February 26, 2010
One Question

Did the Democrats give any signal, at all, that they would be willing to take out any significant provision of their health care bill?

It seems to me that if not, it's hard to make a claim they were trying to compromise or be bipartisan.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

Posted by pudge at February 26, 2010 09:47 AM | Email This
Comments
1. Like how Republicans used bipartisanship with reconciliation to push through Bush's tax cuts when they had the majority?

Goose / gander

Posted by: Joe Szilagyi on February 26, 2010 09:56 AM
2. It was indeed a kabuki show. My favorite part was when McCain asked that some of the special deals be removed, Obama the Great admonished him that the election was over. The whole thing was useless, just another photo op for the Great One.

Posted by: katomar on February 26, 2010 10:13 AM
3. RE 1. Budget items are the ONLY reason reconciliation is to be used... Not to pass partisan legislation that the majority of Americans do not want.

Learn/read/THINK before you speak so you don't further embarass yourself.

The use of reconciliation 1980-2008

Posted by: RagnarDanneskjold on February 26, 2010 10:29 AM
4. RE 1:
Budget reconciliation is an arcane Senate procedure whereby legislation can be passed using a lowered threshold of requisite votes (a simple majority) under fast-track rules that limit debate. This process was intended for incremental changes to the budget--not sweeping social legislation.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskjold on February 26, 2010 10:33 AM
5. pudge, yes. This was not really a negotiation, was it?

Joe, do you want the Dems to do this? I don't, but there is a partisan part of me that would like to see them try.

So far, all I hear is "blah, blah, blah". If they intended to this, they would have done it already, I believe. As it is, who is to say for sure that #1, the House would go out on a limb and pass it, and #2, that they would get 51 in the Senate. Perhaps they would not.

Posted by: Gary on February 26, 2010 11:17 AM
6. Question: the point was raised yesterday - and never disputed - that Obamacare WILL INCREASE spending on health care by 10-13% over the next decade.

How will that help the economy, and how will it help resolve the deficits?

President Obama keeps saying we need to "fix health care" to save the budget deficit but this plan will increase the deficits (as documented by the CBO). All Democrats were silent on this point.

If the given primary reason we're to take action is a bogus action, then one can only assume the action is taken for an ulterior, stealth reason...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on February 26, 2010 11:38 AM
7. Joe Szilagyi:um,first,noonementionedreconciliationuntilyoudid,explicitlyorimplicitly.

Second,you'reimplicitlyadmittingthattheDemocratsarelyingbysayingthiswasaboutbipartisanshipandcompromise.

Posted by: pudge on February 26, 2010 12:16 PM
8. Even if this was a complete waste of time, I did enjoy Paul Ryan schooling Obama. Read that whole thing, and then watch the video of it at the end. Seeing Obama's discomfort, and the "inadvertent" middle finger is fantastic.

Posted by: Palouse on February 26, 2010 12:29 PM
9. Rush said that Osama has been doing the "inadvertent" middle finger thing since his Senate days even.

And no one can possibly believe that this health "reform" bill would reduce the deficit - that's utterly laughable (except that it's not funny).

Posted by: ajday on February 26, 2010 12:37 PM
10. It seems to me that if not, it's hard to make a claim they were trying to compromise or be bipartisan.

Personally, I'm glad neither side compromised. This way, when the Dems do attempt to overreach and push through a version of this financial and quality of care reducing boondoggle(despite the publics overwhelming objection to it) it will be the death knell for their party in the next few elections cycles. Obama and the Dems are boxed in and they now know that this is THEIR boondoggle if they decide to pursue it and further anger an already incredulous populace.

On a side note, I listen to Dave Ross quite regularly and have noticed he's gone decidedly bat scat crazy of late in voicing his partisan views. While he's most likely held and expressed these views privately, it seems in the past he wasn't so blatantly partisan as he has been lately on his talk show. Of course, when you have fellow group thinkers like David Suroda and Carl Jeffords regularly appear on your show in order to discuss things in an echo chamber of ideas, I guess the frustration mounts as they realize that America isn't as hip to this "hope and change" thing that Obama has ushered in.

Posted by: Rick D. on February 26, 2010 02:27 PM
11. Dan@6, it depends on what you mean by "help the economy". Growing the size of the healthcare sector is economic growth. Keeping workers alive and healthy is also good for the economy, as well as morally right (the "ulterior stealth reason" you fear). Of course, if we borrow money to pay for it, that's a problem.

Posted by: Bruce on February 26, 2010 02:32 PM
12. "Did the Democrats give any signal, at all, that they would be willing to take out any significant provision of their health care bill?"

Nope. They did not. And I don't recall the Republicans doing so either.

"It seems to me that if not, it's hard to make a claim they were trying to compromise or be bipartisan."

Probably it is hard to make that claim for a lot of reasons. But who made that claim? Well, other than you?

Certainly Obama did not.

As I recall Obama and the Democrats want to kill our cute puppies.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on February 26, 2010 02:42 PM
13. Bruce: but since it is actively harming some of those same businesses, the growth may be offset.

Also, no, there is nothing whatsoever morally right about FORCING people to help other people get heath care. Doing it yourself, with your own resources? Good morals. Forcing other people to do it? Amoral at best, but if we're not pretending, we must admit it's immoral: it's no different than forcing the people to follow the King's religion.

Posted by: pudge on February 26, 2010 02:44 PM
14. MikeBoyScout, do you want your guys to try and pass this in the Senate with a simple majority?

Posted by: Gary on February 26, 2010 02:48 PM
15. Pudge,
What's up with all the special characters on your posts?

Ragnar,
Reconciliation is only being proposed for passing changes to the already approved Senate bill, assuming the House passes the Senate bill. Of course, this assumes the House and Senate trust each other enough to even agree to a set of changes to the senate bill, and it assume the changes meet the requirements for using the reconciliation process (i.e., related to budgetary items). Both the Senate bill and immediate changes can be approved prior to President signing both. The only "order" that is important (legally-wise) is that the President first signs the Senate Bill and then signs the package of changes. I know it is an end-run around the process and won't make anyone associated with it good in the eyes of the voters. This whole process has been a nightmare. Both sides are so rigid that I doubt any major legislation could ever get through. Even if one went with the minimum of agreed to changes (more incremental approach), I don't think one would still get the votes on the left to pass. One only has to listen to Harkin yesterday to understand that it is a no-win scenario regarding an incremental change process.

Posted by: tc on February 26, 2010 02:53 PM
16. MikeBS: Nope. They did not.

Thank you for admitting the Democrats were lying to say they were interested in bipartisanship and compromise.


And I don't recall the Republicans doing so either.

Yes, the Republicans didn't signal they would be willing to take anything out of a bill that isn't eheirs and that they don't control. (Cuckoo!)


Probably it is hard to make that claim for a lot of reasons. But who made that claim?

Almost all of the Democrats, including the Speaker, the Leader, and the President.


Certainly Obama did not.

False. In fact, that very URL proves you wrong. You're either (as usual) stupid or lying. Which is it this time?

Posted by: pudge on February 26, 2010 02:59 PM
17. tc: apparently a browser bug (I am using a nightly development version of WebKit, and I notice they made other textarea changes).

It's not always repeatable. Weird. (I fixed the previous comment.)


Reconciliation is only being proposed for passing changes to the already approved Senate bill, assuming the House passes the Senate bill.

Yes, changes necessary to get the House to pass the Senate bill. The Democrats are abusing the rules -- using reconciliation to pass a non-budget bill -- to bypass a filibuster (the very thing they attacked Republicans for in 2005, just using a different means).


assume the changes meet the requirements for using the reconciliation process (i.e., related to budgetary items)

Oh come on, tc. You know better than that. There is not a single change that the Democrats would find is NOT budgetary, just like there's not a single thing in the bill that the Democrats do not think is justified by the power to regulate interstate commerce.


I know it is an end-run around the process

Which is, of course, why they are stupid to do it. The Dems are already facing massive losses this year ... it's hard to see how this won't make it even worse.

I suppose they could say it's just THAT IMPORTANT that they would risk not being re-elected. But it's hard to respect someone for going along with principles when they are so often lying about their plan and their opponents' acts and views, and abusing the rules to get what they want.

But then again, this is common for the species of person -- especially common among politicians, and there, especially common among the left -- that hates the rule of law. No rules matter, if those rules get in the way of what you want.


Both sides are so rigid that I doubt any major legislation could ever get through.

If the Democrats put up a bill ending rescission and preexisting conditions and lifetime caps, and made it easier for people to pool together like businesses do to get cheaper insurance (including across state lines), and ended the coming-and-going subsidies for HMOs ... this would be major, this would immediately result in a happier electorate, and it would get majority support in both parties.

But the Democrats won't do that, not when they can push something they want, even if the people don't want it. The Republicans would agree to it, though. So I just don't buy "both sides are too rigid." (I am not blaming the Dems here though ... if the GOP were in the majority, they would likely be as rigid.)


One only has to listen to Harkin yesterday to understand that it is a no-win scenario regarding an incremental change process.

Right, because the Democrats won't do it, not because "both sides" are too rigid.

Posted by: pudge on February 26, 2010 03:11 PM
18. I, for one, do not trust government to make the rules for what and what isn't covered by insurance - the first step towards the public option and a provision in all of the healthcare bills/proposals put out by the democrats so far. Remember that a government panel said it is wasteful for women under 50 to have mammograms. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 41 thanks to a mammogram. 2 1/2 years later I am healthy and happy, taking care of my family, starting a new business, and volunteering in my community. Thank God the government didn't have the power to determine what my insurance would cover. I pray the same for all women under 50, now and forever.

Posted by: Shelly on February 26, 2010 04:41 PM
19. Pudge,

What planet are you on?

Logic and credibility were pretty well abandoned when Dems said they could pay for this entire bill by eliminating waste and fraud in medicare.

Sometimes you crack me up.

Posted by: Andy on February 26, 2010 04:45 PM
20. @18. Good point Shelly. I remember when this healthcare bill was gaining steam, on Friday Nov 20, the big news story was that, out of the blue, women don't need to get pap smears nearly as early or often. I could see right then that they've already started rationing....before the bill's even passed! Then on Monday Nov 23, the big news story was that women don't need mammagrams nearly as early or often. Again, just like that. Out of the blue one day. Coincidence?

Looks to me like Obama is pressuring those medical professional organizations to put out those *ull*hit findings and tow the line or else.

Posted by: Matt M on February 26, 2010 06:53 PM
21. The Temptation of Obamacare: our personal story after a very long week.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskjold on February 26, 2010 07:22 PM
22. #20. Yes, good point. Then there was a big uproar about it and Congress inserted language into the bill specifically about mammograms. So, now medical decisions were becoming political issues, and the Congress of the United States was writing in specific things about specific procedures in law.

And the commission then changed it's findings.

And there are people who *want* them doing this.


Posted by: Gary on February 26, 2010 07:28 PM
23. The unfunded future liability of SS and Medicare is over $100 TRILLION in today's dollars, of which Medicare is over $80 TRILLION. This is what Obama wants to expand. If there's any "fraud and waste" to be saved, they should be doing that first to make this program solvent.

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba662

Since Obama didn't want to get "bogged down in numbers" during the meeting, it's back to talking points. This is all Minnesota's fault. =)

Posted by: Palouse on February 26, 2010 09:09 PM
24. Remember how the Republicans used reconciliation to push through Bush's Social Security reform? Oh yeah, they didn't.

Posted by: Vatar on February 27, 2010 12:44 AM
25. #1 Not only was the tax bill a budget bill (which is specifically what reconciliation is for), but the tax cuts to which you refer were passed by 46 Republicans and 12 Democrats in the Senate, and 28 Democrat votes in the House.

Can you list the 12 Republican Senators that the Dems have convinced that government run health care is a good idea?

You might also find this quote interesting.

"Clinton wanted to use reconciliation to pass his 1993 health care plan, but Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) insisted that the health care plan was out of bounds for a process that is theoretically about budgets."

Posted by: Calvin A on February 27, 2010 06:44 AM
26. A good comeback to 'So what's YOUR health care reform plan?'
"I have no plan to order the lives of the 40 million uninsured. I have no plans for how you should run your life, what insurance you should have, or where you should spend you money; and frankly I find it a little creepy that you have a plan for ordering my private life. And let's face it, you don't plan to insure 40 million Americans, you plan to force the other 250 million Americans to do it."

Posted by: RagnarDanneskjold on February 27, 2010 10:03 AM
27. Of Course the Dems pulled nothing out as this has nothing to do with health care but a bitter rage against liberty.
TC, MBS, Bruce, some newcomers like Joe et. al. have all wandered into the zone of 'police state based economics' rather than liberty based economics. The debate is over how much do we pervert the relation two people have over health care rather than demand those that do not want to pay for their health care to pay for their health care or work it out with the provider. How did they get out of school without being told to buy insurance or make payments or go bankrupt??
I see no where in the world that this model of conversion to perversion with 'police state based economics' has created a better outcome for the individual or a nation. #11 -Bruce you kill me with your lost economics! Liberty grows economies not laws. (Moral Liberty not the false morality of the lie of free care for all).
I give you nothing less than a major Canadian politician going to Florida last week for a heart operation or Fidel flying to Spain for treatment in the Glorious Peoples Hospital of Cuba, Barcelona branch.
We have entered a new phase in America's civil war started in 1973 that has killed 50 million and is attempting to move the front lines to allow millions more to be killed. If you think your political views will not be used by tc, MBS, Bruce et. al. to determine your health care 'choices' you are kidding yourself.
Vote wisely this fall it may be your last chance to cut the chains!

Posted by: Col. Hogan on February 27, 2010 10:15 AM
28. @27, Col. Hogan...You made a great point about how Health Care will be selectively administered to those who comply to views of a Totalitarian State and those who do not comply to the views of the Totalitarian State. Yes, the far left Liberals are every bit as nasty as the Nazis. In Germany, under the Nazis, the Old, the ill-formed, retarded, those who required high expense to care for or cure and others who may have been vocal against the Nazis, were given the German Solution, they were KILLED! It will be the policy to deny to Conservatives or anybody who does not fully agree with the power of the State, at least some as what can be offered and fully give what can be offered to the Liberals who support Tyranny. What a good way to reduce resistance to the State. Pudge doesn't like the comparison of Nazis and far left Liberals having the same level of morals. Because, the Nazis brought forth a pogrom. an organized Government massacre of various selected minority groups especially, the one conducted against the Jews. Being, that there are a good percentage of Jews who are Liberals, pudge will not tolerate the comparison. However, the far left Liberals are of the same class of people as the Nazis. Some may not go as far as joining in the killing of there own family members but, if they can be for the killing of the Innocent/Babies then, that is the foundation for carrying out further atrocities against their fellow man. Yes, far left Liberals are just as, Nasty as the Nazis. When, those Liberals are fully allow to do their will upon their fellow man...Watch Out!

Posted by: Daniel on February 27, 2010 11:30 AM
29. The marxists will march in lock-step off the cliff towards the "nuclear option" for their radical leftist healthcare scheme.
Rewind the memory tape to 2005 and listen to clowns biden, pelosi, obambi, etc. going ballistic over the possibility of republicans using reconciliation for sweeping non-budgetary legislation. Now listen to each one of the marxist turds supporting the use of the very same gambit to advance their radical leftist healthcare legislation.
The marxist leadership of the dems (except for dingy harry reid) are either not running for re-election in November 2010 or represent districts (like in San Francisco) that are very, very far left when compared to the rest of the U.S.A. Their seats are safe (even if they are videotaped committing a felony dems will vote for them). The people who will lose out big time in the fall over the obamacare fiasco will be the so-called blue dog dems who run in districts that are not dominated by castro admirers, homos, illegal aliens, union dirtbags and dopers.
I hope the idiot in tennis shoes is among the dem. obamacare casualties in November.

Posted by: Attila on February 27, 2010 11:38 AM
30. It's a big lie any time today's Democrats talk about "bipartisanship".

Posted by: JoeBandMember on February 27, 2010 02:03 PM
31. The one thing that keeps coming back to me as I read and listen to the Demorats' solution for "affordable" health care is that every GOP solution for the same problem is essentially free to the nation at large and can instituted in short order with a page or two of typing instead of years to implement and thousands of pages of laws, carve-outs and exceptions for favored groups.

· Number one: let families and businesses buy health insurance across state lines;

· Number two: allow individuals, small businesses, and trade associations to pool together and acquire health insurance at lower prices, the same way large corporations and labor unions do today;

· Number three: give states the tools to create their own innovative reforms that lower health care costs; and

· Number four: end junk lawsuits that contribute to higher health care costs by increasing the number of tests and procedures that physicians sometimes order not because they think it's good medicine, but because they are afraid of being sued.

Full text of GOP solutions [here]

And one I think that they should add: Ending government mandated procedures. You buy what you want to buy. There is no reason for a 25 year old male to pay for maternity care.

These reforms are really reforms not piling more piss-poor government B.S. on top of existing government B.S. And the best part? If they don't work (which they won't but just in case) they are as easy reverse as they were to enact.

What the hell ever happened to common sense? Well, I guess it left Demorats and liberals some time ago and is now residing in a majority of the American public who like the GOP answers to health care reform.

One last thing - I was driving around today and this popped up in the rotation: Obama's theme song! Listen to it [here] and tell me what you think. This was written many years ago and not with him in mind but damn it sure fits him and how Demorats look at elections. Think the Paul Wellstone wake . . .

Posted by: G Jiggy on February 27, 2010 05:15 PM
32. Ask yourself this question. Does Obamacare mean that you have less freedom, or more?

Every new law has to be looked at that way.

Posted by: Gary on February 27, 2010 10:26 PM
33. In 20 years when the numbers of seniors have doubled, if we don't have universal health care ala Britain, do the Republicans here actually believe the corporations will care for these people with survival and comfort being available to all at reasonable rates? That lives will come before profits?

Or should we start bulldozering the bodies today?

Yes, there are budget issues. There's really only a single large entitlement program where we spend a lot of money with negligible return, though.

The military. Hate to say it, but in the end, to avoid going bankrupt, that's what will have to be cut unless we want a dystopian future where corporations have more power than government or individuals.

Posted by: Joe Szilagyi on February 28, 2010 09:32 AM
34. Joe: do the Republicans here actually believe the corporations will care for these people with survival and comfort being available to all at reasonable rates?

Do seniors get food, clothing, housing, transportation, etc. at reasonable rates? You're not making any sense.


Or should we start bulldozering the bodies today?

Worse than not making any sense, you're being a completely irrational and dishonest ass. Why not just skip to the end and start calling people Nazis?


Yes, there are budget issues. There's really only a single large entitlement program where we spend a lot of money with negligible return, though. The military.

Joe, when you don't even have half a clue what the word "entitlement" means, do you really think anyone here is going to care what you think?

Posted by: pudge on February 28, 2010 10:33 AM
35. The lie at the heart of ObamaCare
Megan McArdle argues persuasively in the Atlantic that lacking health insurance does not increase mortality rate and the numbers thrown about to suggest otherwise are poppycock

Is the US healthcare system really broken?

Lying and Cheating to Pass ObamaCare

Second, reconciliation has never been used to amend a bill that has yet to pass. The Health Care Nuclear Option will be used to pass a new bill that amends the Senate passed version of ObamaCare. Finally, reconciliation has not traditionally been used to steamroll the will of the American people. The bipartisan Blair House Summit was merely some feel good politics before the real effort by Democrats to jam an unpopular ObamaCare bill through Congress using a the procedural Nuclear Option. The American people should take note that Washington continues to view their opposition with contempt and politicians would like you to believe that they know what is best for America.

Posted by: RagnarDanneskjold on February 28, 2010 11:15 AM
36. It's not like you Rethugs are ever into compromise anyways. Rahm it through I say.

Posted by: AcidBrainsSon on February 28, 2010 06:39 PM
37. Did the Republicans give any signal, at all, that they would be willing to accept any significant elements of the Democratic health care bill intended to advance Democratic priorities for health care? It seems to me that if not, it's hard to make a claim that either side was interested in compromise or bipartisanship.

Posted by: Gatorboy on February 28, 2010 06:49 PM
38. AcidBrainsSon: so your dad passed on his Idiot gene to you. So sad.

Posted by: pudge on February 28, 2010 06:49 PM
39. Gatorboy,

Apparently you don't listen too well. President Obama wanted the GOP to come and present their ideas; when they did so, President Obama berated them.

Bipartisanship wasn't the goal of this meeting. It was all about scoring political points by the President and the Democrats and it backfired terribly.

Of course, when you have a chain-smoking, drunken lush leading your party, you tend to make stupid moves like challenging your opponents on points they've been making for months...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on February 28, 2010 07:08 PM
40. Gatorboy: Did the Republicans give any signal, at all, that they would be willing to accept any significant elements of the Democratic health care bill intended to advance Democratic priorities for health care?

Yes. Examples: ending rescission and disqualifications for preexisting conditions.

However, the Republicans WILL NOT accept several of the big features of the Democratic bill. Mandates and "minimum standards" requirements for health insurance are unconstitutional (in many ways), and will be rejected. If the Dems insist on things like that, they won't ever get Republican support. They know this. When they said they were reaching out for bipartisanship, they lied. They were, in fact, just playing politics by putting on a show for the people so they could (falsely) claim they tried to reach out to Republicans when they ram it through reconciliation in an unprecedented way, bypassing the filibuster.

The Democrats decided to do reconciliation weeks ago. But they know it makes them look bad, so they came up with this just so they could soften the inevitable blow when they do it.

It seems to me that if not, it's hard to make a claim that either side was interested in compromise or bipartisanship.

Again, just to drive the point home here: you're making no sense, really. The Republicans have many times said they would accept certain Democratic proposals. They know they are in the minority and cannot get exactly what they want. But there's a difference between compromise by agreeing on some matters, and surrender by agreeing on others. Not all proposals are equal, and many are simply unacceptable to Republicans and other people who respect the Constitution and liberty (yes, I am saying Obama and the Democrats do not respect the Constitution and liberty, in case I wasn't clear enough).

The Republicans have clearly shown a willingness to compromise for bipartisanship. The Democrats have not, at all. Not once. They have only shown a willingness to compromise to win individual votes, not to win Republican support.

I don't blame them for this: they are the majority. If they don't want Republican support, well, they're stupid (no major social reform has ever passed Congress without bipartisan support, let alone the support of the nation's voters), but it's their right to forge ahead without the Republicans or the voters.

I blame them simply for the deception and lies.

Posted by: pudge on February 28, 2010 07:24 PM
41. What do you expect when the Nancy Pelosi literally states that 'a bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes'. It's a freak-show...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on February 28, 2010 09:09 PM
42.
John Belushi:

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Joe Biden:

"Look, John's last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs."

Joe Szilagyi:

"There's really only a single large entitlement program where we spend a lot of money with negligible return, though. The military."


Posted by: Gary on March 1, 2010 07:22 AM
43. Anyone hear Peloisi's latest statement!!OUCH!!

Posted by: Laurie on March 1, 2010 07:45 PM
44. Pelosi's IQ is maybe 90 - and a neo-Marxist to boot.


Meanwhile, this could be an explanation for the terrible policies (like this one) from Obama.


Posted by: KDS on March 1, 2010 07:51 PM
45. The president offered some small potatoes concessions to the GOP, none of which will amount to enough to get any GOP votes, because they do not change the overall complexion of this monstrosity. The only things they would take out are the Louisiana Purchase and the Cornhusker kickback. That is irrelevant to the infrastructure for universal health care that is in place and won't be removed.

There are 270 million covered and 30 million not covered - the basic crux is that what Dem pols are out to do is to add a new entitlement program to garner more control of people and plunge us deeper into debt. The vote will be controversial and will cause a bigger rift between the two parties - pass or no pass. The soft tyranny continues - will this lead to a revolution ??

Posted by: KDS on March 2, 2010 09:31 PM
46. KDS, yep. Tyranny. Having to beg your political leaders for health care is very tyrannical. It amazes me that the good-hearted liberals here can't see it.

Posted by: Gary on March 3, 2010 09:20 AM
47. Ha! Obama has surrounded himself with doctors in lab coats again.

People (liberals) who sit there and fall for this crap are really stupid. "Look! Doctors!"

Posted by: Gary on March 3, 2010 11:06 AM
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