12/23/2009 02:29 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

For GOP Senators, "Wealth Care" Trumps Health Care

Has anyone figured out where the Republican Senators are coming from? This latest health care bill may not be perfect sans the "public option" or Medicare buy-in. We should also note that the bill is endorsed by the American Medical Association and the stock values of the major health care insurers have increased by ten per cent in recent weeks.

Given those last two points, one would think the measure would have at least some modicum of GOP support. What am I missing? Other than obstructing the advance of the health care bill, what alternatives to greater or improved health care coverage have the GOP proposed?

It's all quite puzzling, wouldn't you say? A recent study states that more than 60 percent of people who go bankrupt are actually capsized by medical bills....and over 75% of them had health care coverage. Bankruptcies due to medical bills increased by nearly 50 percent in a six-year period, from 46 percent in 2001 to 62 percent in 2007, and most of those who filed for bankruptcy were middle-class, well-educated homeowners, according to a report published in the August, 2009 issue of The American Journal of Medicine. These results were determined a year before the recession occurred. Even the other researchers who take issue with the number of bankruptcies admit that probably 1 in 5 families are stressed by health care costs.

Between 2000 and 2007, the cost of the average health insurance policy for a family of four doubled. And all of this on the Bush / Cheney watch. What happened to all that talk about "compassionate conservatives?" Tsk, tsk.

Even former Bush speechwriter David Frum noted that health care costs ballooned during the past Administration. And yet the right wing is eerily silent on the health care crisis. They denigrate foreign nations that have implemented universal health care. A recent PBS "Frontline" report titled "Sick Around the World" explored universal health care in the U,K., Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Taiwan --- all with plans that cover all their citizens and all with a much lower percentage of GDP. Dear God, are these health care systems abroad forms of "socialized medicine" in foreign democracies?

So study the names of the US Senators in the "Nay" column below, America (and the one who did not vote) ... mostly from states that claim the Bible as their guide ... Do we hear any more talk regarding "core" and "family values"? Or would that remind us of the Bush campaign Christian talking points and what his "religious revival" attained for the average American? Is not decent and affordable health care a family value? How come other less wealthy and smaller countries take care of their entire society, and we have this huge health care gap? Indeed, we have a large and real poverty issue...right here in the good ol' US of A.

Will the middle-class, well-educated homeowners who filed for health care-related bankruptcy return these GOP Senators to office? Perhaps if you, a loved one or a friend have suffered a severe health setback, you may vote differently next time. Not to mention the injuries sustained and lives lost in invasions and wars begun in 2003 based on very questionable, and perhaps manufactured, evidence and dubious motives. Perhaps we did not get enough "change" in 2008? We should strongly consider changing out a good deal of those in the "Nay" column below at our next voting opportunity. Much to ponder this holiday season, my fellow citizens. Very much indeed.

US Senate Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Reid Substitute, Amendment No. 2786 on Dec. 22, 2009

Grouped By Vote Position

YEAs ---60

Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burris (D-IL)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaufman (D-DE)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kirk (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Specter (D-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs ---39

Alexander (R-TN)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Kyl (R-AZ)
LeMieux (R-FL)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Snowe (R-ME)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Wicker (R-MS)

Not Voting - 1
Inhofe (R-OK)