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Jun 02nd
Home Sections Health and Medicine TAKE IT FROM MY BARBER: Majority Rule, Minority Role
TAKE IT FROM MY BARBER: Majority Rule, Minority Role PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Health and Medicine
Written by Ben Maynigo   
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 22:01


‘Elections have consequences.’ Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina made the statement in justifying his affirmative vote for the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.


My American barber agrees. That’s why he is disappointed and frustrated with the Democrats. In the last Presidential and Congressional elections, the citizens of the United States of America, in the exercise of their sovereign power, granted the Democrats, Presidential or Executive powers and majority control of the law-making body called Congress. The mandate was quite clear. Commensurate to the power, is the responsibility to rule firmly and strongly as a government of, for, and by the people. Yet, after conducting hundreds of haircuts over the past year, he still has to see a strong President and a Congress where majority really rules.


My barber, who voted Democrat but attended Sarah Palin rallies, does not blame the Republicans. The minority has a role to play in a republican democracy. Its role is not unlike that of a defense attorney who must explore all and the best options to question the prosecution or in this case, the majority’s position. It is also expected that it pursues its own platform or ideological goals. Its on-going objective is still to take back the powers of the majority in the next election(s). Expectedly and understandably, the minority’s role is to oppose and oppose they must, either loyally or otherwise.


On the healthcare debate:



I was telling my barber that this healthcare debate has been going on for decades stating that in fact, I represented my school, Huntington Beach High, in 1963 in a debate with the proposition: “Resolved: That Medical Care Should Be Provided to Everyone.” I won the debate but it is not the point. It is more the fact that up to this date, about five decades later, the debate is still going on. The American citizenry was exposed to this issue in the last Presidential and Congressional primaries and elections. They were given choices as to who should execute the laws, make the laws, and who should appoint those who interpret the laws. The verdict was the following:


President/Vice-President: Obama/Biden (Democrats Won)  


Senate: 57 (Democrats Won - Majority); 41 (Republicans – Minority); 2 (Independent)


House of Representatives: 255 (Democrats Won – Majority); 178 (Republicans – Minority); 2 (Vacancies)


B ased on the verdict, it should be clear that the Democrats must legislate and Mr. Obama must execute and appoint members of the judiciary, among others. This is the only way to interpret what Senator Graham said and that of the sovereign will.


A healthcare bill was drafted, presented and passed through the Congressional mill. Discussed and debated over cups of coffee, tea parties and town meetings, the House passed their version and the Senate passed theirs with 60% of the votes. Over a week ago, President Obama presided over a summit meeting that included the Republican minority leadership. The latter had the opportunity to present its views and proposals. Some of the Republican proposals were acceptable to the President and the Democratic majority but the former prefer to start over and proceed with a clean slate.


My barber can no longer wait. He suggested that the Democrats “reconcile”. First, reconcile their differences among themselves; second, reconcile the acceptable Republican proposals with theirs; and thirdly, use “reconciliation” without hesitation to pass the version that include those resulting from the first and the second processes. If this is not done now, it would be extremely difficult to do it in the future. Reconciliation, as a process to pass law, has been done 22 times since 1980; 16 times by the Republicans and 6 times by the Democrats. After this, the record would be: Republicans – 16, Democrats – 7.


Growing up as a young boy, I remember what the late Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay said, “Those who have less in life must have more in law.” I recall reading as a young adult the Papal Encyclicals Rerum Novarum and Populorum Progressio and the Post Vatican II Reforms which advocated the preferential option for the poor. I know the bipartisan support for programs assisting the economically and socially disadvantaged Americans, having been in the Minority Business Development Advisory Council of Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush, and in the board of the National Minority Suppliers Development Council. We are all aware of the tremendous support extended by Americans to victims of natural calamities all over the world, be they in Haiti, Chile, Africa, etc.


The Healthcare bill seeks, among others. to do the following:


1. Insure over 30 million Americans who otherwise cannot afford;

2. Remove pre-existing conditions;

3. Remove the Anti-Trust Exemption for Health Insurance companies;

4. Reduce the growing healthcare costs per family.


These should be enough reasons. The first two assist the helpless amongst us. The third prohibits the insurance companies from conspiring to raise premiums. The practice is anti-free market and in fact, anti-Republicanism. The fourth results from volume purchases or group discounts, the removal stated in No. 3, and the availability of several options.


The U.S. despite its budget deficits continues to give foreign aid. In some cases the recipient countries use the aid to treat their own sick and disabled. Why not a domestic aid for our own people in need? It is indeed hard to conceive for the richest country in the world not able to provide care for the needy, and less fortunate - "those who have less in life".


President Obama, Senators and Congressmen. You were provided by the American people the Sovereign Power of Attorney. USE IT OR LOSE IT! # # #





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Last Updated on Tuesday, 09 March 2010 22:10

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