Archive for Saturday, March 20, 2010

Obama calls on Democrats to pass health care

House Rules Committee Committee Chair Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., at the beginning of the committee meeting today to discuss the health care legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington.

House Rules Committee Committee Chair Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., at the beginning of the committee meeting today to discuss the health care legislation on Capitol Hill in Washington.

March 20, 2010


— Victory within reach, President Barack Obama rallied House Democrats today for a final health care push, and party leaders appeared confident they had overcome a flare-up over abortion funding restrictions in the legislation.

Building on Democrats' momentum, House leaders decided on a straight up-or-down vote on Obama's top priority and the defining issue of his first year in office, backing off a much-challenged plan to vote on the bill indirectly. With the vote scheduled for Sunday, the battle tilted in Obama's direction as more Democrats disclosed how they would vote.

The president decided to make a final personal appeal with a Saturday afternoon visit to the Capitol. He spoke after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., reassured House rank and file that the Senate will complete the legislation. More than 50 Democratic senators have signed a pledge to do, Reid's spokesman said.

"Is this the single most important step that we have taken on health care since Medicare?" Obama asked lawmakers. "Absolutely."

In the bill

The legislation, affecting virtually every American and more than a year in the making, would extend coverage to an estimated 32 million uninsured, bar insurers from denying coverage on the basis of existing medical conditions and cut federal deficits by an estimated $138 billion over a decade.

Congressional analysts estimate the cost of the two bills combined would be $940 billion over a decade.

Republicans, unanimous in opposition to the bill, complained anew about its cost and reach.

One option on abortion emerged today — an executive order from Obama — that would reflect long-standing law barring federal aid for abortions except for cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger. Party leaders saw that approach as crucial to winning the support of anti-abortion Democrats for the health care bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, asked if they were working on an executive order, said simply: "Ask the president."

It was unclear whether the strategy would win support from conservative Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., leader of abortion foes who are opposing the health bill unless tight restrictions are included.

Democratic leaders and Obama focused last-minute lobbying efforts on two groups of Democrats: 37 who voted against an earlier bill in the House and 40 who voted for it only after first making sure it would include strict abortion limits that now have been modified.

Leaders worked into Friday night attempting to resolve the dispute over abortion, and this morning they were increasingly confident it would not scuttle the bill.

Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said leaders are closing in on the votes to pass the bill and probably won't need to give Stupak a vote on his language. "That's the likely outcome," he said.

Asked by reporters if she would allow a separate vote on abortion restrictions, Pelosi, D-Calif., seemed to rule it out. "Not on abortion, not on public option, not on single payer, not on anything," she responded. Pelosi met today with three undecided lawmakers who are part of Stupak's group. Eight Democrats joined him Friday co-sponsoring a resolution to "correct" the Senate bill by inserting stronger language.

Pelosi met separately with three anti-abortion Democrats — Reps. Kathy Dahlkemper and Chris Carney of Pennsylvania, and Steven Driehaus of Ohio. All three had voted in November for Stupak's strict limits on abortion funding.

Stupak's office postponed a news conference the lawmaker had scheduled for this morning. He was later seen on the House floor talking intently with Pelosi.

Along with eight Democrats and one Republican as co-sponsors, Stupak had introduced a resolution Friday that would insert his abortion restrictions as a "correction" to the underlying bill. That would add new complications to the already complex strategy Democrats are pursuing to pass the bill, requiring additional votes on a highly charged issue. Abortion opponents are divided over whether restrictions on taxpayer funding for abortion already in the bill go far enough.

The vote

The House Rules Committee worked through the day today to set the terms for the vote. Democratic leaders dropped plans to "deem and pass" the bill with a vote simply on the rule, a procedure used by both parties but one that has been widely criticized for legislation as massive as health care overhaul.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said the House would vote on the fix-it companion bill and then the Senate bill. Hoyer said the latter would go to Obama for his signature while the companion bill heads to the Senate. The No. 2 House Democrat said he has seen the letter from Reid indicating he has the necessary votes.

The vote count seemed to be breaking in Obama's favor.

An abortion foe, Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind., announced today he would support the bill. In addition, Reps. John Boccieri of Ohio, Scott Murphy of New York and Allen Boyd and Suzanne Kosmas of Florida became the latest Democrats to say they would vote "yes" after voting against an earlier version that passed last year. Their announcements Friday brought the number of switches in favor of the bill to seven.

On the other side of the ledger, Reps. Michael Arcuri of New York and Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts became the first Democratic former supporters to announce their intention to oppose the bill.

Lynch said he did so despite a telephoned appeal from Vicki Kennedy, whose late husband, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., championed health care for decades. Massachusetts unions responded with a scathing letter, released Saturday.

"Congressman, we will not be able to explain to the working women and men of our union why you voted against their interests," said the letter, signed by Robert Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and other labor leaders.


Stephen Roberts 8 years ago

Obama is telling them to get in line and vote for what he wants or else...

beatrice 8 years ago

"backing off a much-challenged plan to vote on the bill indirectly"

Good call.

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

In the year 2525 if man is still alive if woman can survive they may find Democrats who have finally given up on blaming everything on the Dwead Piwate Wove

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

BTW, beo, who's that in your avatar photo?

Keith 8 years ago

Hey Tom, you gotta quit relying on the Moonie Times, they lie about as often as Faux.

"In a March 19 editorial, the Washington Times falsely claimed that "[t]his week, the New England Journal of Medicine [NEJM] released a survey of doctors showing that 46.3 percent" of primary care physicians will either leave or want to leave their medical practice if health care reform passed. In fact, the NEJM did not conduct the "survey," which was not a scientific poll."

Fact: The Medicus Firm, a medical recruitment firm, conducted the survey

NEJM Spokeswoman confirmed survey has nothing to do with NEJM's "original research" and "was not published" by Journal. Media Matters for America contacted NEJM and received confirmation from spokeswoman Jennifer Zeis that the study had "nothing to do with the New England Journal of Medicine's original research." Zeis also made clear that the study "was not published by the New England Journal of Medicine." In fact, the Medicus Firm conducted the survey in December 2009. Medicus, a Dallas- and Atlanta-based firm that recruits and places physicians in jobs was responsible for conducting the survey. It issued a press release about the results on December 17, 2009. The report then appeared in Recruiting Physicians Today, an employment newsletter produced by the Massachusetts Medical Society, "the publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine."

Keith 8 years ago

Just suck it up and admit you quoted a bogus story.

Keith 8 years ago

Just suck it up and admit you quoted a bogus story.

Keith 8 years ago

Still can't admit you're wrong I see. That's your usual MO.

Keith 8 years ago

Are you having a problem believing the spokesperson for the NEJM?

feeble 8 years ago

basically yes, Tom doesn't care about the truth, unless it's his truth.

A quick survey of the NEJM website reveals the following gems:

"This bill will lay the foundation for a fairer, more efficient health care system and move the United States closer to universal coverage. This is health care reform worth voting for."

"The total number of abortions in Massachusetts in 2006, the year before the state’s health care reform law was implemented, was 24,245. In 2008, the number was 23,883, a decline of 1.5%. Among teenagers during the same period, the decline in the abortion rate was even higher — 7.4% — even though the nonelderly insured population increased by 5.9%."

looking over past editorials, it's very clear that NEJM is quite pro-HCR. Maybe if Tom took a second and actually reviewed the site, he would have thought better about blindly reposting the Washington Times piece.

That Tom somehow thinks that the Washington Times, the very model of a failed, subsidized newspaper, has more credibility than Media Matters, is surprising. I can only guess that Tom's got a picture of Rev. Moon above his keyboard.

Glenda Susie Breese 8 years ago

Thank You MR PRESIDENT for standing by your principles and convictions.It is the right of every American to have health care. Not just the privilaged who can afford it.Maybe still it will find those who cant budget for it,but let those go to the clinics.Most are funded by various charities and government funding. I hope it passes.because when i go to the polls next I will think of all those in office who do nothing,but cater to the wealthy and think nothing of the working man or woman who need affordable health care

Keith 8 years ago

When the law is against you, pound the facts. When the facts are against you, pound the law. When both are against you, pound the table. Tom is as always, pounding the table.

feeble 8 years ago

I love how Tom continues to defend the survey even though NEJM has officially disowned it.

That said, as a free market conservative, Tom should care less about the NYT obtaining financing from independent investors like Carlos Slim. Clearly it's ok to be a ruthless, monopolistic oligarch as long as you're born north of the Rio Grande. If Tom was really that upset about Slim's practices, he'd also be decrying the Washington Times for taking billions from Rev. Moon.

Keith 8 years ago

"Clearly it's ok to be a ruthless, monopolistic oligarch as long as you're born north of the Rio Grande."

Or north of the DMZ. Moon is Korean. So, in Tom's world, Korean money good, Mexican money bad.

notajayhawk 8 years ago

Keith (anonymous) says…

"Just suck it up and admit you quoted a bogus story."

You mean like the propaganda put out by sources like Physicians for a National Health Program, that published such "research" as the BS about most bankruptcies being 'caused' by medical bills, or one-third of our health dollars going to insurance company administrative costs and profits? Reliable research like that, Keith?

feeble (anonymous) says…

"looking over past editorials, it's very clear that NEJM is quite pro-HCR. Maybe if Tom took a second and actually reviewed the site, he would have thought better about blindly reposting the Washington Times piece."

Maybe if you reviewed the site - and understood it - you wouldn't have tried to challenge the validity of an op-ed piece with an op-ed piece. Pssst - feeble: Dr. Oberlander isn't on the editorial board of the NEJM. Nor is he a physician. You can read his works - guess where now - on the website of Physicians for a National Health Plan! Dr. Oberlander is an Assistant Professor of Social Medicine - whatever that is - and an adjunct professor of political science, and not exactly the most objective of sources. His opinion was not even published in the NEJM's print version.

beobachter (anonymous) says…

"Keith, you summed up Tom nicely. He never lets a little thing like true facts get in the way of his posts."

You mean like yesterday, BeO, when you ranted about how all the right-wingers were criticizing the health care plan without seeing it since it wasn't available yet - despite the fact that it was publicly released about 36 hours before your post?

notajayhawk 8 years ago

And porch_person questions the Washington Times citing wiki.

Brilliant, as always.

Sunny Parker 8 years ago

Pay for your own health insurance!

Why doesn't Obomba try creating JOBS! He promised he would!

If he would do what he promised, employers would offer health insurance to their employees. Instead, employers are laying off their employees because they are getting screwed on yet another gov't handout!

Catapillar is going to go down. ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS IN THE FIRST YEAR! That is what Obomba care will do for catapillar (sp?) This is just the beginning!

This country is headed for hell. Impeach Obomba now! He is a liar and a thief!

Liberty275 8 years ago

Its funny watching liberals applaud a law that stuffs the corporate coffers of insurance companies. Its sad that its such a huge pile of corporate welfare, the republicans won't dream of repealing it once they take back control.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Americans lose more freedom.

Liberty275 8 years ago

Full disclosure: We have "Almost Cadillac" health, dental and vision insurance plans through my wife's work and every policy AFLAC sells through mine. We have health insurance because we can afford it and we like the security. We don't need the nanny state telling us how to spend our money.

independant1 8 years ago

HR3962 This is the House health care bill that was approved by the House of Representatives on Nov. 7, 2009. Broadly, it seeks to stop the earth from plummeting into the face of the sun, to pay for it all, a surtax on individuals with incomes above $5.

independant1 8 years ago

"A zebra does not change its spots." - Al Gore

yourworstnightmare 8 years ago

There are principled arguments to make about this bill and the deficit.

Too bad most in the GOP have no ethical and moral authority on this issue, having stood by and voted with Bush to engage in two wars and give masisve tax cuts to the wealthy. Indeed, many in the GOP said that running a deficit is healthy, that it is ok.

Now, the GOP deficit hawks are conveniently back. This deep hypocrisy makes any argument thay make ring hollow. The GOP lacks the authority to talk about deficits.

Too bad, because principled opposition is a good. The GOP present unprincipled opposition.

Liberty275 8 years ago

Losing your freedom to spend your money on Anna Undercover and her magical naked dances instead of health insurance is indeed losing a freedom. I suspect your definition of freedom is "whatever the big boss says", sycophant.

independant1 8 years ago

There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle. A democratic government is the only one in which those who vote for a tax can escape the obligation to pay it. Alexis De Toqueville

Sunny Parker 8 years ago

Beo why don't you tell us all why we should pay higher taxes to pay for everyone else's health insurance?

Tell everyone the reason why govt ran health insurance/care is going to be a good thing and how it will reduce the deficit.

notajayhawk 8 years ago

porch_person (anonymous) says…

"My, didn't we get up on the wrong side of the bed!! Happy Sunday!!"

I suppose that was meant to be cute. Too bad the post you responded to was posted on Saturday night.


beobachter (anonymous) says…

"Think Tom was trying to help us out by posting exactly what he knows.""

Hey, BeO, did YOU know that the reconciliation bill was posted a day-and-a-half before you criticized right-wingers for commenting on a bill that nobody had been able to see yet?

notajayhawk 8 years ago

beobachter (anonymous) says…

"Wonder why right wingers are in such a panic?"

Funny, I was wondering why all the 'uneducated liberals' were so frantic the last couple of days.

Well, there's really nothing to panic about, BeO. Most of the bill doesn't take effect for a couple of years anyway, and by then, with the Republicans back in control - and 38 states passing legislation to prevent any of it taking effect anyway - there won't be anything to worry about.

porch_person (anonymous) says…

"So you were in a bad mood on a Saturday night. Not my problem."

So you admit you can't read. Not my problem.

Sunny Parker 8 years ago

I didn't think you could or would answer my question.

notajayhawk 8 years ago

beobachter (anonymous) says…

"Just a gimmick to try to get re-elected by mindless right wingers."

Change the last word to 'left-wingers' and you've summed up the very essence of this so-called "reform" bill.

You really think the Republicans won't be back in power, BeO? I mean, we knew you weren't very bright, and you said yourself you're uneducated, but I didn't realize the depths of your impairment.

porch_person (anonymous) says…

"When I wished you a "Happy Sunday", it was "Sunday". I have better things to do than check when you wrote something."

I thought you were the guy - er, gal - er, thing - that always did its homework? Pretty sloppy fact-checking - about par for your usual.

Now that the smoke is clearing, perhaps one of you fine liberals can tell me exactly what you think you've "won"?

Did you get anything that will reform health care? No. There is not a single thing in any of the legislation that changes anything about health care, it just changes who pays for it.

Did you get anything that will bring down the costs of health care? Again, no. The CBO and others, such as the Kaiser Foundation, have said insurance premiums will continue to rise. With more people paying into the pool. The only ones that will be paying less will be those who get subsidies - paid for through higher taxes. Overall, our healthcare spending will continue to grow.

Did you get your precious nationalized health plan like they have in all those gee-whiz neato other countries that are so much better than ours? Nope, nothing even close. You didn't even get your public option, did you? (That question is not directed to porchie, who still thinks we got the public option - provided by private companies. That one's gonna' be good for laughs for years to come.)

Did you get a president who fulfilled his promises for bi-partisanship and transparency? No - you have C-Span, of all reporting agencies, talking about closed-door back-room deals, and a rift that hasn't been seen since the Civil War, with 38 states working on legislation to negate the effects of this law. A law that was forced down our throats against the will of the American people, paid for by a lot of payola with billion-dollar payoffs in pet projects to Democratic legislators. All led by a president who's proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the 'change' he promised was more of the same, and that he cares more about his own image than about the will of the people who elected him.

Oh, and you got sold out on abortion rights, let's not forget that.

So let me be the first to congratulate you! You got - well, let's see, nothing you asked for, and a lot you didn't, with a trillion-dollar bill to pay. Congratulations!

Flap Doodle 8 years ago

Dear Leader bingo:

"Take a five-inch by five-inch square of paper and divide it into 25 squares by way of a magic marker. In each square, in a random fashion write each of the following:

Restored our reputation Strategic fit Let me be clear Make no mistake Back from the brink Signs of recovery Out of the loop Benchmark Job creation Fiscal restraint Win-win Affordable health care Previous Administration Greed on Wall Street At the end of the day Empower/Empowerment Touch base Mindset Corporate greed Ballpark Game plan Leverage Inherited Unprecedented

Now, sit down to listen to the next political speech from the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and each time one of the 25 words or phrases passes his lips, mark out that square.

When you get a full five blocks horizontally, vertically or diagonally marked off, jump up and yell, "Bull[deleted]!""

Lifted from

notajayhawk 8 years ago

porch_person (anonymous) says…

"What have we gained? A health care system that looks more like the health care systems in countries that are paying less and getting better outcomes. You remember? The health care systems that do better than we do in assessments by the United Nations, the CIA and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development?"

Please provide a link to said rankings of health care "outcomes", porch. What? You can't? Oh, wait - you're going to come back with 'infant mortality' again - despite the fact that the U.N. And the OECD don't use that as a measure of health care outcomes - and you yourself said health care does not 'drive' mortality rates? Did you forget that, porch?

"The companies who provide the "public option" will be run by the government. Same company that covers members of government. Run out of the Office of Personnel Management. Surprise. Not "private" at all."

Thanks, spnky. I really didn't want to go back and find that again - but I don't have to - you're actually proud of your ignorance.

The other 310 million people in this country have accepted the fact that there is no public option in this legislation, porch.

"Pelosi: Public option will not be in health bill despite liberal efforts to revive it"

""We had it, we wanted it ... it's not in the reconciliation," Pelosi said at her weekly press briefing. "It isn't in there because [the Senate doesn't] have the votes to have it in there.""

By the way, porch - your ultimate source of information, no less prestigious a source as Wiki, mentions the plan you just described - it's in the section titled "Alternative Plans" to the public option.

Private companies providing the public option - well, I guess we can see what porchie understands about the issues.


notajayhawk 8 years ago

beobachter (anonymous) says…

"nota, I realize you are mentally impaired.What I said was I was not educated to believe the Rrght wings BS. I think for myself."


I think we see the problem now.

"Once the public realizes how much this health care helps them and understand the lies they were fed by Repubs, it will take a long time for them to listen to any right wing liar."

So, and we've asked you this before, BeO, please tell us - how does this bill "help" Americans?

You say tou think for yourself - an endeavor which should really be limited to those who have the capability, by the way - so without the MSNBC pabulum, without the talking points of Reid/Pelosi/Obama, tell us all how this bill is going to help.

Oh, I forgot - you haven't read any of the legislation. On Friday you said you couldn't 'look into the future' to see what was in the bill - despite the fact that the rest of us knew it had already been posted a day-and-a-half earlier. You stick to your blind, fawning, idiotlogical adherence to your Dear Leader's commands, and jump when he says jump.

And you have the nerve to imply it's fine folks like you and your buddy porchie that 'think for yourselves'. When you're done explaining how this bill will help America, BeO, please tell us how defending a bill you never read is 'thinking for yourself'.

notajayhawk 8 years ago

porch_person (anonymous) says…

"I've already provided the links."

No, you haven't. Try reading the question again.

Oh, forgot - you weren't mistaken, you're lying.

"You're the idiot who doesn't think "mortality" is an outcome."

porch_person (anonymous) says… "Our health care system doesn't "drive" our infant mortality rate" March 5, 2010 at 5:18 p.m.

Guess this would be another example of that 'garfinkeling' you're always taking about.

"I remember when you tried to argue against the findings of the United Nations and the CIA. You submitted the OECD and the OECD's studys dovetailed with those of the United Nations and the CIA!!"

And one more time, porch - try a straight answer this time instead of your rambling sidetracks, changing the question, distraction, avoidance, and outright lying - where are the rankings of health care outcomes from any of those sources, since you said yourself that infant mortality isn't one of them? Oh, and by the way, the U.N. and the OECD don't use them as outcome measures, either?

If you ever decide to answer any of the questions people have repeatedly posed to you - and you've avoided, since you have no answers - perhaps you'd like to back up your claim that what we've gained is "A health care system that looks more like the health care systems in countries that are paying less and getting better outcomes," when you have yet to offer evidence that their outcomes are better, nor show how this legislation is going to save any money.

Seth Peterson 8 years ago

I normally encourage avoiding trolls and ignoring them, but this time I don't think I will. As delusional as Tom is about reality, it is fun to note he honestly believes that almost half of all doctors will quit their job because of this, and in his quirked out way I'm sure he thinks it'll be a massive walk out tomorrow.

Tom, just get up in the morning and do a quick drive around Lawrence - see how many doctor offices or health care providers have shut down. Feel free to stop in tomorrow and show us how right you were by listing who comprised the 46% in our area.

If you can't come up with half of them, then please take a moment and think about how ridiculous you must have sounded making that statement and how skewed your vision of the world must be to find that you're belief is the exact opposite of what happened.

Of course, knowing that you are a troll, most people should know you don't really believe much of what you type or say on here so long as it gets you the attention you want so you can pretend to be your own Glenn Beck operating out of your own home. Being melodramatic to the point that you actually believe you care. I wonder how often you've typed a post, paused just like Glenn Beck before signing off, just as you're hitting the post button, and squeezed out a single, tiny tear at the beauty and the passion that you're showing for your country by making your statement.

notajayhawk 7 years, 12 months ago

porch_person (anonymous) says…

"Garfinkeling is losing an argument and denying that it ever happened / asking for 'do-overs"."

Funny. That's not what you said it was before:

porch_person (anonymous) says… "Denying the existence and meaning of communication which has already occurred is garfinkeling."

Now you're garfinkeling about the meaning of garfinkeling. That's priceless, little one.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.