Patterico's Pontifications


Senate Passes Health Care

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 12:43 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The Senate passed ReidCare early this morning in a rare Christmas Eve session:

“In an epic struggle settled at dawn, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed health care legislation Thursday, a triumph for President Barack Obama that clears the way for compromise talks with the House on a bill to reduce the ranks of the uninsured and rein in the insurance industry.

The vote was 60-39, strictly along party lines, one day after Democrats succeeded in crushing a filibuster by Republicans eager — yet unable — to inflict a year-end political defeat on the White House.”

President Obama called the vote “historic” and promptly left with his family for Hawaii. Many Capitol Hill legislators and staffers also scattered to area airports for holiday travel, but don’t feel too sorry for them. They have a multiple-booking perk the rest of us don’t have.

However, the road ahead is uncertain. The White House suggested the reconciliation process may extend into February because of differences between the House and Senate versions — particularly over the public option, abortion and taxes. Perhaps in the New Year, we’ll find out what President Obama’s position is on these topics.


20 Responses to “Senate Passes Health Care”

  1. Well, there’s some coal for your friggin’ stocking.

    You’ll take it and like it!

    Pious Agnostic (b2c3ab)

  2. The only thing lower and more corrupt than a U.S. Senator is a journalist I think… cause journalists in our little country are even more loathsome than the coward airline executives what won’t tell these corrupt Senate homos to eff off and die, but not by much I don’t think.

    happyfeet (71f55e)

  3. The interesting question today is whether Obama and Reid (constitutionally, the Executive and the political leader of the smaller chamber of the Legislature) can together prevail upon Nancy Pelosi (political head of the larger chamber) to simply pass the Senate’s bill.

    If they do, Obama can sign it, and the Democratic Party will experience a collective political orgasm that it’s been working toward for more than a half-century. A perfect orgasm? No, but … the alternative is a continuation of a half-century anorgasmia.

    All Pelosi needs is a bare majority. Lots of Democratic Representatives can peel off and vote against, so those from the Hardest Left districts can placate their Hardest Left constituencies. And all Democratic Representatives, radical or moderate, can then go to their 2010 elections saying, “The things you don’t like about the bill are all the Senate’s fault, but I couldn’t miss this chance to guarantee that Americans will get [list three favorite goals purportedly advanced, e.g., ‘insurance companies can’t deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions’].”

    Obama just has to sign any bill that has the words “Health Care Reform” in the title. I’m wondering if Rahm Emmanuel isn’t sliding down lots of chimneys this Christmas, finding Democratic Representatives wherever they’ve fled in order to twist some arms and flash the (metaphorical) knife blade. “There will be no bill if there is anything but a House vote right now approving the Senate bill as written. Don’t make me cut your nose off just because you want to spite your face. The up-or-down vote on the Senate bill is going to happen before the SotU Address, and if passage fails because of you … well, we know where you live.”

    The punditry I’ve read seems united in opining that Pelosi and the House can’t possibly give up the chance to re-arrange the feeding trough. But certainly there’s plenty — hundreds of billions — of that in the Senate bill, with a list of beneficiaries that don’t precisely match the preferences of the House Dems but that do at least match the preferences of their fellow Democrats in the Senate.

    Let me put it this way: If there were a leader in the Democratic Party in any of these three key positions who had even 15% of the political skills of Lyndon Johnson, this is how the fight would end.

    Beldar (70e6da)

  4. Patterico, in your opinion is a mandate constitutional? The commerce clause can not apply to commerce limited to within a state and by law, insurance companies dealing in health care are not interstate. I will resist any and all attempts to make me purchase health care insurance. I am a vet, Vietnam era so I have VA, but if that does not apply, looks like I might be joining a militia.

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III (57cae1)

  5. Comment by Zelsdorf Ragshaft III — 12/24/2009 @ 1:06 pm

    SCOTUS emasculated the Commerce Clause IIRC back in the Depression when they proclaimed that INTRA-state commerce can be regulated because of its’ tangential effect on INTER-state commerce; ie, that the wheat being grown for personal consumption had an effect on interstate commerce because that producer/consumer was not buying wheat on the market. This was re-affirmed in a recent ruling on MJ production for personal use, BTW.
    One of their most ridiculus rulings, but not quite on a par with Dred Scott.

    AD - RtR/OS! (396a30)

  6. … Republicans eager — yet unable — to inflict a year-end political defeat on the White House.”

    That looks like projection to me.

    jim2 (9c351e)

  7. And Dingy Harry accidentally voted “No”. What an ultra… Please Nevada, do the right thing next November.

    Gazzer (1e0374)

  8. Would price controls on medical care be constitutional?

    Secret Squirrel (6a1582)

  9. By precedent they would be, but they would (by history) be very destructive.

    AD - RtR/OS! (396a30)

  10. Are you sure?

    Price controls on food, gas, and shelter were disastrous because people changed their consumption of those items based upon the price .

    By contrast, we know that people will not get cancer more or less often if the price of chemotherapy changes.

    Very big difference.

    Secret Squirrel (6a1582)

  11. Price controls have nothing to do with disease or medical condition, but have everything to do with the services effected by those controls,
    services that are accessed to deal with medical conditions.
    When you restrict the reward for engaging in an activity (service), it is a “tax”, and you will get less of it (the service). It is simple Econ-1.
    And, because there will be fewer medical service providers (or, those that are available will be of a lower quality of training and/or capability),
    you will end up with more people having adverse results from their medical conditions (more people will die prematurely).

    AD - RtR/OS! (396a30)

  12. I am loathe to disagree with Beldar, yet I do.

    This is going through, after an epic conference committee reconciliation that is overwhelmigly geared to the House bill. The Dems know they are royally screwed no matter what form of “reform” goes through. They will understand that this is their one great historic chance to finally create the nanny state for which they’ve longed.

    There will be no problem getting through such a bill in the House, and ten senators can now take cover in the Senate, since regular order will be in place for an unamanedable conference report. They absolutely have 50 votes.

    Ed from SFV (bffbcf)

  13. Would price controls on medical care be constitutional?

    Comment by Secret Squirrel

    Price controls on medical care were imposed by Nixon, along with other wage and price controls after the 1972 election, and medical care was the last area in the economy to be decontrolled in 1973. The present Medicare program is price controlled as doctors and hospitals are forbidden by law from charging more UNLESS they withdraw from the Medicare program completely. Canada did the same thing in the 80s when they began their health plan and when the doctors tried to defy the ban on extra billing, a number of them were arrested and treated rather brutally. There was a mass exodus following that and doctors have continued to leave Canada ever since.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  14. Why would doctors leave Canada? There is better health care there than here.

    Secret Squirrel (6a1582)

  15. Bottom line: IF passed, DemCare WILL (post-passage) CONTINUE to be rejected by sufficient number of States and Citizens that we are on the path to civil insurrection (people will simply NOT comply with the ‘law’) — on the path to a new Civil War/Revolution — and a new and large Domestic U.S. Military on which Obama campaigned (completely overlooked by the media) may just have relevance to his thinking.

    Jack (429bc3)

  16. “…clears the way for compromise talks with the House on a bill to reduce the ranks of the uninsured and rein in the insurance industry.”

    So that is what this all about. Another attempt to rein in another for-profit industry, and replace it with an ACORN controlled bureaucracy.

    Why don’t they take on the Tort Lawyers and do something that would help all Americans?

    tyree (9d7ff3)

  17. Why don’t they take on the Tort Lawyers and do something that would help all Americans?
    Comment by tyree — 12/25/2009 @ 4:05 pm

    Because some of those Americans are conservatives. Duh! 😉

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  18. Oh, mustn’t forget our libertarian friends. They’re Americans that must not benefit from legislation as well.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  19. It’s OK for airlines to grant the multiple-booking privilege to lawmakers, because it gives members of Congress the flexibility to work long hours, said Craig Holman of the government watchdog group Public Citizen. “You can’t apply gift rules that hinder a person from being a lawmaker,” he said.

    Anyone but me find that anything that reduces the hours a politician can apply towards their endless chicanery to be A Real Good Thing?

    OBloodyhell (c79ab2)

  20. Why, we can’t have rules that treat our lawmakers the same as they treat us;
    that would be un-republican!

    AD - RtR/OS! (3759d6)

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