Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bill Owens' Silence Will be Broken Soon

You just can't pin some people down for whatever reason. Congressman Bill Owens is considered a major swing vote on the huge health care bill that will result in a government take-over of almost 1/5th of the American economy, and he won't say where he stands. If you are wondering why Owens hasn't made a decision yet we might have an answer for you - politics.

A campaign organized by national Republicans called Code Red that is tallying the votes says our congressman is going to vote yes, but there is no public record anywhere that shows Owens as a committed yes vote for Obamacare, yet. The real reason why Owens doesn't have a public statement on Obamacare: he doesn't want to go on record either way, he thinks he can keep all sides happy.

A commentator at National Review quotes John Fund from the Wall Street Journal who wrote, "Rounding up the votes for health care has also proven difficult. House Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn told McClatchy Newspapers that final consideration of the bill may not occur until Easter (April 4) or later. He is dealing with dozens of members who refuse to commit to a firm position in hopes their silence will force the leadership to pull the bill and move on to other issues. 'Just say nothing,' is how one Democratic staffer explained the strategy being taken by many members. 'Maybe it will just go away, and we can avoid a tough vote this close to the election.'"

Initially, the deadline for passage was March 18th. Now it looks like we might see a vote on Sunday or early next week. How is that for courage? It makes you wonder why Bill Owens voted for health care last year. Could it be that the Obama administration offered him a quid pro quo? Promise to vote for health care and we will raise you some money and campaign in NY-23. Promise to vote for health care and we will get you Dede Scozzafava's endorsement by offering her a cozy job in the administration or in the state government when Cuomo becomes Governor.

Bill Owens has gone radio silent on the biggest domestic issue in a generation. An editorial in the Wall Street Journal summed it up nicely here. The writer, Fred Barnes, believes, "America will be in a constant health-care war if ObamaCare is enacted. Passage wouldn't end the health-care debate. Rather, it would perpetuate ObamaCare as the dominant issue for decades to come, reshape politics, create an annual funding crisis in Congress, and generate a spate of angry lawsuits. Yet few in Washington seem aware of what lies ahead." You can run, but you can't do it well with flip-flops.

For those who don't think the health care debate is a big issue have been missing the forest for the trees. The people of NY-23 know that you can't put deodorant on cow manure and call it dirt, and they also know that you can't be silent on this critical issue forever. Holding out and waiting to commit on health care, and potentially coming out to be the deciding vote on either side of this very public debate, may only end up adding greater insult to a great, great injury.


  1. Smoke em out Buggs.

  2. All indications are that health care reform will pass. The Congressional Budget Office is reporting today that the bill would cost $940 billion, and reduce the federal deficit by $130 billion over the first 10 years and $1.2 trillion in the second 10 years. This is good news to Democratic house members would opposed for budget reasons.

  3. The “greater insult to injury” you ask, Bugs; well, please let me turn the tables on you about that impact and/or greater good.

    Doing nothing and maintaining the status quo is not the answer. Just look at the current costs, numbers who are not covered and a growing number since 1994, those who continue to lose care via their loss of a job, those with preconditions booted to the side for more insurance profits, low-income workers (yes, workers) who still can't get coverage from job or who can't afford any on their income – no, my friends, the status quo cannot be sustained. It is a great danger to our already fragile since we have to provide care and still pay high for it... that is a no gain game.

    There was plenty of time to work across the political party lines and the DEMS tried. Each proposal or idea was met with a big fat GOP just said "No." And still in spite of that, many GOP ideas have been incorporated in the final bills. Still the GOP says “No.” That is the greatest shame of all.

    The greater injury is to the public if this initiative fails. Without reform it will add to the rising costs and to the misery of our fellow human beings who have no our lousy care.

    Who can stand for that and look at themselves in the mirror each day? I can’t. I also hope Mr. Owens can’t, either as he votes “Yes.”

    My two cents for what it's worth.