Patterico's Pontifications

3/19/2010

Health Care: Alive and Kicking (Updated)

Filed under: Health Care — DRJ @ 2:28 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

It sounds like ObamaCare may be on its way to a done deal:

“Stupak’s office sent out an email saying he will hold a press conference with “other pro-life” members at 11:00a.m. to discuss the health care bill. Maybe all the pro-life Democrats cut a deal?”

Any bets on whether the White House will be hosting a special champagne, caviar and lobster reception this Sunday?

— DRJ

UPDATE — There’s nothing worse than sore winners:

“On the left, some progressives, especially on the blogs, pretty much are beating a defeatist note. They have been repeatedly bemoaning that they did not get what they wanted, namely, the public option, to the point of some even opposing the bill altogether.

Not that the public option has been alive for quite some time now, but many left-leaning bloggers are sounding demoralized that Mr. Obama and many members of Congress did not stick to pledges gathered that if a vote were available for the public option, they would promote and approve it.

Many feel taken for granted and thrown under the bus.”

54 Responses to “Health Care: Alive and Kicking (Updated)”

  1. And some Wagyu beef.

    Dennis Keating (b8e95e)

  2. I think Obama would need something stronger than champagne to convince himself that he has constitutional authority to sign the Senate Bill without signing the Reconciliation Bill. The House will be voting on both at the same time, on Sunday. He’s not allowed to pick and choose what he signs.

    Andrew (011b3b)

  3. Sure looks that way – so let ’em have their pyrrhic “victory.” November will the the cruelest month the Dems have ever seen in their party’s existence. The albatross currently resting on their necks will become an anvil in due course.

    Dmac (ca1d8c)

  4. Wonder how many ciggies O’s smoked in the last week.

    elissa (5602f9)

  5. He can do whatever he wants, Andrew – didn’t you hear? “I won.”

    Dmac (ca1d8c)

  6. I think it would be very hard for any Democrat to actually stand firm against his party. He would have to have a backbone and a conscience.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  7. Just deem those parts of the Constitution that interfere, as “repealed.” That way this is all legal, and constitutional.

    cboldt (60ea4a)

  8. how deliciously ironic that the “pro-life” demoncraps would sell out to help pass this abortion of a bill……

    other than that, i’m with Senator Blutarsky: nothing is over until we say its over.
    if the government wants to declare war on the citizenry, i say we give it to them, every way we can.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  9. A victory for a person who visited 57 states and fills out a basketball slip that has his Vice-Presidents almamater spelled incorrectly.

    mike191 (5f2170)

  10. They’ll all get their just desserts come this November.

    GeneralMalaise (f0137a)

  11. “how deliciously ironic that the “pro-life” demoncraps would sell out to help pass this abortion of a bill……”

    Even stupak, in his moments of opposition to the abortion language, said he wanted the bill to pass. This is not news.

    imdw (de7003)

  12. Ironically, the Dems will be voted out of office for the misplaced allegiance and loyalty to the administration by voting for this mess but Pelosi, Reid and Obama will prolly keep right on wreaking havoc for another term….

    And yet these same people keep sticking by Pelosi in spite of her plummeting voter approval. There must be some serious bribes packed in that bill and/or IOUs… or the Dems are just that stupid.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  13. It will be fascinating to see what happens come November.

    I don’t believe repealing this excrement will be easy or a sure thing. We would have to have total control of both houses – beyond a super majority to be able to override the guaranteed POTUS veto. We will need to bring it, run on it and then do it.

    Then we need to do logical and actual health care reform, like make it legal to buy it across state lines. Do the right stuff after we repeal the wrong stuff.

    Vivian Louise (643333)

  14. Good thing the taxes in the bill start right away, ‘cuz that’s not likely to piss anybody off much.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  15. Especially when they let the Bush tax cuts expire as well.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  16. I don’t believe repealing this excrement will be easy or a sure thing. We would have to have total control of both houses – beyond a super majority to be able to override the guaranteed POTUS veto.

    A super-majority won’t be needed in the short run. Once the GOP takes control of either house, they’ll be able to start calling people to testify under oath. And the Dem majorty has been breaking the law with boring regularity. Those hearings (along with the terrible economy etc) will lead to the super-majority and a GOP president in 2012.

    Subotai (9a866e)

  17. We may get to see a TV first- a live broadcast of several human beings selling their souls- literally.

    jimboster (fe0b27)

  18. Comment by imdw — 3/19/2010 @ 3:41 pm

    you have already been deemed a moron, so there’s no need to keep proving it.
    have a nice big cup of STFU and then FOAD.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  19. How will this be difficult to overturn? Assuming the GOP takes the house, overtuning this bill in the lower chamber is almost a fait accompli; hell the votes only exist now due to huge democratic majorities and even that wasn’t enough, they needed chicanery, bribery and extortion to seal the deal. Then Senate can pass the bill overturning it through reconcilliation — hell, they should use reconcilliation even if they have the votes, just to stick it to Pelosi and Reid. Then, if Obama vetoes it, the House can “deem” Obama a lying POS who doesn’t know what he’s talking about and simply refuse to fund the bill. Or fund anything else he wants, for that matter, passed by Congress or not, until he signs the bill overturning Obammacare.

    Sean P (4fde41)

  20. 6.I think it would be very hard for any Democrat to actually stand firm against his party. He would have to have a backbone and a conscience. – Comment by Mike K

    I think the person would almost need to assume they’ed be in the position of Joe Lieberman. They would need to consider switching parties as well. But those who do I think will win the respect of many people.

    Like so many things, this shows the hypocrisy of the left, the worthlessness of the media, and an uninformed public. “They” complain that the conservative repubs want purity, heck we put up with people like Specter and others almost indefinitely, and a Dem varies in just one issue and it’s walk the plank.

    MD in Philly (59a3ad)

  21. I’ve updated the post. Democrats may be united but they’re still grumbling.

    DRJ (daa62a)

  22. “Then Senate can pass the bill overturning it through reconcilliation”

    Not all of it.

    imdw (b75942)

  23. DRJ – Progressives are always sore and grumbling about something. They are not happy people. This is not news, but thanks for the update.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  24. anecdote: i was at a local govt meeting yesterday, and two people, who are both old and smart enough to know better, were bemoaning the lack of single payor/public option, but were hoping that it would be snuck through later….

    they didn’t like my suggestion that we simply enroll everyone in the VA.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  25. Comment by imdw — 3/19/2010 @ 4:46 pm

    wrong again, yet and still.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  26. You’re welcome, daleyrocks. Glad I could help.

    DRJ (daa62a)

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  29. My mother has complained about everything for as long as I can remember. Nothing is ever good enough, her glass is always half empty.

    My mother is a registered Democrat. As a kid, I couldn’t understand why she was always bemoaning her life, blaming EVERYONE for her failures, expecting to be helped on any number of things, behaving often like a sniveling child, and just simply being a miserable person (Dad finally left her).

    As an adult, I now understand her. She was drawn to the Democrat party for its deflating ideology, one that expects NOTHING of its constituents… this matches her perspective on life. My brother and sisters and I also think Mom is a bit wacko… another reason she was likely drawn to the Democrat party.

    ClassicFilm (131cd5)

  30. I’m not sure we can know for sure how this situation with Stupak will turn out. There is a report that shortly after Stupak left his meeting with Pelosi, some of the more strident pro-choice female members of the House had an emergency meeting with her, and after a short time they stormed out angry. From what I can piece together, here is what is happening:

    Stupak is asking for, and Pelosi is apparaently promising, a vote on a third bill that is in effect the Stupak Amendment. This would go to the Senate as part of the reconciliation package, and require 51 votes to pass. Somehow the language would make passage of the other reconciliation package contingent upon passage of this third Stupak bill.

    The Stupak Amendment passed the House once by a comfortable margin, so this third bill would probably pass.

    But, to pass the reconciliation package — which fixes many of the objectionable parts of the Senate bill — the progressives in the House will now have to watch the Stupak Amendment pass along with it — making this a very big dilemma for liberal progressives.

    Then it all goes over to the Senate — both the reconcilation package which the GOP is promising to wreck, and the new Stupak language which the GOP will embrace.

    The Stupak language was rejected 55-45 in the Senate back before the Senate bill was passed. One of those 55 was Kennedy, so to get 50 votes — presuming that Biden would break a tie in favor of Stupak as part of the deal — 4 more Dem Sens that voted against the Stupak language in December would have to switch and pledge to vote in favor.

    That assumes that no GOP member would withhold his/her vote in protest over the use of reconcilation. Withholding a vote — simply not voting — would add to the number of Dem Sens who would have to switch.

    And, this all presumes that House progressive Dems who have grudgingly supported the Senate Bill + Reconciliation approach, would stay on board if there was a realisitic chance that the Stupak language would make its way back into the finished product.

    Can Pelosi fit all these moving pieces together before Sunday? I doubt it.

    If she really needs Stupak’s votes, then she’s in trouble right now.

    Shipwreckedcrew (58dde3)

  31. Will the Democrats throw the abortionist lobby under the bus?

    Michael Ejercito (6a1582)

  32. It does not matter if they pass it. As long as they use ‘deem and pass’ to pass this bill the Supreme Court will have no choice but to rule that since this bill is a revenue and spending bill it cannot be legally a bill. The constitution requires that all spending and revenue bills must originate in the House. Logically it cannot be originating in the House if the House deems a bill first passed in the Senate as passed. It is in the wrong order of sequence. That will be what the republicans in congress will sue and they probably file the case directly in the Supreme Court.

    The democrats are being too clever by half.

    cubanbob (38302d)

  33. “Logically it cannot be originating in the House if the House deems a bill first passed in the Senate as passed.”

    The bill the senate passed originated in the house. Check out its history on THOMAS.

    imdw (8f8ead)

  34. My mother is a registered Democrat. As a kid, I couldn’t understand why she was always bemoaning her life,

    Hardly surprising…

    freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com, Arthur C Brooks

    For three decades, the General Social Survey has asked a nationwide sample of adults, “Taken all together, how happy would you say you are these days? Would you say that you are very happy, pretty happy, or not too happy?” Here is a representative sample of the results:

    • In 2004, 44 percent of respondents who said they were “conservative” or “very conservative” said they were “very happy,” versus just 25 percent of people who called themselves “liberal” or “very liberal.” (Note that this comparison uses unweighted data — when the data are weighted, the gap is 46 percent to 28 percent.)

    • Adults on the political right are only half as likely as those on the left to say, “At times, I think I am no good at all.” They are also less likely to say they are dissatisfied with themselves, that they are inclined to feel like a failure, or to be pessimistic about their futures.

    • It doesn’t matter who holds political power. The happiness gap between conservatives and liberals has persisted for at least 30 years. Indeed, the difference was greater some years under Bill Clinton than it was under George W. Bush. Democrats may very well win the presidency in 2008, and no doubt many liberals will enjoy seeing conservatives grieving out about that — but the data say that conservatives will still be happier people than liberals.

    Mark (411533)

  35. I like the statement from Physicians for a National Health Plan, per below. They need to shut their mouths and start working more pro-bono (ie, volunteer) hours in the medical system. After all, aren’t they generous, wonderful, humane, philantrophic liberals?!

    DailyCaller.com, Peter Suderman, 01/10/10:

    In 2006, the state of Massachusetts passed a sweeping overhaul of the state’s health-care system. The system, which influenced the Obama administration’s plans for national reform, has since faced unexpected and unchecked growth in costs, both to the government and individuals, forcing the government to cut benefits and raise taxes. Now analysts say that without significant policy changes, the program’s long-term viability is in doubt.

    State officials have successfully increased health insurance coverage in the state: With only 2.6 percent of the population now lacking health insurance, its insurance rate is the highest in the nation. But high coverage levels have been achieved at a substantial price, and one that is expected to increase over time.

    For the state’s policymakers, rapidly rising health-care costs are the central problem with the plan. Since 2006, the cost of the state’s insurance program has increased by 42 percent, or almost $600 million. According to an analysis by the Rand Corporation, “in the absence of policy change, health care spending in Massachusetts is projected to nearly double to $123 billion in 2020, increasing 8 percent faster than the state’s gross domestic product (GDP).”

    Meanwhile, the cost of insurance premiums in the state is the highest in the nation, and double-digit rate hikes are expected again in 2010.

    The worry, shared across the political spectrum, is that the state’s health-care spending will overwhelm the state’s budget. Already, it has forced service cuts that have irked those on both sides of the aisle.

    Physicians for a National Health Plan, a doctor’s group that supports a fully socialized, single-payer health-care system, warned in a February 2009 report that the new system had failed to reduce medical spending, and has subsequently drawn funding away from crucial health resources such as emergency room care.

    …And in summer 2009, the state announced plans to drop coverage for 30,000 legal immigrants with a goal of cutting $130 million in health-care expenses.

    Mark (411533)

  36. Shipwreckedcrew: All that information makes my head spin. I am just an average white woman (to quote teh won), so maybe that’s why I don’t understand it. My biggest fear is that it’s going to be passed.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  37. Yeah, imdw just TRY to argue reconcilliation can’t be used to undo what reconcilliation was used to create. Try to make that argument.

    Sean P (334463)

  38. Comment by imdw — 3/19/2010 @ 6:34 pm

    this comment has been deemed irrelevant.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  39. “Logically it cannot be originating in the House if the House deems a bill first passed in the Senate as passed.”

    The bill the senate passed originated in the house. Check out its history on THOMAS.

    Comment by imdw — 3/19/2010 @ 6:34 pm

    Not only must you have a reading comprehension problem but you must of skipped civics in school. If the House already passed the bill that the Senate passed, the same identical bill on the legislative substance, then there would be no need for this “deem and passed” stunt. Obviously the House didn’t which is why they are trying to pull this stunt of stating that they deemed and passed a bill different from the one they passed which is not the same as the one that passed the Senate.

    This joint needs a better class of troll.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  40. “Yeah, imdw just TRY to argue reconcilliation can’t be used to undo what reconcilliation was used to create”

    It can be used to undo what it created. But not all of the health care reform will have passed by reconciliation. Remember the senate bill passed with 60 votes last year.

    “If the House already passed the bill that the Senate passed, the same identical bill on the legislative substance, then there would be no need for this “deem and passed” stunt.”

    It’s not the same identical bill. The senate took and amended a House bill on a different topic, put in health care reform, and passed it. Like I said, you can look it up.

    imdw (de7003)

  41. If it was a gut & amend, then the original House language was never voted on in the Senate, and any and all revenue provisions inserted into this bill by the Senate are in violation of the Constitutional provision that all tax & spend measures must originate in the House. Just because the bill has an “HR” designation, does not make it a House bill if it was not originally marked up in the House, and those revenue provisions were not originally voted on in the House.
    BTW, you have been riding this horse for some time, but you have never told us what the bill designation is that you’re talking about: HR-(what)?

    AD - RtR/OS! (b083e4)

  42. “The senate took and amended a House bill on a different topic, put in health care reform, and passed it.”

    imdw – This is a little more honest description than you were trying to pass off last night.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  43. “If the House already passed the bill that the Senate passed, the same identical bill on the legislative substance, then there would be no need for this “deem and passed” stunt.”

    It’s not the same identical bill. The senate took and amended a House bill on a different topic, put in health care reform, and passed it. Like I said, you can look it up.

    Comment by imdw — 3/19/2010 @ 8:38 pm

    All spending and revenue bills must originate in the House. What the Senate passed is not what the House passed, both bills have to be identical to avoid errors in the law. A small detail to you but that is what the Constitution requires for a bill to become law. The Senate modified bill is not identical to the House bill and to deemed it passed which is nothing more than to assume for arguments sake that it passed only refers to the Senate’s modified bill. The Senate cannot amend its bill in conference with the House as would be the case in normal legislation simply because they no longer have a filibuster proof majority. Instead they are trying this stunt as an end run around the Senate’s present inability to prevent a filibuster.

    Instead by using the stunt the House is saying lets pretend that we passed the Senate bill which is not the bill we actually passed. Nice trick but for the fact that since it isn’t the same spending and revenue bill originally passed by the House this particular bill the House may pass if passed would be out of order of sequence as required by the constitution and would require a vote by both houses to re-conciliate not only the spending and revenue aspects of the bill but also reconcile the language of the bill. So even if the democrats pass this bill and the reconciliation bill unless the Senate votes for the reconciliation bill as well its pretty likely the Supreme Court would rule that the bill never became law simply because because Congress did not adhere to the Constitution’s requirements to pass a bill into law.

    I suspect the Supreme Court would much rather kick this bill to curb for the reasons above than actually rule on each of the sections of the bill that blatantly violate the constitution. Better for them to rule this bill was never law than to deal with the political noise of ruling it a constitutionally a bad law. The republicans would love that since its all a plus for them without any downside and even ‘moderate’ democrats would love it since it would save them from the consequences of the bill and put them on a level playing field if not leaning towards them in the wrestling for power against the progressives in the party.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

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  45. “If it was a gut & amend, then the original House language was never voted on in the Senate, and any and all revenue provisions inserted into this bill by the Senate are in violation of the Constitutional provision that all tax & spend measures must originate in the House”

    Constitution says it must originate in the house, but the senate can change it. Originate means the bill just has to start there. Once it starts in the house, the senate can do whatever it wants. Read the language in the constitution right after the ‘originate’ clause.

    imdw (b75942)

  46. With all the lies coming from Pelosi and Co. on the Senate Bill and abortion, a simple truth test is NARAL’s response: Why would NARAL insist on no changes (and no Stupak language) if the Senate Bill doesn’t fund abortions (either through subsidies or the community health centers)?”

    GeneralMalaise (20e943)

  47. Many of my allies on the left have an astonishing lack of perspective. I got one piece of email telling me I should tell my representative to oppose the measure because it doesn’t end the disparate tax treatment of employer-provided health insurance for legally married gay spouses.

    Now, I think employer-provided health insurance for legal same-sex spouses should be treated (for tax purposes) the same as employer-provided health insurance for legal opposite-sex spouses. But that seems like (a) a detail, and (b) the tip of an entirely different iceberg … and I think the people arguing that that’s a reason to vote ‘no’ have gone far into baby-with-bathwater territory.

    aphrael (73ebe9)

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