Patterico's Pontifications

10/22/2009

ObamaCare: The (Doc) Fix Isn’t In

Filed under: General — Karl @ 11:35 am

[Posted by Karl]

A dozen Democrats — and Independent Joe Lieberman — joined all 40 Senate Republicans to block a permanent repeal of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) payment formula for doctors, as there was no consensus over how to pay the $247 billion 10-year price tag. Sen. Maj. Ldr. Harry Reid wanted the “doc fix” as a payoff to keep the American Medical Association on board for ObamaCare — so naturally, he blamed the AMA for failing to deliver 27 GOP votes. The AMA was not amused:

The reference to 27 votes was made well before S. 1776 was introduced and in the context of bipartisan health reform legislation,” said J. James Rohack, AMA president. “The majority of Democrats and Republicans support SGR repeal for seniors and baby boomers, but today’s vote appears to be becoming the victim of Senate politics. Congress needs to fulfill its obligation to seniors, baby boomers and military families, and repeal of the SGR is an essential element for health reform to succeed.” (Emphasis added.)

Accordingly, I doubt docs are going to be too impressed with Reid’s comment that “We’ll take this up again when we finish healthcare.” Moreover, Reid knows he may be forced to take it up sooner:

Aides to Mr. Reid said they had no choice but to try to fix the doctor payment formula ahead of debate on the larger health care legislation. Otherwise, they said, an amendment would be offered on the Senate floor to add the formula adjustment to the bill, pushing the overall price-tag of the legislation above $1 trillion and seriously imperiling its chances.

(BTW, if you want a study in media bias, compare the NYT blog post I just linked and quoted to the standard NYT story, in which Poor Harry is the victim of those Rascally Republicans, despite having a caucus of 60. But I digress.)

So Reid, in one fell swoop: (1) failed to keep his caucus together on a cloture vote on healthcare just ahead of a massive battle on the issue; (2) failed to deliver a payoff to one of the Dems’ allies on the issue; (3) blamed that ally for his own incompetence; (4) created the likelihood of a damaging amendment and a bruising floor fight when he brings ObamaCare to the floor; (5) gave the GOP “Exhibit A” for the case that the Dems are running a dishonest shell game to hide the true costs of ObamaCare.

Heckuva job, Harry!

–Karl

18 Responses to “ObamaCare: The (Doc) Fix Isn’t In”

  1. In the meantime, that other incompetent, Pelosi, is gonna get state option through the House.

    All Reid will need is 51 votes when it all comes back from conference.

    I do enjoy popcorn moments, and this is another excellent post by Karl. But, until we see what the conference reports, it is way to early to take heart.

    Ed from SFV (4b493e)

  2. Notice how powerful the feckess Republicans are portrayed when the Dems screw something up?

    JD (05d719)

  3. As always there is more division in the Democratic Party than the Republican, but the media is solidly behind the Democratic Party so they jump up and down when one Republican votes against party lines and deflect when Democrats do the same.

    Without the media, the Democratic Party is nothing.

    Freedom Now (b38dc7)

  4. As always there is more division in the Democratic Party than the Republican, but the media is solidly behind the Democratic Party so they jump up and down when one Republican votes against party lines and deflect when Democrats do the same in bunches.

    Without the media, the Democratic Party is nothing.

    Freedom Now (b38dc7)

  5. Ed from SFV,

    To come back from conference, it has to get to conference. Ask George Mitchell.

    Karl (694374)

  6. A dozen Democrats what want the little president man to fail. They will be dealt with.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  7. When I think of today’s Democrats, it brings to mind a quote from Babylon 5.

    “Ahh, arrogance and stupidity, all in one package. How efficient of you.” – Londo Molari

    NavyspyII (df615d)

  8. Karl – the odds are overwhelming that the Senate will send some form of a health care plan to conference. Until those odds appreciably lower, a conference is virtually guaranteed, and the House’s version will largely prevail due to the ultra-liberal pols who will be assigned to it by the leadership.

    Wake me when the Blue Dogs, as a group, actually buck their leadership. It has yet to happen on anything of substance that has reached the floor. Not once.

    I want you to be correct, though. I really do.

    Ed from SFV (4b493e)

  9. The worst part about this is that even the least noxious of the proposals out there is simply a jumping off point for this incursion into our freedoms. Once the first step is taken, it will only expand. The idea that it will ever be repealed is laughable.

    JD (07f478)

  10. Ed from SFV writes:

    the odds are overwhelming that the Senate will send some form of a health care plan to conference.

    This is what everyone thought in 1994, when George Mitchell brought his merged bill to the floor. The odds are better for the Dems now, since they have a larger caucus. OTOH, I think Mitchell was more competent than Reid is, so it may be a wash.

    Karl (246941)

  11. I blame Bush.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  12. In the meantime, that other incompetent, Pelosi, is gonna get state option through the House.”

    Government-run healthcare, *AND* taxpayer funded abortions, *AND* covering illegal aliens, *AND* squeezing medicare to knock off granny, *AND* about $2 trillion in added costs that are not paid for and/or hidden behind ‘cuts’ that wont happen, *AND* mandates that amount to TAX INCREASES for millions of middle class Americans, *AND* higher taxes on medical devices and ‘cadillac’ healthcare plans that the unions hate …

    This bill is a big, fat, ugly monstrosity that we cannot afford now and will make healthcare worse for millions of Americans. THAT is what the Senate vote portends.

    Travis Monitor (ca0576)

  13. [...] Reid’s debacle on the “doc fix” this week is any indicator that is some audacious hope at 1600 Penn. More broadly, the White House, [...]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » ObamaCare: “We hope you guys know what you’re doing.” (e2f069)

  14. [...] Reid’s debacle on the “doc fix” this week is any indicator, that is some audacious hope at 1600 Penn. More broadly, the White [...]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » ObamaCare: “We hope you guys know what you’re doing.” (e4ab32)

  15. [...] i.e., the special interests most affected by the bill. Big health insurers, Big Pharma, AARP, doctors, etc. — have all been promised goodies under this approach. The point of friction with the [...]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » ObamaCare: The public option and liberal fascism (e2f069)

  16. [...] these amendments are generally not online yet.) For example, none of the amendments looks to be the “doc fix” that would force Dems to admit that they have not accounted for hundreds of billions of dollars [...]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » ObamaCare: Is the GOP helping pass it? (e2f069)

  17. [...] make it more difficult to pass the bill. *** For example, none of the amendments looks to be the “doc fix” that would force Dems to admit that they have not accounted for hundreds of billions of dollars [...]

    Patterico's Pontifications » ObamaCare: How the Senate GOP blew its chance (e4ab32)

  18. [...] i.e., the special interests most affected by the bill. Big health insurers, Big Pharma, AARP, doctors, etc. — have all been promised goodies under this approach. The point of friction with the [...]

    Veronica Estrada » The Public Option and Liberal Fascism Connection Simplified & Explained (1006a0)


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