Sunday, November 08, 2009

Health Care Passes House -- Senate Next

U.S. House of Representatives has passed the health care bill. Next the Senate must do the same, reconciling their bill with the House bill.

I think our Congresspersons should stay in session all the rest of this year, if need be, so they can complete a citizens assignment to get a bill to President Obama for signature by December 31, 2009.

Happens in business quite frequently where special projects require employees to work long hours, days, even weekends sometimes, for successive weeks to meet a deadline. Our Congresspersons have postponed addressing the health care issue for years and years, so an end of the year deadline is not unreasonable now, finally. If our Senators and Representatives really concentrate, don't waste time with political blather, posturing,and game-playing, maybe they can be home for the holidays, or sooner. That's an incentive employees in business often are given.

Representatives and Senators work for us. We need to let them know we're way past the point of tolerating their "business as usual" approach to legislation important to us -- we mean business! Each of us has power with our vote that can affect whether or not they are re-elected come Election Day.

Here's a refresher course describing Congressional bills evolution from birth to realization. This is the process I recall learning from Jr. High/High School civics/government classes.

A Congressperson writes a bill or receives one written by a lobbyist that is then presented to Committee for consideration. If the proposed bill garners Committee passage it can then be presented to that Congressperson's House or Senate membership. Wikipedia effectively provides the following description beginning with a bill in Committee:

"A decision not to report a bill amounts to a rejection of the proposal. Both houses provide for procedures under which the committee can be bypassed or overruled, but they are rarely used. If reported by the committee, the bill reaches the floor of the full house. The house may debate and amend the bill; the precise procedures used by the House of Representatives and the Senate differ. A final vote on the bill follows.

"Once a bill is approved by one house, it is sent to the other, which may pass, reject, or amend it. In order for the bill to become law, both houses must agree to identical versions of the bill. If the second house amends the bill, then the differences between the two versions must be reconciled in a conference committee, an ad hoc committee that includes both senators and representatives. In many cases, conference committees have introduced substantial changes to bills and added unrequested spending, significantly departing from both the House and Senate versions. President Ronald Reagan once quipped, "If an orange and an apple went into conference consultations, it might come out a pear."[23] If both houses agree to the version reported by the conference committee, the bill passes; otherwise, it fails.

"After passage by both houses, a bill is submitted to the President. The President may choose to sign the bill, thereby making it law. The President may also choose to veto the bill, returning it to Congress with his objections. In such a case, the bill only becomes law if each house of Congress votes to override the veto with a two-thirds majority. Finally, the President may choose to take no action, neither signing nor vetoing the bill. In such a case, the Constitution states that the bill automatically becomes law after ten days, excluding Sundays. However, if Congress adjourns (ends a legislative session) during the ten day period, then the bill does not become law. Thus, the President may veto legislation passed at the end of a congressional session simply by ignoring it; the maneuver is known as a pocket veto, and cannot be overridden by the adjourned Congress."


  1. Even though it's not perfect, it is SO a step in the right direction. I'm working w/a woman who is among other things, an RN, and has been involved in ob/gyn in C. America, Mexico, building clinics for birthing. We still need more progressive support for women in general, but hopefully that will come fairly soon.

  2. I am completely bummed by what keeps happening with a woman's right to choose. The healthcare bill shenanigans bring me to want ONLY a more radical approach to my ability to have control over my body. Why Congress? Makes no sense.

  3. kokopelliwoman: Am holding my breath to see what sort of bill actually emerges once there's an effort to integrate the House bill and the Senate bill.

    Naomi: I've been disgusted forever that a woman's right has been turned into a political football. This is not a matter for legislation and should be strictly between a woman and her doctor.

    You can bet legislators/politicians would look at the issue quite differently if they were the ones who became pregnant.

  4. The Catholic hierarchy has a lot to answer for here. Pro-choice Catholics must be livid.
    These old enemies of womankind do not give up easily.

  5. It's a step...a small one, but step. I'm like you JoAnn...I'll be anxious to see what actually emerges. I've been so worried about this for so long...I've been afraid to even think about it.

  6. Hattie: Yes, too many groups in the name of religion claim they're defending life, as though the rest of us don't care, but pay little or no mind to those lives once they do become actual persons in their communities.

    Joy: If we don't take a step we'll be forced to do so sooner or later given the sad financial state our health care system is in. I'm concerned that what will finally emerge may be so sadly lacking in what's needed that it will benefit ALL the for-profit insurance providers but only a token percentage of Americans.

  7. Why is it ok for women to kill their baby's via abortion yet if you were to hurt a woman who is pregnant and she losses her baby one would be charged with murder..explain that. ABORTION IS WRONG!!!!!! I care about women's rights just not a right to kill their baby's.

  8. I typically don't respond to Anonymous comments. For all I know they're made by some uncaring person solely to antagonize readers and don’t deserve a respectful response. I usually delete such comments as I do those unsolicited ones designed to advertise some commercial product, business, or web site.

    I think the Anon. comment over-simplifies abortion issues and does not consider current conflicted law. Inflammatory phrasing and virtual shouting do little to enhance the viewpoint. Also, I suggest use of the word concept ‘baby’ may be naively misguided and lacking in understanding developmental aspects. The word, baby, as used is a pronounced generalization lumping together as one all the different stages of the yet not birthed.

    All women and men deserve the right to choose what’s best for their own bodies. In women’s case that sometimes includes making choices when they have special cells combining within them at various evolving stages, whatever name they’re given. I seriously doubt for most women a decision to have an abortion is lightly made.

    That is her decision with whomever she wishes to consult. Her choice is nobody elses business, least of all someone trying to force upon her their own religious and/or belief system under the guise of morality while being judgmental with terms like right and wrong, good and bad.

  9. This blog policy does not permit comments seeking free promotion and or advertising with inserted links -- a quite rude sneaky unacceptable act as occurred with a most recent comment here which, obviously, has not been published.

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