While the Main Stream Media is a-buzz with the health care debate, Afghanistan (should we or shouldn’t we?), Phillies fever, and who knows what else, a little known bill, S. 1776, was recently saved from “cloture” by 53 U.S. Senators. First, for those who are unsure and ask, “What is cloture?” Here it is straight from the Senate’s website:
cloture – The only procedure by which the Senate can vote to place a time limit on consideration of a bill or other matter, and thereby overcome a filibuster. Under the cloture rule (Rule XXII), the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours, but only by vote of three-fifths of the full Senate, normally 60 votes.”
Say that again, “…vote to place a time limit on consideration…” What?! Cloture in layman’s terms, “let ‘s close the debate, sweep this under the carpet, and push this bill through.” The bill, S. 1776, according to Gun Owners of America is an end-around attempt by the gun grabbers to fund the gun related provisions of Obama’s health Care reform legislation. The bill titled “Medicare Physician Fairness Act of 2009 ” seeks to create a new physician medicare payment schedule. The contention of those opposed to this legislation, is that it is an attempt to fund the $247 billion in spending removed from the health care reform bill, shift the source of funding, and reduce the face value on the health care reform proposal. See?! No deficit spending here! The chief concern is that it will open the door to the funding of certain provisions of the proposed health care reform through the Medicare system. The provisions are said to include requirements for the specific reporting by participants regarding their firearms…”Doctor, you want to know what about my firearms?”… I don’t think so. Opt out, pay a fine. I don’t think so. Read the GOA summary here.
According to the AMA who was in full support of cloture, “Senate leadership says S. 1776, the “Medicare Physicians Fairness Act of 2009” will serve as the Senate legislative vehicle for eliminating the SGR and laying the foundation for establishing a new Medicare physician payment update system through health system reform or other legislation. The bill would repeal the SGR permanently and set future payment updates at zero…Those who vote for patient access will support cloture, and those who would rather see chaos, physician practice closure and a lack of access for patients will be opposing cloture.“ Read their take on it here.
Is the AMA just another powerful lobby? Representing the interests of…who? An interesting side note, in a recent Fox News special report, Sean Hannity reported that only 17% of the nation’s doctors are members of the AMA. And that the AMA (with a litttle help from their friend Uncle Sam) has managed to maintain a monopoly on the control and use of the CPT codes used by medical practitioners for procedure identification and billing. (Here is an article from 2001 addressing this issue) My understanding is that the AMA has revenue in the neighborhood of $300 million as a result.
Every time you try to wrap your mind around one issue you wind up further down the rabbit hole…So many pieces of legislation, so many opinions, so much information, too much spin. Maybe if our legislators in Washington, and the 50 state houses, read and then followed the U.S. Constitution, and the Constitution of their respective states, then 90% of this s#!t stuff would go away! Remember, both Pennsylvania senators voted YEA in favor of cloture of S. 1776, and both are in support of a government takeover of nearly 1/5 of our economy. Not from the Keystone State? How did your senator vote? See here. Finally, regarding Gun Owners of America (GOA), a wise man once referred to them as, “the ONLY no compromise gun lobby in Washington.” I tend to agree.