[T]hat would have required going back to the committees to refashion a reconciliation bill, and going back to the House of Representatives so it could craft a reconciliation bill, and then going back through the votes. There wasn't time for that, and even if there was, throwing the process so far back onto itself would have been an enormous risk.
For a detailed primer on the reconciliation process, head here. The short version is that reconciliation, which short-circuits the filibuster, can only be used for legislation that directly affects the federal budget. Anything that "indirectly" affects the budget -- think insurance regulations, like the ban on preexisting conditions -- would be ineligible.
What would be eligible? Well, Medicare buy-in, for one thing. Medicaid expansions. The public option. Anything, in short, that relies on a public program, rather than a new regulation in the private market. That means we'd probably lose the regulations on insurers, many of the delivery-side reforms, the health insurance exchanges, the individual mandate and much else. -- Ezra Klein
"The downside to drumming Joe Lieberman out of the Democratic caucus, as many progressives are eager to do, is that Lieberman is running point (or helping to) on several other major Obama Administration initiatives.
Aside from the link enn posted, one of the major criticisms of the Carter administration was his difficulty in influencing Congress to execute the plans he wanted to implement and an inability to effectively use the way Washington works to enact his policies in several areas.
Cutting defense spending to zero wouldn't come anywhere remotely close to funding Medicare for everyone. Just not even in the same ballpark.
What the fuck? Rahm Emmanuel's sole raison d'etre is supposed to be personally driving to the houses of rotten little pishers like Lieberman, leaving horses' heads in their beds, and threatening the lives of their yet-unborn descendants.
Nate Silver: Why progressives are batshit crazy to oppose the Senate bill
I think the Democrats want to use universal health care like the Republicans use abortion: as a carrot to hold out to their base every election year. "You've got to support us! We'll repeal Roe v. Wade this time! We promise!" Only, it never gets done, because it's too valuable as a tool to control the voters.
What? He advocated attacking her on culture war issues four days after she was named McCain's running mate. On the day she was picked, he wrote "I've concluded that this is a pick that looks better on paper than in practice. She's charming and likable, but she's about the furthest thing from what we conventionally understand to be "Presidential" as can be imagined."
But ultimately, we are in completely uncharted territory here. Palin is the most manifestly ordinary person ever to be nominated for a major party ticket. In this year of bittergate and Britney-gate and McCain-has-seven-houses-gate, that could conceivably be a virtue; it's certainly less tone-deaf than a selection like Mitt Romney would have been.
But Palin isn't merely playing at being ordinary, the way that Bill Clinton (Rhodes Scholar) or George W. Bush (son of a president) or Hillary Clinton (wife of a president) might. She really, really comes across that way -- like someone who had won a sweepstakes or an essay contest. Her authenticity factor is off-the-charts good; her biography sings. But do Americans really want their next-door-neighbor running for Vice President, or rather someone who seems like one? -- Nate Silver 8/29/2008
So here's my new plan: continue drinking, smoking, and eating myself into an early grave. It's the only way I'll ever leave my family anything but medical debt.
delmoi, Nate Silver's argument that this bill will halve the cost of healthcare for many families compared to the status quo seems persuasive. Do you think his figures are wrong? They seem to be his strong point.
If you look at this graph from Nate Silver, the Senate bill is still a lot better than nothing. You're letting the perfect be the enemy of the good here.
We need to get this passed. It saves more lives. There will never, and I mean never, be a chance were Obama has this much political capital to get this done. -- Ironmouth
dude never campaigned on single-payer, which requires a mandate by the way.
The public won't accept that, this time. The numbers on this particular bill are pretty fucking bad now.
Will the government pay the entire premium if I'm unemployed?
Is the government subsidy based solely on income, or is it reduced based on items such as my savings or the value of my house?
How exactly would I inform the government that I needed them to start paying? Or to switch from my previous employer's plan to something on the health exchanges?
How long would this process of switching plans and obtaining government assistance take? Would I even be covered in the interim?
In recent weeks I've read quite a few emails which say something like this: Okay, that's it. I'm done with Obama. He's just like Bush. He's governing from the right. He's disappointed me on this and that and the other. So I'm not voting or I'm voting third party. And let's go ahead and ditch the health care bill because it's not going to have a public option.
It's times like these when the difference between political activism and self-expression and primal scream therapy become really apparent. Politics isn't easy. Political change isn't easy. It includes tons of reverses and inevitably involves not getting a lot of what you wanted, at least not at first. This doesn't mean everyone needs to agree on policy or priorities. People don't agree on things. That's life. But that's different from cashing out of the process if you don't get just what you want.
If this is the only chance for reform in generations, wouldn't it have made more sense to fight for a truly comprehensive bill that actually solved the problem? If you've only got one bite of the apple every couple of decades, it seems remarkably foolish not to really go for broke...And Obama can say that you're getting a lot, but also saying that it "covers everyone," as if there's a big new benefit is a big stretch. Nothing will have changed on that count except changing the law to force people to buy private insurance if they don't get it from their employer...Nobody's "getting covered" here. After all, people are already "free" to buy private insurance and one must assume they have reasons for not doing it already.
You talk to every health care economist out there, they will tell you that what ever ideas exist in terms of bending the cost curve and starting to reduce cost for families, businesses, and government, those elements are in this bill.
Not enough to avoid slipping into a bad Randy Savage impression during one of his pep rallies, sending everyone into a round-the-clock media-tizzy.
If Obama isn't re-elected in 2012, we won't see a Democratic candidate for President to the left of Joe Lieberman for 50 years, mark my words.
Jefferson's "laboratory of democracy" provided a sound solution. Why don't we have state run health care? Could states create government insurance companies under the current senate bill?
Ah, so the presiding officer is required to recognize the next person who wants to speak, even if it is to continue a filibuster?
I think I'm gonna sit out the 2010 elections unless the Democrats fire Reid and get a new majority leader who actually knows how to run a majority.
Didn't employers start offering coverage because they could get it cheaper, buying it in large blocks and so having more leverage power? I don't see how making it harder for employers to provide coverage would do anything but make things even worse for people.
Snowe spoke to President Barack Obama on Monday and met Tuesday morning with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and his staff to go over the outlines of the latest compromise version of the healthcare bill.
This thing was decided the moment. Olympia Snowe voted for this bill out of committee and stated that she would introduce a triggered public option. From that moment Lieberman knew that if he wanted to maximize his leverage, he had to position himself to Snowe's right. As long as one Democrat was to her right, he was golden. These are just facts. You can't argue with them.
But in the end, Lieberman was outmanuvered. Obama called his bluff. As video of Lieberman taking the opposite position leaked out, the Dems had their 60.
The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote [spoiler], threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday. "We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen.
My point was that Lieberman always intended, from the beginning, to make sure that he held the key position because of the GOP's solid hand on the filibuster. So he had to make sure that Snowe did not vote for the bill making his position superfulous. -- Ironmouth
When she said she'd introduce a triggered public option amendment, he came out and said no public option ever. Now he's to her right. That puts her in a bad spot with the GOP and her own primary voters. Because if her vote is decisive, she's a traitor. -- Ironmouth
This is straight up politics.-- Ironmouth
I'm OK with that, as long as you cover every fucking medical bankruptcy from here until the "real" reform you want is passed.-- Ironmouth
Lifetime limits will be abolished. -- Ironmouth
I'm sure Joe Lieberman is terrified at the prospect of losing his seat and being forced to cry, cry, cry his way to the bank when he becomes an an insurance industry lobbyist. – mullingitover
Your assertion, your burden of proof. You can't just say "they didn't vote for what I wanted, therefore they are bribed!" You have to stand behind your assertions with evidence. First, show me the actual donations and the actual votes. -- Ironmouth
But what alternate route do you propose taking to get a bill that would amount to a victory? The legislative process works the way it works (or doesn't work, as the case may be), and it's no coincidence
And of those pushing for the use of reconciliation, the aide concluded, "A bunch of people that watched 'Schoolhouse Rock' growing up think that they understand how the Senate works, and they don’t."
Ultimately, passing a reform bill with reconciliation is "feasible," Dove says, but the resulting legislation "would not be pretty, and it couldn't contain a lot of things that people want to be in it."
Follow the debate. I suggest www.talkingpointsmemo.com -- Ironmouth
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll coming out later today will show opposition to the health care bill growing -- mainly from disappointed liberals, who are very much disappointed to see the public option getting thrown out.
The poll has 47% saying the Obama health care plan is a bad idea, to only 32% who say it's a good idea.
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong. Snowe stated she was going to offer a "triggered" public option. Lieberman quickly then said no public option, triggered or not. These are facts. -- Ironmouth
Even Russ Feingold will oppose reconciliation: -- Ironmouth
Switzerland and the Netherlands both have universal health insurance with private insurance companies. Are you saying that they should abolish universal insurance coverage simply because some of the funds for it ends up in private hands? -- jonp72
Still of all the countries with universal health care, Switzerland’s is the most market-oriented and merits discussion. Switzerland’s health care spending as a percentage of GDP is second only behind the U.S. (11.6% of GDP for Switzerland, 15.3% for the U.S. according to Frontline)
I have never seen "agitation" or a "movement" ever get any significant number of people elected to the U.S. Congress. Ever. Frankly, I've never seen "agitation" or a "movement"
Read the entire thread. Names were given hours ago. And they include Feingold. -- Ironmouth
Americanize the hell out of them, nuke the tribal territories to glass --- fff
...the notion that Congress could go back to square one at this point is delusional. Legislative failures to fix health care in the past have been followed by years of inaction, during which medical care has grown ever more costly, and access to it more capricious.
A bill passed today could be improved tomorrow.
If I feel abandoned, it's not by Obama and the Democratic party, it's by those on the left advocating to kill the bill.
I am unemployed and have a pre-existing condition that requires daily medicines, quarterly doctors visits and an annual test. I am on COBRA, which runs out mid-2010, when I will have to find new health insurance. I will need to purchase some kind of health insurance, assuming I can find provider who will insure me.
I don't pretend to understand all the intricacies of the health care reform bill, but I do read a lot. From what I can glean, if the bill passed, I would be able to find health insurance because I could not to be turned down due to my pre-exisiting condition. And based on my income at the moment, my premuims would be subsidized.
Am I disappointed in the reform effort? Yes. I believe in single payer. I was terribly disappointed the Medicare buy-in for 55 and older was dropped, not because I give a rat's ass about Lieberman or the political wrangling involved, but because I am two years shy of 55 and I would have loved to be able to tough it out on the private market for a little while longer knowing Medicare coverage was just around the corner. Believe me, it's scary being 52 and unemployed with a medical condition. Any form of security is vital.
So here's a list of other presidents who sold out their progressive base and never really wanted to get meaningful reform through the legislative process found political resistance to health care reform too difficult to accomplish during their time in office:
1) Teddy Roosevelt
2) Franklin Roosevelt
3) Harry Truman
4) John F. Kennedy
5) Jimmy Carter
6) Bill Clinton -- saulgoodman
not because you can actually predict the future with any greater degree of success than anyone else can (let alone with better accuracy than the CBO, which has spelled out in excruciating detail who benefits and loses out financially under the various reform plans that have been under consideration), but because like everyone else, you sincerely believe you can. -- saulgoodman
You sure come across like you're relishing the reality. We've become a useless and ungovernable nation, that's all. -- saulgoodman
Seriously, let's have a thought experiment. Let's assume that everything in this world is the same, except Ralph Nader got elected president instead of Barack Obama. Prove to me how Nader would've gotten single payer or a public option out of the Senate. You can't. -- jonp72
If you are "progressive" and you opt out of the 2010 election, then you are in fact bringing down the Democratic Party. -- jonp72
There's no great big payout to insurers in this bill, BTW. They're are subsidies to make it easier for people to buy insurance.—saulgoodman
Counterfactual arguments are a perfectly legitimate technique.
WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Democratic hopes for passing a broad healthcare overhaul in the U.S. Senate took a hit on Thursday when a crucial party holdout, Ben Nelson, rejected a compromise on abortion funding aimed at winning his vote.
Senate Democratic leaders, racing the clock to finish work on the bill before leaving for the holidays, struggled to line up the 60 votes they need to overcome Republican procedural hurdles.
Last week, [Dorgan] said he heard rumors that the FDA was going to send a letter objecting to drug importation on safety grounds, which he has said is a bogus reason. He said he called FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg, who said she knew nothing about such a letter.
He said his timeline shows that a letter, signed by Hamburg questioning the safety of drug imports, was sent 24 hours later to a few senators who opposed importation. That piece of paper became a rallying cry for other senators who voted down Dorgan's amendment.
"I think the letter was prompted, probably drafted somewhere else," like "the White House" Dorgan said.
If that's so, why did Krugman see fit to devote so many inches of print space to excoriating President Obama for not making the individual mandate a key component of his health reform platform? Was Krugman just hard up for something to write about?
What other reason could Hamburg have for denying authorship of the letter than it was ordered by those at the very top? It's not like Hamburg or someone in a position to produce a letter ostensibly on her behalf could possibly have a different personal agenda than the president. It's not like Hamburg's little letter-that-never-was might land someone a cushy health industry job somewhere down the road for its part in contributing to the confusion that helped derail reform. No, Hamburg's entire office is full of lifeless automatons, moving in perfect concert under the remote control of sophisticated laser guidance systems to act out President Obama's sinister program.
It could certainly change my mind. What made the mandates palatable was that (1) the bill would expand insurance coverage to the previously insured and (2) subsidies were included for covering the insurance needs of the poor. If you take out (1) and (2), I'm not sure you have a bill that improves the status quo, and that's my bottom line.
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