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Obama Invites Gang of Six to the White House

By Shailagh Murray
Six negotiators from the Senate Finance Committee will meet with President Obama Thursday to discuss their fledgling bipartisan health-care bill, White House and Senate sources said.

Obama will encourage the three Republicans and three Democrats to come to terms on a consensus approach, aides said. But talks have grown increasingly fragile in recent days as the GOP steps up its critique of the effort. Democrats are particularly wary about Sens. Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Mike Enzi (Wyo.), the two conservative negotiators, who are counting on other Republican support to materialize. But so far, none of their colleagues have come forward.

Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), the leader of the group, said talks would continue over break and that lawmakers may schedule sessions in other cities. But Obama and Baucus have both warned that Democrats would give up on the Finance talks if a formal agreement isn't reached by Sept. 15.

Other members of the group include moderate Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Democratic Sens. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.)

Posted at 3:39 PM ET on Aug 5, 2009  | Category:  Health Care Health Care
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Que755 9:47AM You have to be the biggest idiot in the country... America's going towards distaster... OMG!!! We are becoming a socialist nation... OMG!! What a joke. First of all there are actually socialist countries in Europe (Sweden is one) and the people there seem pretty freaking happy to me. But you aren't talking socialism really are you QUE? It's code for communism... LMAO I voted for Obama and I will vote for him again. If they pass a healthcare bill and I can lower my premiums by going to a gov't run health insurer. BUDDY SIGN ME FREAKING UP RIGHT NOW!!! The only one's in denial QUE are you. Your in denial that you are a hysterical Goof!! Must be really fun being in your family listening to your "America is going to socialism rants." LMFAO. BTW our healthcare is the most EXPENSIVE in the world but we the people are not getting the best care for how much it cost!! Plus the one's who aren't even covered. It's shameful most powerful country on earth cannot give healthcare to all it's citizens. Reason is very simple... GREED by Private Insurer's. If a company is in it for profits. Why in the world would said company (insurer) want to agree to health treatment that will cost it profit? Ya see... Health Insurers like collecting those premiums but they hate to actually pay off! Kind of a conflict of interest don't ya think QUE? Now if a gov't plan is available it levels the playing field. Listening to rants about gov't taking over healthcare is soo hilarious when their are soo many that hate and distrust the government. They will never sign up for gov't plan. Therefore the pvt plans should continue to have plenty of customers. Sounds like a WIN WIN to me... Oh but we are becoming a socialist nation... OMG!!! LOL

Posted by: tjirish34 | August 6, 2009 6:35 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPKdWjLn4m4
WHITE HOUSE President Obama has announced the three bedrock requirements for real health care reform: Reduce Costs- Rising health care costs are crushing the budgets of governments, businesses, ind...
WHITE HOUSE President Obama has announced the three bedrock requirements for real health care reform: Reduce Costs- Rising health care costs are crushing the budgets of governments, businesses, individuals and families and they must be brought under control. Guarantee Choice-Americans must have the freedom to keep whatever doctor and health care plan they have, or to select a new doctor or health care plan if they choose. Ensure Affordable Care for All- All Americans must have quality and affordable health care. Now we have to show Congress where the American people stand.


Tags: PLEASE HELP PASS THE HEALTHCARE/BILL MR JOES SESTAK SENT ME A VIDEO /PAULEARTHQUAKEMOORE 2153852696

Posted by: earth_quake1 | August 6, 2009 4:40 PM

que55

I will fall for your idiotic post.

Obama wants to take away all of your guns and repeal the 2nd amendment and the 22nd amendment,according to you.

Fine this is the challenge since you made such idiotic suggestions:

I insist on the link to his exact statements where he said specifically he wants to repeal the 2nd and 22nd Amendments and not just your delusional observations. His his press secy Gibbs made in response to that querry:


"This is to serve more - this is for two terms?… I think the president is firmly in support of an amendment that would limit his time in the presidency to eight years if he’s given that awesome responsibility by the American people."

I am a socialist even though deeply involved in the US stock market and believe that corporations need a break in healthcare costs in order to maximize corporate profits.

Moreover, your whacko right wing is ready to repeal 2 obvious socialsit programs, Medicare and Tricare for our Veterans.

And you dare label me as an extremist????


Posted by: leichtman | August 6, 2009 2:16 PM

This is just another mistake our co called founding fathers made when our government was formed.... This so called gang of 6 is if nothing else a pathetic joke when it comes to what "THE PEOPLE WANT" If you take the whole population of all the States these 6 white rich men serve they don't add up to the population of N.Y City... If you take the population form all 6 States they add up to almost NOTHING when it comes to minorities & the working poor....

For Obama to even waste his time with these 6 shows just how screwed up the system really is.... Here we have a man from a City that has more people then all 6 States combined bending over backwards to get their support....

ANYTHING these 6 agree on will NOT BE HEALTH REFORM, it will be MORE MONEY IN THE POCKETS OF THE HEALTH CARE CRIMINALS......

Posted by: MrReal | August 6, 2009 1:36 PM

THE COST OF HEALTH CARE DECREASES AS THE CITIZENS HEALTH IMPROVES. THE COST OF PREVENTIVE HEALTH CANNOT BE MEASURED. FOR EXAMPLE, WE CAN PROJECT HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL SUFFER FROM DIABETES OVER A PERIOD OF TIME AND FACTOR IN THE COST OF TREATMENT, WORK TIME LOST AND COME UP WITH A PRICE.

WHY NOT PROJECT THAT COST BASED ON THE REDUCTION OF THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE GETTING DIABETES BECAUSE OF HEALTHY LIVING BASED ON EARLY INTERVENTION AND HEALTH EDUCATION.

HEALTHY PEOPLE DON'T NEED A HOSPITAL.
UNFORTUNATELY, PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE DOES NOT COVER YOUR HEALTH CARE COST FOR PREVENTION AND EDUCATION AND ONLY PARTIALLY COVER YOU FOR PRIMARY CARE. MANY PEOPLE WHO HAVE EXCELLENT HEALTH INSURANCE, WHEN HAVING A HEALTH ISSUE, ARE REFERRED TO THE HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM, BY THEIR PHYSICIAN EVEN THOUGH HE KNOWS THAT YOUR CONDITION IS NOT A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. EVEN WITH INSURANCE, YOU PAY A PERCENTAGE OF THE COST FOR THE EMERGENCY ROOM WHICH IS MUCH HIGHER THAN A VISIT TO YOUR DOCTORS OFFICE. YOU THEN PAY NOT ONLY YOUR DOCTOR BUT ALL OF THE EMERGENCY ROOM FEES.

YOUR CONGRESS PEOPLE ARE NOT WORKING FOR OUR BEST INTEREST. THEY HAVE ALLOWED OUR PEOPLE TO RANK NUMBER 29 AMONG THE 30 INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS.

Posted by: sm98yth | August 6, 2009 11:17 AM

Leichtman: Go ahead my friend, make fun of my comment...but if Obama continues doing what he is doing to this country, I'll have the last laugh because we will be controlled by him and his thugs and will be in a socialistic country. Deny all you want. Are you aware that he wants to repeals the 22nd amendment of the constitution? Not to mention our 2nd amendment and what they plan to do with that. Go ahead........have a good laugh.

Posted by: Que755 | August 6, 2009 9:59 AM

that's right. According to bubet1 our troops who use and generally like, a government healthcare plan called Tricare, means that they are filled with socialists. You and Senator McCarthy better look into that.

Posted by: leichtman | August 6, 2009 9:52 AM

You all are not facing the reality of all that is coming out of DC...we are going into socialism with this president and you can kiss America as we know it goodbye. Anyone that thinks differently is in total denial. We have the best health care in the world...we need to see catastrophic illness and preexisting illness dealth with and leave the rest alone. Wake up people, we are headed for disaster and the man doesn't care one ounce about any of us...he is a narcissist...and only cares about himself. Look up the word.

Posted by: Que755 | August 6, 2009 9:47 AM

Interesting you should call me a socialist since I am an active stiock market trader, my family works in the corporate world and I constantly post how important healthcare is to increase corporate earnings. In what parallel universe bubettel1 does that make a socialist??

And I want YOU to pay my healthcare? Where in the world does that come from. We are more than financially comfortable but I am not pleased to have to pay close to $2000/month b/c health carriers are upset that I take statin drugs like 75% of the nation.

If wanting sane healthcare policies that don't discriminate b/c of allergies or high collesterol,makes me a socialist then sign me up.

Incidentally bubettel ever hear of Tricare?
Its a government program that I am sure that you and your wingnuts would illiminate, just like Medicare if we put you in charge of Medicare.

Posted by: leichtman | August 6, 2009 9:44 AM

I believe a health care bill will pass congress for the simple reason that if it doesn't, Democratic voter backlash will create a situation similar to the election in 1994.

Posted by: seemstome | August 6, 2009 6:54 AM

Lawmakers have many problems.

How to spend all their bribe money.
How too vote for their insurance corporation masters and make it appear they are trying to pass real health care reform.
How to get reelected in 2010.

You just can't expect them to rush through legislation without addressing the problems.

Posted by: seemstome | August 6, 2009 6:50 AM

THE COMING MASSIVE TAX HIKE ON THE MIDDLE CLASS

To initiate an advance on the lengthy economic turnaround, the joy ride of debt-spending-with-wanton-abandon mindset enjoyed by Bush and continued by Obama must be brought to a close.

Here come the real tax increases on Everybody.

http://pacificgatepost.blogspot.com/2009/08/obama-middle-class-income-tax-increases.html

Posted by: JamesRaider | August 6, 2009 2:49 AM

There is no way the bill favored by the Gang of Six will ever pass the Senate. The Democratic Caucus is committed to public option, and the Gang of Six is simply committed to getting rid of it.

The problem with the Gang of Six's approach is that there are no GOP votes available for their proposal. Enzi and Grassley will not even vote for it, nor will any other member of the GOP caucus with the possible exception of Snowe and Collins. In the case of Snowe, she can be convinced to support a bill containing public option.

Conrad, Baucus, Nelson and Lieberman may talk a good game about filibustering a bill containing public option, but at the end of the day if the President wants the HELP bill passed into law, he will make certain that all members of the Democratic Caucus vote for cloture and allow it to come to the floor.

Posted by: khyber900 | August 6, 2009 1:35 AM

Bubbette1 wrote:
(1) "The State of California is going bankrupt because of unsustainable benefits to government unions."
I live in California. The state is going bankrupt not because of unsustainable benefits to government unions, but because of very poor planning by successive ranks of legislators and govenors.
(2) "free health care for the 42 million"
The current bill (1,018 pages) does not offer free health care. Did you at least read the 40-page synopsis of the bill?
(3) "which is a bogus number"
Actually, most independent experts agree that the number of uninsured in the US is about 47 million people.

Posted by: GrandSchemer | August 6, 2009 12:32 AM

What I appreciate most about the rightwing loons, in no particular order:

1) They are so ignorant that they do not realize that the most appreciated form of healthcare is medicare, which covers nearly 45 million elderly Americans, and is a GOVERNMENT RUN PROGRAM.

2) They are now a regional party and have no shot with the 3 fastest growing segments of American society: (i) Latinos, (ii) blacks, and (iii) those of us under 35.

The Republican party has 2 options, neither of them very good: they either continue to pander to their insane southern white predominantly racist base and pick up a few house seats in 2010 and set themselves up for several decades of being in the significant minority, or they confront their insane base and take some short term pain in order to be electorally viable in the next decade.

Either way, America wins.

Posted by: AjaxtheGreater | August 5, 2009 11:32 PM

gracie11: Agreed. But there is no need to rush through a 1,100 page monster that no one has read or understands. This needs to be debated and not done in the dead of night ending with a 500 page amendment where the democrats are bought off to sign a bill that is in no one's interest. This could also be done in stages to be sure things are working as intended. If Obama and the Democrats do not slow down and engage this rhetoric and public outrage is only going to snowball.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | August 5, 2009 10:12 PM

leichtman and the liberal left socialist loons. You are desperate to have health care passed so that other people can pay your share. GM and many companies are going bankrupt because of the unsustainable union benefits. The State of California is going bankrupt because of unsustainable benefits to government unions. What do the most bankrupt States in the Country have in common. Let's see, unions, government unions, illegal aliens, democratic controlled State Legislatures, more unions, welfare, entitlement programs, and then there are the unions.

GM and Chrysler could have gone to bankruptcy court and gotten rid of the unions and had a shot at success. Time will tell if Obama selling out the taxpayer to protect his bosses at the unions will work out or not.

Meanwhile, free health care for the 42 million, which is a bogus number, is out of reach. The Congress and the Senate are going to have their A$$'s handed to them when they get back to their districts. Let's see all the rah rah after Obama publishes the budget numbers and tax revenues are the lowest since 1932. That year sound familiar to you?

These Spendocrats that have been rubber stamping bills without reading them are going to have a very bad time in 2010.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | August 5, 2009 10:04 PM

As a moderate who would very much appreciate a bipartisan health plan that covers most of the issues we're all concerned about, it amazes me that very few people post about the connection between all the protests at town hall meetings and the insurance industry. If I thought for a minute that these people are showing up on their own volition to express concerns and were willing to listen to answers that they could decide for themselves how to interpret, I'd be more convinced that health care reform is a bad idea. As it is, it is painfully obvious that this is all fed by two of our own worst demons - fear and ignorance.

Posted by: gracie11 | August 5, 2009 9:34 PM

In order to get a public health plan through the senate all you have to do is disguise it a military appropriation. They love those on capitol hill. Have you ever heard of one being voted down?

Posted by: seemstome | August 5, 2009 9:30 PM

PASS REAL, EFFECTIVE healthcare reform that will make Americans and American companies healthier. NOW !

Posted by: leichtman | August 5, 2009 8:30 PM

Bubbette1 and all the crazies on the right want the 48 million uninsurred to turn into 50,60,or 70 million. They don't care as long as they have their's and no matter what their healthcare cost and what the status quo does to American's corporations. Plain and simple our companies cannot compete internationally with healthcare cost rising 15% annually. GM is no longer in the business of making profits by building cars they are in the business of paying for healthcare. And we are told that we have the best healthcare in the world, maybe for some, then why are we below Canada and France in life expectancy and pay 20% more for that privilige? Dems are sick to death of bowing down to bipartisanship. Tell us Rs, what input did the Demcocratic minority have in 2001 when you shoved through your tax cuts or Medicare Part D? As I recall Congressman Hoyer complained they were physically locked out of meeting rooms. When will the right understand that elections have consequences and as Bubbette1 would say we owe you Bubkis. Does anyone in their right mind think that if the tables were turned and Republicans were crafting healthcare reform (that would never happen) that they would pospone hearings for 30 days to give the Ds time to regroup and would act like they couldn't go forward unless Senator Kerry first agreed to its terms. Its time for the Ds in Congress to grow up and realize 1. They won the election of 2008 2. They are in control of Congress and 3. They accomplish absolutely nothing by trying to accomodate R input in healthcare. Except for perhaps Collins and Snowe NONE of them will ever be satisfied or vote for a D healthcare plan no matter how it is crafted unless Rs actually write the legislation. Everyone knows that so they need to stop wasting our time and do what they were elected to do. PASS REAL EFFECTIVE healthcare reform that will make American and American companies healthier. NOW !

Posted by: leichtman | August 5, 2009 8:22 PM

@bobojake

Jesus, dude - can you spell?

Posted by: CTgirl3 | August 5, 2009 7:58 PM

Wow, I really trust this "gang" to come up with a fair plan - Not. Enzi is on record saying that he will not support any bipartisan bill coming from this committee unless Sen Reid, Nancy Pelosi and President Obama GUARANTEE that it will be the same as the final piece of legislation. For serious? I guess elections only have consequences when the victors are crazy Republicans. Also, why should some joker from Wyoming be having such a huge influence - aren't there more cattle and sheep in that state than humans?

Oh and ddnfla - you say that nobody likes a bully. I agree; so maybe you can understand why so many of us were angry with the Bush administration the last 8 years and most of the rest of the world hated us? Also, incidentally, what good ideas have the Republicans come up with re: health care reform? As far as I know, Sen DeMint's plan hasn't been backed by any of his colleagues.

Posted by: CTgirl3 | August 5, 2009 7:54 PM

Looks like the Messiah is just another politician after all. The kool aid drinkers are finally waking up from their fuzzy haze and realizing that the hope and change is the same old Washington strong arm tactics. This White House is doing as it pleases with domestic policies just like the old White House did with foreign policy. To quote The Who, " Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. 2010 and 2012 can't come soon enough!

Posted by: jeiken | August 5, 2009 7:53 PM

If any US Senator or Member of Congress wants to be re-elected in 2010 or 2012,
then we have a message for you,and which is
NO To Obamacare,Now Or Ever! You Vote For
Obamacare And Your Out Of Here And Joining
The Unemployed. Just NO and Not Just NO But Hell NO To Obamacare,Got It Now???

Posted by: redheadclaudine | August 5, 2009 7:30 PM

Look everyone, even the craziest of the crazy rightwingers, knows that President Obama will sign healthcare reform legislation in the 2nd or 3rd week of November, the question now is only whether the bill he signs will be better for insurance companies or American citizens.

Posted by: AjaxtheGreater
_____________

Look up the Yiddish term for Bubkes or Bubkis (goat droppings). Because that is what Obama will have to sign. Obama's health care take-over is dead on the operating table. Stick a colonscope in Obama he is done (take a look for that birth certificate while you are there though).

Every Senator or Congressional Spendocrat is going to have their A$$ handed to them if they have the guts to show their faces to their constituents this recess.

Pelosi, Franks, Reid, Dodds and their ilk will find some upset constituents in 2010. Hopefully we will see the last of them and get them replaced with fiscally responsible candidates Red, Blue or any color in between.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | August 5, 2009 7:27 PM

bobojake is the spirit of the undereducated republican troll.

It's spelled "Phoney", not "Foney"

Posted by: JRM2 | August 5, 2009 7:23 PM

Not a given, but there is probably a long shot chance that a health care bill gets out of committee by recess, especially if it's delayed for clunkers.

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | August 5, 2009 7:22 PM

Remember Jefferson the democrat got convicted today for his crimes. MAYBE OBAMA AND HIS MAFIA BETTER THINK TWICE ON ALL THE FONEY TACTICS THEY ARE USING TO SHOVE ILL CONCEIVED LEGISLATION ON THE VOTER/CITIZENS/TAXPAYERS AND THE FONEY METHODS THEY ARE USED FISH..

Posted by: bobojake | August 5, 2009 7:16 PM

TELL OBAMA TO GO TO Helen Waite. we don't want anymore of his foney fraudulent lies.
KILL OBAMACARE BEFORE IT KILLS AMERICA.

You can't believe a thing coming out of Linda Douglas, obamas' issuer of disinformation(lies) for the obama adminstration. I heard what obama wants to do with no editing Linda. Maybe Linda you should take a refresher course in telling lies and telling the truth.
How about TORT REFORM, TORT REFORM, TORT REFORM, ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
For you obama and chuckie schummmmmmer TORT REFORM IS CONTROLLING THE SLIP AND FALL LAWYERS, I'm sure you both know quite a few of them.
Enforce Immigration Laws on the books already.
With the combination of the 2, Tort Reform and Enforcing Immiigration Laws would reduce Healthcare costs 30% to 60%.
This would happen by lowered malpracice insurance costs both in what is charged to Doctors and Hospitals because of the slippery fall lawyers and we would get Healthcare out of the emergency room for all the illegals.

I really don't believe your lies obama, I heard and saw you in the AFL_CIO meeting propagating your foney fraudulent healthcare myself. Now Linda Douglas before you put out anymore of your lying obama disinformation, you better have figure out we don't like LIARS nor gull darn LIARS

Posted by: bobojake | August 5, 2009 7:13 PM

Whether you're for or against health care reform, nobody will end up getting what they want. In all likelyhood what ends up as law will be unacceptable to the majority of the voters...either too weak or weighted too heavily towards one viewpoint or another. If the people we elected showed through their deliberate approach that they truly wanted the best possible legislation they wouldn't have placed themselves - and us - in this predicament. Letting ALL ideas come up for discussion and accepting Republican input might have helped. But Obama and Pelosi insisted it had to be done RIGHT NOW! The overwhelming majorities at both ends of the Capitol, contributing as it has to the arrogance of power, and its rush to ram something through has certainly backfired on Democrats. Nobody likes a bully.

Posted by: ddnfla | August 5, 2009 6:07 PM

Posted by: DEMOCRATZoORG | August 5, 2009 5:54 PM

The Democrats will be following a very dangerous path if they try to ram health care through without any real consensus behind it. A bill needs essentially all of the Democrats in Congress to support it and at least 50% backing in the country. If the Democrats try to pass a bill by 51 votes in the Senate and less than 50% support for it in the national polls, they are asking for disaster. They would also be making a mockery of the word democrat.

Posted by: dnjake | August 5, 2009 5:21 PM

Yes, the selection of these six are hard to understand based on their small constituencies but that probably wasn't the criterion for selection. I dunno.

If the Gang of Six tries to sell us a coop plan that's run by the insurance industry as some kind of genuine "public option," I doubt that will wash. Surely, they aren't that _________ (your choice).

Posted by: Kelly14 | August 5, 2009 4:56 PM

What's important is that we get the "best" bill ---one which will not raise our taxes now or 10 - 15 years from now. You don't get the best outcome with consensus. This
is B.S.

Posted by: ohioan | August 5, 2009 4:46 PM

Only on the Washington Post comment boards could Olympia Snowe be considered "conservative."

You sir are a lunatic.

Posted by: seraphina | August 5, 2009 4:43 PM

Hmmm, let's see here, you have Enzi (WY) and Grassley (IA) the far right republicans, Snowe (ME), the moderate republican, and Baucus (MT), Bingaman (NM) and Conrad (ND) all conservative democrats. The 6 states represented are 6 of the 9 smallest states in the country and represent less than 3% of America's population.

How exactly is this representative of the congress or the nation as a whole? A group of 6 conservatives, not one left of center amongst them, who represent next to zero Americans in terms of population, and they are the ones going to decide the future of tens of millions of Americans without healthcare and in bankruptcy due to medical bills? Seriously?

Look everyone, even the craziest of the crazy rightwingers, knows that President Obama will sign healthcare reform legislation in the 2nd or 3rd week of November, the question now is only whether the bill he signs will be better for insurance companies or American citizens.

Posted by: AjaxtheGreater | August 5, 2009 4:12 PM

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