This Week in Congress Part 2

Yesterday, The House Rules Committee held a hearing on Medicare for all. It is very unusual for Rules to hold a hearing on any bill that has not already passed a legislative committee and is proceeding to the floor. This may be because the Chairman of Rules, Jim McGovern (D-MA-02), is a cosponsor of the bill . . . or it may have been because Rules is the “Speaker’s Committee” and the Speaker wanted to make sure the hearing was not a single-payer love-fest.

According to this piece from truthout.org, Pelosi’s lead health care advisor, Wendall Primus, put three criteria on who could testify. No head of a single payer group could testify, no “activist” could testify, and no one who has ever said anything negative about the Affordable Care Act could testify. So at this hearing, there was only one witness who actually supports “single-payer” health care.

Following the media reports, prominent activist Ady Barkan, who has ALS, was added to the panel. Barkan made an understandably sympathetic witness and his testimony is considered a highlight of the hearing. My dad died from ALS, so I sympathize with Mr. Barkan and his family but it would be more difficult—if not impossible for those suffering from ALS to obtain the care they need under Medicare for all.

Speaker Pelosi remains focussed on saving Obamacare by throwing more money at it. Look for conflicts between the Democrat Obamacare “reformers” and the single payer boosters in the next few months. Also look for Republicans to cut a deal with the reformers.

The House will consider some suspension bills this week, including:

  1. H.R. 1222—Allows states to expand or create new public target ranges on land where they receive federal support to manage.

  1. H.Res. 327– Sense of Congress resolution encouraging greater financial literacy education for high school students. Dr. Paul used to vote against this because Congress has no business lecturing the American people on the need for financial literacy.

  1. H.R. 1876– Creates a federal taskforce to look at the challenges facing senior citizens’ investing and report to Congress on the necessary changes to regulations to help seniors.

  1. H.Res. 328—Another resolution encouraging financial literacy, this time aiding senior citizens to protect them from financial fraud.

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