Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It’s Too Soon to Tell

No doubt you’ve heard that the Senate Democrats have cut a deal under which the public option would takre effect only if Big Insurance doesn’t deliver.

Reid2 After days of secret talks, Senate Democrats tentatively agreed Tuesday night to drop a government-run insurance option from sweeping health care legislation, several officials said, a concession to party moderates whose votes are critical to passage of President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.

In its place, officials said Democrats had tentatively settled on a private insurance arrangement to be supervised by the federal agency that oversees the system through which lawmakers purchase coverage. Additionally, the emerging agreement calls for Medicare to be opened to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55, a significant expansion of the large government health care program that currently serves the 65-and-over population.

At a hastily called evening news conference in the Capitol, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., declined to provide details of what he described as a "broad agreement" between liberals and moderates on an issue that has plagued Democrats' efforts to pass health care legislation from the outset… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Raw Story>

My first reaction is to feel very, very angry.  However, I’m going to bite my tongue and refrain from making any suggestions about what Harry Reid might do his nether regions with a cactus.  Before I should render an opinion, I need to know exactly what’s in this deal.

On a more positive front, The Ben Nelson Coat-hanger Amendment went down.

abortion amendment The US Senate on Tuesday rejected an anti-abortion amendment to a health care reform bill, splitting the Democrats and complicating the chances of getting a 60-vote majority to pass the measure.

The amendment barring federal funds from being used to pay for abortion, directly or indirectly, was defeated by a 54-45 vote.

It was supported by Democrats Robert Casey and Ben Nelson, author of the amendment, and eight Republican senators, including amendment co-author Orrin Hatch.

Nelson's measure would prohibit Americans who receive government subsidies to pay for health care from buying into an insurance plan that covers abortion, and would ban a government-backed insurance plan popularly known as a "public option" from covering the procedure.

The measure includes exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or where a doctor certifies that the woman is "in danger of death unless an abortion is performed."

Tuesday's vote could complicate Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to muster the 60-vote margin needed to pass the health care bill before the end of the year.

Some lawmakers have already said they will not vote in favor of the reform legislation unless it includes an anti-abortion measure…

Inserted from <Raw Story>

I’ll pass along the names of the DINOs who voted for it when I have them.

In closing, here’s the the health care plan of the man voted by Republicans as the most influential man in their party.


Infidel753 said...

Far too soon to tell. For one thing, the public option is still in the House version and the two would need to be reconciled.

The limited Medicare expansion could play the same role as a limited public option would have done: if it helps people, it will create political pressure to expand it further and make it available to more people, eventually to everyone.

Also, the Medicare expansion would be available in 2010, not 2014. Anything that won't take effect for four years is highly dubious -- that's just four years for the insurance companies to scheme and bribe legislators to get it canceled.

the walking man said...

Personally if I was rush making 30+million per year I wouldn't live in a bungalow either. But then if I were the in the legislature I would find a way to ensure that rush etal didn't keep that 30 million either.

Medicare for all is the only real reform that works and if people want to opt out for some private insurance cool feel free. I don't know any single doctor that is solely a medicare practitioner.

rjs said...

itll just be a stimulus bill for the insurance industry...when all is said and done, and all the palms are greased, the 40 million or so uninsured will be delivered lock, stock and barrel to them at the taxpayers expense; did you expect anything different?

Joe "Truth 101" Kelly said...

Howard Dean liked this bill so I'm willing to not rip on it. Looks like we dodged another attempted use of abortion to cloud and screw things up.

Cellophane Queen said...

Well, good for William Shatner! I'm amazed at what good sense he's showing.

Nevertheless, Limpig hasn't a clue, but he's one of those "so sure of himself" people that his sheeples follow along. Bah bah bah humbug!

We're never going to get what's best. Settling for 3rd or 4th or 5th best is all we can do as long as we allow corporations to own politicians.

Lisa G. said...

If abortion is out, then so are penile implants and Viagra, et. al. One or the other boys, make up your minds already. Nelson is a first class asshole; last time I checked abortion is legal in the US. If you keep that out of insurance (oh, btw, has the RNC taken that out of their policies yet; no, well then SO SORRY asswipes), then you will have about 10M women pounding on your door. Sounds like fun eh? anyone up for a road trip to DC?

No public option - totally blows. They still won't get their 60 needed to pass even without it. I am not optimistic.

Oh, and yeah, I'm in a foul mood today!

TomCat said...

Infidel, I understand it would be 2011, not 2010.

Mark, those are excellent points. See my top article today.

RJ, we'll see what it is when it's on the table.

Truth, I'm glad the Nelson Amendment was defeated. We still need to keep it out during conference.

Marva, he's going where 'no man has gone before.' ;-)

Lisa, it's the ban on abortion that was defeated. Medicare does not cover Viagra. :-( I'm still in wait and see mode, but see today's second article.

rjs said...

not that my opinion needs any support, tomcat, but robert reich seems to agree with me: Private Health Insurers Are on the Way to Controlling Health Care - The public option is dead, killed by a handful of senators from small states who are mostly bought off by Big Insurance and Big Pharma or intimidated by these industries' deep pockets and power to run political ads against them. To provide political cover to senators who want to tell their constituents that the intent behind a robust public option lives on, the emerging Senate bill makes Medicare available to younger folk (age 55), and lets people who aren't covered by their employers buy in to a system that's similar to the plan that federal employees now have But we still end up with a system that's based on private insurers that have no incentive whatsoever to control their costs or the costs of pharmaceutical companies and medical providers. If you think the federal employee benefit plan is an answer to this, think again. Its premiums increased nearly 9 percent this year. And if you think an expanded Medicare is the answer, you're smoking medical marijuana.

TomCat said...

RJ, I'm not disagreeing with you. I'm just not going to condemn it until I see what's really there in black and white. When I do, I will still fight to make it better, although I already know it won't be what I want, which is single-payer. But in the end I will support it, if it is any improvement at all over what we have now.

rjs said...

heres something else i ran into this morning...Health care loophole would allow coverage limits - A loophole in the Senate health care bill would let insurers place annual dollar limits on medical care for people struggling with costly illnesses such as cancer, prompting a rebuke from patient advocates.The legislation that originally passed the Senate health committee last summer would have banned such limits, but a tweak to that provision weakened it in the bill now moving toward a Senate vote.As currently written, the Senate Democratic health care bill would permit insurance companies to place annual limits on the dollar value of medical care, as long as those limits are not "unreasonable." The bill does not define what level of limits would be allowable...

TomCat said...

Ummmm... RJ, before trying to convince me with this, you might want to read my 3rd article today, entitled 'Loophole' posted over seven hours ago.