Leslie's Omnibus

Bus Fumes

I may not be smoking... but there's steam pouring out of my ears. Behold:

Regardless of your politics, you need to think very, very hard about this:
IMAB is a board appointed by the President with congressional approval, to submit recommendations on Medicare payments and costs. IMAB is modeled, somewhat, on the Base Closing Commission which made recommendations on shrinking the military base structure in the late 1980s and 1990s.

IMAB's recommendations will have the force of law under the Senate bill unless rejected by Congress in toto. Congress cannot accept one recommendation and reject another.
Even further:
As Erick Erickson points out in a post last night, the Senate legislation on IMAB goes even further than one could imagine. The Senate not only delegates the hard decisions to IMAB, it imposes a very tight timeline for consideration by the Congress, and precludes the Congress from ever changing the legislation.
I cannot fathom that this is Constitutional. I pray that it is not.
In this rush to pass legislation by Christmas, the most fundamental aspect of representative democracy is being lost. The Democrats are about to pass legislation which divests the Congress of its ability to change legislation.

This is what we have come to. A Democratic majority ready to hand over a fundamental aspect of our health care system to an unelected panel without any future Congress being able to change this procedure.

Some readers have e-mailed me asking if this is constitutional. The answer is that I don't know, and in the rush to pass this by the day after tomorrow, no one will have time to fully sort through this issue. But that is the point of the rush. Load up the legislation with so many controversial points that no one can figure it all out prior to the vote.
If that doesn't give you some serious pause for concern, there's something wrong with you.

Not only is the law in this bill uglier than sin, it is also unevenly applied:
...[C]ontrolling insurance costs is enormously important, unless your very costly insurance is provided by an important Democratic constituency.

The Reid bill also gives a pass on the excise tax to the 17 states with the highest health costs. This provision applied to only 10 states in a prior version, but other Senators made a fuss. So controlling health costs is enormously important, except in the places where health costs need the most control.

Naturally, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will decide how to measure "costs" and therefore which 17 states qualify. (Prediction: Swing states that voted for Mr. Obama in 2008 or have powerful Democratic Senators.)

These 11th-hour indulgences make a hash of Mr. Orszag's cost-control theories and Mr. Obama's cost-control claims. Their spin has been that wise men would convene and make benevolent decisions about everyone's health care based only on evidence and the public good. But as the Reid bill shows, politics will always dominate when Washington is directing a U.S. health industry that is larger than the economy of France.
Some of these things are not like the others.

Nice to know that a lot of folks are more important than you, and that you can just shut up and pay for them to be that way.

Darling Denny posts The 12 Ways of Obama, ending with...
At the twelfth hour of year one, now spending is a spree
Twelve trillion debit
Laws made in secret,
Nobody's read them,
"Just give me something!
We can fix it later.
Legacy's at stake here,
SOTU's coming,
Soros, call me!!!"
This is hope and change,
In full stride,
At Christmas time,
In a fucked up economy
Too true.

One more thing -- a little rant on global warming that I wish I'd written:
Climate change is real.

The climate of the planet Earth is constantly changing. It's been up and down like a whore's drawers, and the all that shit about mankind causing it is just that, shit. It's been warmer, it's been colder, it happens all the time, it hasn't wiped out the world yet, and mankind has nothing to do with it.

Come on, a single volcanic eruption pumps more carbon into the atmosphere than humanity can in decades, and even then it's got nothing on water vapor when it comes to atmospheric content and its effect on the climate, and I haven't even brought up sunspots and cosmic rays and their effect on the weather.
Go read the whole thing... and be sure and tip your cap to GuyK for the pointer!

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