Might as well. They’re about to overhaul American health care with a bill passed in the House by implication. To honor the 72-hour pledge in that context would only compound the insult to the public’s intelligence. If you’re going to show contempt for proper procedure, really show it. There’s an element of honesty in that, at least, that almost redeems the lousiness of it all.
House Democrats appear to be softening their pledge to allow the public 72 hours to review the health care reform package online before a House vote. “We will certainly give as much notice as possible, but I’m not going to say that 72 hours is going to be the litmus test,” said Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Friday.
“The House bill or Senate bill, as proposed, has been online for some two-and-a-half months, otherwise known about 75 days,” Hoyer added, referring to the November and December dates each chamber passed its version of health care legislation…
“The House Democratic Leadership is committed to having the final health insurance reform legislation online for 72 hours before the House votes, for all Members and the American people to review. We will continue the transparent process this landmark legislation has had for months,” Pelosi wrote in a January press release.
The punchline? Precisely because of the Slaughter strategy, it’s not the Senate bill that the House will be voting on. They’ll be voting on the reconciliation “fix,” which will be deemed to include the Senate bill but which hasn’t even been written yet. Will that be ready 72 or 48 or 24 hours before the vote on? No one knows. Although honestly, at this point, I hope it isn’t. I’d prefer to see them finish the bill an hour before the vote, or else to pass a completely blank reconciliation bill and then fill in whatever provisions they like at a meeting with Obama afterwards. That’s the only truly fitting way to end this fiasco — that, or having the bill fail narrowly during the House vote, at which point Pelosi would rise and somehow simply “deem” it as having passed. The more illegitimate this thing is, the greater the (admittedly small) chance that the GOP can roll back parts of it later. So here’s to Democrats getting really, really crazy with the cheese whiz.