Some people may want to know about the pending health care legislation. Well, don’t expect your healthcare provider to tell you what it thinks. According to the Democrat House Majority Leader, don’t expect your elected official to read the bill before they vote on it. And after a recent Senate Finance Committee vote, don’t expect to be able to read the bill yourself before its voted on.
Recently, Humana sent out a letter to many of its elderly customers that included the following statement: “While these programs need to be made more efficient, if the proposed funding cut levels become law, millions of seniors and disabled individuals could lose many of the important benefits and services that make Medicare Advantage health plans so valuable.” Needless to say, the US Department of Housing and Human Services wasn’t happy and HHS sent out a letter to Humana and other insurance carriers demanding that they stop sending such letters, claiming that it was misleading. The letter threatened legal action. So, the insurance company says that the bill in question would cut services to Senior Citizens and that charge has been made publically by many people. HHS and others disagree. But, the Republicans view the letter as a “gag order” and object on the grounds that it is violating the constitutional right to free speech. The GOP is threatening to block any appointments to HHS until the “gag order” is lifted.
President Obama had pledged a transparent government and said while campaigning that his administration would post any bill before Congress on the internet for at least 5 days so that the American people could read it. It’s called the “sunlight pledge” and many critics say that the pledge was broken just weeks after the administration took office. After the bailout vote in 2008 when it was learned that members of Congress did not have time to read the legislation, many Americans thought that lawmakers should at least read a bill before they vote for or against it. Recently, a reported asked House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer if Congress would make a pledge to read the health care reform bill before they signed it. Hoyer laughed at the idea of members of Congress pledging to read a bill before it is voted upon. He said that, “If every member pledged to not vote for it if they hadn’t read it in its entirety, I think we would have very few votes,” Ask yourself what that says about our elected officials.
The Republicans have been offering several amendments to the bill. The Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee have voted against the GOP amendments might saying that they would delay a vote on the proposal which is not scheduled to even take effect until 2012. One of Maine’s Republican Senators is Olympia Snowe and she is one who often breaks party ranks in her voting record. However, she questioned why there was such a rush to vote on the bill saying, “If it takes two more weeks, it takes two more weeks. We’re talking about trillions of dollars in the final analysis. What is the rush?”
One of the amendments that was defeated would have required that the bill be posted on the internet 72 hours prior to a vote. I suppose that since Hoyer says that most in Congress won’t read the bill before they vote that they don’t want any Americans reading the bill before its voted on either. However, a bi-partisan effort is going on in the House that would require all legislation to be posted on the internet 3 days prior to a vote.
Can’t hear about it, can’t read it and no one else will read it, but it will get voted on. Just exactly what it is they are voting on seems to be destined to remain a mystery to everyone.
Weather Bottom Line: When you have low clouds and fog, its a very stable atmosphere. On paper, the data claims that there will be some sunshine this afternoon. That would help to stir things up a bit. Now, the GFS and the NAM both do not advertise any rain until the evening and overnight period and even then, its not much. But, the SPC has observed a shortwave rotating around the flow ahead of a frontal system and so they have put a small area for a slight risk of severe weather from Louisville to the bootheel of Missouri. So, I’d say that there will be more clouds more often than sunshine and the rain chances really don’t go up until the evening and carry until early Sunday morning. We should see plenty of sunshine with pleasant temperatures and relatively low humidity on Sunday. A second push of cooler, drier air comes through early Monday morning. Both the NAM and the GFS advertise another round of showers. Then it would appear that most forecast outlets are coming around to what I’ve been saying all along with highs for the first part of the week probably not making it to the low 70’s and the overnight lows finding the 40’s to be a very popular number. Upper 30’s for the northern part of the viewing area will not be out of the question by Tuesday morning. Fall is here.