Thursday, November 19, 2009

Reid Has Unveiled the Plan

The combined health care reform bill is here.  To be honest, there’s a lot about this bill that I don’t like.  However, compared to no change at all, I shall support is as the first step in the right direction.  Like Social Security and Medicare, when they were first passed, this will not be the end of needed change, but at least it will open the door.

health insurance recission Senate Majority Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday unveiled his long-awaited plan for expanding medical coverage to millions more Americans over the next decade, setting the stage for a historic Senate debate on a health overhaul.

Reid's move capped weeks of difficult negotiations as Democratic leaders struggled to keep up momentum behind President Obama's push to reshape the nation's $2.5 trillion healthcare system by expanding coverage and beginning to control medical costs.

And although Democrats still are searching for crucial votes, the majority leader's gambit marked an important milestone in the party's drive to enact the most sweeping change to the country's healthcare system in more than 40 years.

"This is our chance to end a journey that began more than 60 years ago when President Truman said every man should have the peace of mind of having health insurance,'' Assistant Majority Leader Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said after Democrats met at the Capitol to discuss the bill.

Reid's legislation, which he crafted by combining bills developed earlier this year by two Senate committees, would cover an additional 31 million people over the next decade, according to senior Democratic aides, who cited a preliminary estimate by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

That would boost the percentage of non-elderly Americans with medical insurance from 83% to 94% over the next decade – slightly less than the 96% who would be covered by the bill that House Democrats passed last week.

Reid's legislation would also cost less than the House bill, committing the federal government to some $849 billion in new spending over the next decade to expand coverage, aides said.

And it would drive down federal deficits by an estimated $127 billion over the next decade, in part based on a series of prescribed cuts in Medicare spending, along with new taxes on healthcare industries, high-end "Cadillac" health plans and wealthy Americans.

Reid's proposal still faces substantial obstacles… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Chicago Tribune>

The biggest of those substantial obstacles is the campaign against change by Big Insurance., assisted by their mostly Republican lackeys.  Part of that effort comes disguised as independent organizations.  Rachel Maddow had done a terrific job of exposing who they are and who is behind them:


Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

The value of what Rachel has done here is not validation our beliefs.  Rather, it is digging out the detail that we can use to support our beliefs and discuss them intelligently with others.


ivan said...

...down federal deficits by an estimated $127 billion over the next decade, in part based on a series of prescribed cuts in Medicare spending, along with new taxes on healthcare industries, high-end "Cadillac" health plans and wealthy Americans.

I think Veep Joe Biden said something like that on the Jon Stewar show this week...and for once, didn't put his foot in his mouth. :)

Holte Ender said...

The opposition to reform is so organized and well funded, not forgetting to mention, full of deception, some of their misinformation is going to stick, the waters are so roiled by the MSM, truth is obscured. It's amazing what people are prepared to believe.

Sue said...

I agree Tom. I'm getting tired of dems who keep putting this down. It's got to get to the floor, we have to pass a bill and I know we will. When Reid and Schumer speak about what's in the bill I don't know why dems are arguing about it. If it can stay intact and get signed it will be a huge step in the right direction and dems will get the praise while rethugs sat on their hands and did absolutely nothing, just like Medicare!

Sue said...

One more thing.... democrats have to stop criticizing Obama and start supporting his efforts. This man has huge undertakings and we can't turn our backs the way independants are starting to do!

MadMike said...

I'm with you TC. It is far from being the bill I had hoped for but as Bill Clinton said we have to start somewhere. I heard that Nelson might even back this one so each tiny step moves us closer to the ultimate goal, which, IMHO is single payor.

TomCat said...

Ivan, I still think one of the needed tweaks is to finance it with a tax on the rich instead.

It is, Holte. That's why it's important that people like us cut through the lies and deception and spread the word.

Sue, when I was young, I wanted it all now. Experience has taught me the patience to accept increments and the wisdom to see that those increments have resulted in real change. When I started working, there was no Medicare. At the same time, integrity requires that I call them as I see them, including constructive criticism of Obama's decisions. I trust you have never found me unfair when doing so or unsupportive of him.

TomCat said...

Sorry I missed you, Mike. We were commenting at the same time. I'm not that concerned about the vote planned for Saturday. It's the GOP filibuster to the motion to end debate that worries me.

RealityZone said...

Living in Arizona [Kyl-Mc Cain] country, the "state opt out" concession =[cave in] scares me.

TomCat said...

RZ, I don't blame you. However, they would have it until the legislature could pass a bill opting out. Taking health care away from millions of Arizonans might just be the impetus needed to make Arizona a blue state.

Lisa G. said...

I'm with you TC - we have to start somewhere to get to the goal line. We can't even get the Blue Dogs to behave (I say we cut their funding...that's what the Repubs would do), but I hope Reid and my senator, Durbin, can get this across the goal line.

Jolly Roger said...

I almost want to take back some of the stuff I've said about "Stepnfetchit" Reid.

Nah-not really.

RealityZone said...

TC; with all due respect. HAVE WHAT? Conyers said it would not come into effect for 3 years.

RealityZone said...

JOLLY ROGER; re ""Stepnfetchit" Reid." i like that. LMAO. he is up for re-election. he is in a union state that will probably not opt out. so he is ok with the state opt out part. Reid is weaker that puppy poop.

gabrielle said...

As you know, I have serious reservations about the bill in its current form. I fear that ultimately, it may do more harm than good. The mandate is nothing less than a delivery system for the insurance companies. And the public option is so watered down that it poses no real threat to the status quo. Ergo, another historic opportunity for real reform squandered.

This week, I will be making calls to advocate for S703.Even though single payer is a pipe dream in the current political climate, I feel it is valid to discuss it. Many people have been so confused by the distorted messages about government takeovers and death panels that they really don’t get what it is, and that most of the developed world has embraced this model with vastly better health outcomes. I think it was a mistake to call the “medicare for all” segment of the bill a “public option“. Medicare means something to people. Public option is up for grabs piled on a Walmart palate to the highest bidder. This is a historic opportunity to make some meaningful change and like the mad as hell doctors, I plan to give the industry a run for their money.

TomCat said...

Thanks Lisa. Virtually all the progress made in this nation has come in pieces, not all at once.

JR, I agree. Reid is doing the minimum he can get away with.

RZ, you're right. I did not factor in the delay. We can change that, but if we give up all the progress we have made, because we don't get everything we want, it's start over again in 30 years.

Gabrielle, I join you in your support for S703 and agree that single payer is the ultimate solution. I have been for single payer since the beginning, but recognize that we have zero chance at getting it now.