Betrayed By John Boehner, Again - Waynesboro News Virginian: Guest Columnists

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Betrayed By John Boehner, Again

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Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 6:45 am

John Boehner is the Speaker of the House of Representatives. He is the leader of the Republicans in the House and is the senior person most responsible for enacting legislation based on Republican principles.

I regret to inform you that one week ago Mr. Boehner colluded with Nancy Pelosi to pass Democratic legislation in the House of Representatives. He betrayed Republicans once again.

Here is the story. In 1997, Congress passed a law which created a formula for reimbursing doctors for Medicare patients.  The formula allowed for payments to increase as inflation rose. The American Medical Association asserts that healthcare costs exceed inflation and that those costs should be used to determine Medicare reimbursement rates.

Footnote: The AMA is the most powerful lobby in Washington. They make big contributions to politicians.

Since 1997, Congress has routinely passed legislation at the request of the AMA to increase reimbursement rates. This is another example of moving money from the Federal treasury to one of the wealthiest segments of the U. S. economy.

It is now March, 2014, and it is time for another injection of money into the AMA.

Republican Boehner sought to pass the legislation, but did not have the votes of his Republican majority. The regular Republican members of the House opposed the proposal, recognizing it as crony capitalism. If passed, the Federal government would need to borrow more money from China to fund the AMA.

To get the law enacted, Republican Boehner conspired with Nancy Pelosi to come up with a winning combination of Establishment Republicans and liberal Democrats. Republican Eric Cantor worked out the details of the plan with Democrat Steny Hoyer. The deal was sealed.

Yet, there was one more obstacle to overcome. The Establishment Republicans did not want their constituents to know that they were shoveling more money out the door. Those Republicans were afraid that if their voters knew the dirty business they were involved in, they might face a conservative Primary opponent.

Here is the final episode in the drama. On Thursday, March 27, the House of Representatives was routinely gaveled to order. The pages moved quietly around the floor of the House. Some tourists shuffled into the visitors’ gallery. A handful of the 435 members of the House were settling into their seats. A few Congressmen were chatting amiably in the rear of the chamber.

Bang, goes the gavel. The bill presented. No advance notice. The Chair calls for a voice vote. Those in favor say aye. Those opposed say nay. The ayes have it. Bang, goes the gavel. And the legislation is passed.

It was all over in a heartbeat. The bill was passed, and there was no record of who voted for it. Boehner’s plan worked perfectly. The AMA got $15 billion and the Republicans got betrayed. Again.

It is time for Mr. Boehner to be removed from his position as Speaker of the House.

Ken Adams is the Chairman of the Waynesboro Republican Committee.

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