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Quietly, Health Care Debate Enters Crucial New Phase

By Ben Pershing
Quick quiz, what was the most important thing that happened in Washington yesterday? Was it a) Sonia Sotomayor endured her second day of confirmation hearings, with both senators' questions and her answers proceeding mostly free of surprise or controversy? Or was it b) A trio of House committees unveiled a $1.2 trillion health care reform bill that would raise taxes on the wealthy, add millions of people to the insurance rolls and transform a significant chunk of the economy?

Of course, Sotomayor is up for a lifetime appointment to the court, so her confirmation is important by default. But while her hearings draw armies of cameras and reporters, the debate over health care is quietly entering a crucial new phase. As The New York Times notes, "After months of setbacks and uncertainty, House Democrats were jubilant as they introduced their proposal." Jonathan Cohn, a much-cited reform advocate, says that while the House bill isn't perfect, "I gave up on perfect quite a while ago. And I'm sure more flaws will emerge as we all have time to give this more scrutiny. ... But within the existing political constraints, it's hard to do imagine a much better bill than this."

Plenty of hurdles remain: House Democrats still face unease within their conservative Blue Dog caucus over the bill's cost and its tax increases, while Senate Democrats are working to reconcile competing visions of reform. The 1,000-plus page House bill, which the Los Angeles Times calls "among the most liberal of several competing blueprints for revamping the system," has little chance of progressing in the Senate. The Wall Street Journal points out that the bill's penalty on companies that don't provide insurance "triggered the sharpest criticism yet from employer groups, who said the burden on small business is too high and doesn't do enough to help them expand insurance coverage." But despite that and other criticisms, the House measure does lay down an important marker for future conference negotiations, particularly since it includes a public insurance option and the eventual Senate bill may not.

Continue reading at Political Browser »

By Ben Pershing  |  July 15, 2009; 8:20 AM ET
Categories:  The Rundown  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Before Obama's First Pitch, a Little Wind Up
Next: POTUS Events: Health Care in Focus

Comments

Republicans don't want a healthcare plan. Just playing obstructionists. There is a related post at http://iamsoannoyed.com/?page_id=588

Posted by: carlyt | July 15, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Note to Bubbette1. Your economics are weak. The savings to the public from lower health care insurance bills will help pay off the consumer debt. The savings to American business in the cost of health care will make us more competitive around the world where other economies pay a fraction of what we do for health. Tax revenues therefore will go up and the cost of health care will be mostly paid for and whatever is left can be paid for by those earning more than three hundred thousand. They made out like bandits with Bush now they simply will repay a portion of that.

Republican economic theory got us into this mess. Why do you keep listening to them? Republicans and their cronies in health care squander 15 to 25 cents of every health insurance dollar you spend. That is money that could be in your pocket. The savings from reform will be greater than that but that is what you can expect in the near term. Why needlessly give away money to the insurers.

I am for reform because I know that it will save me a lot of money over the long term and the only ones who will pay for it over the short term are those that received government assistance during the Bush administration.

Posted by: Gator-ron | July 15, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm impressed. This House bill looks pretty damned good. I think the enthusiastic JackSmith1 is right: fighting for this is well worth it to us all. My husband and I have a small business and we would be thrilled to get the public option, underwritten somewhat by the surtax (which amounts to squat for the wealthy). The very wealthy have raked in the dough for years and especially under Bush. Stop getting led around by the nose ($400 million Rush Limbaugh etc, and other high paid high rollers) and start thinking about your own families. This is important, even life or death, one might say. They'll try to control some of you folks next with the fact that it covers "reproductive health care". You need to stop being controlled, stop wanting to decide what is right for your neighbors, and begin anew. We can decrease abortion numbers significantly if we start to heal our country and educate our people, and create a better society. The cliche: Yes We Can!

Posted by: eatinglowonthefoodchain | July 15, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

THIS IS IT!

The healthcare reform bill released by the House Of Representatives is an excellent bill as I understand it. It is carefully written, and thoughtfully constructed, informed, prudent and wise.

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.

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

SPREAD THE WORD

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

God Bless You

Jack Smith — Working Class

Posted by: JackSmith1 | July 15, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

It has got to be better than the Senate committee version we heard on c-span yesterday which is WORSE than what we have now – subsidizes the insurance co’s w/mandates making us even more captive to them, subsidizes those making under 40K, protects the very rich who already pay only a miniscule portion of their income into healthcare while the middle class pay huge percentages. Makes the system even more complex, inefficient, wasteful and timeconsuming than it is today by letting the insurance companies keep their upperhand and profit motives. And sticking the costs directly on the most productive sector: skilled workers making over 40K and under 100K (and thus also private businesses that hire them and have to pay these overheads as part of salary). If the plan we get doesn’t follow the approach suggested by Obama during campaign: TAKE THE PROFIT OUT OF ESSENTIAL-CARE AND MANAGE IT MUCH MORE EFFICIENTLY, LOWER COSTS ON THE MIDDLE CLASS SO THAT COMPANIES CAN AFFORD TO HIRE US, AND WE CAN AFFORD TO START NEW BUSINESSES and SO THAT WE DON’T LOSE EVERYTHING IF WE GET SICK and therefore are better off to stay poor, you can kiss the middle class and our ability to compete with other countries goodbye.

Posted by: cmnsns | July 15, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Note to Congress. You are broke. We are broke. Stop spending. Cut up the credit cards. Start living within your means. No more too big to fail, no more bail-outs, no more gifts to political cronies.

Focus on the economy and jobs you nimrods.

2010 vote for fiscally responsible candidates Red or Blue.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | July 15, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

WHAT GOOD IS NATIONAL HEALTH CARE WHEN A GOVERNMENT-ENABLED VIGILANTE GESTAPO 'BLACK OP' IS DESTROYING THE LIVES OF UNJUSTLY TARGETED CITIZENS AND THEIR FAMILIES?


***

"Panetta's Box"

THE SECRETIVE SECURITY / MILITARY / INTEL 'MULTI-AGENCY COORDINATED ACTION PROGRAM'...

A NATIONWIDE EXTRAJUDICIAL TARGETING AND 'TORTURE MATRIX'...

...USING COVERTLY IMPLANTED GPS TRACKING DEVICES TO RUIN THE LIVES OF UNJUSTLY TARGETED AMERICANS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

A DOMESTIC 'BLACK OP' THAT HAS CO-OPTED LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT IN EVERY COUNTY IN AMERICA...

...FAR MORE EXTENSIVE THAN AN OVERSEAS CIA 'ASSASSINATION RING'...

...INVOLVING THE WEAPONIZATION OF THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM...

...'DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS' TORTURE OF UNJUSTLY 'TARGETED' AMERICAN CITIZENS...

...AND AN ARRAY OF 'PROGRAMS OF PERSONAL FINANCIAL DESTRUCTION'.


When will Congress and Team Obama wake up and smell the police state they have enabled by their naivete?


http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled:

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 15, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

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