With the election Tuesday of Republican Scott Brown in Taxachusetts, hope is renewed that Obamacare can be defeated.
Even so, our activist friend, Gil Waters, still has a good idea, one that should appeal to all sides of the political aisles.
Waters sent us this week a copy of a letter he delivered to our local congressman, Rep. Vern Buchanan, the District 13 Republican. Herewith:
You are my congressman and friend. So I feel I can ask you the question that is in the minds of thinking Americans on the health-care bill:
What is in it?
Really, every page. Do you know? I don’t.
Do we have a right to obtain a copy?
Can we divide it into sections?
We should have a volunteer committee of lawyers, doctors, former legislators, others in our congressional district and even experienced journalists obtain and read and summarize their section.
I am sure we can find the volunteers; divide the jobs; learn what’s in the bill and what we don’t understand.
I am a college graduate, former elected official, former businessman, voter. I volunteer to read up to 100 pages of the bill and report on them in 1,000 words or up to four pages.
I will volunteer to get at least 25 volunteers.
We need a copy of the bill. There are, as you well know, many luncheon clubs in Sarasota. I am in five. All are diverse.
We can fund the costs of reproducing the bill.
This entire process must not take more than 30 days.
This is necessary because the agency traditionally charged with this vital component of our Republic is sick … sick … sick.
Waters is onto a worthwhile endeavor. And he’s right. When he refers to the agency charged with analyzing and evaluating proposed legislation being “sick … sick … sick,” he is referring to Congress — the very body of lawmakers we the people elect to protect our interests.
And make no mistake, we would be hard-pressed to find one member of Congress who has read the entire bill. Asked during a recent talk whether he read congressional bills when he served, retired Congressman Dan Miller admitted he did not. He relied on congressional and party analysts.
That admission makes Waters’ idea and Buchanan’s recent efforts to force open congressional debate on the health-care bill all the more relevant.
Open government is one of the foundations of our nation’s political heritage. If you would like to volunteer to review the contents of the next, post-Scott Brown health-care bill, let us know. Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.