Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), who as the longest serving member of the Congress also holds the distinction of having spent the most time working on health-care legislation, closed Thursday's summit by acknowledging that the bill being considered did not meet the standards of perfection set forth by the Ten Commandments.
But no legislation does, announced the Michigan Democrat. And for the sake of solving crises in both the insurance industry and the overall health care system, lawmakers would and should settle for bills that aren't crafted by the hand of God.
"We have before us a hideous challenge," Dingell said. "The last perfect legislation that was presented to mankind was delivered to the Israelis at the base of Mt. Sinai. It was on stone tablets, written in fingers of God. Nothing like that has been presented to mankind since. What we are going to do is not perfect. But it sure will be better and it's going to ease a huge amount of pain and suffering at a cost, which we can afford, which has been questioned out by the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office says it's budget-neutral. It in fact reduces the budget. I beg you, let us go forward on this great task."