On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee voted 14 to 9 to approve a piece of legislation called "America's Healthy Future Act."
If it eventually becomes law, the act would require all Americans to buy health insurance, and if you don't you get fined. If you're a small business owner and you have more than 50 workers, you've got to give them health coverage or you get fined.
The minutiae of the bill is just staggering, and "Talking Points" can't even begin to explain all of the specific parts of it. What I can tell you is that it will cost a ton of money, but most Americans will wind up with some kind of protection if they become ill.
The unintended consequences of government-mandated health insurance will be amazing, but nobody really knows how that will play out. The fundamental problem is that something has to be done to control health care costs. They are simply too high.
I believe increased competition in the private sector could have brought prices down. That was John McCain's vision.
But the nation voted Barack Obama into the White House, and it was clear from the very beginning of his campaign that the president wants the government to call the shots in health care. And that will happen to some extent, even though most Americans are uneasy with it.
According to a brand new Rasmussen poll, 50 percent of Americans oppose government-mandated health care; 44 percent favor it.
To blunt partisan anger, the Senate Finance bill does not have the so-called public option where the government would actually sell health insurance. But if passed into law, there will be non-profit co-ops where you can buy private insurance that is set up by the feds.
Again, that's all with an eye on driving health care prices down, which is a good thing for most Americans.
Despite that, "Talking Points" is very uneasy with the dramatic expansion of government under President Obama. With more than 300 million Americans needing to protect themselves from disease, chaos will happen under the banner of health care reform. It is inevitable.
Obviously we have chaos now, and only time will tell whether the federal cure will be worse than the private insurance disease.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
You're not going to believe this first one. Bob Dylan, crusty old Bob Dylan, is putting out a Christmas album. I can't wait to hear "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" sung by Dylan.
But there's a reason for this. Mr. Dylan is donating all of the proceeds to the organization Feeding America, which of course is a good thing. So Bob Dylan is a patriot.
On the pinhead front, many Americans don't like the Viagra commercials, which are all over the place these days. Well now the city of Louisville, Kentucky, may be making things worse with this new tourism ad:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know that feeling when the mood is right but the city is wrong? Louisville can help you enjoy a longer lasting, more satisfying recreational, occupational and personal experience. Ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough to stand all these possibilities. Side effects may include nonstop smiling.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Whoever designed that commercial is definitely a pinhead, but a witty pinhead.
— You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Pinheads & Patriots" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org