Monday, August 17, 2009

The health care reform debate roars on!

The weather forecasters seem to think we have at least today and possibly tomorrow of more of the absolutely grand weather we’ve been having. The weather service says the temperatures in our area didn’t hit 90 Saturday or yesterday so the chance of having an official heat wave is rather slim. That’s not the case on the Gator homestead, though. My thermometer did get into the 90s both days and could again today. That translates into an unofficial heat wave in my book.

Also, let me remind you that in these extremely hot days that your elderly neighbors and relatives should be checked occasionally. And be sure to keep hydrated with preferably water but not alcoholic or caffeine laced beverages.

In spite of the heat we successfully completed the tasks we set out to do over the weekend. First, thanks my super neighbor and his nifty tools, Gator Daughter and I got the baseboard attached to the basement walls. I’ve never used one of those miter saws before so my early corners are a little bit rough. We’re not complaining; after all, it is the basement.

I also had never used a pneumatic nail gun before, either. That thing takes just about all work out of nailing boards. It is fast, neat, and easy to use.

Now there are two tools I’d like to add to my rather meager collection of tools. I won’t because I’m cheap. Also, this was the first time I’ve wanted to use that type of tool and thinking back over the last seventy plus years and how many times I would have used them, I won’t get my own. But they sure are nifty tools.

We also wanted to mow our rather large lawn. It was very uncomfortably hot outside. But the lawn did get mowed; so for us it was a very successful weekend.

Speaking of heat, heat of not-the-weather-kind is building up in the Obama health care initiative. Republicans have unleashed a series of ads opposing the plans currently before Congress. I’ve read the Democrats have purchased millions of dollars of air time to support the plans. I have a sneaky suspicion that I’ll be completely sick and tired of the ads by the time any health reform becomes law.

As much as I hope the Republicans are able to stop the proposals, I have to be a little critical of the current ads. They tell us how bad those proposed plans will be for us and some Republicans are critical of President Obama for what they say is the lack of any plans by him. I would agree with those criticisms as the President hasn’t actually released a plan, only wishes. It is difficult to debate something that doesn’t exist.

Getting back to those Republican ads, they end with a statement something like, “Urge Congress to slow down on health care reforms so we can do it the right way.” Well, fellow R’s, just what is that “right way?” You are lacking anything specific, too, or any real plan just as you accuse the President of doing.

At least there has been some good come out of not getting a bill passed in the President’s time frame. Congress people have been facing their constituents and they haven’t been pleasant meetings. Some Democrats may have even seen the real problems with their options for reform and are having a change of heart.

The President has also been on the campaign stump, too, but his meetings have been carefully orchestrated. And he still hasn’t given anything specific on reform.

And another good thing is the Senate has now said it will not support any so-called death panel or require end-of-life counseling by doctors. They remain in the House versions of the bills, however. That was brought to the public’s attention by former Alaskan Governor and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Of course President Obama has denied this provision exists and cited the death of his own grandmother to demonstrate how he understands end-of-life. I guess he hasn’t read pages 225 to 230 of HR 3200, the House health reform bill. I wonder if he’s read any of it.

Late yesterday some Senators said and told the President that any health reform containing a public insurance option had no chance of passing. The President is reported to have said he would like the public option, but reforming the cost of health care is more important. The saga continues.

And over the weekend Senator Snowe’s office released a memo that said the Maine Senator did not support a public option in the reform package. The release added that the Senator did support a public option safety net. Curious. Seems to me a public option is a public option.

Get yourself prepared for the onslaught of ads both promoting and criticizing the Democrat health care reforms. And, methinks ads for and against the repeal of the gay marriage bill will be right up there, too.


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