Sunday, May 3, 2009

Filibuster a Supreme Court nominee?

The talking heads talk about the "Alito Filibuster" as if there was one. Yes, there was talk, but the first vote for confirmation passed with enough Democratic votes to confirm Justice Alito. But because there are enough "blue dog" Democrats who can be counted on to often vote with the Republicans, the Republicans may be able to filibuster a nominee. The Republicans have often made an issue of their contention that the senate should only advise and consent on judicial nominees. But this is only true when the Republicans are in power.

Also there was talk during the Specter interview of no votes for Obama's health care plan because it included a public choice, as if someone who already had employer provided health care would suddenly switch to a public plan. Let me list the reasons why they would not. 1. You still have to pay for a public plan. 2. A public plan such as Medicare is fairly bare bones with a fairly high copay for procedures.
Someone has gotten the idea that a public health care plan is free. Also if you do not offer a public choice which might be fairly low cost for low income people who are uninsured and possibly uninsurable because of preexisting conditions, what are you going to offer them? What choices are you going to offer the 40 million uninsured? A high pay no coverage ripoff plan? Or are you just going to say that they have a choice. The choice to pay for bad coverage they cannot afford or not pay for bad coverage. The choice to have insurance or not. That is what many Republicans say right now. That these 40 million people have just chosen not to have insurance. I am sure that is true of some, but most would rather have insurance they could afford, which would also leave them with food on the table.
I also heard a comment that health insurance premiums should be based on life style choices. Essentially that a thin person who followed a healthy diet, exercised and presumably had no other bad habits would pay less for insurance. Gee this sounds like "Big Brother Government." Also that people would be counseled to make better end of life decisions so that less money would be spent on futile expensive medical decisions prior to death. OMG! You mean Republicans were wrong in their decision on Terry Schiavo?

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