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Archive for Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Senate to take another crucial vote on health care bill today

December 22, 2009

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— Well on the way to winning passage before Christmas after clearing its biggest hurdle in the wee hours of the morning, the Senate’s health care bill will make a “tremendous difference for families, for seniors, for businesses and for the country as a whole,” President Barack Obama said Monday.

Senate Democratic leaders basked in the victory for the landmark legislation that will insure 30 million more Americans. They looked ahead to the next make-or-break vote this morning. They snapped up a coveted endorsement from the American Medical Association and batted down Republican complaints about special deals lawmakers got in the bill.

“I don’t know if there’s a senator that doesn’t have something in this bill that was important to them, and if they don’t have something in it important to them, then it doesn’t speak well of them,” retorted Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., when questioned at a press conference about the GOP criticism.

The deals in the massive bill range from $100 million to pay the full cost of a Medicaid expansion in Nebraska, home to Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson, the crucial 60th vote for the bill, to exempting roughly 800,000 seniors in Florida from potential benefit cuts by private Medicare Advantage plans, something sought by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

The American Medical Association got some special deals itself before declaring its support. A 5 percent tax on elective cosmetic surgery procedures was replaced with a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services; a proposed fee on physicians to enroll in Medicare was dropped; and payment cuts to specialty and other physicians to pay for bonuses to primary care doctors in underserved areas were also eliminated, the AMA’s president-elect, Dr. Cecil B. Wilson, said.

“America has the best health care in the world — if you can get it,” Wilson said at a press conference with Reid and other leaders. “For far too many people access to care is out of reach because they lack insurance. This is not acceptable to physicians.”

Democrats prevailed 60-40 over Republican opposition early Monday, voting to block a threatened GOP filibuster of a last-minute package of Democratic amendments.

Democrats will have to put up 60 votes again this morning for a procedural vote on Reid’s underlying, 2,074-page bill. A last 60-vote hurdle awaits Wednesday, and final passage of the legislation — requiring a simple majority — is set for late Thursday, Christmas Eve, if Republicans take all the available time. As of Monday they said they would.

“I am willing to stay here. The flight that I have is Christmas morning, and I don’t plan on changing that reservation,” Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told reporters after a meeting of GOP senators. “We potentially are getting ready to pass a bill that there’s no question in my mind is going to lead to huge deficits down the road.”

With final passage on track, Republicans ramped up their criticism, denouncing the last-minute concessions that put the bill over the top.

“I am tired of the Congress thumbing their nose and flipping a bird to the American people,” Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said in a conference call with reporters.

Comments

jmadison 5 years ago

I am glad that President Obama is so fiercely opposed to earmarks. He can thus veto this bill because of its earmark for a free ride for Nebraska in paying for the crushing increased cost of Medicaid. The taxpayers of the other 49 states will now be burdened with this cost. The seniors in Florida who are currently on the Medicare Advantage program will also benefit, while the seniors in other states who are currently on this plan will be stiffed. I will feel grateful to know that my taxes will go towards building a new medical school in Virginia. Will this bill demonstrate that President Obama's concerns about earmarks and deficit reduction are mere rhetoric on his part? I think we all know the answer to that question.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

Worth repeating: “ 28 March 2009 at 6:40 p.m. beobachter (Anonymous) says… Ok, I'm done, you don't need to ban my account, I won't be back.”

notajayhawk 5 years ago

“America has the best health care in the world — if you can get it,” Wilson said at a press conference with Reid and other leaders. “For far too many people access to care is out of reach because they lack insurance. This is not acceptable to physicians.”

Um, no Mr. Wilson. They lack access to care because you and your friends cost too much, not because of who pays for it.

" the Senate’s health care bill will make a “tremendous difference for families, for seniors, for businesses and for the country as a whole,” President Barack Obama said Monday."

That's one thing the weasel-in-chief has correct. Too bad he has no idea what that difference will be.

The most amusing part of all this is the things the Democrats/Liberals think they've 'won' with this piece of cr*p legislation. My favorite is the requirement that insurance companies pay out a certain minimum percentage of their premiums in claims. Get ready for skyrocketing costs that will make the current situation look like the 'good old days.'

Stuart Evans 5 years ago

“tremendous difference for families, for seniors, for businesses and for the country as a whole,” President Barack Obama


thanks Obama, so far the hope & change has been dismal and a failure. I can't wait to see what "tremendous difference" does for us... by this, I mean I'm really freaking out a bit. slow your roll captain.

SettingTheRecordStraight 5 years ago

I long ago gave up on the notion that the motive behind a government takeover of our health care was a desire to help the less fortunate.

I am now fully convinced it is squarely about control.

Flap Doodle 5 years ago

beo, I'm happy to remind the readers of LJW of your lack of veracity. I smile every time I post that. :)

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