On March 7, in the year 321, Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (they had great names back then) officially proclaimed that dies Solis Invicti (translated as sun-day) would now be the official day of rest for the Roman Empire. The history of Sunday. Officially to take a break from their work week. Not a warming story, because it connects to a wide range of legend and their worship of their sun god. (Wikipedia)
I mention that Sunday history as a backdrop to Thomas Jefferson stating his goal of government, “The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest“. I also like Mark Twain’s thought that “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session“.
I suppose Twain would propose every day as Sunday for our government. I also think that trying to briefly mention the current healthcare debate in this blog is much like another Twain saying, “A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way”. So, I approach this topic of healthcare legislation in the most brief of ways! As they say… “Best to”
I remember, while serving as a legislative aide for Congressman William Whitehurst, that he would always bemoan the fact that you never really felt like you were voting for a true bill to become law. What he would say is that Congress might start out with an introduced bill that he supported. Then, amendments would cause him to be against the bill. Then, the final wording of the bill would cause him to vote no, so he was really casting a vote of yes. See… that’s how legislation feels!
So, now my email in-box is being inundated with calls for action, for and against the Protecting Access to Care Act” (H.R. 1215) While it involves access to healthcare, it also limits damages in medical malpractice, medical products, and nursing home cases. It also effects responsibility involving joint liability. Then, top that off with limits for claims relating to economic and non-economic loss, capping attorney fees, and prohibiting claims against health care providers in all product liability lawsuits. In short, removing responsibility.
What does that really mean? Well, while we watch Congress debate healthcare coverage, special interests are at work. They don’t care about coverage. They see this as an opportunity for reducing lawsuits and access to the jury system. More behind the scenes than on stage.
Rather than make this a treatise on tort reform that will put you asleep (if you aren’t already dozing), I just wanted to mention the adventures on Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, the art of being honest seems to be a lost art. Sunday always is one day from Monday!
Instead, for pic o’ day, here’s another way of looking at the Health Care debate: