This health care debate gets more and more exciting every day. Now it's the Senate's turn. Who needs Pacquiao vs. Cotto when you get to see Harry Reid whipping the rest of the Democrats to vote for his bill? The best part is that the vote is going to be on another Saturday night. Prime time! There's nothing else on Saturday anyway, and I guarantee you the networks are pissed they won't be able to charge for advertisements on C-SPAN when the vote is taking place.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the legislation would reduce the federal deficit by $127 billion over ten years. That's also probably a conservative estimate based on how CBO actually calculates the figures. Taxes are also going to be raised by the insurance companies who charge more then $8,500 for individuals and $23,000 for families, which will help key costs low.
I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed in the name. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That's boring. The bill should be called Put Up or Shut Up.
In 2006 Republicans lost control of Congress mainly because they didn't get anything done, they didn't get their act together. Some Democratic Senators (Lieberman, Landrieu, Lincoln, and Nelson) are threatening to not even let the bill come to a vote. If that happens it won't just look bad for Reid and the rest of the Democratic leadership, it sends the message to the American people Democrats don't have confidence in their own policies. And if they don't, why should the the American people?
The bill to be voted on Saturday has a public option which states can opt-out of. And a public option is the best way to control costs, the majority of the American people know this. The foundations are in both the Senate and House version for the Democrats to be confident in the bill.
When Vice President Biden was on The Daily Show the other night, he was asked, and I'm paraphrasing, "Why is it that the Republicans are able to stop legislation when they are in the minority, and the Democrats can't get anything passed when they have the majority?" Biden's reply: "That's a good point."
So Democrats, it's time to put up or shut up, because that's what this bill represents. You can either show the American people you are capable of running the country or you're not. The outcome of this bill will be the answer.