But not to worry. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"; there may be new jobs -- at the Office of Personnel Management. In the Senate version of this Christmas Carol, up to 10 million Americans would lose their employer-sponsored health coverage. The individual health insurance plans for millions more would be nonexistent soon. To "ensure these Americans will never be denied coverage," OPM would set up a whole new bureaucracy to administer a government-run "insurance exchange." Though OPM is the federal agency responsible for granting security clearances -- and hopeless backlogs are commonplace -- we should be encouraged that it would do better at "managing" our health insurance. Take an aspirin, and call OPM in the morning.
The O-Team is confident that shortly after we ring in the new year, the House and Senate health care bills will be melded into one giant gift that keeps on giving -- to the federal government. There are some "fine points" to work out, such as how many of our tax dollars can really be spent on abortions and how deep the cuts in Medicare coverage for seniors will be and how much more "the wealthiest Americans" will pay. But those are just "minor details" that we are assured can be "worked out in the spirit of the season." We all should remember that "it's the thought that counts."
According to Reid, the "hard work" is done. The "exhausted" members of Congress are now home on "winter recess." Mr. Obama and his family are on their "Hawaiian holiday." Notably, the word "Christmas" is rarely, if ever, used in our government.
But that proscription isn't as pervasive as some would like. Though the majority of our elected officials call their health care bills a "gift" -- yet dare not speak the word "Christmas" -- there are others who know the true spirit of this holiday. Right now, more than 250,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines are deployed far from home -- a good number in harm's way. Those who wear our nation's uniform and their loved ones embody what giving, self-sacrifice and Christmas are really all about.
Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.
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