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SanityNow On March - 14 - 2010

Well, looky here: a Public Option in the first draft of the House reconciliation bill (un-numbered yet), pg. 116, Subtitle B, Public Health Insurance Option.


I suppose, if you are like me and favor a Public Option, we shouldn’t get too excited: the vote is a whole week away and Democrats are in charge…

(and maybe we should keep this under our hats until it passes just to be on the safe side.)

27 Responses so far.

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  1. Khirad says:

    Okay SanityNow -- explain Deem and Pass! And, is the Rules Committee really a sort of oxymoron? (or, what I heard, is that they can make them up as they go, I mean -- kinda sorta)

    By the way, O’Donnell was breathtaking this morning. He finally explained his reticence as that of an airplane engineer. Like he can see all the things that could go wrong but hopes it takes off safely. He was slightly more optimistic, though.

    What was breathtaking was him leaving Morning Joke speechless in his passionate explanation of the current situation and general health care debate. To a layman like me, it was impressive. But maybe not for others more wonky. 😉

    Latest I hear on the tube, by the way, is that we have the votes in the house. ❓ ❗

    • SanityNow says:

      Hi Khirad,
      BT explained D&P well. I would only add that it could also be called the Ipso Facto strategy, meaning that the passing of the reconciliation bill obviously implies that the bill to be fixed has at least the same support that the fix bill has just received. It does follow a pretty simple logic.

      I really like Lawrence. Really. He is definitely one of my favorite political analysts around. He is very passionate but sometimes his passion can sort of run himself over. I can’t blame him though. I do that from time to time my own self. My saving grace is that I am not on teevee. and whenever Morning Joe can be made speechless is a moment worth savoring. Lawrence is a great attack dog and more than willing to go toe to toe. Love that.

      I should also add that no matter how carefully the bills are crafted, conservative opposition will continue the consistent obstruction and take to the courts to bog down the implementation. The SCOTUS will prove to be, as it has shown itself to be, a great ally against the people.

      (btw, I was over at the other site and really like your comments about Iran.)

      • Khirad says:

        Morning Blues Tiger: Schoolhouse Rocks never covered “Self-Executing” rules. 😆

        That’s pretty much how deem and pass was explained, but definitely thanks. I wanted to make sure.

        P.S. See this Bachmann “kill the bill” rally? If that’s any indication, they do seem to feel threatened.

        And I agree, regarding the bribes and pork, that is. …I just continue to hope it’s not too good to be true.

  2. choicelady says:

    Hi Sanity- Thank you for posting this. I had gotten it from my faith allies in Faithful Reform in Health Care and the WISC group (Washington Inter-religious Staff Council) with the worry that yes, Pelosi MIGHT take it out, but it was put IN last night (Sunday). So I’ve mobilized my folks in CA to contact her in DC and San Francisco to say KEEP it. We are also getting alerts from various sources that there are now 51 Senate votes FOR the Public Option.

    So get on the phone or FAX or email to insist that this be retained and passed by BOTH houses. Something GOOD seems possible or this would not have been IN the reconciliation bill at all. But we cannot take it for granted!

    • bitohistory says:

      Just wondering. Was this put in to show a larger reduction in the deficit? A hard sell aimed at the deficit hawk blue dogs?
      I will send another email to my rep. Even though she belongs to the blue dogs she believes in the P.O.

      • choicelady says:

        Hi bito -- well, yes, it HAS to be budget related, and the PO is a definite saving. HUGE as a matter of fact.

        That is why all the blog-o-sphere progressives are REALLY pissing me off saying Pelosi is taking it out. It went IN last night, why would she take it OUT today or this week?????

        Definitely press the Blue Dogs on this -- the PO is an enormous saving, is entirely a person’s CHOICE, and gives ordinary folks some way to get coverage without going bankrupt. GOOD plan.

    • SueInCa says:

      I will call her office right away.

    • SanityNow says:

      Hi choicelady,
      done, done and done. I emailed,phoned and wrote an actual letter sent by analogue mail to my senators and congressional reps. ALL have replied in the positive and are on the record as being so.

      • choicelady says:


        Cool, cool, and cool! Thanks to all who are jumping on this. Our voices not only matter but are much appreciated by those who are hearing way too much anger from the teabag folks.

        Best bumper sticker to date:

        Keep government out of my Medicare!

        When you have that ignorance, we are much appreciated.

        Can’t fix stupid.

  3. escribacat says:

    Thanks, sanity. How fascinating, considering the screaming headlines and hysteria the past few days that the “traitor” Pelosi had taken it out of the bill because she didn’t want it.

  4. javaz says:

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  5. Khirad says:

    I remain very cautiously optimistic. This was a great catch though. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

    Lawrence O’Donnell is still not sure about it. So, I hope, hope, hope, we’ve got something spectacular up our sleeves.

    I am so in the dark on this, that I did not even know that the VP could overrule the parliamentarian, though:

    • SanityNow says:

      I like Lawrence, but he doesn’t seem to be sure about a lot of things. I like his passion though. and it is absolutely true that the Parliamentarian makes a ruling but the President of the Senate, Vice President Biden, or the President pro tempore has the authority to over rule the parliamentarian on any issue. and a bit of irony as well is that the President pro tempore of the Senate, in lieu of the President of the Senate, happens to be Senator Byrd, author of the Byrd Rule which happens to be the very item against which all the reconciliation items will be measured against.

      • bitohistory says:

        If my memory is functioning,which is questionable, after the chair rules, an appeal to the ruling of the chair may be in order. It then takes 60 votes to overrule the chair.

        • SanityNow says:

          close: it is called a point of order (usually raised by the opposition against the current action) and it does take 60 votes to get past that point of order (if I am not mistaken, the point of order can also be blocked by the President of the Senate). Here is a part of a blog I found on the subject by an “expert” that sheds some light on the arcane:

          “Upset that reconciliation had become a vehicle for avoiding a filibuster of major policy change at times unrelated to deficit reduction, Senator Robert Byrd convinced his colleagues in the mid 1980s to place the

  6. PepeLepew says:

    I’m getting too excited!!!

    Somebody talk me down!

    I spray indiscriminately when I get too excited!

  7. PatsyT says:

    Now how am I gonna sleep tonight !
    I feel like I want to stay awake until it passes!

  8. SanityNow says:

    I can’t see how this does not create some spectacular fireworks this week. and I think you are correct and I had a very similar first impression. I do, however, think that the language will be killed before it reaches the Senate for the actual process of line item reconciliation but that your first assertion is also correct and that gives me reason for optimism.

    It will be a very historic and interesting week.

  9. KQuark says:

    I think it shows two things one good and one a little scary.

    It shows once the broad piece of legislation is passed a PO can be added at anytime and who knows if the stars align maybe this time.

    But it also could threaten the reconciliation bill being passed in the Senate so they might pass it in the House and if they keep the PO in it might not pass in the Senate and then you get only the Senate bill passed.

    The good far outweighs the bad though.

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