Mark Begich open to reconciliation for health reform--that makes 50 without any maybes

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Mar 05, 2010 at 17:30


Senator Mark Begich is open to using reconciliation for health reform.  From a letter to a constituent:

Thank you for contacting me regarding health care reform.

The reconciliation process is a budgetary tool used to address spending and deficit issues with a simple majority vote.  The budget reconciliation process has been used 22 times by both parties since 1980.  Action to clean up the health reform bill will further reduce the deficit.

Comprehensive health care reform has already passed the Senate with 60 votes.  If the House passes the Senate bill, the President could sign that version of comprehensive reform into law. I believe reconciliation would only be used as a tool to take out special backroom deals and to eliminate concerns raised by many Alaskans I've talked with.  The President has proposed narrow changes which I support, including completely closing the coverage gap for seniors' prescription drugs, eliminating the special Nebraska funding provision, providing additional federal financing to all states to help pay for the expansion of Medicaid, and strengthening the Medicare waste, fraud, and abuse provisions.

Again, thank you for contacting me.  As the 111th Congress moves forward, please continue to be in touch with your thoughts and concerns.

Sincerely,
Mark Begich
U.S. Senator

That makes 50 Senators publicly open to using reconciliation to finish health reform without any maybes.  There will be a reconciliation fix to the Senate health bill, as long as the House first passes one.

Chris Bowers :: Mark Begich open to reconciliation for health reform--that makes 50 without any maybes

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When I try to view the spreadsheet today (0.00 / 0)
Every time it goes haywire, displaying the spreadsheet for a second then blanking out the screen.

The action at the bottom of the windows says

Read ajax.googleapis.com

and it sits there forever in that state with a blank page.

Anyone have any idea what's going on?  Anyone else having this problem?


Oh, you haven't heard. That Recon. whipcount site. is Closed For Business. (0.00 / 0)
  We have have been sent down the street to shop for the hope and change we want, to PCCC. There is still open in business but their business has almost cornered the market on the hope for and the fight for real true Healthcare reform. Not many left for that...

[ Parent ]
Sorry, forgot to leave the note we received this morning about closing down (0.00 / 0)
[ Parent ]
Sorry (0.00 / 0)
I'm totally confused.  That diary doesn't say anything about 'shutting down', as far as I could find.

And 'shutting down' what?  Open Left?  The spreadsheet?  Why would you shut down a spreadsheet?


[ Parent ]
sorry, I should have sent you here 1st (0.00 / 0)
http://www.openleft.com/diary/...

Its the last sentence when Chris invites anyone interested in real, progressive Healthcare reform to PCCC. It's Adam Green's group  whose website is Boldprogressives.    Adam has been saying for weeks that the WH has a loser mentality and has backed the causes of losers. Coakley,Linclon st al. You know the line. Something like.. " there are just not enough votes for _______ right now. Fill in the blank  
( HC, banking regulation,environment etc). Maybe sometime in the future we can get real reform but now we have something that is very good."

My guess is this "fair and pragmatic" Health Insurance Senate bill will be another loser as well.


[ Parent ]
Yep, that Senate Bill is going to separate the men from the boys (0.00 / 0)
Those Senators and Congressmen are going to have to decide which is more important, votes or donations.  Or maybe they'll just keep on lying.  

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...


[ Parent ]
I'm curious. (0.00 / 0)
If the Senate is all for passing a fix through reconciliation, why do they need the House to go first?

And why am I detecting a strong odor of fish?

Health insurance is not health care.
If you don't fight, you can't win.
Never give up. Never Surrender.
Watch out for flying kabuki.


Process (0.00 / 0)
Normally what happens is the house will pass a bill and the senate will pass a bill. Since they are not likely to be identical it has to go to conference committee where they iron out the differences, make a single bill and then both the house and senate vote separately on the identical bill then if it passes it is signed into law (or vetoed.)

Due to the politics of this whole thing, by the house passing a bill identical to the senate bill they can avoid conference and send the identical bills off to be signed as if it went through conference.

At least that is my understanding of the whole process. Are parliamentary process is actually quite interesting when you get into it. The more you get into it the more it will amaze you anything at all passes lol.


[ Parent ]
The Senate can pass the fix, first. (0.00 / 0)
Read David Waldman.  Here.  That's just his latest.  He's been pointing this out for, literally, months.

So I renew my questions.

Health insurance is not health care.
If you don't fight, you can't win.
Never give up. Never Surrender.
Watch out for flying kabuki.


[ Parent ]
Perhaps it hasn't dawned on you yet. (0.00 / 0)
There won't be any fix.  At least not any meaningful fix.

So right now we are having a dance between the White House, Senate, and Congress on who bites the bullet.

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...


[ Parent ]
Yes, I know it's kabuki. (0.00 / 0)
I'd like something more specific, though.

I don't buy that they're all in it for the insurance lobby.  I mean, even Franken is calling for the House to pass the bill first, and I have a hard time believing he'd get bought off so quickly or easily.  So at least some of these guys, who are supposedly on our side, either believe they're doing the right thing by pushing things this way, which is very troubling because they should be smart enough to know better, or they're not really on our side, the implications of which should be even more troubling.

So something stinks here, and it ain't just the kabuki.

As for the substance of the fix, that's not really important at this point, contrary to claims otherwise.  It's a bad bill from start to finish, and without even a crappy public option, there's nothing in the bill that can even be claimed to be called reform (not without lying one's ass off or being completely delusional, that is).  So at this point, the fight is purely political, as you noted, and once again, it's between the progressives and the establishment.

I'm just trying to figure out who's really on our side, and so far as I can tell, we can't count on anyone.

Health insurance is not health care.
If you don't fight, you can't win.
Never give up. Never Surrender.
Watch out for flying kabuki.


[ Parent ]
I think you have it about right (0.00 / 0)
It's a big machine.  And they all like being a part of it.  Some, like Franken, are better than most, but even he likes being a part of the machine.   Look how much he is giving up to be a part of it.  So he's inside there, being one more cog, and, at least in his mind, keeping that machine working.  They become one great big CPU chip of group think.

"Oh. My. God. .... We're doomed." -- Paul Krugman
http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.c...


[ Parent ]
Public Option will never happen (0.00 / 0)
if Obama has his way, some thoughts on this.

I think the president made a deal with Insurers and has tried to derail it when he could.

50 votes won't be enough if Biden has to be the decider he'll be with the Pres

If the house passes first you can bet their will be an outcry immediately after with the usual delaying tactics. (Too much on our plate, we have 290 other house bills to look at still) and teaabaggers running wild at town halls and chickensh!t senators will back down.

A senators commitment to left leaning blogs is non-binding and will not hold up to insurance donations, besides, they are only commiting to the process, not specific legislation. IOW, "I would voted for it if this-that-or something else was or wasn't in it.


The house is right to be suspicious (4.00 / 1)
The president has been guiding this bill through the senate finance committe from the beginning.  The House is right to want a senate fix first, I think Nancy Pelosi knows the Pres and Senate can't be trusted and is probably playing a little hard ball with the Pres and Reid behind closed doors.

The only way to get a PO is relentless public pressure NOW on senators to commit to it in the reconciliation fix THIS TIME, and force the president to sign it, otherwise it's lost forever.  I'd bet the president would even be so bold as to VETO a narrower future reconciliation fix with a PO included.


[ Parent ]
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