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KQµårk 死神 On November - 7 - 2009



UPDATE #2 Anti-choice amendment passes 240-194 and Republic alternate “healthcare plan” rejected resoundingly 176-258.

UPDATE #1 based on whip counts by Democratic aids Politico reports the Dems have the votes to pass the Healthcare bill in congress. If anyone has any info on the anti-choice amendment please keep us updated.

Make no mistake the vote that may happen today on the healthcare bill is the biggest decision by Congress in our generation. The House healthcare reform bill is not perfect but it’s a quantum leap forward towards providing everyone healthcare in this country that they can afford. The House bill is particularly generous with subsidizing and minimizing premiums compared to the Senate bill. One of the best parts of the House bill is that it actually limits the amount of overhead and profits a private healthcare insurance company can have to 15% which is very under reported. The Wonk Room from Think Progress reports that the House bill will cover more than the Senate bill and cost people less in premiums. Following is a graph illustrating the difference in premium costs.


In comparison we all know the Republican bill is a complete piece of gobshite. Ezra Klein reported that the CBO actually estimates that the Republican bill will save less and cover far fewer uninsured Americans.

“Late last night, the Congressional Budget Office released its initial analysis of the health-care reform plan that Republican Minority Leader John Boehner offered as a substitute to the Democratic legislation. CBO begins with the baseline estimate that 17 percent of legal, non-elderly residents won’t have health-care insurance in 2010. In 2019, after 10 years of the Republican plan, CBO estimates that …17 percent of legal, non-elderly residents won’t have health-care insurance. The Republican alternative will have helped 3 million people secure coverage, which is barely keeping up with population growth. Compare that to the Democratic bill, which covers 36 million more people and cuts the uninsured population to 4 percent.

But maybe, you say, the Republican bill does a really good job cutting costs. According to CBO, the GOP’s alternative will shave $68 billion off the deficit in the next 10 years. The Democrats, CBO says, will slice $104 billion off the deficit.

The Democratic bill, in other words, covers 12 times as many people and saves $36 billion more than the Republican plan. And amazingly, the Democratic bill has already been through three committees and a merger process. It’s already been shown to interest groups and advocacy organizations and industry stakeholders. It’s already made its compromises with reality. It’s already been through the legislative sausage grinder. And yet it saves more money and covers more people than the blank-slate alternative proposed by John Boehner and the House Republicans. The Democrats, constrained by reality, produced a far better plan than Boehner, who was constrained solely by his political imagination and legislative skill.”

Again elections and votes are about choosing the best alternative.  The Democratic bills are far better than the Republican bill and the House bill is better than the Senate bill.  When I hear some purists progressives saying  just start over because the House bill is not enough they are echoing the same arguments Republicans are making.  The house bill is a big step towards progress, even though it’s not the step most of us want to take it’s still worth supporting.

To keep an eye on the debate tune into CSPAN.  I will update the article if a vote does occur.

Written by KQµårk 死神

My PlanetPOV contact is [email protected] Proud Dem whose favorite hobby is cat herding. The GOP is not a political party, it's a personality disorder. Cancer, Heart Failure and Bush Survivor.

309 Responses so far.

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  1. bitohistory says:

    Wow! Is that BC/BS ?

  2. javaz says:

    My husband and I just received quite the shock in the mail.
    We were prepared for our monthly health insurance to rise, but not by 35%!
    Half of my husband’s pension now goes to health insurance.
    We’re too young for Medicare and we both realize that we are lucky to have insurance, but at the rate of increases, I’m not sure how much longer we can afford it.
    I guess if worse comes to worse, we’ll just pare down more and do what we must.

  3. janchup says:

    Do we live in a Constitutional Republic any longer?
    The 16th Amendment made lawful the income tax -- that is, a direct tax on Americans.
    But nowhere in The Constitution is the power found to force people, under penalty of law (including fines and imprisonment), to pay private parties for services they do not desire to purchase.
    Yet that is in the bill passed last night.
    Yes, we have Congressfolk -- both men and women, and all Democrats (save one Republican) who voted for this.
    This sure appears to be blatantly unconstitutional -- and, I would argue, those who voted for the bill know it. But they don’t care, they are good soldiers.

    • KQuark says:

      If you own a car you are forced to buy car insurance. If someone goes to the ER without insurance everyone pays. Without mandates universal healthcare is simply an oxymoron. As long as a public plan is available for the uninsured that can’t get it through an employer I have no problem with the mandates.

      Here is the legal argument why it is Constitutional.


      • nellie says:

        Great article, KQuark. Thanks for the link! The discussion in the comment section is particularly interesting.

        • KQuark says:

          I just don’t understand the disconnected from wanting universal healthcare healthcare for all but wanting to game the system for yourself. If there is no public plan available for anyone I can see the arguments against mandates much clearer. But there are systems in the Netherlands and Switzerland that depend on private insurance to provide coverage and spread risk through mandates.

          Interestingly an article I read comparing the Swiss system talked about the mandates in Switzerland which had 99% compliance with private car insurance and healthcare insurance but states like Texas only have 70% compliance with car insurance. Are citizenry is so fractured and hard to govern that people will game the system anyway.

    • FeloniousMonk says:

      I don’t like the concept either, especially in an uncontrolled marketplace where the purchasers will get reamed, but there are a number of constitutional scholars who will disagree with your lay assessment of it’s constitutionality.

  4. KQuark says:

    Very interesting breakdown of which Dems voted against the House bill and the right leaning nature of most of their districts.


    • nellie says:

      Districts won by McCain. That’s very telling. Thanks, KQuark. That really puts things into perspective.

      Nancy and the president must have worked really hard on this — to get enough votes so that the bill would pass and still give cover to Dems in districts like this. It was strategized extremely well.

  5. FeloniousMonk says:

    Big Good Evening to deygirl.

    And to Javaz, and HITO of course.

    Plus eeryone else out there tonight!

  6. javaz says:

    Found a really interesting blog about women’s rights and equality.
    I’ve never thought about the things mentioned in this diary, but I agree with them, and wonder what you think.
    To sum it up, in case you don’t have the time to read it.

    -- Republicans and some Democrats want to deny women the right to contraception. Already it is permissible for pharmacists to deny women contraceptives or RU486 on religious grounds.
    -Why don’t the same rules apply to men when it comes to Viagra?
    -Why shouldn’t men be forced to wait 24 hours once seeking Viagra, and be counseled by the doctor about the repercussions of Viagra by showing a film of a woman giving birth?
    -Why don’t pharmacists demand proof, such as a marriage certificate and the approval of the man’s wife, of the man seeking Viagra?
    -Why aren’t men counseled on using condoms when receiving Viagra, not only to prevent pregnancy, but spreading STDs?

    It is a very interesting diary and explains that the fight in the health care bill isn’t about abortion, but about women being considered equal as men, including autonomy of our bodies.


    • HITO says:

      Good evening Javaz.

      I have a 17 year old daughter and I remind her sporadically of the history behind a woman’s right to reproductive choice. I also tell her it will be her job in the future to protect it.

      The GOP have had their eye on Roe V Wade forever. Conservative christian types just bash away at any woman expressing a desire to control her body. Ridiculous…so 19th century. Another reason most of Europe laughs at us.

      Is it “woman, get back in that kitchen, be barefoot and submit”? God help them. No way. We will never allow things to go back to the abortion alleys my grandmother knew about. Never.

      When it comes to health insurance coverage, the two facedness between a woman’s right to birth control, and a man’s sexual enhancement meds is a real eye opener.

      As I have previously mentioned here, my local Obama-ians are going to down to DC on the 19th to meet with Senator Gillibrand. Their info email includes a statement that they will be addressing specific women issues exclusively for the 15 minutes they’ve been scheduled to meet.

      Hope Gillibrand listens.

      • KQuark says:

        Awesome keep the activism up!

      • deygirl says:

        Gotta love that ins. won’t cover birth control, tries not to cover pregnancy and childbirth, and is now denying coverage to the babies once born.

        BUT—no problem getting drugs to make the flaccid, mighty.

        Raped and maybe pregnant? GFY.

        Can’t get it up? Can’t have THAT.

        BTW--that whole “to avoid possible long term damage” thing confuses me. If he needs a pill, isn’t the damage already done?

        ps. Hi HITO and javaz!

        • HITO says:


          “make the flaccid, mighty” and yes, you are correct, “the damage is already done”.

          Sorry guys, not talking to you, but I just marvel at the male decision making society we still are. Have to wonder why they are still in control, actually. Women, wake the hell up and take back what is your due. And pronto please.

          Dey don’t leave here. Ever. OK?

      • javaz says:

        Hiya Hito!

        Couldn’t watch the speeches or votes, but read about them online, and the Republicans shouting down the Democratic women was outrageous, yet shows that the GOP dislike women and strong women with power.
        And you are correct, it’s so 19th century where women were thought of as chattel.
        Are you going to DC?

        (I’m tuckered out from a very long day of grocery shopping, cleaning house and putting up a few Christmas decorations. I start putting things out early for the holidays, don’t ask! :)
        This old lady has to get to bed, so I hope everyone has a pleasant night and hope to see you tomorrow!)

        • HITO says:

          Xmas stuff already? Yikes. I commence my program Thanksgiving weekend. Too much garland and such in the living and dining rooms. Outside lights may go up before, based on weather conditions.

          Wish I was going to DC. Wanted to, but got a push back from the old man. And I mean old man. Maybe he’ll come to his senses. (I like dreaming, can you tell?).

          Have sweet dreams Javaz. See you tomorrow.

    • deygirl says:

      Especially interesting when you consider that viagra is the sexual predator’s best friend. I’m not aware of any cases of women using birth control as a means of making themselves more able to commit assault.

  7. AdLib says:

    Just received this email, thought I’d pass it along:

    Dear Democrat,

    Last weekend, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) was all over TV promising to kill healthcare reform by supporting a Republican filibuster. Today, just hours after the House passed its bill, he repeated his threat on FOX.

    Even though Lieberman campaigned against President Obama, Senate Democrats let him keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee because he promised to support Democratic bills. Now he’s broken his promise.

    Tell Harry Reid to hold Joe Lieberman accountable for blocking healthcare reform by taking away his committee chair.

    Bob Fertik

    CREDO Action | more than a network. a movement.

    Tell Harry:
    Joe Must Go

    Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) plans to join with Republicans to filibuster any health care bill that contains a public option. Alone, the Republicans don’t have the votes for a filibuster. So by joining with them, Lieberman would be tipping the balance of power in order to sink health care reform.

    We need to push the leaders of the Democratic caucus to take a tough stand against Lieberman. Tell Harry Reid to fire Joe Lieberman as chair of the Homeland Security Committee.

    Last year, the New York Times quoted an anonymous “member of the Senate Democratic leadership” who said about Lieberman: “We need every vote. He’s with us on everything but the war.” Apparently Joe lied to the Senate Democrats.

    Now is the time for Senate Democratic leadership — Senators Reid, Schumer, and Durbin — to stop making excuses for Joe Lieberman. Harry Reid has shown great leadership in writing a health care bill that includes the public option. But Joe Lieberman is not “with us” on everything but the war. Joe Lieberman’s position is against Senate Democrats, against his constituents in Connecticut and against the will of the American public.

    Tell Harry: Joe Must Go

    Thank you for working to secure real health care reform.

    Matt Lockshin, Campaign Manager
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

    • KarateKid says:

      AdLib, I read an article that said Joe will not filibuster, that he developed an appreciation for Harry Reid after Harry declined to punish Joe and allowed him to keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.

      I guess only time will tell. I don’t expect any healthcare bill in the senate to be done until after the holidays.

    • AuntieChrist says:

      ALL of these sellouts who would trample on liberty for their own self interests?

      I say bring back the public stockade for such traitors.

      ..but then we would be as bad as them.

      Damn it!

      Auntie Christ

    • HITO says:

      arrgghhhhh, Liarman at his best (and our perceived worst).

      Can’t stand him. NY shares a border with CT, makes me nuts that a blue state like CT gave him the ticket to continue with his ineptness and deceipt.

      Jeebus, how he got back in on the indie ticket…pathetic. If I was a CT resident, I would hang my head in shame.

      Always a repub in disguise that Liarman. He made a run at JohnnyMac to get all warm and fuzzy. Even Mac figured it out.


      • FeloniousMonk says:

        Evening, HITO. Someone (MLJ) was asking Bits if he had seen her aunties. Would that be anyone we know? I didn’t see a reply.

        How did the evening meal go? I nearly said “supper” but that gets involved in regional differences between what is “dinner” and “supper” on Sunday. I’m just a simple Kansas country boy at heart.

        • HITO says:

          MLJ? Don’t know that one.

          But Lilmartha? That one I know. It’s Lardini’s grand-daughter. She is a cutie just like he.

          Bits and Lardini are tight, and that is all good IMO.

          Well, fed the crew, but not me yet. I’m becoming my mother, feed the crowd and eat by yourself after you finish all the dishes, so you have absolutely no guilt walking away to get on the Planet for the night. Be back in about 40 minutes.

    • javaz says:

      Thanks for sharing that!

  8. KevenSeven says:

    Not surprisingly, the conversation has turned to the Senate.

    And some discussion of exasperation at “business as usual”.

    Regarding the nature and attitude of the Senate and senators:

    Clearly the original design of the Senate was to be remote and a break on legislation. (Do not, DO NOT, take these comments as endorsement of the perceived reality. I left that infantile nonsense behind at Huff.)

    Remember that senators were originally elected by the various state legislatures. This was deliberately anti-democratic. Add to that the six year term. A long term like that is designed to insulate a senator from public passions. Belt and braces against any democratic influences on senators.

    The fact is that the Senate is designed to ignore the will of the people. I’m almost surprised that the “founders” (do not genuflect when you say that) did not make them life-time positions. They did their damnedest.

    Add to this nonsense is the awarding of the same number of seats to all states. What could be less democratic? The fact is that the current Democratic Senatorial Caucus represents 2/3rds of America, while the Repug Senatorial Caucus reperesents 1/3rd of America.

    These three elements were written into the Constitution. Also in the constitution is the concession that both houses will write their own rules. Someone can remind me of when the filibuster developed. But now we have a situation where senators elected by one third of the nation can stymie the will of two thirds of the nation.

    And that is how it is that nothing gets accomplished except in the most extraordinary of times. The Rethugs ran hard to the right in’64, which, in conjunction to the grief of the nation in the murder of JFK, gave LBJ the leverage he needed to pass civil rights. We have the damage that BushCo did to the GOOP brand.

    Gotta not let the world forget the damage BushCo did to the GOOP brand, and the nation, while we are chatting.

    Anyway, I try as hard as I can to avoid this whole “if only all the good people could get together and do the right thing!” thinking. I find that so tiresome. Yes. It is exhausting to consider the making of the sausage. But it is just juvenile to complain ad nausea about it. It is what it is. We are currently moving forward due to having a charismatic leader and a deranged reactionary GOOP. These elements will not prevail in perpetuity. We must act and act swiftly while the opportunity exists, and work to extend the streak as wisely as we may.

    Which precludes excessive griping about the reality of politics, as ugly as it may be.

    And I am not wild about this reform bill, but I’ll take what I can get.

    If you can find a spare hour, you should listen to: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?sched=1320

    None of the cost drivers described are addressed in the bill, to my understanding. And we are talking about the 30% of our health care expenditures that are utterly wasted. Need never have been spent. Money down the rat hole.

    Give it a listen.

    • KarateKid says:

      The Senate is our House of Lords.

    • bitohistory says:

      The filibuster is covered under “Senate Rule 22”. I Will have to do a search on when it was first imposed. “The Nation” had a good article on it a while ago. As far as your objection with the Senate, that was the “grand compromise” of the convention. Blame Madison. The very word “Democracy” cannot be found in the constitution.The word “republic is used. Fair, unfair? I would hate to see a reopening of the Constitution when most people believe that the “Bill of Rights”need to be changed.

    • KQuark says:

      The Senate is the House of Lords pure and simple. Like you said it was put in by anti-Democratic founding fathers like John Adams that did not trust the public.

      • PepeLepew says:

        It might not have been a bad idea at the time, but it’s definitely a relic that’s long past its useful life, like the Electoral College.

    • nicole473 says:

      A pity we will likely never be allowed to amend the Constitution to change the law of 2 senators per state. Life would be very, very different in these united states.

      I am not crazy about this bill either, but it is a whole lot better than nothing, and I have hope that some things will be altered in conference, and perhaps we will add amendments to it in the future. At least it is something.

      Btw, LBJ had 68 Dems in the Senate. 295 Dems in the House.

      • KevenSeven says:

        I am not wild about constructions like “we will not be allowed”. Rhymes with “take my country back”.

        Rather say that we will be unlikely to achieve the political strength and the required consensus to change the constitution on this question.

        And if we did, how would the Senate differ from the House?

        I’d be glad to read your suggestion as to how to adjust this imbalance.

        And yes, LBJ had more strength in the two houses, but many of those “Dems” were racist assholes and would switch parties within a few years. Fuckers. They will burn in hell.

        • nicole473 says:

          Touche on wording………concede.

          As to the Senate…

          I have an idea or two, but surely none that would suit. Nevertheless, I believe that something needs to change because the ruling party should not be forced to constantly perform fellatio on the party which is not in power, and even in performing said fellatio, still come up short.

  9. HITO says:

    I was a bit disheartened to receive at 1:30 am my weekly OrganizingforAmerica email from Obama requesting a donation. That was what, 2 hours after it passed. They ask for money to get something done, and then they say “hey, we did it, can I have some money”.

    Plouffe was better at the donation thing back in the day. Their requests are now so frequent, I barely read them anymore.

    • FeloniousMonk says:

      Yea, I gave a small donation a few weeks ago to the DNCC and now they just won’t stop calling. And I told them at the time it was all I could give and why.

      If you ever want to get even with someone, donate a few dollars to a handful of religious right organizations in their name, and say how much you really love the work they are doing. Include their address and phone number if you can. THey’ll be hounded forever. I love being evil!

    • KevenSeven says:

      That is how politics works.

      You may as well go chastize the tides.

      • HITO says:

        Having spent the first 20 years of my life living near the beach, I can most assuredly say, chastizing the tides does not work. However, when done at sunrise, it can be a breath-taking experience around August on the Atlantic.

  10. nicole473 says:

    WOO HOO!! 😆

  11. HITO says:

    Good morning.

    I awoke pondering the Senate, and how they will behave going forward on hc.

    In my mind, I equate the House to young adults set loose among themselves who argue more, have a tendency to piss each other off more, but come back to the table quicker.

    The Senate…mature adults who know more, know better, but are hesitant to exhibit those traits unless it’s in a demonstrative fashion more about ego.

    Round two will be interesting to observe, and hopefully we will see all the details of their discourse.

    • KQuark says:

      I’ve only been giving the little I can to healthcare advocacy groups. It does not bother me when any group I belong to asks for money because I don’t feel compelled to send it. But you better be damn sure right wing groups did the same thing asking for money after the vote so I just don’t feel the outrage.

    • nellie says:

      I see the House as the people’s voice. I see the Senate as the leftovers from aristocracy — those who think they know better than the people — whether they do or not. That body is apt to protect entrenched interests and have a more authoritarian view of governance. I’m nervous about what they’re going to do with health care, to be honest.

      The house comes up for reelection every two years — they feel vulnerable. Senators are in there for six, and they know a lot of voters will forget bad votes by the time they come up for reelection.

      • HITO says:

        Hi nellie.

        You have eloquently defined what my sleepy head wrote.

        The senators do think they know better, but is it based on their constituents’ views, or outside influences? Comes back to lessening their term, and capping their total “service” time.

        By example, when I was a school board trustee, I enjoyed how nubie trustees were more engaged and analytical than their long time counterparts who exhibited a “same as it ever was” stance. Fresh ideas, and an “imagine the possibilities” attitude can affect real change.

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          The Senators have always viewed themselves as Senators, Roman ones. They “know” what’s good for the plebians, or so they think.

        • nellie says:

          Morning, Hito!

          I think shortening the term is a GREAT idea. I love it, but who’s going to do it????

          I’ve never liked term limits, but I do like mandatory retirement age. At some point, people are too mired in the past, and they can’t see beyond their own experiences. And younger people know better where the country is. And their imaginations haven’t been jaded, just as you said.

    • SeeknDestroy says:

      Well said HITO.
      Good Morning, good to see you.
      It shall be interesting to say the least.

    • FeloniousMonk says:

      Morning HITO. You work within the system more. Me, I try but don’t always want to play games. Revolution!

  12. BigDogMom says:

    Well everyone have a wonderful day, I’m off to enjoy the sunshine with my dogs…

  13. nellie says:

    Morning everyone! (my manners really need some polishing!)

    Helpful breakdown of the vote:


    Pilfered from a post on another site which shall remain nameless.

  14. BigDogMom says:

    “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”


    This is our first step to many more, we are coming out of the dark ages and into the renaissance era….patience and diligence from all of us will get us where we want to go….

    I’ll say one more thing…Yeeehhhhhh!!!!!!!

    • javaz says:

      Morning BDM!
      It’s a beautiful day!

      • BigDogMom says:

        Morning, your up early! Yes it is a beautiful day in many ways…just on my way out to walk the dogs. Stopped by HP, getting so that I don’t even want to go there anymore, the main thread on the vote last night is going fast and furious.

        Will be back later, hope all is well with you..

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