Now that the Health Care Reform bill has passed and been signed into law, those who have been working so hard towards this and waiting so long for reform to happen were allowed only a brief reprieve in the struggle to celebrate by watching the signing ceremony this morning. It was brief because, as we all know, the Republicans who all voted against it are determined to destroy themselves with their opposition, and in doing so they seek to drag all the people in this country who would benefit down with them. These men and women would just as soon continue to let thousands die than lose an election. This reform will help so many people, and they know that, but they simply don’t care. They are so shameless in their efforts that they have continued an all out campaign of misinformation in order to scare people into supporting them against their own interests. They have targeted and enlisted unsuspecting, angry people, like those calling themselves the “Tea Party” and “Tea Baggers” and exploited them, and tried to swallow them into the GOP void as their own. They are so audacious in fact, that they are now trying to raise money and seek donations based on these falsehoods from these very people. In short, they are “double-dipping” the disadvantaged. Nice group.
Here in Florida, the GOP is wasting no time trying to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot to exempt the state from the federal law requirements. Good luck with that! They will need at least 60 percent of Florida’s voters to say “Medical attention? Health insurance? Why we’ll have none of THAT! Sign me up!”
But wait, there’s more! Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, a Republican running for governor, is now leading the charge along with 13 others by filing a lawsuit hoping to block it, and claim the new law is unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed just after President Obama signed the law this morning. Nearly four million people in Florida lacked health insurance coverage last year, and now he wants to make sure they stay uncovered, along with many more. In doing so, he also seems to think these very people will reward him for this by electing him to be their governor! McCollum assumes a lot.
Does he also assume that no one will pay attention to what information he’s using to create his lawsuit? Some of the Medicaid figures McCollum used in the lawsuit have already been challenged.
Then there are those who disagree with the lawsuit itself:
Lawrence Friedman, a professor who teaches constitutional law at the New England School of Law in Boston, said before the suit was filed that it has little chance of success. He said he can’t imagine a scenario where a judge would stop implementation of the health care bill.
Sen. Dave Aronberg, a Florida democrat running to replace McCollum for attorney general calls it a frivolous lawsuit at a time when the state has numerous real problems that need to be addressed.
Florida Democrat Dan Gelber, another candidate for attorney general promises to end the lawsuit if he’s elected, and added some about additional problems:
1. Florida has nearly 4 million residents who are uninsured including 800,000 children (the second highest percentage in the nation). As you are running for Governor, what do you propose to do to address this crisis since you believe the reform passed by the Congress is unconstitutional?
2. If you believe it is unconstitutional to require buy-in for health insurance, do you likewise believe that the payroll tax that Americans are required to pay for Medicare so that they have insurance when they are older is also unconstitutional?
3. Florida has pill mills run amok, ponzi schemes preying on our most vulnerable seniors, child predators, and one of the nation’s worst violent crime rates. Do you really have so many extra resources and so little to do that you can afford to dedicate personnel to what some have called a rank political stunt?
4. When this bill is signed into law, insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Are you really willing to go to court to uphold insurance companies’ right to deny care and drop coverage?’”
5. You have had half a dozen press conferences and announcements that announced you were thinking about challenging health care reform and then announcing that you were serious about challenging health care reform. Why isn’t it fair for your detractors to say you are politicizing the issue?
Of course, the Republican candidates hoping to replace McCollum, Holly Benson and Jeff Kottkamp both think the lawsuit is a fantastic idea! Only 4 million Floridians without health insurance? Pshaw! Let’s see if we can’t break a record and get those numbers even higher! Elect us! What’s not to love?
And finally there’s the little matter of the D.C. lawyer who McCollum hired to challenge the new health reform law whose name is David Rivkin, who had this to say about the new law:
“This bill fundamentally changes the constitutional architecture under which we’ve been operating.”
If you’re the least bit curious about how Rivkin has been operating, (I know I was) well, surprise! From 2006-2008 he was a lobbyist focused on, among other things, “banking issues.” Yet another surprise, he worked on those “banking issues” with another former lobbyist. You may have heard of him: Bill McCollum. What a coincidence!
Rivkin and McCollum have ties that date back to the early part of the past decade. Both Rivkin and McCollum worked together for the law firm of Baker & Hostetler. Before McCollum became attorney general, he received $540,000 in compensation from Baker & Hostetler from 2005 – 2006, according to financial disclosure forms.
According to lobbying disclosure statements filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House and the Secretary of the U.S. Senate, McCollum and Rivkin lobbied Congress, the FCC, and the Department of Justice for Federated Investors. The lobbying work focused on banking issues in the first half of 2006.
Bill McCollum is happily joining in with his GOP colleagues in dedicating themselves to make sure that Floridians will never benefit from the brand new shiny health reform law President Obama just signed today. In trying to become perhaps even more powerful with these underhanded GOP “double-dippers” he’s filed a lawsuit to block people in the state of Florida (and many others) just to make sure, and he’s doing so with a man who, along with him has also lobbied on the behalf of big banks, which you may have heard will be one of the next hurdles the country faces. Big banks, you may have heard, thanks in large part again to the GOP nearly led the country into another great depression, an economic meltdown, and turned around and said “We’ll bail you out, no problem! Here’s bundles and bundles of cash! I mean, it’s only the taxpayers picking up the tab, so fuhgeddaboudit!”
On top of all this, over four million people in Florida without insurance isn’t nearly enough for him. Nope.
Republican Bill McCollum is a man who apparently would rather see people die than lose an election.
What more could you possibly want in a governor?