Friday, January 20, 2012

Poisonous Politics of Health Reform

One man’s meat is another man’s poison.

Oswald Dykes, English Proverbs (1709)

January 20, 2012 – In John Iglehart’s article (“Confirming the CMS Nominee – Overcoming Poisonous Politics, NEJM, January 19, 2012)on the nomination of Marilyn Tavenner, RN, as the successor to Donald Berwick, MD, who was forced to resign by Republicans, Iglehart has this to say.

“Tavenner is no shoo-in. In May2007, President George W. Bush nominated Kerry Weems, who was acting CMS administrator, but Democrats refused to confirm him… Although Tavenner has demonstrated a capacity to head CMS, she may be locked in a similar politic vise – a reality of the poisonous partisanship of U.S. Politics.“

One bad act may deserve another, especially when one considers what Tavenner said of her predecessor, who Republicans reviled because of perceived socialistic leanings, Republican opposition should surprise no one.

Travener is on record as saying, “Our strategy is pretty much mapped out for 5 years. It’s called the Affordable Care Act..Don is…a great visionary, and we’re working on some great projects…I don’t see much change.”

As the English proverb states, “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.”

The Democrat’s meat is the Affordable Care Act, which Obama considers his historical legacy. The Republican’s poison is repealing the Affordable Care Act, which they believe personifies unaffordable Big Government.

Democrats and the Obama administration, with control of the Presidency and both Houses of Congress, poured salt on their meat by passing the ACA with questionable last minute legislative maneuvers,offering Medicaid largess to three wavering Democratic Senators,and virtually ignoring, even thumbing thier collective noses, at Republicans.

Obama rubbed even more salt into Republican wounds, who voted unanimously to oppose the bill, by making the recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick on July 7, 2010 while the Senate was out on recess.

According to Republicans, Obama also failed to "consult and consent." He did not develop any personal relationships or even to listen to GOP leaders. The GOP regarded the passage of ACA as an act of political arrogance. Passage of the Act against unanimous GOP opposition was as if to say,” By God, I’m the President and we control both Houses, and we are going to pass this damn thing, no matter what you or the public thinks. It is our historical and patriotic duty."

Obama and the Democrats poisoned the political well from the onset. In November 2010, The public reacted by voting in a Republican majority in the House by the most overwhelming margins since 1938. The new majority voted for repeal to no avail but vowed to defund, debunk, dismantle, and eventually repeal the ACA. But the Senate, controlled by Democrats, did not support repeal.

And so the matter of implementation or repeal is stalled until the Supreme Court announces its decision in June on the constitutionality of the individual mandate and other portions of the bill, particularly those applying to Medicaid, and until the November 2012 elections.

Tweet: Democrats and Republicans are locked in partisan poisonous debate over health reform and the nomination of a new CMS administrator.

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