Sunday, March 28, 2010

Common sense battles bipartisan politics

Obama's monumental health insurance reform finally made it into US law this past week. Unfortunately, this victory for Obama (and the American people, in my opinion) will be tainted by political strategizing.

Before the bill was finalized, the senate was given the opportunity to put forth amendments to the bill. These amendments would then be voted on by the senate and if any amendments won a majority vote, they would be instated into the bill. However, if any amendments were instated into the bill, this would mean the bill was changed (obviously) and that the congress would have to vote on this changed bill once again. Thus, the Republicans, who have realized that they cannot stop this bill from becoming law, decided to make numerous amendments to stall the bill in bureaucracy. However, since the Democrats have a majority number of seats in the senate, they could form a united front and prevent any amendments from winning a majority vote.

One amendment put forth by Senator Coburn, who is a physician himself, was that the bill should bar insurance coverage of erectile dysfunction drugs for sex offenders. A majority of the Democrat senators voted against this amendment. I'm guessing that they voted against the amendment because they wanted to avoid Republican stall tactics and not because they believe sex offenders should have erectile dysfunction drugs covered. Thus, an amendment that should have been made to the bill was not. You can bet that this political strategizing by the Democrats will result in the Republicans using the votes against the amendment as a smear campaign during the next election, but more payers will be paying for erectile dysfunction drugs for sex offenders.

It is unfortunate when politics gets in the way.

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