The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


The Rundown

House Now Ground Zero in Health-Care Fight

By Ben Pershing
Most times, regardless of which party is in control of Congress, the dynamic between the two chambers on major bills is the same -- in the House, the majority just rams a bill through, and then the real action and intrigue take place in the Senate. But this week, at least, the House is Ground Zero in the health-care fight, as Senate Democrats have already punted the issue into September while House Democrats struggle to reach consensus within their own ranks.

"When I take this bill to the floor, it will win," Nancy Pelosi said on CNN, without being more specific about the "when" part. At least some Democrats in her chamber would rather not vote before recess unless the Senate Finance Committee does first, and that panel's prospects for a deal remain unclear. President Obama plans more health-care events this week, hoping to keep the pressure on lawmakers as their month-long recess beckons. "August is both a peril and an opportunity," Rahm Emanuel said last week, and the House's actions in the coming days will help determine which of those two descriptions proves apt.

On Saturday, House Democrats got some bad news from the Congressional Budget Office, which found that a proposal for an independent panel designed to rein in Medicare spending would only save $2 billion over 10 years. But then the CBO delivered some rare good news Sunday, judging that the House reform plan would actually increase the number of people who get employer-provided health insurance. This week, the idea du jour for raising money is taxing the most generous, or "gold-plated," health care plans.

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Posted at 8:28 AM ET on Jul 27, 2009  | Category:  The Rundown
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This is what we are up against.
WAPO story.
"The analysis by the Public Campaign Action Fund found that federal lawmakers who voted against proposed reform legislation this year received 65 percent more money from the health and insurance sectors than those who voted 'yes' on the bills. The votes so far have come along party lines, with Republicans aligned against the measures."

Corporations run this country and they run you. Get back to work slaves. We have to pay back that bribe money to the Insurance companies.

Posted by: seemstome | July 28, 2009 6:43 AM

I agree, This Is It! Time to keep the pressure on.. a call for the public to be heard. What is it going to take?

Posted by: Victoria5 | July 28, 2009 1:57 AM


The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It's a bill with a strong, robust, government-run public option, and an intelligent, reasonable initial funding plan to cover almost all of the American people. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise. This bill will save trillions of dollars, and millions of your lives. It is also now supported by the AMA.

This is the type of bill that all Americans can feel good about. And this is the type of bill that has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans. Rich, middle class and poor a like. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and all other party affiliations. This bill has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of life of every American.

The house healthcare bill should be viewed as the minimum GOLD STANDARD by which all other proposed healthcare legislation should be judged. All supporters of true high quality healthcare reform should now place all your support behind this healthcare reform bill released by the United States House Of Representatives, as the minimum Gold standard for healthcare reform in America.

You should all now support this bill with all your might, and all of your unrelenting tenacity. This healthcare bill is a VERY, VERY GOOD! bill for all of the American people. Fight tooth, and nail for every bit of this bill if you have too. Be aggressive, creative, and relentless for this bill.

From this time forward, go BIGGER and DEEPER with the American people every day until passage of healthcare reform with a robust, government-run public option.

FIGHT!! like your life and the lives of your loved ones depends on it. BECAUSE IT DOES!


Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | July 27, 2009 12:52 PM


How about this compromise. I can understand your desire that every American have health insurance. I won't even quibble for now with the false assumptions behind some of this rationale, let's just go with it. But why do all of the Democrat bills insist that this "mandatory coverage" cover everything, including every single trip to a doctor's office?

Why not just make the "mandatory coverage" a catastrophic policy, and then if individuals want to pay a fee-for-service for regular checkups and such, let them. Or, if an employer wants to offer their employees a better health plan as a benefit to attract top-talent, then let them. Or, if an individual (e.g., self-employed) wants to buy a better plan than required by law, let them and don't tax their decision. I thought Democrats were all about 'freedom of choice', after all (another false pretense, I know...).

In my state (and most others, I believe), we are required by law to carry auto insurance if we drive a car. But we are only required to carry a minimum level of liability/catastrophic insurance. If the current Democrat plans for health care were carried over to the auto insurance industry, we would be required by law to carry insurance that covers everything down to oil changes and tire rotations. THAT is what makes this insurance (and the Democrat plans for me to pay for it via taxes) so expensive!

So I'm willing to accept a law that requires 100% participation in mandatory coverage for health insurance, if the Democrats and leftists on the board are willing to scale down their demands that mandated health care insurance plans cover everything. Any 'mandatory coverage' required by law should only be for catastrophic coverage. Fair?

Posted by: dbw1 | July 27, 2009 10:07 AM

In the meantime, what is our President and Congress doing to help the 52 million unemployed workers in our country?

The 'stimulus' has only added, what, 200,000 jobs, give or take? Why are they failing so badly in putting our 52 million unemployed back to work?

Posted by: dbw1 | July 27, 2009 9:49 AM

How many people who are opposing the Health Care Reform bill are unable to get affordable health insurance, either privately or through their employer? Health Insurance costs for those of us who have it, plus health care costs for those who don't are undermining our economy. There has to be a change if we are going to get out of this economic hole.

Posted by: cathyb4 | July 27, 2009 9:47 AM

I have yet to see a single reporter or columnist of a major press outlet dare to ask a simple question: why do no Democrat plans contain anything to address skyrocketing costs due to malpractice lawsuits? I mean, even if you think our system needs major government-dictated reform, wouldn't that include at least something that addresses malpractice lawsuits?

I would think even the most left-leaning columnist would at least be brave enough to ask the question. Or are they so far in sync with the Democrats that even the press knows the bills parading through Congress have zero to do with reforming our health care system, and everything to do with politics?

Posted by: dbw1 | July 27, 2009 9:47 AM

The vaunted Blue Dogs are much closer to the president and Pelosi on health care than the do-nothing approach taken by the GOP.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 27, 2009 9:42 AM

There are four parts to the health reform (regulation, mandates, subsidies and competition) in all Democratic versions, and because the reform can not work with only one of those parts, killing one part will destroy the Health reform and our ability to slow future cost increases.

Now Blue Dog Democrats claim to be concerned about costs, but their demands would harm cost control.

Strong Regulation means laws against insurance companies using their "pre-existing condition" excuse to deny coverage based on their interpretation, or any interpretation, of your medical history, or, when you file a claim, deciding to not allow you to renew coverage, thereby covering only the healthy among us.

Mandates prevent the "anti-selection" risk that insurance companies now use to justify their use of the "pre-existing condition" excuse to deny coverage - with mandates those not feeling ill would still need to buy insurance - they could not wait until they felt ill. The mandates currently include rules that require all but the smallest businesses to provide their employees with insurance, or to pay a penalty that will go to cover the cost of the plan.

Mandates for the poor and lower middle class are impossible if there are no subsidies toward the cost of the insurance, and the cost of the reform is the cost of these subsidies. So why are the Blue Dogs against mandates when the alternative is simply giving welfare checks to the insurance companies (subsidies simply allow the insurance companies to increase premiums if there is no mandate) with no cost savings to the system?

Cost control in the plan is centered around a government-run insurance plan competing with private insurers, the "public option" that acts as a control on bad insurance company behavior. So why are the cost-control motivated Blue Dogs against the public option - demanding it not take effect except after a "trigger like the one in the Medicare drug benefit" law is activated? We know that that Drug law trigger was successfully designed to never "trigger" anything - so this is just a way to kill the health reforms one effective cost control in the plan (the Blue Dogs also want an independent board to determine Medicare claim payment rates subject to an override by Congress, but CBO says this saves only a few 10's of billion over the 10 years). Indeed the Blue Dogs demand higher than average payments to the health care services providers in their low cost rural areas, making the health reform even more costly.

When a politician has an illogical position that he sells with buzz word slogans that lie about the effect of his position, the odds are that he is simply defending special interests that give contributions to him. Will the Blue Dogs sell Obama and the Democratic Party out for insurance company dollars?

Posted by: papau | July 27, 2009 9:34 AM

The more Pelosi states anything categorical the more people naturally want to oppose her. Since this Health Care bill rations medical treatment, destroys the nation's finances; proposes Affirmative Action admissions to medical schools, lets lawyers decide how medicine is practiced; lowers employment;rises taxes for everyone;puts the most helpless into death counseling and euthanasia; ObamaCare is crap proposed by a "Slim Shady" racist hustler from Chicago. If the proposed legislation isn't good enough for "Stone Face" Pelosi or the rest of the crooks it isn't good enough for any Americans.

Posted by: sperrico | July 27, 2009 9:31 AM




• President Obama must dismantle the nationwide GPS-activated extrajudicial targeting and punishment "torture matrix" and remove from power the federal officials who continue to oversee it.

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 27, 2009 9:25 AM

That's assuming that Obama is even a natural-born citizen and can legally sign any healthcare bill into law.

Posted by: JakeD | July 27, 2009 9:11 AM

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