Not everything going well on health reform today

by: Chris Bowers

Wed Mar 17, 2010 at 13:45


While Dennis Kucinich coming out in support of the bill was a big lift in favor of health reform passage, other news paints a less than rosy picture for those supporting passage.

1. CBO score still not out, deadline tonight.
In order to pass the bill by the Easter recess, and avoid any further delays that could sink the bill, the Senate needs to take up the bill next week.

In order for the Senate to take up the reconciliation bill next week, President Obama has to sign the Senate bill into law before he leaves the country for a five day trip on Sunday.

In order for President Obama to sign the bill into law before he leaves the country, the House needs to pass the bill by Saturday night.

And, in order for the House to pass the bill by Saturday night, the CBO needs to release its score of the bill tonight, 72 hours before the House votes.

However, its Wednesday, and there is still no score.  While one is expected tonight, the holdup is a pretty serious one.  As Jonathan Cohn explains, the reconciliation bill might not reduce the deficit during the second decade after its enactment, which is required in order to pass the bill through reconciliation.

Hard to imagine that this is something which can be fixed in a single day, and without a public option.

2. Two "lean yes" votes move to undecided
Reps Marcy Kaptur and Jason Altmire had been in the "lean yes" category of David Dayen's whip count.  They don't sound like "lean yes" votes today, though.

Kaptur is sounding Stupacky:

Kaptur said she's spoken to Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI), another pro-life Dem who's signed off on the Senate's abortion language, but didn't find his reasons persuasive.

Altmire goes on Fox to echo Republican complaints about process:

Sounding more like a no than he was last week. On March 16, Altmire told Fox Business Network that he has major problem with Democrats' apparent "deem and pass" strategy, calling it "wrong."

Yeesh.  Maybe its time to take these two out of lean yes, and put them into undecided.  Doing so would make the vote count YES 206--208 NO.

****

Still have a ways to go before reaching the finish line.  Not all the news today is good news.

Chris Bowers :: Not everything going well on health reform today

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Strange... (4.00 / 1)
Kaptur both voted to move the bill forward and yesterday was discussing how the president could better sell the bill.  That made it sound like she was fully onboard.

Altmire should never have been a lean yes... he's been an ass about this from the beginning and has said NOTHING positive about HCR since January.  Every statement he's made so far points to a no.

REID: Voting against us was never part of our arrangement!
SPECTER: I am altering the deal! Pray I don't alter it any further!
REID: This deal keeps getting worse all the time!


Good info, well said (0.00 / 0)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Reduced Deficit (0.00 / 0)
I thought it impossible that the changes in the House bill would not reduce the deficit in the second decade, but didn't realize:

By "reduce the deficit," I mean reduce the deficit relative to whatever the Senate health care reform bill would do on its own. And that is no small thing. The Senate bill, as written, was projected to save quite a bit of money. As such, the amendments must result in reform, as a whole, saving even more money than the CBO projected originally.

That is a much tougher problem.  Obviously, you could tweak a tax increase, but that might not help with the Conservadems.


We seriously need to clean up the Senate procedures (0.00 / 0)
Note this bizarro rule is only true because of how the rules on reconciliation work, which we are only using because of the rules on how the filibuster works.

We need to fix the system.  We could have had a better bill many months ago if not for all the procedural issues and abuses, including endless Republican delays.


[ Parent ]
Also: If Democrats made *half* as much noise about the filibuster (4.00 / 2)
as Republicans do about every single procedure the Democrats try to use en route to circumventing it, we'd be in a better place.

[ Parent ]
silver lining? (4.00 / 1)
Hard to imagine that this is something which can be fixed in a single day, and without a public option.

Anyway, they'll find a way around it I'm sure.  Given how much has been invested in this bill by how many people.  Not least because I would guess the pharma and insurance industries know that A bill is coming, at some point, and do they really want to take their chances with a future bill being as much to their liking as this one?  I don't think we're looking at a 30 year wait after this one.

For another example, see how quickly immigration reform became an issue again after its legislative defeat a few years ago.  That's another issue that's only supposed to be overhauled over decade or more.  Somethin's changing...


That 72-hour time limit (4.00 / 3)
isn't legally binding, just a self-imposed pledge. If need be, Dems will waive it it, as any party desperate to pass legislation would. The howls from the GOP would get lost amid all their other howls.  

Ironic if the Stupak bloc kills (4.00 / 2)
the biggest legislative restriction on abortion since the Hyde Amendment.  Even more ironic considering the number of people who die every year because they do not have health insurance.

John McCain won't insure children

I think you mean "because they don't have health CARE" (4.00 / 3)
again, a card from Blue Cross doesn't mean you can afford your checkups when you have a $40 copay and a $1000 deductible

soon I guess we'll all know how that feels

thanks Democrats!


[ Parent ]
From the Washington Post Today. "Universal health care tends to cut the abortion rate" (4.00 / 1)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

Universal health care tends to cut the abortion rate

By T.R. Reid
Sunday, March 14, 2010

Countless arguments have been advanced for and against the pending bills to increase health-care coverage. Both sides have valid concerns, which makes the battle tight. But one prominent argument is illogical. The contention that opponents of abortion should oppose the current proposals to expand coverage simply doesn't make sense.

--/and/--
The latest United Nations comparative statistics, available at http://data.un.org, demonstrate the point clearly. The U.N. data measure the number of abortions for women ages 15 to 44. They show that Canada, for example, has 15.2 abortions per 1,000 women; Denmark, 14.3; Germany, 7.8; Japan, 12.3; Britain, 17.0; and the United States, 20.8. When it comes to abortion rates in the developed world, we're No. 1.

No one could argue that Germans, Japanese, Brits or Canadians have more respect for life or deeper religious convictions than Americans do. So why do they have fewer abortions?

One key reason seems to be that all those countries provide health care for everybody at a reasonable cost. That has a profound effect on women contemplating what to do about an unwanted pregnancy.

The connection was explained to me by a wise and holy man, Cardinal Basil Hume. He was the senior Roman Catholic prelate of England and Wales when I lived in London; as a reporter and a Catholic, I got to know him.

In Britain, only 8 percent of the population is Catholic (compared with 25 percent in the United States). Abortion there is legal. Abortion is free. And yet British women have fewer abortions than Americans do. I asked Cardinal Hume why that is.

The cardinal said that there were several reasons but that one important explanation was Britain's universal health-care system. "If that frightened, unemployed 19-year-old knows that she and her child will have access to medical care whenever it's needed," Hume explained, "she's more likely to carry the baby to term. Isn't it obvious?"

A young woman I knew in Britain added another explanation. "If you're [sexually] active," she said, "the way to avoid abortion is to avoid pregnancy. Most of us do that with an IUD or a diaphragm. It means going to the doctor. But that's easy here, because anybody can go to the doctor free."



--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
how about dropping the deficit-increasing parts? (4.00 / 1)
how about dropping the po/buy-in?

since that is a progressive idea, dropping it will improve the deficit-reducing score

progressives lack the fiscal discipline of blue-dogs. those guys know their stuff.


um so we basically have to put in the po to save this bill? (4.00 / 1)
so let me get this straight- we basically need the po in the bill to save in the reconciliation process as it is a deifict reducer correct? i mean what else can they do to this bill that can slash cost?

Damn Art this is good, and I hope its sent to the Hill. (0.00 / 0)
Hell its worth a double post.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
hell yes! (4.00 / 1)
I sent it all around! staffers i know on the hill, pccc, senate aides etc.. i read this in the wapo about how the bill isnt cutting deficit enough. this is nuts! looks to me we need a strong public option to save this bill...

[ Parent ]
walker- po a fix, or dems might raise taxes and cut student aid.. (4.00 / 2)
jon walker- yes pub opt could fix this bill. dems could do that. or they could raise taxes more and cut fed student loan money to save a buck. that would play real well.
http://fdlaction.firedoglake.c...

[ Parent ]
um so we basically have to put in the po to save this bill? (0.00 / 0)
so let me get this straight- we basically need the po in the bill to save in the reconciliation process as it is a deifict reducer correct? i mean what else can they do to this bill that can slash cost?

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