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Congress and Symbolism

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From the early days of the country, Congress has engaged in passing symbolic measures. Such measures have declared holidays, recognized accomplished citizens, and passed other measures which at the time may have seemed important but have actually had no impact on day-to-day life for the long-term.

Last week's expected vote on the repeal of the health care bill provided no surprises. It was regarded as a symbolic vote that the Republicans made to fulfill campaign promises and is not expected to make it to the Senate floor. So why did they do it?

Will there be a message or a tone set that will be coming back again and again for the 112th Congress? Will Congress be able to chip away at some of the bad pieces of this 2000+ page law? And, will it be effective?

The law was passed on a partisan vote. It was showcased as Democrats and liberals being the party of the poor and the disadvantaged. The enemy was the Republicans who wanted to save money and let insurance companies make money by callously canceling policies that people paid for at the point in which the needed them and denying coverage of children who may have gotten sick but had a pre-existing condition from a previous sniffle or acne blemish.

The law was sold to us as a free lunch. It would reduce costs and cover more people and cover more people with better services. It would reduce the deficit by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. Well, that did not happen. It was supposed to make sure that everyone was covered by forcing them to buy a health insurance plan for themselves. This piece of the law is being dragged through the courts. It was supposed to have all of the businesses in the United States provide health care plans that are affordable for all of its employees both full and part-time. Exceptions are being made for hundreds of companies including the largest private employer in the United States-Wal-Mart. It looks like lunch will not be served.

With the taxation portion of this bill not fulfilling its promise, how can this possibly be good for America as it is? I'm not endorsing the tax increases, but because they are not balancing one end of this bill, how can we be assured that the spending will be under control. We know the answer. It can't

sure, nobody wants the insurance companies to cancel the policies of sick people when they need them the most. Isn't that what they paid for? And I am sure that everyone wants cost to get under control and to remain under control. And yes, everyone should be covered. But that doesn't mean everyone should be subsidized. Where's the fairness that the progressives are always looking for in that? This bill is not about one group of people who cares about the health and well-being of Americans versus a group of people who do not. The differences in how these services should be delivered.

For the third year in a row, the Obama administration is stating that jobs is going to be their top priority this year. But what is Congress taking up? The health care bill again. The good news is that we are finally getting to a point where we will accept 9% unemployment as normal. In the meantime we can continue to argue how we will dispense or health care. Either privately or through giant giant bureaucracy and regulation. But is this really good news? I don't think so.

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