Archive for March 16th, 2010

The Captain Is Ready For Closure

Every day for the past few months the news coverage had mentioned something about the proposed Health Care Bill.  While I have many thoughts on the subject, I have purposely not mentioned this topic here on the Captains Quarters.  With so much shouting about this issue on both sides of the table I was trying to not be part of the deafening noise.  I usually keep my opinions reserved for those who are interested in having a discussion.

As it now looks like a decision one way or the other may come soon, I’ve decided that there are a few things that I want to mention before the debate is closed.  First off, let me state that I support the passing of this bill.  There are many things in this bill that I like and several things that I dislike.  But on the whole I think that this should become law for one specific reason – cost containment.

As a guy that works on budgets for the government, I tend to side with the budget office most of the time.  In this case, it’s the Congressional Budget Office.  The CBO looked at the proposed Health Care Bill and determined that over the next nine years it will raise total health care spending by 1% while extending coverage to 34 million Americans who would otherwise go without1.  In my book that’s an amazing deal.  Raising costs 1% and getting over 10% more coverage is a deal for anyone purchasing insurance.

And while I know that there are a lot of assumptions that go into that calculation, I think this is a reasonable estimate.  All budgeting involves a fair amount of forecasting and guessing, and I know firsthand that budget offices in government do their best to make estimates as accurate as possible.  Could there be more cost containment measures in the bill?  Yes, and I would love to see them at some point.  But I think this is a good start towards tackling this monster of a problem.

The other thing that I wanted to address is the sudden scrutiny over the parliamentary procedure concerning this bill.  I’ve followed politics pretty closely since my days as a political science major at Missouri State, and I’ve never seen anyone care this much about the process of Congress adopting a law.  This stuff seemed pretty boring to me ten years ago in college, and now it’s making the news every day!?!

I honestly can’t believe that the general public is really concerned about Filibusters and Reconciliation.  Today the chatter was concerning Deeming Resolutions!  Really?!?

These discussions always seems super disingenuous to me.  As in most sports, the losing team is the only one who complains about the validity of the agreed upon rules.  As long as the bill is passed legally according to Congressional rules, then what else is there to discuss?

I think that the vast majority people are really just concerned with the outcome of the vote and could care less which set of parliamentary procedures are invoked.  The result is really all that matters to me.  So let’s finish this discussion already.  It’s been over a year since this debate began and I am ready for the decision to be made.  Yes or no.  Up or down.  Let’s get to it.

Ciao,

The Captain

1.  Instead of a snarky comment, I’m actually going to link to the source of this figure .  How literary of me.

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