Republicans Objectively Pro-Pandemic

2 comments April 27th, 2009at 07:16am Posted by Eli

As always, Republicans place politics and posturing over the public good:

When House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey, the Wisconsin Democrat who has long championed investment in pandemic preparation, included roughly $900 million for that purpose in this year’s emergency stimulus bill, he was ridiculed by conservative operatives and congressional Republicans.

Obey and other advocates for the spending argued, correctly, that a pandemic hitting in the midst of an economic downturn could turn a recession into something far worse — with workers ordered to remain in their homes, workplaces shuttered to avoid the spread of disease, transportation systems grinding to a halt and demand for emergency services and public health interventions skyrocketing. Indeed, they suggested, pandemic preparation was essential to any responsible plan for renewing the U.S. economy.

(…)

Dr. Anne Schuchat, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Interim Deputy Director for Science and Public Health Program, explained to reporters on Saturday that, because the cases that have been discovered so far are so widely spread (in California, Kansas, New York, Ohio and Texas), the outbreak is already “beyond containment.”

That’s unsettling.

To many Americans, genuinely scary.

Not faked-up, politically-self serving scary, like the arguments former White House political czar Karl Rove advanced in February to frame opposition to the stimulus package Obey crafted in the House.

Rove dismissed Obey’s proposals as “disturbing” and “laden with new spending programs.” He said the congressman was peddling a plan based on “deeply flawed assumptions.”

Like what?

Rove specifically complained that Obey’s proposal included “$462 million for the Centers for Disease Control, and $900 million for pandemic flu preparations.”

(…)

Famously, Maine Senator Susan Collins, the supposedly moderate Republican who demanded cuts in health care spending in exchange for her support of a watered-down version of the stimulus, fumed about the pandemic funding: “Does it belong in this bill? Should we have $870 million in this bill No, we should not.”

Even now, Collins continues to use her official website to highlight the fact that she led the fight to strip the pandemic preparedness money out of the Senate’s version of the stimulus measure.

The Republicans essentially succeeded. The Senate version of the stimulus plan included no money whatsoever for pandemic preparedness. In the conference committee that reconciled the House and Senate plans, Obey and his allies succeeded in securing $50 million for improving information systems at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

But state and local governments, and the emergency services that would necessarily be on the frontlines in any effort to contain a pandemic, got nothing.

Did Rove, Collins and their compatriots want a pandemic?

Of course not.

They were just playing politics, in the exceptionally narrow and irresponsible manner that characterized the Republican response to the stimulus debate – and that, because of Democratic compromises in the Senate, dumbed down the plan President Obama ultimately signed.

So, in other words, Republicans pushed to sabotage and weaken a vital government function, and the Democrats caved in and let them.  Wow, that never happens.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

2 Comments

  • 1. David E.  |  April 29th, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    There is a huge positive! I love pork and the fearful public will drive it’s price down. Of course it will be hard to enjoy in the hospital.

  • 2. Eli  |  April 29th, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    Dude, me too!

    Must be a Jewish thing.


Contact Eli





Feeds

Linkedelia!

Most Recent Posts

Archives

Categories

Calendar

April 2009
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  


Thinking Blogger

Pittsburgh Webloggers

Site Meter


View My Stats *