T Nation

Health Care Passes Senate

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/21/health-care-passes-key-senate-test/#commentCount

WASHINGTON – Landmark health care legislation backed by President Barack Obama passed its sternest Senate test in the pre-dawn hours early Monday, overcoming Republican delaying tactics on a 60-40 vote that all but assures its passage by Christmas.

“Let’s make history,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, shortly before the bill’s supporters demonstrated their command of the Senate floor in an extraordinary holiday season showdown.

The bill would extend coverage to more than 30 million Americans who now lack it, while banning insurance company practices such as denial of benefits on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions.

The atmosphere was intensely partisan, but the outcome preordained as senators cast their votes from their desks, a practice reserved for issues of particular importance. Administration officials who have worked intensely on the issue watched from the visitor’s gallery despite the hour. So, too, Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who championed health care across a Senate career that spanned more than 40 years.

Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson’s announcement Saturday that he had decided to support the bill – in exchange for a variety of concessions – cemented the Democrats’ 60-vote majority behind a bill assembled at the direction of Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Republicans conceded Democrats had the votes, but said they hadn’t heard the end of it.

“One can stop it, or everyone will own it,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, a thinly disguised warning that his party will use the issue in the 2010 midterm elections.

In a strong attack on Obama, he said, “a president who was voted into office on the promise of change said he wanted lower premiums. That changed. He said he wouldn’t raise taxes. That changed. He said he wanted lower costs. That changed. He said he wouldn’t cut Medicare benefits. That changed.”

But Reid countered with a list of Nevadans whom he said have suffered at the hands of insurance companies. “On average, an American dies from lack of health insurance every 10 minutes. That means that in the short time I have been speaking, our broken system has claimed another life.”

Still, McConnell called the vote the culmination of a long debate, an acknowledgment that it was the single most important vote. Democrats must post 60 votes twice more, and Republicans can delay final passage until Christmas, but not prevent it.

Nelson came in for strong criticism from Republicans in Washington, who complained that he had won favorable treatment for his home state’s Medicaid program. In a bit of political theater, they sought to open the bill up to extend it to all 50 states, but Democrats objected.

Nelson’s agreement to an abortion-related change in the bill drew criticism from Nebraska Right to Life, a longtime supporter, and the state’s Catholic bishops, who issued a statement that they were “extremely disappointed” in him.

His rebuttal came in the form of his vote, as well as a statement. “Too many Nebraskans struggle more each year to pay rising health care costs,” he said. “Too many fear or face bankruptcy and too many are left behind, unable to obtain basic health coverage for themselves and their families.”

The House has already passed legislation, and attempts to work out a compromise are expected to begin in the days after Christmas.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated the legislation would reduce deficits by about $132 billion over a decade, and possibly much more in the 10 years that follow. Republicans counter those figures are illusory, because they depend on cuts to Medicare that will never take place.

At its core, the legislation would create a new insurance exchange where consumers could shop for affordable coverage that complies with new federal guidelines. Most Americans would be required to purchase insurance, with subsidies available to help families making up to $88,000 in income afford the cost.

In a bow to Senate moderates, the measure lacks a government-run insurance option of the type that House Democrats placed in their bill. Instead, the estimated 26 million Americans purchasing coverage through new insurance exchanges would have the option of signing up for privately owned, nonprofit nationwide plans overseen by the same federal agency office that supervises the system used by federal employees and members of Congress.

The full extent of Reid’s maneuvering was still unclear.

Nelson won numerous changes, including tougher restrictions on abortion coverage and an estimated $45 million in federal Medicaid funds, enough to completely cover his state’s costs of complying with an expansion of the program mandated by the bill.

Vermont and Massachusetts also won additional Medicaid funds; plastic surgeons were persuasive in their bid to strip out a proposed tax on elective plastic surgery; hospitals in the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana won additional Medicare funds; and there was more money for hospitals in Hawaii to treat the uninsured.

While Nelson’s vote was the decisive one to fall into place for the Democrats, only an unpredictable series of events has left them with the ability to gain 60 without any help from Republicans.

They began the year with a caucus of 58, including 56 Democrats and two independents. Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter added to their ranks in April when he suddenly bolted from the Republican party, and Sen. Al Franken made it 60 when he was sworn into office in July after a long Minnesota recount.

It was only a few weeks before Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, a longtime advocate of universal health care, succumbed after a long battle with brain cancer and Democrats reverted to 59 seats.

With a heavy push from Reid and the White House, and a request Kennedy wrote not long before his death, Democrats in the Massachusetts Legislature quickly changed state law so Gov. Deval Patrick could appoint a temporary replacement.

Paul Kirk, a longtime Kennedy associate and former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, was sworn in Sept. 25. “We’re prepared to go to work,” he said.

Well, good run America.

With all these new taxes coming into affect almost instantly you can expect unemployment to skyrocket, and the dollar to fall at record speeds.

They are going to collapse the system and blame it on Capitalism.

*edit

The only hope left is if the radical left in office decide when merging the bill to include the public option. That is the only way this bill will die.

Hmmm…I actually agree with the Republicans with respect to this particular bill. I guess even a broken clock is right twice a day.

ofcourse it will pass. This government has been shoving things down peoples throats whether they like it or not. Tarp, Patriot bills, health care etc… All Quick quick quick. Under the cover of darkness. Literally.

Nail in the coffin of the Democrats for the next decade. Even the moonbats are disagreeing with them this time.

[quote]John S. wrote:
Well, good run America.

With all these new taxes coming into affect almost instantly you can expect unemployment to skyrocket, and the dollar to fall at record speeds.

They are going to collapse the system and blame it on Capitalism.

*edit

The only hope left is if the radical left in office decide when merging the bill to include the public option. That is the only way this bill will die.[/quote]

I don’t think that this makes it through commitee. It doesn’t have any room for error based on the vote…There isn’t an extra Senator that can change his vote and there are very few Repersentatives that can change their vote before this fails.

How big was Norm Coleman’s loss? If he would have voted against TARP he would have won. A lesson for the Republicans.

Norm Coleman won in the original count: the recount was quite weird. Ultimately the not-funny-in-a-long-time-and-not-much-then comedian won by a few hundred or something like this. But this involved lots of “discovered” ballots and even included ballots on which his name was not marked.

I can’t at this time document that last point, as I don’t save such things, but during the recount there were many news stories on this and images were shown of sample disputed ballots, and indeed some not marked for Franken were counted for him on some weird logic having to do with whether other votes on the ballot were Democrat, while this apparently was not done (nor should it have been) for Coleman.

I can not fault Nelson for helping out his state, but morally it is wrong to sell your vote. We are going to see in 2010 how angry the American Citizens are about selling votes, and doing what the majority of people do not want.

[quote]dhickey wrote:
How big was Norm Coleman’s loss? If he would have voted against TARP he would have won. A lesson for the Republicans.[/quote]

No. A lesson for the Paulistas and other Libertarians.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]dhickey wrote:
How big was Norm Coleman’s loss? If he would have voted against TARP he would have won. A lesson for the Republicans.[/quote]

No. A lesson for the Paulistas and other Libertarians.[/quote]

Why would we care?

[quote]John S. wrote:

They are going to collapse the system and blame it on Capitalism.

[/quote]
I have been saying this for a year now.

[quote]Rockscar wrote:

[quote]John S. wrote:

They are going to collapse the system and blame it on Capitalism.

[/quote]
I have been saying this for a year now.[/quote]

66% want smaller government, this is good news. It seems as of right now America isn’t buying into the whole its Capitalism’s fault.

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]dhickey wrote:
How big was Norm Coleman’s loss? If he would have voted against TARP he would have won. A lesson for the Republicans.[/quote]

No. A lesson for the Paulistas and other Libertarians.[/quote]

Why would we care?

[/quote]

Exactly. I’m actually happy.

V

[quote]Vegita wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]dhickey wrote:
How big was Norm Coleman’s loss? If he would have voted against TARP he would have won. A lesson for the Republicans.[/quote]

No. A lesson for the Paulistas and other Libertarians.[/quote]

Why would we care?

[/quote]

Exactly. I’m actually happy.

V[/quote]

Well, good on you! I am so glad that happiness can be so easily achieved.
Orion should not care, because he knows nothing of the USA or its politics, and he is not subject to its laws.
You, Vegita, are subject to its laws, happy lad that you are, and all the more so knowing the following:
Charles Aldrich got 13,916 votes.
Actions have consequences. Had a few hundred “Libertarians” thought practically about the consequences, perhaps Coleman would have been elected, and the current Senatorial psychodrama never would have occurred.

Or perhaps you are happy because the conference committee will produce something so odious that no one will vote for it?

Or perhaps you think that the bill will produce an Armageddon that sweeps Ron Paul into office in 2012?

Good luck with all that.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]Vegita wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]dhickey wrote:
How big was Norm Coleman’s loss? If he would have voted against TARP he would have won. A lesson for the Republicans.[/quote]

No. A lesson for the Paulistas and other Libertarians.[/quote]

Why would we care?

[/quote]

Exactly. I’m actually happy.

V[/quote]

Well, good on you! I am so glad that happiness can be so easily achieved.
Orion should not care, because he knows nothing of the USA or its politics, and he is not subject to its laws.
You, Vegita, are subject to its laws, happy lad that you are, and all the more so knowing the following:
Charles Aldrich got 13,916 votes.
Actions have consequences. Had a few hundred “Libertarians” thought practically about the consequences, perhaps Coleman would have been elected, and the current Senatorial psychodrama never would have occurred.

Or perhaps you are happy because the conference committee will produce something so odious that no one will vote for it?

Or perhaps you think that the bill will produce an Armageddon that sweeps Ron Paul into office in 2012?

Good luck with all that.
[/quote]

Hey, if repetetive slaps to the face won’t wake people up, maybe repetetive kicks to the balls will.

V

[quote]Vegita wrote:

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]Vegita wrote:

[quote]orion wrote:

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]dhickey wrote:
How big was Norm Coleman’s loss? If he would have voted against TARP he would have won. A lesson for the Republicans.[/quote]

No. A lesson for the Paulistas and other Libertarians.[/quote]

Why would we care?

[/quote]

Exactly. I’m actually happy.

V[/quote]

Well, good on you! I am so glad that happiness can be so easily achieved.
Orion should not care, because he knows nothing of the USA or its politics, and he is not subject to its laws.
You, Vegita, are subject to its laws, happy lad that you are, and all the more so knowing the following:
Charles Aldrich got 13,916 votes.
Actions have consequences. Had a few hundred “Libertarians” thought practically about the consequences, perhaps Coleman would have been elected, and the current Senatorial psychodrama never would have occurred.

Or perhaps you are happy because the conference committee will produce something so odious that no one will vote for it?

Or perhaps you think that the bill will produce an Armageddon that sweeps Ron Paul into office in 2012?

Good luck with all that.
[/quote]

Hey, if repetetive slaps to the face won’t wake people up, maybe repetetive kicks to the balls will.

V[/quote]
Point well taken!
Perhaps I am among the dreamers…

But: entitlements never…never…are revoked in this country. (Someone out there may quibble about the 1996 welfare reforms, but I aver that the rules changed and the entitlement did not.)

So we will wind up with repetitive kicks to the balls, sleepers, and a grand bollocks of health care bill which cannot achieve any of its stated objectives.

[quote]John S. wrote:

[quote]Rockscar wrote:

[quote]John S. wrote:

They are going to collapse the system and blame it on Capitalism.

[/quote]
I have been saying this for a year now.[/quote]

66% want smaller government, this is good news. It seems as of right now America isn’t buying into the whole its Capitalism’s fault.[/quote]

I think this health care fiasco will backfire on the democrats in the 2010 elections. But, it has to be made into an issue as I don’t believe that it will be enacted at that time. In other words, people have short memories and they must be reminded of what their senator did.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

[quote]dhickey wrote:
How big was Norm Coleman’s loss? If he would have voted against TARP he would have won. A lesson for the Republicans.[/quote]

No. A lesson for the Paulistas and other Libertarians.[/quote]

I voted for the Libertarian on the card. I couldn’t even tell you his (maybe her?) name. It didn’t matter. It was the clearest message I could send to the Republican party. Coleman decided not to act like a conservative. This lost him votes and probably the election. The republicans’ behavior lost them the house and senate. It lost them the ability to block the healthcare bill. Even those retards should be able to figure this out.

Continuing to vote for them does not send the message that they are not conservative enough. You can bitch about them as much as you want on this forum. They don’t read it so what’s the point? Voting for them sends the message that they are doing exactly what you want them to do.

Not voting at all does not send the message that they are not conservative enough.

Voting for a more conservative candidate sends the message that they are not conservative enough to get those votes.

[quote]DrSkeptix wrote:

Point well taken!
Perhaps I am among the dreamers…

But: entitlements never…never…are revoked in this country. (Someone out there may quibble about the 1996 welfare reforms, but I aver that the rules changed and the entitlement did not.)

So we will wind up with repetitive kicks to the balls, sleepers, and a grand bollocks of health care bill which cannot achieve any of its stated objectives.[/quote]

The republicans are leading us down the exact same path, just at a slower pace. This may actually be worse than the accelerated pace of the Dems. What’s going to get peoples attention? A slow progression towards bankruptcy, gradual expansion of gov’t, and subtle loss of personal freedoms. Or a couple trillion added the national debt in a year or so, huge expansions of govt, and obvious loss of personal freedom?

The more obvious and drastic the shift to the left, the better chance your average idiot, I mean voter, will take notice.

Until the Republicans can put up candidates that will help reverse (rather than slow) the progression towards socialism, they’re not getting my vote.

I really struggle with the logic behind voting for the lesser of two evils in politics. Maybe those that do are single with no interest in children? Maybe they are more concerned with their own near term fate than the long term fate of their offspring?