Monday, December 21, 2009

Breaking: GOP Filibuster Defeated in the Senate

It’s a win for Obama, but less so for America.

60 votes The Senate took a giant step toward passing its sweeping healthcare bill early today, uniting fractious Democrats after months of debate over President Obama's promise to reduce the ranks of the uninsured.

Breaking the Republican filibuster required the votes of all 60 members of the Democratic caucus. The cloture motion, which passed 60 to 40, capped months of work by Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who personally negotiated compromises on big issues such as abortion and taxes, as well as parochial deals for key states and industries.

But with final Senate approval of the bill expected this week, Democrats and the White House were moving to shift the focus from their dozens of concessions -- such as jettisoning a government alternative to private health insurance -- toward the momentous changes they said it would bring: providing insurance access to 31 million more Americans, cracking down on insurance practices, and beginning to curb healthcare cost inflation.

"I wish this bill were different," Assistant Majority Leader Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said on the Senate floor Sunday, reflecting liberals' unhappiness over some compromises with conservatives in the party…

Inserted from <LA Times>

Like Durbin, I also wish the bill were different.


rjs said...

from businessweek: The Coming U.S. Doctor Shortage -
Presuming Congress passes some version of a health-care bill and it is signed into law, some 30 million currently uninsured people will suddenly find themselves with access to doctors. But there may not be enough doctors to see them. In 1997, lawmakers placed a cap on the number of medical residencies—hospital training required for all doctors—in order to contain costs under Medicare, which pays for most of these training slots. Today the U.S. is in the grip of a nationwide doctor shortage, brought on by an aging population demanding access to specialists. Medical schools have stepped up to the plate, announcing plans to add 3,000 new positions for first-time students by 2018. But because the residency cap is still in place, these efforts may not be sufficient. The health-care overhaul is certain to compound the problem by flooding doctors' offices with newly empowered medical consumers. "Do the math," says Steven M. Safyer, president and CEO of Montefiore Medical Center in New York. "You give millions more people insurance, and it adds up to a much worse shortage."

TomCat said...

Then we supplement with LPNs for primary care.

rjs said...

i would think that the numbers would imply we would also need more nurses as well...i dont think theres any currently unemployed..

Oso said...

Lot of Mexicanos standing in front of Home Depot looking for work.
Give 'em stethoscopes and lab coats.

rjs said...

Healthcare Stocks EXPLODE Higher After Big Vote On Reform - (chart)
Wow, look at the spike the big healthcare stocks made the morning after the big late night "reform" vote.The gains have moderated a bit, but it kinda tells you all you need to know, doesn't it?

TomCat said...

LOL, Oso!!

RJ, I would attribute that less to what is than to the alleviation of fear over what could have been.

rjs said...

from huffpost: Seeing Public Subsidy (Not Public Option) Investors Flock to Health Insurers -Investors are seeing the Senate's version of health care reform as a massive public subsidy for insurance companies -- and as a result, are sending the sector's stock prices shooting up, up, up. Stripped of a government-run insurance plan, the bill would give tens of millions of Americans no option but to start paying hefty premiums to private companies.