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Pushing a Wet Noodle

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    A. ) As a group we decided to kill things more than to amend or keep them. I think that had a lot to do with the different roles everyone in the group had, and the people they were trying to please. Members were politically at different ends of the spectrum. There were only two issues that everyone wanted to keep or cut completely. As a group, we were all able to agree on provision C, mandating that insurance companies cannot exclude or deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, and provision G, a mandate that established a patient’s bill of rights.

    The only provisions we amended was provision F, eliminating the first two sentences, as well as provision A, changing the required minimum payment to 45% the cost of the premiums. We decided to kill provisions B, D, E, I, J, L, and M. These were generally provisions that put strict rules on making sure that people had health insurance by a certain point, I myself was for most of these provisions, but the conservatives of the group were usually strongly against. There were more conservatives in the group, so republican was the majority party, which gives them more power.

    Provisions that looked as though they would cost the country more money, conservatives were almost always voting against. B. ) My role was a strong liberal from Michigan who supported gay rights, and believed in gay marriage, as well as being a strong advocate of the poor. This was very much opposite from other members of my group. My group was the House, so being an outnumbered liberal, I voted and analyzed strongly the way one might, while still trying to keep the constituents happy since it’s what members of the House have to do.

    I voted for most things that were for helping the poor and less fortunate, bringing up the poor and helping them find their way is the way to turn this declining economy around. If we can’t build up the less fortunate then we can’t fix the economy, the trickledown theory from the liberal perspective. Some other factors that strongly influenced my vote was the fact I was strongly against limiting medical malpractice awards. There should be no cap in the amount of money provided to a patient after getting a procedure done that went wrong in some way, and needs to be fixed.

    Being backed up by many other trial lawyers and being given money by them to oppose establishing these malpractice limitations is what caused me to feel more strongly about this. Because of this I voted to give people, especially the poor, the most benefits through Medicare as possible, no matter the cost. People’s health is most important and is something that should be taken care of as much as possible by government, everyone should be provided with health care no matter their income, or job situation.

    About 49 million Americans are without adequate insurance coverage, my biggest influence in voting was to lower this number significantly. Unfortunately other members in my group felt the complete opposite of this, making it even harder to analyze and vote to pass these provisions to Healthcare. I felt I was trying to move Healthcare forward as much as possible, while other members were trying to hold it back. C. ) In my role I acted as mostly a delegate, trying to keep my constituents happy while trying to move Healthcare forward as much as possible while being a pork barrel “bringin’ home the bacon. Since my position is in the House, it was harder for me to act as a delegate. Being given a lot of money from other trial lawyers, I voted to make them happy and push things in their direction as much as possible. Especially on provisions like provision B, which mandates that an employee could not lose his/her coverage if they lose their job. Other members of group were completely against this, me and one other Democrat were the only ones for this.

    I voted for this based on my belief that everyone should be provided full healthcare no matter their job situation, but also because of the generous funding I received from my fellow trial lawyers urging me to vote on certain provisions a certain way. This is what made me a delegate and not as much of a trustee. D. ) In real life I differ quite a bit from my assigned role. I am much more conservative and am not a strong advocate for the poor. I prefer healthcare to not cost the country so much money.

    In fact I don’t believe in having universal healthcare at a time like this, I feel it should still have to be obtained from people’s jobs or purchased on their own. Many of the provisions are costly ones and those are the ones I don’t agree with, especially when our country is in the recession its in. If I were voting on this bill in real life I would have been strongly against provisions like provision J, establishing a new 14% payroll tax on persons with an individual income of $250,000 or higher for the cost of healthcare services.

    As my assigned role I voted for this, in real life this is the sort of thing dealing with healthcare I am strongly against, everyone has an equal opportunity to obtain healthcare, they just have to go and do it. Being a conservative I think the legislation that passed in the group would have improved the quality of healthcare for me in real life because based on everyone’s assigned roles, the group was much more conservative, so provisions like provision J were killed. This improves it for me because it’s costing the country less money, and that is more important than every single person in the country having healthcare.

    E. ) Political ideology and political constituencies strongly influenced my committee when it came to voting and mandating provisions. Political ideology and constituents are what really effected the voting on provisions like provision D, mandating that all individuals above age 27 must have insurance by 2014. Clearly, if you were one of conservative ideologies, you would vote totally against this, but more democratic ideologists would vote for this. What makes it worse though is the role of political constituencies.

    Every member of the House is trying to vote in a way to please them, allowing them to keep their place or be elected in the House. This causes people to vote a certain way or be more stubborn on an issue that maybe without having to please constituents, wouldn’t take so long for members to agree on. This proves the electoral process has a big impact on the committee system because to get elected in the House, you must please your constituents, so that is what practically every member is trying hard to do with the way they vote.

    F. ) There were 13 provisions total, and only 4 of them passed without being killed or amended. The fragmented committee system made this legislation take longer to pass most of all and also hard to move forward. Also the bicameral structure of the House and the Senate made it difficult as well because of republican being the majority power in the House and the democrats being that in the Senate. The fragmented committee systems are also who influenced members votes.

    For example with my role, I was being influenced by the American Bar Association (ABA) and a number of other trial lawyers who had given me hundreds of thousands of dollars to impose establishing malpractice limitations, therefore any provision having to do with establishing something like this, I strongly voted against. This goes for all the other members of the group as well, making it almost impossible to come to agreements on provisions because everyone was so stuck to wanting to vote the way their constituents and committees want them to, it didn’t seem like there were any whips needed.

    This prolongs the legislative process immensely and eventually leads to the majority leader in control of the House making the decision, to come to a cloture on the provision. The House having a republican majority leader and the Senate having a democratic majority leader makes it much harder and take much more time to come to agreements on provisions because of everyone having such different ideologies. G. ) The President is a huge influence on Congress.

    The way members of Congress and their committees feel about the president and what he wants to do is a big influence on the way members vote and how quick they move legislation. Political parties by definition are political organizations that seek to influence government policy. They try to influence members of Congress to vote a certain way with their ideology. finish please. H. ) Serving as a political consultant the strategy I would have used to advise Republicans to kill this bill would have a lot to do with showing all the negative effects of passing this legislation, especially its effects on our hurting economy.

    I would choose to strongly emphasize its effects on the economy on how it will hurt the nation’s deficit. I would also encourage them to make their opinions on the impact of the reform more public, to try and get it across to other special interest groups and people that really influence the way members of the committee vote. Because ultimately the members of the committee’s are trying to please their constituents with the way they vote most of the time. I. ) The thing is, it’s apparent that very strong liberals are supporting this reform.

    And most of them aren’t one hundred percent for it. If the bill is passed my roles democratic party would be very happy, it would prove things were moving forward with what Obama wanted and what most of the party wanted. A step forward for the democratic party in history I think. The impact of the outcome of this bill on my legislative career would be tremendous if it passed, if it failed it would just give conservatives the feeling of being right and possibly more in control, which is not good.

    If the bill passes that will be a huge step in my career and also a huge step in my income because of all of the money I will receive from the ABA and a number of other trial lawyers for helping vote on provisions the way they want. This will also help get me elected higher in the House because of making my constituents happy. J. ) There are certain parts of the legislative process that really hinder the process itself. One of them is a filibuster, this is just a process that delays something prolonging it through endless debate. The only way to ends this is with a cloture.

    Another thing that hinders the legislative process is pork barreling, it just makes members of committees vote to make people happy because they’re receiving a large amount of money. That just diminishes real free thinking to me. Log rolling is another thing hurts the legislative process, it just makes people try and convince and influence others to thinking the way they do, trying to sort of rally up others. These things are sort of the ugly side of politics to me, that’s why I feel these things hinder the legislative process. K. ) The passage of this bill will impact the economy in many ways, most of them being unpredictable.

    First of all I think it would reduce the cost of healthcare to people of lower income. There will still be heavy tax burden though on high income people, which I don’t like. The greatest benefit of getting this bill passed and making sure that nearly all American’s have healthcare will provide the best benefit to hospitals, increasing coverage of people should help relieve a big area of debt expense for them. Another impact the passage of this bill would have on the economy is the potential to increase the deficit, which would not be very good. If the bill was assed there would be a very long period of time before the passage and implementation of the bill, which naturally shows some level of uncertainty. Making it seem to me, that the effects of this bill will not be all positive. L. ) The Supreme Court is who gets the to make the decision to either uphold or pass the healthcare reform bill. Currently, the Supreme Court is greatly upholding it, I think that has a lot to do with the chief justice, John G. Roberts being conservative. He stated that the key provision in question is the mandate requiring that all American’s buy insurance or they’re forced to pay a fine.

    This part especially failed to pass constitutionally under the Commerce Clause. The debate in the courts over the healthcare reform is far from over because of the Republicans refusing to stop their fight against it. With the Supreme Court appearing more conservative, it seems to me as though the fight could never end. With the way passing the provisions works and how confusing it gets with members with such different ideas refusing back down, it seems like nearly nothing is getting done legislatively, it’s like pushing a wet noodle unfortunately.

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