Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Responding to Reconciliation...

I have just spent a couple of hours researching the issue of whether or not the Senate version of the Health Care bill contains the same restriction of funding for abortions as is contained in the Stupak amendment of the House version. I have read a number of articles at the Politico website and a number of others. There are many different opinions about whether or not the Senate bill includes the Hyde Amendment wording.

I do not want to make a judgment here about whether or not the funding of abortions is denied in each version of the Health Care bills. I want to make another point.

My concern is with the process of passing this legislation.

My concern is related to the issue of trust.

It is my understanding that House members are being urged to vote for the senate version as it is with the promise that there will be an opportunity to fix the unacceptable aspects of the bill through a Reconciliation process after the bill is passed and after the President signs it into law.

But many folks state concerns about whether or not this process can be trusted to work as promised. And I share those concerns.

To illustrate the personal nature of my concern, I will relate something my husband and I experienced within the first year of our marriage - about 43 years ago. My husband signed a contract to teach high school speech following our August wedding in 1966. His contract also included the stipulation that he would become the assistant drama coach for the school. This school produced 2 major student musicals each year and had lengthy after school rehearsals which started before labor day and continued through the public performances which were held in November just prior to Thanksgiving for the fall semester and the spring event was similar. My husband was required to be at school at least 3 nights a week and many Saturdays for several hours. He was responsible for the sets and all staging for each production. It was a hugely time consuming responsibility but he faithfully fulfilled his commitment during his first year of teaching.

When it came time to sign his contract for the 2nd year, he told the department chair that he would like to be replaced as the assistant drama coach so that he could devote more time to his classroom assignment and other interests he had in the school and community. The department chair readily agreed that there was no problem with his request. A replacement would be selected for that position. He mentioned a new hire that was being interviewed with plans to move from another state.

The day came when the contract had to be signed. My husband noticed that the contract had the same wording as the previous version had a year earlier and included this position as the assistant drama coach. He mentioned that to the Department chair. And the immediate response was,

"Oh, that's just a technicality. We have a new person being hired from out-of-state who has agreed to serve in that position
so just sign this with the understanding that
you won't actually be doing that part of the contract."

So he trusted the man's word and signed the contract.

You guessed it. There was "no new person from out of state" but a contract had been signed with wording which would require my husband to honor a commitment he had knowingly but unwittingly signed. I'm proud to say that my husband fulfilled the contract as signed that year and did it without malice or vengeance against the man who misrepresented the facts. It was my husband's last year to teach at that school though that had been the plan before the conned contract.

How does this apply to the current Health Care bill?

Legislators, please study this bill and vote on the merits of the bill and not on what is promised as change after your signature is secured.

Too often promises are not kept and trust is seriously eroded. Unfortunately, I speak from experience.

1 comment:

Phillip Worden said...

Hi Grandma,

This is Phillip. I have a question for you. Could you please delete one of my An Interveiw of Myself posts? I can't figure it out.