The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a final version of the House health-care reform package Friday [July 31] before leaving for the August recess. Whatever its merits, the American people must be able to study the approved bill's provisions before they talk to their senators and representatives members.Americans are paying close attention to ObamaCare, something that will drain their wallets and take away familiar health care. As a result, they are showing up at townhall meetings and asking questions.
Unfortunately, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is dragging its feet on posting the final bill. When we called them yesterday morning [August 3] to get a copy, we were told that the amended version might not be compiled until after the August recess. When we called back for an official comment, spokeswoman Lindsey Vidal gave us the slightly less jarring news that it would take at least two to three weeks, even though we live in an age of computer cut-and-paste.
Yes, more than 50 amendments were added and lawmakers made more than 123 pages of changes on Friday alone, some of them complex in nature. But unless it is being done in longhand, there is no reason not to post the text, amendments and all, immediately. Having millions of constituents reading it during the recess can only help clear up any misunderstandings about the bill's content.
Questions ... something unfamiliar to many politicians who have been used to making flowery statements to the "uninformed" masses and getting by with it. However, these are informed voters who educate themselves about the issues ... and the politicians are floundering under questioning from those informed constituents.
Posting the proposed health care changes online would provide voters an opportunity to read, research, and formualate questions about an extremely important issue that impacts their futures. A politician with a conscience and a heart should realize Americans deserve to know the fine print.
The Examiner notes in closing:
Allowing weeks to go by before posting the text encourages one conclusion - House Democrats are afraid of what people will say when they read the bill. Judging by the tumultuous scenes already recorded at congressional town halls in Missouri and New York, it's easy to see why Democrats - who know what's in their bill - fear facing the music.It's time for America's politicians to face the music, demand that details be provided to the American people, and do what they were elected to do ... represent We the People.