Nathan R. Jessup

Bribes, Ben And Back-Room Politics

In Corruption, Government Lies, Health Care, Integrity, morality on December 31, 2009 at 4:01 pm

Health care reform, such a wonderful idea in theory; extend coverage to millions, improve care, find better doctors [somewhere], full coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, taming evil insurance companies and lower costs for small business all while protecting Medicare. Wow. And the best part of the proposed legislation: it significantly reduces our national deficit. With all the thoughtful amenities Harry Reid and company are unselfishly offering, how could any sane American refuse? Just sayin’.

Now back to reality.  When you hear “Senators are mostly an honest bunch” or “Congress only wants what is best for the American people”, what sorts of things come to mind? Personally, I struggle to refrain from laughing aloud. Now maybe you are one of the few who truly believe members of Congress are an honest and decent collection of patriots (no, seriously). I just can’t seem to get around the pesky facts:

“They’re allocating taxpayer dollars as if those dollars belonged to the senators. It borders on immoral. Just look at the way Senator Landrieu put her vote up for sale. Senator Nelson did the same.” (The Corner 12/20 11:31 p.m.)

Senator Nelson only wants what is best for Nebraska right? It sure seemed like it when he strongly opposed the bill’s excessive spending and support of federally funded abortions. See for yourself:

Clearly, Nelson has a strong conviction in his beliefs. Kinda:

“Nebraska will receive $100 million in assistance for its state Medicaid program under provisions negotiated by Sen. Ben Nelson (D) in the Senate’s healthcare reform bill.” (The

Nelson’s backroom deal with Reid creates somewhat of a divide between Senators; most are kicking themselves for failing to negotiate a deal of their own, while a handful say the deal is unfair to every other state picking up the tab. Regardless, Nelson defends his change of heart once again with conviction.

Maybe Ben Nelson missed the ‘funny accounting’ of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

“To ease concern over costs of health care reform, politicians point to Congressional Budget Office reports that label the legislation as deficit-reducing. But the cost estimates presented by CBO camouflage the true costs. While revenues in the Senate bill begin in the first year, costs do not kick in until 2014, resulting in 10 years of revenues and six years of costs.” (

Mary Landrieu seemed a bit more open with her motivation to cut a deal for Louisiana and her vote didn’t come cheap:

“And so it came to pass that Landrieu walked onto the Senate floor midafternoon Saturday to announce her aye vote — and to trumpet the financial “fix” she had arranged for Louisiana. “I am not going to be defensive,” she declared. “And it’s not a $100 million fix. It’s a $300 million fix.” (The Washington Post)

With side deals like Nelson’s and Landrieu’s is it any wonder Americans feel disgust towards Congress? So far Harry Reid has bribed his way through the legislative process with your money. Again, just sayin’.

  1. You wanna’ make health insurance and health care more affordable and available to almost every citizen? It could easily be done by overturning and appealing existing legislation. Here’s how.

    1) Tort reform. Make it impossible to get rich off medical malpractice suits. If a doctor or hospital makes a mistake that can be fixed, then make that doctor or hospital responsible paying another doctor or hospital to fix that mistake. Make them also responsible for any lost income they caused the patient (by prolonging the illness and/or recovery, plus the time off work to see another doctor or hospital stay for reparations). The doctor or hospital is also responsible for the patient’s legal and court fees. No cash settlements or awards. Everyone is reimbursed; the paitent isn’t out any money because of the mistake of a doctor or hospital. That the patient lost precious time from his life due to the mistake of a doctor or hospital is a shame but time is priceless and can’t be repaid. sorry.

    If a doctor or hospital makes a mistake that can’t be fixed, the doctor or hospital is responsible for cost of ongoing medical care for the patient into perpetuity. If the patient can no longer work, the doctor or hospital must reimburse lost wages of the patient into perpetuity. If the patient dies and was a breadwinner for a family, again, the doctor or hospital must pay the patient’s wages to the family for perpetuity (as well as funeral costs of the patient). No cash settlements or rewards. You can’t put a price on a life or on physical independence.

    2) Appeal or overturn all legislation requiring employers to provide medical insurance for employees. Firstly, it makes no sense that workers’ medical and health care are the responsibility of employers. Employers owe us wages for work we perform. Nothing more and nothing less. Anything more, including paid holidays and vacations, are perks. Insurance companies are currently selling medical insurance in large lumps to employers, and so they don’t have to have affordable, much less competitive, rates on health care for individuals and families. Allow employers to choose whether or not to provide health insurance for their employees, and most will choose not to. This wil force the insurance companies to either sell health insurance mainly to individuals and families or to go out of the health insurance business. The former will mean lower prices of health insurance because insurance companies will have to compete for our business. The latter will force doctors and hospitals to reduce their prices to compete for our business as they’ll no longer have insurance companies dedicating groups of patients to them. Either way, the consumer wins.

    3) Allow insurance companies to do business across state lines. This is a no-brainer that doesn’t require explanation, suffice it to say that it will increace competition, forcing insurance companies to lower prices.

    4) Rather than medicaid and medicare for the elderly and the poor, taxpayers could simply pay enough for the govt to issue them yearly insurance vouchers to pay for a one-year policy of the newly affordable health insurance.

    Other problems like pre-existing conditions and sudden illness or accident of the uninsured (young folks who believe they’re invincible and the helplessly irresponsible) will either be addressed by the insurance companies, now working for the business of consumers, or by ideas of folks smarter than me.

    Nothing like any of this was addressed by the Democrappers because it doesn’t support their dream of socialized health care. Instead of reform that would benefit consumers/patients and good for businesses and the free market, too, they gave us legislation that’s so bad they had to bribe even their into voting for it. This isn’t what the majority of us had in mind when we asked for health care reform.

    • AuntieMadder,
      I agree with your detailed assessment. Congress would serve the people well by actually listening to the people. Your suggestions proves the point. There is one reason why our requests fall on deaf ears: they fail to line up with the overwhelming and seemingly socialist agenda in Washington.
      I’m fortunate to have you as a reader.

      • Thanks for indulging me, Nathan. I’ll try to keep future ramblings short. 🙂

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