What’s a Vapor Bill?
This week (or in the near future), the Senate will vote on a health care bill that has not yet been written. Harry Reid will bring to the Senate floor a conceptual draft of what their proposed health care bill should include – but without any legislative language. In other words, without the law actually having been written. Here are some critical facts to consider:
- If passed, the bill would lead to government run health care and control of nearly 1/6 of the entire U.S. economy. This is a fact and is the desired end-game of the President and Democrats in Congress. Don’t kid yourself.
- Democrats in Congress last week rejected a Republican amendment that would have required the bill be posted on the internet for 72 hours prior to a vote. Why?
- The proposed bill does not go into effect until 2013, so what’s the big hurry?
- The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) can’t estimate the cost (it’s called “scoring the bill”) of a bill unless it reviews the legislative language. So the Senate “vapor” bill will not be scored by the CBO and there will have no estimate of its cost before a Senate vote.
- Show me where the U.S. Constitution grants Congress or the President the right to any involvement in my health care. It doesn’t and I say this bill is un-Constitutional.
- 80% of Americans are satisfied with their health care coverage.
- More than 50% of Americans do not support government run health care.
- The number of chronically uninsured citizens is around 15 million, not 47 or 30 million, as the President has told us. That leaves nearly 325 million citizens who are insured (and 80% of which are satisfied), yet the proposal will affect everyone – all 340 million (plus the illegals once they’re naturalized next year) – not just the uninsured. How does that make sense?
- The President says the bill will be paid for by savings from Medicare fraud and waste. If it’s so easy to identify fraud and waste in Medicare, why not just fix that?
- Democrat leaders are considering using reconciliation to pass this legislation. Reconciliation is a special procedure that allows passage of a bill with only 51 votes, rather than the 60 normally required. This procedure has been used in the past (by both Reps and Dems) for spending to reconcile Senate and House versions of a bill. It’s never been used to implement such a substantial policy change. Democrats are considering this because they are not sure they can garner 60 votes. That’s not how Congress is supposed to work.
- Democrat leaders have excluded Republicans and prevented their participation. Sure, Republicans sit in the various committees, but their substantive amendments have not been considered because of Democrat control of those committees and because of Democrat control of the Senate and House.
Regardless of whether you support the President, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or whatever, let’s use some common sense. If the health care problem is so significant in terms of its impact on citizens and the U.S. economy, isn’t it better to thoroughly debate and analyze a proposal before it is voted into law? Of course it is. And wouldn’t it be better to concentrate on fixing what is broken (insurance for the 15 million uninsured), than to unravel the best health care system in the world? Of course it would.
So why are the President and Congress in such a hurry, and why don’t they want us to see what they’re doing? Well you need to answer those questions yourself.
Finally, does it make sense for Congress (Senate or House) to vote on a bill that has not been written, to prevent public review (remember, they’re supposed to do what we want), and to vote on such a significant issue without a cost estimate from the CBO? For me, the answer is clearly no. That is not what I expect from my elected officials.
So I’m calling my Senators this week to instruct them to not vote for cloture (closing debate) on a health care bill until:
1. The legislative language has been posted on the internet for at least 72 hours; and
2. The CBO has scored the bill.
Here’s contact info for New Jersey residents.
Lautenberg, Frank R. – (D – NJ) Class II
324 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Menendez, Robert – (D – NJ) Class I
528 HART SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
If you’re not in New Jersey, you can find your Senator here:
“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.” Thomas Jefferson