Health Care Stealth Legislation Slinking Through Senate

Remember that 1,000-page plus economic ‘stimulus’ bill that no one had time to read before it was rammed through to approval? Well, it looks like the health  care legislation will be worse, according to the Heritage Foundation blog:

Right now, the Senate Finance Committee is in the midst of marking up health care reform “legislation.” Due to Senate procedure, what they are actually marking up is a 200+ page conceptual framework of the actual legislation, not a real bill. That means that not only has no Senator even read the bill but, there is a high probability that the bill hasn’t even been written yet. If the Committee sticks to their artificial deadline of completing work by this Friday then they would have passed a conceptual document reforming the nation’s health care system, spending trillions, without ever seeing an estimated 1,500 pages of legislation, which may or may not be written.

It gets even worse. After the bill comes out of committee, here is what could happen next:

Senator Reid will then move to proceed to H.R. 1586, a bill to impose a tax on bonuses received by certain TARP recipients. This bill was the bill passed by the House in the wake of the AIG bonus controversy and is currently sitting on the Senate Legislative Calendar. Reid will move to proceed, and he will need 60 votes to act on this bill.  After the motion is approved, he will then offer a complete substitute bill purportedly including the combined Senate HELP and Finance Committee products.  This means that the entire health care reform effort will be included as an amendment to a TARP bill that has been collecting dust in the Senate for months.

This is a bill that has the potential to transform one sixth of the U.S. economy–and it will be passed as an amendment to a dusty TARP bill?? So much for transparency and bipartisanship.

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