The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, March 20, 2006

DC Republicans vote against states' rights. Again!

Only March, and there have already been three stories about the Bush Republicans abandoning their small-government principles in favor of pushing corporate interests. There was the bill on axing state food labelling (because who knows better about your local safety issues than Bill Frist, master of video diagnosis?) in favor of lobbyist-approved lower national standards. Then came the effort to repeal state-enacted consumer protections from usurious lenders.

Now the hat trick, and this time it's healthcare:

The battle over healthcare moved to a new front Wednesday as Senate Republicans advanced a bill that would change the way health insurance was sold nationwide.

On a party-line vote, a Senate committee approved a bill that would preempt state laws that require insurance policies to cover specific services, such as maternity care and supplies for diabetics.

California, which mandates that insurers cover 23 specific treatments and procedures — including mammograms and second opinions — would be one of the states most affected by the legislation.

Sponsors of the bill said overriding state coverage rules, as well as state laws regulating insurance pricing, would allow insurers to offer less-expensive plans. They say it would prompt more small businesses to purchase insurance for workers.

And yes, as a matter of fact I am skeptical of that prediction. But if I hear of a rash of insurance companies sending out letters saying "We're lowering our premiums 12 percent!" I'll be sure to write about it.

Let's see... they've done away with provisions for food safety, economic security, access to medical treatment, and conservation of natural resources. Any thoughts on what will be next? (Besides imposing government control on reproduction, I mean. Unlike food or oxygen, that only concerns half the population. And I'm looking at the big picture here.)