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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. javaz says:

    Wonderful morning to all!
    It’s great to wake up to good news!

    • TheLateGrardini says:

      That was nerve wracking as hell watching that vote on CSPAN last night. I hadn’t been that nervous since my daughter was born back in ’85!

      • BigDogMom says:

        Morning, had to turn if off last night, the nay sayers where getting to me, then I fell asleep on the couch, only to have hubby wake me up to tell me that it passed…this was as bad as watching the vote count on election night!

      • nellie says:

        I kept seeing the vote stuck at 213 and after that wretched amendment passed, I really didn’t know what to expect.

        After a day of watching the GOP lie about everything and repeat the same talking points for 11 hours, I was wiped out. I went to sleep right after the vote. That was early in CA!

        • BigDogMom says:

          Yeh…rashioning of healthcare, higher taxes, death panels, the deficit that our children will have, yadda, yadda, our children, yadda, yadda, medicare,yadda, yadda….

      • javaz says:

        Morning TGL!
        I was awakened by loud popping noises and didn’t know what the heck was going on and then I turned on the tee-vee, and realized it was sounds of Republican heads imploding!


  2. PepeLepew says:

    Hey, it passed the House, ne pas?

  3. Kalima says:

    Good night everyone, I need a little rest before the evening arrives.

    Take care and remember, one down and two more to go. Even if it’s not perfect, surely down the road there can be some tweaking and added amendments, who knows it might even become popular with the people of the States that have a NO man as their governor. I still believe strongly in people power and in one small step at a time instead of a few big leaps leading nowhere.

  4. kesmarn says:

    Holy Cow!

    I just got home and find that I was so busy doing health care, I didn’t even know health care passed the House!


    Now I can go to bed and get up tomorrow and do health care again with a little more hope! (We’re up to our ears in H1N1 patients.)

    What a day! Now on to the Senate!

    • KQuark says:

      I was surprised yesterday to hear the vote was today. I did not even get my hopes up because I thought the Repubs would try to block it.

      As long as the H1N1 virus is around and I don’t have the vaccine I’ve got to stay at home pretty much. I already put off two trips to see my relatives. The flu landed me in the hospital for two months last time I had it.

      • kesmarn says:

        Sunday morning now, K. Two months in the hospital, youch! Flu can be really ugly if you have a pre-existing condition, as you know all too well.
        I got the H1N1 vaccine, but was actually pretty cautious about going near friends/family before I got it. I use masks, gloves, etc., but still worry about being a carrier.
        Don’t wanna get that “Typhoid Mary” rep going for me!

  5. AlphaBitch says:

    Representative Joseph Cao -- FAX 202 225-1988 or call 202 225-6636. I’ll send him a small donation for his bravery. And a big old THANK YOU fax.

  6. PatsyT says:

    Good Night all….

    I am going to Imagine that we will get this done and
    if it is not everything that it can be
    we can work it out……

    I know I will be Calling, emailing and writing letters,
    Chris Mathews often says that snail mail is one of the best ways to contact congress

  7. Kalima says:

    Who was the Repub who voted for it?

  8. KQuark says:

    A wise poster from Japan once told me “every journey starts with the first step”.

  9. nellie says:

    Well, I’m wiped. I need a little recharge so I’m going to sign off and say goodnight. Hope to chat with you all tomorrow.

    I feel good about the House right now. Let’s see if the Senate can keep up.

  10. PatsyT says:

    It is not what we should have
    but a start in the right direction

    Louis Armstrong -- What a Wonderful World

  11. KarateKid says:

    This bill stinks to high heaven. They have a lot of nerve calling it a public option, they ought to rename it uninsured option. They didn’t even allow a single payer amendment to come to a vote, having sold us out from the beginning. Then, they pass this hideous amendment that jeopardizes a woman’s reproductive rights, making a crap bill even worse.

    Oh, don’t forget we still have the Senate bill to go yet, which is even crappier than this one. Then we have the merged one. Let’s see the public option survive even as is.

    And there’s the matter of a mandate, which REALLY stinks. Imagine a family of four, with the breadwinner out of work, barely subsisting on food stamps and unemployment (if it hasn’t run out). Now they have to pony up or pay a huge fine, so even with a subsidy they’re still out of pocket further.

    Then, let’s look at when the bill fully kicks in, 2013. Gee, what a coincidence, I guess they thought we were too stupid to notice the significance of that date.

    After all this, a Democratic majority in the House and Senate, and the WH, this is all we get.

    Now, watch, they’ll stand in front of the country, acting like they did something, wave that piece of paper over their heads, and claim, “Peace in our time”


    • KQuark says:

      The delays are the worst part of the bill but to say the whole bill stinks is completely biased. It’s amazing how when progress is made some people just say it’s not progress like they are in denial. The bill has allot to offer, especially for the middle class. Who care what the Senate is going to do now that is the next fight?

      • escribacat says:

        This bill includes a high risk pool for people like me who are currently uninsured due to pre-existing conditions. It’s an interim program until the exchange is up and running. This is hugely important to me.

        • KarateKid says:

          The question is when he exchange or option will be in operation. I feel for your plight and hope it works out, my friend. And friends can disagree.

        • KQuark says:

          I’m in the same boat. A chronic serious preexisting condition and ZERO healthcare insurance. For people like us this is not an academic exercise.

    • nellie says:

      There are a lot of important and helpful provisions in this bill. I get a little weary of all the focus on the public option, as if that’s the only meaningful aspect of this reform. The main goals of the bill are to prevent people from losing coverage, being dropped, being denied care, being driven to bankruptcy. And there are many preventative care provisions, provisions for mental health coverage — don’t get me started on that one — training, community health centers, rural health centers, reservation health measures that are direly needed.

      You really need to read the bill to understand how comprehensive and helpful it is. We all got sidetracked by the public option being a gateway to single payer. Well, we’re not going to get single payer right now. Look at this vote — how close it was. The public option is not the centerpiece of this bill. It is one of many aspects that provide protections and cost controls for health consumers.

      • KarateKid says:

        I don’t dispute your claims. But the more I read the bill, and I read the whole thing, the more I felt a lot of those issues were vague and open to interpretation, at the discretion of the Secretary of HHS.

        Also, I became more leery of the cost. Allowing for the usual government inefficiencies and waste, I wondered if the plan went from 900 billion to 1.1 trillion, how much higher it would go, and if it did, would those services you mention get cut?

        What if the Dems lose seats in both houses in 2010? or 2012? Then what happens?

        And for every family that is saved from bankruptcy due to illness, how many more will be forced into it because they can’t afford to pay even with a subsidy, which was not specified in this bill, only that there would be one.

        Finally, what makes you think some of your pet features will survive in final form?

        • nellie says:

          Well, thanks for calling the issues I care about “pet features.”

          My preference is to do something that helps rather than nothing that keeps the problems we have in place.

          If this bill keeps people from being thrown off their insurance, if it preserves coverage for people who have been identified with “pre existing conditions” (a phrase that doesn’t even make any sense), if it delivers care, it’s better than what we have now. It’s a step in the right direction.

          Our major legislation always starts off less than what it should be. It takes iterations and iterations to get it right. We JUST NOW got hate crimes legislation for the LGBT community. Does that mean we shouldn’t have passed the Civil Rights Act in the 60s? No — you do what you can, and you keep working on the “issues” until the legislation catches up with the people.

          • FeloniousMonk says:

            I am glad something passed, there should never have been any question about it, I’m interested in which dems didn’t vote for it and the final wording. And then what we get out of the house/senate committee once there is a pair of bills to compare. But I worry how much help some of it’s going to be for some of us. Will there be a requirement for insurance companies to sell coverage to those of us with pre-existing conditions and at a competitive price, rather than just reaming us? And I’m still concerned about jobs, as I, like many others here, are in need of one and the benefits. This is a step forward, I’m waiting to see how much.

            • nellie says:

              I think we’re all waiting to see what this bill will really do. I look at it as another Medicare or Social Security type legislation. Social Security was VERY problematic when it started. But now, it’s a system we all rely on and are happy to have.

              I can’t put a negative spin on the House passing this bill. It’s taken us a century to take this small step. I’m going to celebrate it. And hope that the Senate follows suit.

        • KQuark says:

          I’m concerned about what passed now but I have no allusions the Senate or final bill will be better. How well the plan is administered is always the most important thing in the end?

          Yes states will find loopholes and like I said I really hate the delays, but again it’s legislation which never comes out perfect.

          I’m already factoring in the Dems losing seats in 2010.

          • KarateKid says:

            If that happens, it sort of makes my point moot, but I wonder how much this bill will cost the Dems in 2010…..Good night, have a good one. We disagree but I am your friend.

            • KQuark says:

              All I know is voters would not reward Dems for doing nothing. We saw in 1993 that people do not reward failure. The Dems need to govern or they don’t deserve to be reelected. Hell if the Dems do nothing I can see people justifiably voting for Republicans. Why not they can do nothing even better?

      • escribacat says:

        Some of the most important elements of this bill are that pre-existing conditions can no longer be considered and the insurance companies can’t drop you if you start costing them too much money. Also, no lifetime caps on payouts. There are also limits on premium differentials, eg, they can’t charge an older person more than twice what they charge a young person. These provisions alone will rock the foundations of the insurance industry.

      • KQuark says:

        Very well said. I think allot of progressives are guilty of being intellectually lazy. If it’s not single payer or the robust public option they don’t want to see the big progress this bill makes. They don’t even read things in the legislation like the fact that even private insurance can only spend 15% on overhead and profits. They don’t even want to talk about the fact that preexisting conditions are covered and the horrible act of recissioning is dead.

        • KarateKid says:

          KQ, who is being intellectually lazy here. Don’t you think those slimeballs in the insurance industry are already thinking about countermeasures? I would if I were in their position. Raise rates higher until they’re prevented; cut off coverage for abortion; cut off other services; collude. They already do that, just go to eHealthinsurance.com and you won’t see a lot of differences.

          And they’ll have the time to do that, too.

          Oh, did I mention how many more billions they stand to make from the mandate? Let’s use round numbers, 45 million times $2500/year comes to a little over 1 billion per year added to what they already get and that’s a conxervative cost.

          • KQuark says:

            Of course insurance will fight this and game the system any way they can. That’s what they do. Providers game the hell out of Medicare now. There is no perfect system.

        • nellie says:

          Let them step onto an Indian Reservation for five minutes. Maybe that would wake people up. I do get a little emotional when it comes to that issue.

    • AdLib says:

      Totally appreciate your POV!

      Here are my questions though:

      1. Seeing the narrow margin that passed this bill, would you agree that any bill that leaned any more towards single payer would have doomed any change at all?

      2. The argument of some (including me) here is that this should be seen as the first step that brings us towards the rest of the civilized world in going to single payer. Wouldn’t you agree that once a government option is proven not to be a nightmare or a problem, the argument against single payer will be critically damaged?

      I think nearly everyone here would want the same bill you do. The practical matter I think is that it could never pass the Right Wingers and Blue Dogs.

      If it was all or nothing, at this point in time, we would get nothing and the ball would be kicked another 20 years down the line.

      Incremental is the only way massive change like this can be accomplished and that means we have to live with some bullshit for a while longer…but without a lot of bullshit for good.

      • KarateKid says:

        AdLib: One last question before I hit the sack: Pertaining to your first question: How do the Republicans hold with every vote except one, but the Democrats can’t? Leadership style, perhaps? Or leadership, period?

        I didn’t mean to piss on anyone’s celebration, sorry about that; but it IS my POV.

        • AdLib says:

          I don’t think it’s leadership, I think it’s that Dems are a coalition of a variety of very different people who can pull in different directions.

          The GOP is a mindless association of almost all white men who are unified by the concept of grabbing all the power and wealth they can from the suckers they see The American Public to be.

          Wouldn’t you say that their lockstep following of their leadership, Bush, etc. is more outside of the norm than the Dems having members who disagree?

          Look at the comments on this thread, all the differences of opinions even from folks who share the same goals.

          This very discussion here exemplifies what intelligent and independent people are like.

          When you look on the right wing sites, there is no independent thought, no dissent, no one saying, “Well maybe the way we’ve been going about things is wrong.”

          The GOP is a party for lemmings. The Dem party isn’t and that is a massive difference between the parties…as well as the reason the White Man’s Party of No is down to 20% of voters.

          Sleep well my friend, you have many allies here who will not step back on continuing to move health care towards a single payer system that truly does make health care a right in this country.

      • PatsyT says:

        I glad you posted that -- I agree with KarateKid on many levels,
        but look at what we are up against
        This is going to be a long drawn out battle
        I took a look at freerepublic --
        Boy they are lite up like a bonfire
        scary garbage
        I am worried about the safety of the one repub and some of the other dems.

      • KarateKid says:

        AdLib, my criticism is that it should not have been done this year, in the first year of his administration. Don’t you think they knew the margins up front?

        They should have concentrated on getting us out of these two quagmires and fix up the economy BEFORE embarking on healthcare reform. Look at all the hate they fomented. You think this is going to help them in next year’s elections? I guess we’ll have to see; there was a story today that Obama is leaning toward sending 34,000 more troops to Afghanistan. If this is true, he’s really rolling the dice. If our brave soldiers start coming back in bodybags, how will that affect 2010 and 2012. Look what happened to LBJ. He was a pretty popular guy in 1965, after signing the Civil Rights and Voting Rights bills, but look at him in 1968.

        It seems to me he’s got a tiger by the tail.

        p.s. I not only contributed money when I didn’t have a whole lot extra, but I walked the streets of Porter County Indiana, too, on six weekends.

        Maybe I expected too much.

        • KevenSeven says:

          Nah. This was the year.

          I agree it is a poor compromise, but I don’t agree on why.

        • escribacat says:

          I believe the reason he started this early on is because presidents generally start out with a certain amount of political capital (aka popularity), which then tends to go down. He had to get this ball rolling while that capital was still high. I read somewhere that new presidents should get their major legislation done the first year or they won’t get it done at all.

        • KQuark says:

          Next year is an election year and they would never do it then.

          Unless there is an economic miracle Dems will lose seats in Congress for sure.

          Now was the time to get it done or 15 years from now people would be fighting this same fight.

          I heard last week he was going to send 17,000 more troops. Who knows what will be said next week.

          • KarateKid says:

            I think that is a false assumption. If they did this right after the mid terms, it would have been more clear cut what kind of voting bloc they had. If he had begun the withdrawal and wind down our occupations, the money saved would have made a difference domestically in job creation and debt reduction. They’ve done a lot but could have done a lot more without these war costs. That could have led to a greater margin, given the behavior of the no solution Republicans, and then, who knows.

            But I don’t buy the 15 year business, I don’t think the American people would have stood for this.

            • KQuark says:

              Well have to agree to disagree on this one. By the midterms if unemployment is not down allot the Dems will lose seats, maybe even control of congress. It might sound paranoid but I think right wing business would hold back hiring just do make sure Republicans take control again.

      • escribacat says:

        Many Canadians have pointed out that their single payer system started out as a provincial co-op. The other provinces saw that it was a good thing and took it on and it eventually evolved into the single-payer system.

  12. AdLib says:

    Check out Fox News, love to see tears in Geraldo’s eyes. He just lied and said AARP didn’t endorse this bill and the Fox bimbo with him tiptoed around telling him he was wrong.

    The initial Fox/Republican spin? The Dems have a civil war now over the_anti abortion provision and when the liberals pull that out in conference, the bill will never pass in the House.

    Hope they’ve stocked up on Kleenexes at Fox. Let the crying begin!!!

    • KarateKid says:

      By the way, your should have seen the hysteria of Andrea Castillo this morning, the bitterness. It was funny, seeing Miss Cool lose her cool.

  13. KevenSeven says:

    Looks like I was wrong (mark your fucking calendars).

    One of the no votes was Kucinich.

    Too pure to compromise. Too pure to accomplish anything.

    • AdLib says:

      I am a supporter of Kucinich’s and I respect his “no” vote. He knew it wouldn’t make a difference but he is a single-payer supporter right down the line and was no doubt as pissed off as many here about the anti-abortion amendment and not allowing most Americans to use the public option (only about 5% will be able to use it).

      I am confident, if his vote would have made a difference, he would’ve voted for the bill.

    • escribacat says:

      A Colorado lib also voted no — Betsy Markey. I’m trying to figure out what her story is.

    • KQuark says:

      He did the same on the climate and energy bill. I would like congress to all share his politics but that’s just not reality. I know the bills out of congress are not perfect but when you block progress on principle how can you call yourself progressive?

      To me he’s becoming an example of the problem on our side.

    • KarateKid says:

      He has a conviction and stands by principle instead of goosestepping with Pelosi. I respect him for that.

      • KevenSeven says:

        And the conservative Dems who voted against abortion due to their convictions?

        Your views on them, please.

      • KQuark says:

        Please he voted against progress pure and simple.

        • KevenSeven says:

          This bill is a compromise. It is not a holy thing. It will not have half the effect on costs that could be achieved with some honesty and courage.

          I’m glad it passed. Not because I am crazy about it, be assured.

          • KarateKid says:

            Remember when they said it would be 900 billion over 10 years? Now, it’s $1.1 trillion. So, what is the real number?

            Also, this public option saves taxpayers 30 billion over 10 years; the more robust one saved over 3 times that amount. The numbers, can they be trusted?

            • KevenSeven says:

              Oh, probably not.

              The cause of the excess cost of health care is our fee for service model and the advertising of Phamra.

        • KarateKid says:

          You call this progress? This bill could have been done in 500 pages in half the time if all there is, a pre-existing cause, a cap and they can’t cancel you for getting sick. And, it may have been truly bi-partisan.

          Reform my ass.

          • Kalima says:

            Please think and remember what would have happened if McGrumpy/ Mooseburger had been elected, that’s right, absolutely NOTHING!

          • KQuark says:

            Sure I would want more but it’s major progress. Using talking points like the bill is too long and implying Pelosi is a demanding goosestepping Nazi is something I thought only trolls said. There are many very good provisions in this bill that are very good for the working and middle class especially. It covers one sixth of the economy what do you expect a 3 page TARP bill?

            It’s progress and a big start. No it’s not purist progressive or the bill I would have written. But those bills pass in some alternate univese not real world America.

            • KarateKid says:

              KQ, on some things I can compromise. On this, and our involvement in Afghanistan, I can’t. Sorry to be the troll, I guess I’m just a diehard Progressive.

            • KQuark says:

              Look at the history of Social Security. I bet you did not know it did not cover profession where woman or minorities dominated. Look at Medicare it’s still a state opt out program. Look at SCHIP that was a very limited program at first. The goal is to make the first big step. Once people get use to it the next steps will be made.

      • escribacat says:

        i just hope he knew it would pass anyway — without his vote. It’s fine to be symbolic but hardly helpful if it costs us what reform we can get now.

        • KarateKid says:

          I don’t know how old you are, but you’ll be a lot older before a real meaningful reform will be to your benefit. Me? I’ll be six feet under.

        • KevenSeven says:

          Absolutely he knew. He may be a dweeb, but he is not an idiot.

          He would have told Pelosi long ago that he would vote no. She was not sandbagged, be assured.

          Denny is not the sort of asshole to do a thing like that.

  14. KevenSeven says:

    Something happen? Hehehehe.

    A five vote margin. Thirty-nine Dems were allowed off the reservation to buck up their chances of re-election.

    The thugs are going to piss and moan about the partisan nature of the bill.

    Fuck them. The compromise was to abandon single payer. That is how this was supposed to be bipartisan.

    But the fucking Rethugs want compromise after compromise after compromise.

    Until there is nothing there.

    And I am personally not entranced by this bill, but I’ll take it.

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