You must read the post and the transcript of the Senate discussion in order to understand just how dramatic this is. Not only is the Senate violating its own rules to put this 'forever' provision in place, they're imposing upon the House and their ability to make changes in the future.
* Another little gem reported by The Wall Street Journal This Morning radio show, deals with construction companies with fewer than 50 employees.
Most of the mandates on businesses to provide health insurance to employees or face penalties apply to companies with 50 or more employees. But Sen. Jeff Merkley (D - OR) thinks small construction firms - with more than five employees and payrolls of more than $250,000 - should be included. So he inserted an amendment that places the mandate on these particular businesses as well.
And this is the only industry that will have the mandate on companies with five or more employees.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a spokesman for Sen. Merkley said this was to address the problem of fairness in bidding:
Ms. Edwards said the goal was to level the playing field for companies that have to bid against others who might not be providing health-care coverage. She said 90% of construction firms employ fewer than 20 employees, so with the 50-employee threshold, most of the construction industry would have been exempt, she said.
Think about the logic here - beyond the difference between large and small companies. The government is creating a new law that puts some companies at a disadvantage in the marketplace. So their solution to the interference in a free market is to apply to the mandate to almost everyone in a single industry.
If this needs to be 'fair' in the construction industry, then why not in the plastics industry, or the janitorial industry, or any industry???? Why not everyone, since the logic of competitive disadvantage applies to all?
Can you say 'stuck on stupid'?
I believe these little hidden 'bombs' are part of the reason they want this rushed through - so we don't know about them and don't object. In fact, CNSNews reported on a recent Zogby poll that showed:
More than 80 percent of Americans agree that Congress drafts lengthy, complex bills to hide spending on special interests and to prevent constituents from understanding what's in them before a vote is taken, according to a new survey.
According to a Zogby poll conducted last week, 83.5 percent of respondents agreed at least “somewhat” with the lengthy-bill premise, and 61.2 percent of Americans agreed strongly. Only 14.4 percent disagreed, and just 5.8 percent did so strongly.
I've not read the manager's report that contained all the agreed-upon amendments, but am glad some are doing so - and actually reporting on them. Unfortunately, the outrage of the American public over the health care bill doesn't seem to have any impact whatsoever on the politicians in Washington. They don't care what we think or want them to do, so our objection to certain items in the amendments won't stop them from passing this abomination.
Even after so many of them couldn't cite where in the Constitution they get the authority to mandate the purchase of product with imprisonment as the consequence of not doing so, they are going to vote on the Constitutionality of the health care bill. I doubt they'll take testimony from 'constitutional scholars' before doing so...and that the vote will run along party lines with a 60-40 outcome.
If they don't care about this basic, core question, what makes us think they'll care if we object to a minor provision trying to 'level the playing field' in the construction industry, especially knowing that they're the ones who made it unlevel in the first place?