21 December 2005

Voinovich: Right Thing, Wrong Reason?

The Post has an article about Voinovich's changes to oxygen tank reimbursement rules in the new Medicare bill.

Voinovich is often a thorn in the side of the right wing and its generally goofy agenda. He's stood up and asked for higher standards from his party on more than one occasion, and it's been a refreshing change from the groupthink typically manifested by Republicans.

But I wonder about two things: First, would Voinovich have pushed for the change if he was lobbied by citizens rather than industry? Would he have had the gumption to take the issue to the House and nip it in the bud (he didn't change the Senate version; he told the House it had to change it's version or he would kill it in the Senate later).

Second, let's face it: these changes would have been rejected if proposed by a non-Republican, no matter how much sense they make. It seems like the industry just happened to have interests that coincided with those of patient's and the industry has a good relation with its Senator, who, luckily enough, is a member of the ruling party.

Voinvovich did the right thing in asking for this change, but did he do it for the wrong reason? Is this just special interest politics as usual?

Good government shouldn't be the product of happenstance.

No comments: