American Elephants


So, These People We Elect to Congress — Do They Have to Read the Bills? by The Elephant's Child
August 5, 2009, 8:06 pm
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Liberalism, Politics | Tags: , ,

Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) had a Town Hall meeting a few days ago.  A citizen asked if he had read the health care bill.  He responded that they didn’t have time to read the whole thing so he divided it up with his aides and each read part of it.  Mark Steyn posted a comment.  An Arlen Specter supporter responded that:

“Every CEO in the country, including Ronald Reagan as President, reads executive summaries of important documents.  The idea that any Senator has to read an entire bill in nonsense.  He needs staff not only to read it but to relate how items on page 3 relate to provisions on page 1009…What is true is that without time there is no way staff could read it and draft the necessary critiques for Senatorial review but this ‘he hasn’t read the bill stuff’  is stupidity not some great insight.”

Mark Steyn responded (and this is the brilliant part):

Arlen Specter is not a CEO: — notwithstanding the vast Gulf Emir-sized retinue to which he has become accustomed.  He doesn’t run anything.  He has no payroll to make, no contracts to fulfill, no deliveries to expedite.  A legislator is elected to legislate — so, if he doesn’t read the law before he makes it law, he’s not doing the only job he has. When you go to see Barbra Streisand, she has an orchestra and a conductor and arrangers and lighting designers and hair stylists, but she’s still expected to do the singing herself.  If she stood up and said, “Okay, I’ve outsourced “People” to my intern Kevin and “You Don’t Bring me Flowers’ to the niece of a friend of mine who needed a summer job and the Yentl medley to some people Kevin met for a breakfast session and said seemed to know what they were talking about,” you’d begin to wonder why anyone needs Barbra.

Why does anyone need Specter?  Why can’t we just eliminate the middle-man and have his “staffers” announce their collective vote like a U.N. Security “Council meeting?  (emphasis mine)

Excellent exchange.  Of course they have to read the bills.  If they recognized that they are required to read every bill in its entirety, bills would be shorter, earmarks would be fewer, laws would be clearer and work better, and they would pass much less legislation — which would benefit the country immeasurably.  Half of the problems in the country are caused by some little provision that someone sneaked into a bill that no one read.  As far as that goes, a lot of staffers would no longer be needed if they didn’t have to read the bills and summarize them for the very people who are supposed to be doing that job, and the budget would be smaller.

Don’t miss the update from another correspondent to Mark Steyn.  It’s priceless.

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5 Comments so far
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Mark Steyn couldn’t read the health bill and understand it. It’s like he’s criticizing Specter for not reading Shakespeare’s play, “Julius Caesar,” in the original Latin.

Steyn’s really, really reaching to find a criticism of politicians, and criticism of the bill. Steyn didn’t even read the contract he uses for his ISP.

Comment by Ed Darrell

You heard it right here folks. The majority of Americans are opposed to the bill, the CBO says it will raise the cost of healthcare, cause taxes to go up, add to the deficit, and it is designed, which a whole slough of Democrats unwittingly admitted on tape is their plan, to destroy the private healthcare industry….

but Ed says its a stretch to find anything to criticize!

Comment by American Elephant

CBO says that the cost savings will not be so high as hoped after the bill was watered down to please Republicans.

Be careful what you wish for. Do you want a bill that makes health care affordable? It could happen.

But the first step in controlling costs, rationally, is to make certain that we don’t waste $300 billion a year trying to keep people from getting any health care at all. Waste is always more expensive, and waste that requires that we have gatekeepers on the vaults of the insurance companies just to keep some poor daughter of a minimum-wage working mom from getting treated for bronchitis — well, that’s immoral as well as expensive.

Do you want to end it, do ya punk? Go ahead, make our day.

Comment by Ed Darrell

Thats just one of many examples of the inherent ignorance of liberalism — that a bill that makes health care affordable must mean government controlling costs. The idea that government is less wasteful than private industry is risible, and your comment about a girl not being treated for bronchitis is simply a canard.

Your party knows nothing of economics, management, business or capitalism. Government is all you know. Command and control is all you know.

Government is the main reason healthcare costs so much to begin with. Greedy trial lawyer leeches are the other , and Democrats are doing NOTHING about either problem. They are only making it worse.

Comment by American Elephant

Thats just one of many examples of the inherent ignorance of liberalism — that a bill that makes health care affordable must mean government controlling costs.

That’s a perfect example of the lack of imagination, of the meanness, and of the complete and utter failure to understand health care in the U.S. When we say “control costs,” those who don’t know anything about health care think that must mean cost controls. Nixon did so much damage to the Republican psyche that it’s either “spend like a drunken sailor emulating George W. Bush” or “government control.” Nothing in between.

I understand 24 million Hispanics left the Republican party today — over health care costs, before the Sotomayor vote. I think I can see why.

The idea that government is less wasteful than private industry is risible, and your comment about a girl not being treated for bronchitis is simply a canard.

Cost of handling a claim to Medicare: Less than $1.00. Cost of handling a claim to Blue Cross (the best controlled of the private sector): $10.00

We don’t have room for Bizarro politics in the U.S. We can’t afford Republican spendthrift ways anymore. The U.S. pays DOUBLE what every other government-paid system in the world pays for health care. Don’t lecture us about cost control until you sober up, sailor.

Your party knows nothing of economics, management, business or capitalism. Government is all you know. Command and control is all you know.

Now you’re confusing your mirror with the Democrats.

We know it’s cheaper to inoculate a kid against measles than to pay for the hospitalization. We know it’s cheaper to provide early care in a doctor’s office than extensive care later in an emergency room. These common sense concepts of economics have fallen out of the Republican lexicon?

More reason to shut Republicans out of the discussion. We don’t need anyone arguing the Nikita Kruschev or Gordon Gekko views. They detract from serious work. Come back when you get a clue, okay?

Government is the main reason healthcare costs so much to begin with. Greedy trial lawyer leeches are the other, and Democrats are doing NOTHING about either problem. They are only making it worse.

The total cost of malpractice to the system has been trending down, and now is about 1% of total health care cost.

Insurance company “administration” costs more than 20 times that much. Insurance company bureaucracy costs double what the price of fancy, modern, “expensive” pharmaceuticals cost.

But then, Republicans want to avoid responsibility for what they do. Insurance companies that make decisions that kill people for hundreds of thousands of dollars give money to Republican candidates, if they can stay out of jail. The idea that competent, appropriate care costs less is completely lost on Republicans.

The really sad thing is that most Republicans can’t blame their complete loss of rationality on drugs. It’s not an artificial brain scrambler that makes Republicans act like mean drunks with health care money — it’s in their nature.

I’m getting e-mail from elephants in Africa. They wish you’d pick a different symbol. They suggest, maybe, a scorpion.

The scorpions have complained. They say they never sting without a reason.

Comment by Ed Darrell




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