Billy Davis Column

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 19, 2010

Billy Davis

E-mail to Childers lacks answer on healthcare vote

Dear Congressman Childers,

I traded e-mails with your press secretary this week, prodded by some of your 1st District constituents here in Panola County. Several were nervously asking me if I know your stance on the coming healthcare vote, since it appears Speaker Pelosi is looking for 10 or so votes to get a the bill across the finish line.

Some of those votes must come from so-called Blue Dogs, a caucus that includes you.

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Since you are not yet in the “yes” category, my question to your spokesperson was if you are a “no” vote or a “maybe” vote. She responded that your “concerns remain the same” after you voted against the similar bill in November. That is reassuring and is probably what most of your constituents want to hear.

But she also wrote that our 1st District congressman “owes it to his constituents to read the bill, since no final language has been presented at this time.”

I’ve been scratching my head over that one. If there was no final language on Wednesday, when we exchanged e-mails, then why is the House set to vote on a bill this weekend?

Something else baffles me. What final language, Mr. Childers, is really worth chewing over at this point?

Are you really huddled in your Capital Hill office, Hi-Liter in hand, as you pore over the bill to mark its pros and cons.

You have publicly stated that your main concern is the bill’s cost, which was reported Thursday to be $950 billion over 10 years. If its cost is your chief concern, then shouldn’t you feel a pain in your gut when the best-case scenario is that this bill would cost one trillion dollars over the next decade.

If the price tag concerns you, do you worry that the Congress that has borrowed against Social Security, rendering it broke, will do for healthcare what it’s done for Medicare, Amtrak and the U.S. Postal Service.

By now you’ve been in Washington long enough to witness the greed and corruption, from both sides of the aisle, that is decaying our country from the inside. You’ve been there long enough, but not too long, to still be embarrassed and angered by what you see. At least I hope so.

With your view from the inside, do you really believe this 2,000 page, $950 billion bill was authored to ensure Granny gets the hip replacement she is due under Medicare?  

I don’t have to tell you that people gripe when a postage stamp jumps two cents. But if a new healthcare system arises, and our loved ones are hurt – not helped – by it, someone is going to get hurt.

I wonder how you are answering the fears from some1st District constituents that this healthcare bill, like a spark, will burn our imperfect healthcare system to the ground over time. There is worry that the very people who are promising to improve the system really want to gut it, then demand the power to control the new system that replaces the one that they helped destroy.

Sorry if that view is too simplistic, or wacky, or just plain wrong. You, better than we, know what is going on in Washington, D.C. But it is the concern I am hearing – not about costs and deficits but about hidden motives and long-planned agendas. I thought I should share it with you.  


Billy Davis

 (Editor’s note: Congressman Childers announced late Thursday that he plans to vote “no” on the pending healthcare bill).