Saturday, November 7, 2009

No Time For The Niceties

Supposedly there will be a vote on the 1,990 page long House bill at some point this weekend. It'd be nice if we could all have a chance to have a calm, rational national "debate" over this, but that is the last thing Dems want, so instead we have a peremptory vote on a humongous bill that is literally impossible to read before the vote. Not enough time for the niceties here; given the way the scheduling has been set, there isn't even time for talk radio blow-hards to sink their teeth into this. No, we have to rely on Sarah Palin's Facebook page and a Saturday morning Betsy McCaughey opinion piece in the W$J. She goes through the usual commentary on insurance mandates and Medicare cuts. But, what's really striking is the left-wing identity politics that infiltrates even this supposed effort to "reform" health care: What the Pelosi Health Care Bill Really Says

.While the bill will slash Medicare funding, it will also direct billions of dollars to numerous inner-city social work and diversity programs with vague standards of accountability.

• Sec. 399V (p. 1422) provides for grants to community "entities" with no required qualifications except having "documented community activity and experience with community healthcare workers" to "educate, guide, and provide experiential learning opportunities" aimed at drug abuse, poor nutrition, smoking and obesity. "Each community health worker program receiving funds under the grant will provide services in the cultural context most appropriate for the individual served by the program."

These programs will "enhance the capacity of individuals to utilize health services and health related social services under Federal, State and local programs by assisting individuals in establishing eligibility . . . and in receiving services and other benefits" including transportation and translation services.

• Sec. 222 (p. 617) provides reimbursement for culturally and linguistically appropriate services. This program will train health-care workers to inform Medicare beneficiaries of their "right" to have an interpreter at all times and with no co-pays for language services.

• Secs. 2521 and 2533 (pp. 1379 and 1437) establishes racial and ethnic preferences in awarding grants for training nurses and creating secondary-school health science programs. For example, grants for nursing schools should "give preference to programs that provide for improving the diversity of new nurse graduates to reflect changes in the demographics of the patient population." And secondary-school grants should go to schools "graduating students from disadvantaged backgrounds including racial and ethnic minorities.""

That last bit about creating incentives for schools to graduate more minority and disadvantaged health care workers is just pitiful. Is the health care system "failing" because medical and nursing schools are not graduating students from disadvantaged backgrounds who can address "changing demographics?" Maybe if we weren't creating so many wards of the state in minority communities, this wouldn't be an issue. McCaughey's essay provides important information that is simply impossible to find in the mainstream media, or in the congressional debate over the bill. We really are standing at the precipice.

You can go here to see the bills and some more McCaughey commentary on them.
UPDATE: there's some kind of crazy formatting problem with my block quote from the W$J, so I took it out for now

UPDATE 2: It passed with just 220 votes, which means there was no bi-partisan support (the Republican from "Dollar Bill's" district doesn't count), and really not even the full support of the Democratic caucus. The Destructive Generation continues with its work...

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