Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
In the aftermath of the killing of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony tried to assume the tyrannical power seized by his mentor. Cicero, the famed Roman friend of liberty, opposed Antony’s various attempts to aggregate all power into his own hands. Time and time again, Cicero rose in the Senate and the in the Forum to denounce Antony and catalog his crimes against the republic.
President Barack Obama does not know how to take a hint. Despite Scott Brown’s remarkable victory in the special senatorial election in Massachusetts and the momentous maneuvering in nearly every state to block federal healthcare demands, President Obama continues his Sisyphean labor of rolling this giant ball of taxes, penalties, and mandates up Capitol Hill, across the Tenth Amendment, and onto the backs of working Americans.
CSPAN was the broadcaster of Thursday’s bipartisan healthcare summit. The political cenacle convened at Blair House in the nation’s capitol to hash out a compromise agreement for the still very unpopular A to Z restructuring (read: nationalization) of the American healthcare industry (from the insurance policies that cover treatment to the method and manner of the treatment itself).
Newt Gingrich, architect of the “Contract with America,” and John C. Goodman, founding president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, wrote an op-ed column for the Wall Street Journal offering suggestions to President Barack Obama, who seems desperate to find ways to garner bipartisan support for his push for healthcare reform.
Many Democrats broke with their morning routine last Wednesday and skipped reading the morning paper. The headlines were full of the report of their party’s demise and not even Colombia could produce a coffee strong enough to rouse them from the droopiness of defeat. There wasn’t a paper in the country that didn’t document (in the largest possible font size) the demise of the Democratic Party thanks to the victory of Scott Brown in the special election to fill the seat of the late Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts.
On page 1,980 of the recently passed Senate health care overhaul readers will find the mandates regarding the so-called “Cadillac Tax.” Simply, the Cadillac Tax is a 40 percent excise assessed on all employer-provided health insurance policies that fall into the “luxury” category.
Apropos of the unusual Christmas Eve vote, the red “nay” lights and the green “aye” lights on the Senate floor flashed in the expected pattern signaling passage of the senate’s version of a healthcare bill. Just prior to the roll call, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) turned and faced his colleagues across the aisle and poked the air with his forefinger declaring that “this fight is not over. It is far from over.” With that, he took his seat and mutely witnessed the inevitable passage of the healthcare bill by the Senate. Despite being undeniably unpopular among voters, 60 senators stood ceremoniously and added their voice to the majority agreeing to disregard the expressed will of the electorate and shepherd the historic overhaul of health care one step closer to enshrinement as the law of the land.
“Something’s going to have to give,” are the words used by Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) in describing the shotgun wedding about to take place between the Senate healthcare bill and its companion measure adopted by the House on November 7. Stupak gained fame for penning the provision of the House bill prohibiting the funding of abortion in any policy financed by federal subsidy.
Everyday the headlines in the nation’s newspapers report the same salient and unsurprising fact: Healthcare “reform” is unpopular to historic levels and yet President Obama and his legislative factotums still insist on passing it at all costs. Day after day, the sharp edges are sanded down so the bill can roll through the Senate and into the Oval Office by Christmas.
In what has been described as a last-ditch effort to save the healthcare overhaul that is first on his Christmas wish list, President Barack Obama has summoned all 60 members of the Senate’s Democratic caucus to the White House on Tuesday for an 11th-hour pep talk in anticipation of an impending vote on the Senate’s version of a bill that would alter the healthcare industry by changing Medicare, offering long-term care to retirees and the disabled, and creating a government-subsidized and administered panoply of health insurance policies.