mistruth about Bush & Afghanistan Exposed, Obama Visits FL Troops (video)

Goodtimepolitics – Reid’s Public Option Plan Dead

Fireandreamitchell – Joe Lieberman says he’ll filibuster Reid’s public option plan

MichelleMalkin – The fit hits the shan: Reid to announce public-option plan; Update: Where’s the beef?

Dick Morris

The Snooper Report – ReidCo and His Party Of ONE!

Politico – Defections have some Democrats casting about for Plan B

A Small Corner of Sanity – Harry Reid FAIL: Medicare Physicians Fairness Act Cloture Vote Fails 53-47; All Republicans Hold