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Health-care talks resume among Democratic leaders in Congress

By Shailagh Murray
Democratic leaders in Congress launched a final round of health-care talks Tuesday, pledging to overcome their remaining differences with the aim of sending a bill to President Obama before his State of the Union address in late January or early February.

The legislative overhaul of the nation's health-care system stands closer to enactment than any similar effort in nearly 100 years. But before Democrats can claim victory, major policy gaps must be bridged.

Key House and Senate negotiators have little room to maneuver, given the narrow margins of support for the legislation in both chambers. Conservative and liberal Democrats both remain wary that the bill will shift too much away from their positions. And party leaders haven't even settled on a process for resolving the remaining disputes.

Last month, Democratic leaders weighed a fast-track alternative to the traditional House-Senate conference committee. The informal approach would still require House and Senate passage but eliminates the potential delays of holding an official conference. But some House liberals rebelled, fearing that they would lose their ability to influence the final bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) told reporters Tuesday that "no decision" had been made about a conference committee. One of her leadership deputies, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), said of the fast-track approach, "It's not clear whether or not that's going to happen yet."

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs defended the idea. "The president is anxious to get the differences worked out and get a bill to both houses and passed out of them," Gibbs said Tuesday at the daily White House press briefing.

Whatever the format, House and Senate negotiators are expected to hold daily meetings and conference calls for the duration. Early Tuesday afternoon, Pelosi (Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) huddled with House committee chairmen to review the major unresolved issues. Later in the day, they were expected to confer with Obama at the White House, joined via telephone by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) and Majority Whip Richard Durbin (Ill.).

Among the differences that must be reconciled:

-- The House would create a federally funded insurance option, and the Senate would not; and

-- The House would create a national insurance exchange, while the Senate would take a state-by-state approach to such an exchange.

The public option remains a top priority for liberals, but Reid tried and failed before Christmas to secure the needed 60 Senate votes in support of such a plan.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Pelosi suggested a public option wasn't the only way to guarantee competition and affordable premiums. "There are other ways to do that, and we look forward to having those discussions as we reconcile the bill," she said.

The new insurance exchanges have the potential to transform the private health-insurance market, by serving the millions of families and individuals who do not have access to affordable health coverage through their employers. But the House and Senate envision them differently.

Other major sticking points, as outlined in an 11-page chart compiled by House negotiators, are on the revenue side. The Senate bill would impose a 40 percent excise tax on the most generous health plans, whereas the House would levy a 5.4 percent income surtax on individuals earning more than $500,000 per year. Negotiators said that, despite the protests of many rank-and-file Democrats, the House may accept a version of the "Cadillac" tax, provided it exempts union households.

By Shailagh Murray  |  January 5, 2010; 5:51 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Health Care  
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Comments

Attention all Washington Post readers. I don’t know why there are not more people screaming out about what may happen over the next week or so. We understand, again through rumors, that Mr. Obama himself, Senate Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and their chosen few are going to meet in secret, and try to hammer out a health care bill that the majority of the American people don’t want.

AND further, it has only gotten this far because of outright BRIBERY to 13 Senators; and the final insult to us all was the blatant and admitted BRIBERY to Senator Nelson of Nebraska to the tune of some $100 Million dollars per year, that none other of the 49 states gets. Are we here in America going to let that stand? It’s up to us folks. We need to ramp up some serious hard ball rhetoric and hard ball politics, or we are going to have this thing shoved right in our face. Right now, it’s up to us.

Posted by: CommonSense12 | January 7, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

james40926 - Keep trying maybe you'll get everything spelled out correctly. Unfortunately your english is a big whacked but, you have a right to spout your drivel too.

Posted by: AmzgGrce | January 6, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

"I'll be switch to Libertarian or Green Party after this. The Dems just proved to me we have a one party system now? It's called tyhe Sold Out to Lobbist Party.
Posted by: james40926"

Bill Clinton and his party were the original lobbyist party. Unlike any other. Obama is a Clinton disciple and is following his lead.

The only difference between Democrats and Republicans is that when they create programs and entitlements for big business, Democrats create protections for big unions and abortionists and Republicans small business owners.

Posted by: cprferry | January 5, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

OMG. Carl Rove just shoved it so far up Robert Gibb's #ss that a full body scan won't perceive it. It, of course, was Gibb's failure to answer why the administration failed to follow through on their promise to show Congressional health care deliberations and closed-door conference meetings on C-SPAN. Way to go, Carl!

Posted by: magellan1 | January 5, 2010 10:50 PM | Report abuse

So what do YOU have to hide Botox Pelosi and Senile Reid ???

......from the U.S. Taxpayers that pay for YOUR salary and Private Jets !!!

The same VOTERS/Taxpayers/Citizens that YOU want to mandate their participation in YOUR little proposed Healthcare Bill !!!

The same VOTERS/Taxpayers/ Citizens that YOU will mandate that WE pay for this irresponsible Legislation !!!

Nice to FINALLY see YOUR blatant position that YOU really could just care less !!!

See YOU both in NOV. 2010 and NOV. 2012 for a one way, Commercial Airplane Ticket back home !!!

Posted by: thgirbla | January 5, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to the Democrats in figuring out how to make insurance premiums they will force us to pay "affordable", WITHOUT REGULATING WHAT THE PHARMACEUTICAL AND MEDICAL SERVICES INDUSTRIES CHARGE.

Take these examples which our family, uninsured because we have pre-existing hereditary medical conditions, have paid in the last few weeks:

$64 at Walgreens for prescription cough medicine for our 4 year old

$98 for 3 month supply of Tizanidine which we could buy from Canadian pharmacies for $39

$375 per month for Lantis insulin required by Type 1 diabetics

$1235 for blood tests at Quest Diagnostic Laboratories ordered each time I visit my neurotic physician, who insists on the tests based on what she was taught to do in her Family Pratice residency at a nationally prominent hospital. Her most recent, brilliant medical advice based on the blood tests: Take more Vitamin D.

The medical "industry" in the United States is controlled by lunatic doctors who have no concept of controlling costs, and by price gouging corporations running medical testing labs, pharmaceutical manufacturers and hospitals.

The "compromises" proposed by the Senate are ludicrous. Without placing all Americans in a cost-controlled program like Medicare, this program is going to be doomed to failure.

If anyone has bothered to check, in Massachusetts, which has this "mandatory" private medical insurance program, the annual premium for a family of 3 with pre-existing conditions is approximately $24,000 per year. That is a pretty tough Federal mandate to swallow when one is only earning $32,000 per year.

Posted by: Jennifer555 | January 5, 2010 10:40 PM | Report abuse

I have to say that most of the comments on here from Republicans are just stupid. This healthcare bill has been written by the Insurance Lobbist mostly republican.

I for one as a Dem can't believe mandated insurance is what we are going to get after the Dem party ran on getting us Universal healthcare.

I'll be switching to Libertarian or Green Party after this. The Dems just proved to me we have a one party system now? It's called tyhe Sold Out to Lobbist Party.

Posted by: james40926

--------------------------------------

Amazing just amazing. You are blaming this insurance / big pharma give away bill on the Republicans?? LMAO I am surprised you didn't figure out a way to squeeze in a couple of George Bush's

Posted by: Straightline | January 5, 2010 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Suck it up democrats....Pass Tort Reform Only...

Each tax payer (The 40% of citizens who pay tax) can’t afford any more tax...

Each of us, already pay for a car we can't drive....

Each of us, already pay for a house we can't live in....

Posted by: UpAndOver | January 5, 2010 10:33 PM | Report abuse

The only real gain to come from this massive bill is that it will wake up the young voters in this country. When they have to fork over their party money for insurance, they will want to know why. The answer: the Democrats.
What can they do about it.
Vote against the Democrats (Not necessarily Republican)

Posted by: johntu | January 5, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I have to say that most of the comments on here from Republicans are just stupid. This healthcare bill has been written by the Insurance Lobbist mostly republican.

I for one as a Dem can't believe mandated insurance is what we are going to get after the Dem party ran on getting us Universal healthcare.

I'll be switching to Libertarian or Green Party after this. The Dems just proved to me we have a one party system now? It's called tyhe Sold Out to Lobbist Party.

Posted by: james40926 | January 5, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

C'mon Botox "The Liar" Pelosi and Senile Reid.......

...........take C-Span up on their offer !!!

Don't you have a pair between YOU ???

Posted by: thgirbla | January 5, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

The irony is that this repulsive backroom dealing partisan power grab will be Obama's Waterloo.

Might as well get out the l'orange sauce for this lame duck. Cause nothing else that means anything to the liberals is going to get done...nothing at all. Of course that is a good thing. What liberals want has never been good for the country.

Hope this insurance, pharma, reform was earthshaking enough to use ALL of his political capital because it will be his legacy

The American people are NOT happy with the lies and underhanded, super shady process that the Democrats have engaged into keep the American people in the dark.

After this "bill" passes and America finds out just how ugly it really is..and they will...its not just bye bye democrats...its back to irrelevance for the so called progressive's.

Posted by: Straightline | January 5, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I have to say that most of the comments on here from Republicans are just stapid. This healthcare bill has been written by the Insurance Lobbist mostly republican.

I for one as a Dem can't believe mandated insurance is what we are going to get after the Dem party ran on getting us Universal healthcare.

I'll be switch to Libertarian or Green Party after this. The Dems just proved to me we have a one party system now? It's called tyhe Sold Out to Lobbist Party.

Posted by: james40926 | January 5, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Check your health insurance premium today...you will see it rise significantly when this bill is passed. Not just the 250K "rich" people...EVERYONE will get a higher bill....The Dem Libs are solely responsible for it...the Republican leadership has no fingerprints on this corpse. Remember in November.

Posted by: powerange | January 5, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Maryland's state health insurance plan (MHIP) is not affordable for those who need it the most - the working poor. A public option would not be cheap or cheap enough to help those who truly need it.

Virginia offers no saftey nets at all and even less supports for poor residents. Virginia would definitely "opt out" as they have all along.

This is all just to let Obama make a speech and pat himself on the back for doing nothing for nobody except himself.

Posted by: mgd1 | January 5, 2010 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Hey Maddog get a rabies shot, hope its not to late.
Senator Dorgan steps aside just missing the train. How many others will fail to see the light? How many members of congress where afraid to show their faces in public in their districts during the holidays?

After they are thrown out they will not be able to retire in their own districts, they would have to face the music sometime.

STOP OBAMACARE NOW

Posted by: snealjohn | January 5, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

the democrats are lying, dilusional communists.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended Congress' work on a healthcare bill Tuesday saying the process has displayed historic transparency, just as C-SPAN mounts an effort to open the negotiations.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | January 5, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his comrades can't be transparent! In their Orwellian doublespeak, they'll promise "transparency," but how can they be transparent about the SCAMS they are perpetrating against the American people?

Most Americans knew about the dangers of Marxists like Obama and Marxist SCAMS like Obamacare before our enemies managed to dumb down many Americans through a substandard and politicized education as per the warnings of Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6KUDv1wzraWhwl Bt1

Here's a 1948 cartoon about a Marxist like Obama and Marxist scams like Obamacare: http://nationaljuggernaut.blogspot.com/2009/09/t his-cartoon-seemed-far-fetched-in-1948.html

Posted by: AntonioSosa | January 5, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Q. What is transparent about Obama, Pelosi, and Reid?

A. The part of their brain that is supposed to have common sense and a moral compass!

Posted by: georgiarat | January 5, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Its a halfway bill not addressing what is actually happening with for profit health care delivery. Specialists earn more than GPs, so they apply to med. school at 4-1 when the world has a 2-1 GP to specialist ratio. An MRI costs over $1000 here and under $100 in the second largest economy in the world Japan. We pay 4x the price of other countries for the most widely used cholesterol drug in the world. More than 2/3 of all health care costs are paid by the government. A 950 billion medicare/medicaid bill, veteran's health care, government employee plans make the government the largest consumer of healthcare. What work is paying doctors salaries and non-profit facilities like veterans care and the many non-profit clinics around the country. Expanding the Veteran's care to include all municipals and non-profits to provide the medicare/medicaid bill would reduce costs by 20% considering profit and the 10% fraud/waste in medicare/medicaid. Keeping both funding streams would allow the excess put into medicare to pay for 30 years of life expectancy of the boomers. Re-import of drugs will stop the price gouging here in the states. Tort reform of the innocent get their costs paid would stop nearly all the ambulance chasing and defensive medicine. Doctors should self insure nationally, with boards to call doctors on the carpet that undertest or have poor outcomes due to procedures and to set rates by outcomes and peer review voting. Lets face it doctors know better than the public or insurers whom is poor good or great and rates should be set accordingly. We spend billions on readmitted or admitted from nursing homes because of poor care. Church run nursing homes and homecare via population ratio grants would allow lower home costs, with far less litigation. A public option can first start with families of veterans and eventually be expanded into some sort of public option. There will be flaws in any undertaking of this size but some needed parts should be in this bill. I call on the Democratic party to honor the 30 years of service received from Senator Dorgan and put re-import of drugs into the bill.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 5, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

So, will we get to watch or did BHO lie?

Posted by: BenLaGuer | January 5, 2010 8:10 PM | Report abuse

Its a halfway bill not addressing what is actually happening with for profit health care delivery. Specialists earn more than GPs, so they apply to med. school at 4-1 when the world has a 2-1 GP to specialist ratio. An MRI costs over $1000 here and under $100 in the second largest economy in the world Japan. We pay 4x the price of other countries for the most widely used cholesterol drug in the world. More than 2/3 of all health care costs are paid by the government. A 950 billion medicare/medicaid bill, veteran's health care, government employee plans make the government the largest consumer of healthcare. What work is paying doctors salaries and non-profit facilities like veterans care and the many non-profit clinics around the country. Expanding the Veteran's care to include all municipals and non-profits to provide the medicare/medicaid bill would reduce costs by 20% considering profit and the 10% fraud/waste in medicare/medicaid. Keeping both funding streams would allow the excess put into medicare to pay for 30 years of life expectancy of the boomers. Re-import of drugs will stop the price gouging here in the states. Tort reform of the innocent get their costs paid would stop nearly all the ambulance chasing and defensive medicine. Doctors should self insure nationally, with boards to call doctors on the carpet that undertest or have poor outcomes due to procedures and to set rates by outcomes and peer review voting. Lets face it doctors know better than the public or insurers whom is poor good or great and rates should be set accordingly. We spend billions on readmitted or admitted from nursing homes because of poor care. Church run nursing homes and homecare via population ratio grants would allow lower home costs, with far less litigation. A public option can first start with families of veterans and eventually be expanded into some sort of public option. There will be flaws in any undertaking of this size but some needed parts should be in this bill. I call on the Democratic party to honor the 30 years of service received from Senator Dorgan and put re-import of drugs into the bill.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 5, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Come on Washington Post, do your job on open meetings...demand that all negotiations wbe televised so, as Obama said during his campaign, that the American public can see what their representative is saying about health care reform.

Posted by: tonyjm | January 5, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Its a halfway bill not addressing what is actually happening with for profit health care delivery. Specialists earn more than GPs, so they apply to med. school at 4-1 when the world has a 2-1 GP to specialist ratio. An MRI costs over $1000 here and under $100 in the second largest economy in the world Japan. We pay 4x the price of other countries for the most widely used cholesterol drug in the world. More than 2/3 of all health care costs are paid by the government. A 950 billion medicare/medicaid bill, veteran's health care, government employee plans make the government the largest consumer of healthcare. What work is paying doctors salaries and non-profit facilities like veterans care and the many non-profit clinics around the country. Expanding the Veteran's care to include all municipals and non-profits to provide the medicare/medicaid bill would reduce costs by 20% considering profit and the 10% fraud/waste in medicare/medicaid. Keeping both funding streams would allow the excess put into medicare to pay for 30 years of life expectancy of the boomers. Re-import of drugs will stop the price gouging here in the states. Tort reform of the innocent get their costs paid would stop nearly all the ambulance chasing and defensive medicine. Doctors should self insure nationally, with boards to call doctors on the carpet that undertest or have poor outcomes due to procedures and to set rates by outcomes and peer review voting. Lets face it doctors know better than the public or insurers whom is poor good or great and rates should be set accordingly. We spend billions on readmitted or admitted from nursing homes because of poor care. Church run nursing homes and homecare via population ratio grants would allow lower home costs, with far less litigation. A public option can first start with families of veterans and eventually be expanded into some sort of public option. There will be flaws in any undertaking of this size but some needed parts should be in this bill. I call on the Democratic party to honr the 30 years of service received from Senator Dorgan and put re-import of drugs into the bill.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 5, 2010 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"Yes we can"
"Change"
"We will broadcast those healthcare negotiations on CSPAN so Americans can see...."

Alas, no we can't. There must be much to be proud of in those closed door negotiations. The man who declared CSPAN openess with arrogant confidence stands silent tonight as, in darkness, Congress robs taxpayers of their hard earned wages to bribe corrupt politicians from moderate states. The buying of votes to pass a bill that cannot stand on principle or in open negotiation. Citizens of Nebraska saw their corrupt senator for what he was. A man devoid of integrity who accepted the premise that all other states should fund his state's medicaid program...for ever. And the esteemed senator from Louisianna, who prostituted her credibility by accepting a $300,000,000 bribe for her vote. I wonder who else now accepts taxpayer funded bribes behind closed doors in purchasing a yes vote? So Mr President, Speakers of the House and Senate, as you bribe your way to a final vote, please know that you represent all that is wrong in this country. For the party of Robert Kennedy functions as a state sponsored Mafia, with all the dishonor that comes with bribery, deception, and patent corruption.

Posted by: donchew1 | January 5, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Obama and his comrades can't be transparent! In their Orwellian doublespeak, they'll promise "transparency," but how can they be transparent about the SCAMS they are perpetrating against the American people?

Most Americans knew about the dangers of Marxists like Obama and Marxist SCAMS like Obamacare before our enemies managed to dumb down many Americans through a substandard and politicized education as per the warnings of Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/k6KUDv1wzraWhwl Bt1

Here's a 1948 cartoon about a Marxist like Obama and Marxist scams like Obamacare: http://nationaljuggernaut.blogspot.com/2009/09/t his-cartoon-seemed-far-fetched-in-1948.html

Posted by: AntonioSosa | January 5, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

"Yes we can"
"Change"
"We will broadcast those healthcare negotiations on CSPAN so Americans can see...."

Alas, no we can't. There must be much to be proud of in those closed door negotiations. The man who declared CSPAN openess with arrogant confidence stands silent tonight as, in darkness, Congress robs taxpayers of their hard earned wages to bribe corrupt politicians from moderate states. The buying of votes to pass a bill that cannot stand on principle or in open negotiation. Citizens of Nebraska saw their corrupt senator for what he was. A man devoid of integrity who accepted the premise that all other states should fund his state's medicaid program...for ever. And the esteemed senator from Louisianna, who prostituted her credibility by accepting a $300,000,000 bribe for her vote. I wonder who else now accepts taxpayer funded bribes behind closed doors in purchasing a yes vote? So Mr President, Speakers of the House and Senate, as you bribe your way to a final vote, please know that you represent all that is wrong in this country. For the party of Robert Kennedy functions as a state sponsored Mafia, with all the dishonor that comes with bribery, deception, and patent corruption.

Posted by: donchew1 | January 5, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Q - What was the primary accomplishment of welfare reform?

A - It caused many higher paid employees to lose their jobs and helped to keep wages low for all. Both as a result of the excess labor pool created.

Keeping wages low is a principle function of capitalism even if it means non-welfare people take the hit.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Q - What was the primary accomplishment of welfare reform?

A - It caused many higher paid employees to lose their jobs and helped to keep wages low for all. Both as a result of the excess labor pool created.

Keeping wages low is a principle function of capitalism even if it means non-welfare people take the hit.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Q - What was the primary accomplishment of welfare reform?

A - It caused many higher paid employees to lose their jobs and helped to keep wages low for all. Both as a result of the excess labor pool created.

Keeping wages low is a principle function of capitalism even if it means non-welfare people take the hit.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Q - What was the primary accomplishment of welfare reform?

A - It caused many higher paid employees to lose their jobs and helped to keep wages low for all. Both as a result of the excess labor pool created.

Keeping wages low is a principle function of capitalism even if it means non-welfare people take the hit.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Ok Dems, close the doors, hammer out the details and get the job done! No more playing nice. Shut the party of NO completely out and do the job you were sent to do. No TV, just a distraction, just the work.

Posted by: Observer001 | January 5, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Q - What was the primary accomplishment of welfare reform?

A - It caused many higher paid employees to lose their jobs and helped to keep wages low for all. Both as a result of the excess labor pool created.

Keeping wages low is a principle function of capitalism even if it means non-welfare people take the hit.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Q - What was the primary accomplishment of welfare reform?

A - It caused many higher paid employees to lose their jobs and helped to keep wages low for all. Both as a result of the excess labor pool created.

Keeping wages low is a principle function of capitalism even if it means non-welfare people take the hit.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Q - What was the primary accomplishment of welfare reform?

A - It caused many higher paid employees to lose their jobs and helped to keep wages low for all. Both as a result of the excess labor pool created.

Keeping wages low is a principle function of capitalism even if it means non-welfare people take the hit.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Q - What was the primary accomplishment of welfare reform?

A - It caused many higher paid employees to lose their jobs and helped to keep wages low for all. Both as a result of the excess labor pool created.

Keeping wages low is a principle function of capitalism even if it means non-welfare people take the hit.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Q - What was the primary accomplishment of welfare reform?

A - It caused many higher paid employees to lose their jobs and helped to keep wages low for all. Both as a result of the excess labor pool created.

Keeping wages low is a principle function of capitalism even if it means non-welfare people take the hit.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Q - What was the primary accomplishment of welfare reform?

A - It caused many higher paid employees to lose their jobs and helped to keep wages low for all. Both as a result of the excess labor pool created.

Keeping wages low is a principle function of capitalism even if it means non-welfare people take the hit.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope the Democratic leaders will put in the legislation a guarantee that misdiagnoses are not charged for or are made right at no cost. It will save tens of billions of dollars and improve quality, and therefore we know it will not happen.

Single-payer 2010

Posted by: Maddogg | January 5, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

To form a more perfect Union

The opposition to the Healthcare Reform Legislation will never be received by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. The plaintiff argument of point of order, constitution interpretation based on the founder’s intent and Germaine, may not be enough to sway the jurists to accept their complaint. The US Congress has the power to draft legislation for general welfare, and collect taxes.

Congress has blessed us with, Social Security, FEMA, Medicaid, Medicare, Home Land Security, FBI, civil rights for Africans Americans and Decease Control Center. The founders could not for see, the freeing of slaves. However, Congress did. Do any Republicans, willingly, want to ask the courts to take away African Americans voting or civil rights, social Security or Medicare based on the founder’s intent?

To form a perfect union we the democrats and republicans must rid ourselves of paradigms that prevent us from working on together as a united front. We need to view each other as “We the People” rather than individuals labeled with ideology neon signs that blind our sights. ________________________________________

The United States Constitution “Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article 1, Section 8 states:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

Noah Webster's American Dictionary Definitions:

First, what did "welfare" mean in the age of the Founders?

From the Free Republic Web Site:
We all know the meaning of words can change over time. In order to more accurately assess the meaning of the word "welfare", with respect to its use in the Constitution, I consulted a source from that period. I happened to own a reprint of the 1828 edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language. Here is how the word "welfare" was defined 40 years after it was written in the Constitution:

WEL´FARE, n. [well and fare, a good going; G. wohlfahrt; D. welvaard; Sw. valfart; Dan. velfærd.]


1. Exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; applied to persons.

2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applies to states.

http://www.reasontofreedom.com/general_welfare_clause.html HD

Posted by: nateminor | January 5, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

To form a more perfect Union

The opposition to the Healthcare Reform Legislation will never be received by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. The plaintiff argument of point of order, constitution interpretation based on the founder’s intent and Germaine, may not be enough to sway the jurists to accept their complaint. The US Congress has the power to draft legislation for general welfare, and collect taxes.

Congress has blessed us with, Social Security, FEMA, Medicaid, Medicare, Home Land Security, FBI, civil rights for Africans Americans and Decease Control Center. The founders could not for see, the freeing of slaves. However, Congress did. Do any Republicans, willingly, want to ask the courts to take away African Americans voting or civil rights, social Security or Medicare based on the founder’s intent?

To form a perfect union we the democrats and republicans must rid ourselves of paradigms that prevent us from working on together as a united front. We need to view each other as “We the People” rather than individuals labeled with ideology neon signs that blind our sights. ________________________________________

The United States Constitution “Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article 1, Section 8 states:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

Noah Webster's American Dictionary Definitions:

First, what did "welfare" mean in the age of the Founders?

From the Free Republic Web Site:
We all know the meaning of words can change over time. In order to more accurately assess the meaning of the word "welfare", with respect to its use in the Constitution, I consulted a source from that period. I happened to own a reprint of the 1828 edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language. Here is how the word "welfare" was defined 40 years after it was written in the Constitution:

WEL´FARE, n. [well and fare, a good going; G. wohlfahrt; D. welvaard; Sw. valfart; Dan. velfærd.]


1. Exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; applied to persons.

2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applies to states.

http://www.reasontofreedom.com/general_welfare_clause.html HD

Posted by: nateminor | January 5, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

To form a more perfect Union

The opposition to the Healthcare Reform Legislation will never be received by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. The plaintiff argument of point of order, constitution interpretation based on the founder’s intent and Germaine, may not be enough to sway the jurists to accept their complaint. The US Congress has the power to draft legislation for general welfare, and collect taxes.

Congress has blessed us with, Social Security, FEMA, Medicaid, Medicare, Home Land Security, FBI, civil rights for Africans Americans and Decease Control Center. The founders could not for see, the freeing of slaves. However, Congress did. Do any Republicans, willingly, want to ask the courts to take away African Americans voting or civil rights, social Security or Medicare based on the founder’s intent?

To form a perfect union we the democrats and republicans must rid ourselves of paradigms that prevent us from working on together as a united front. We need to view each other as “We the People” rather than individuals labeled with ideology neon signs that blind our sights. ________________________________________

The United States Constitution “Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article 1, Section 8 states:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

Noah Webster's American Dictionary Definitions:

First, what did "welfare" mean in the age of the Founders?

From the Free Republic Web Site:
We all know the meaning of words can change over time. In order to more accurately assess the meaning of the word "welfare", with respect to its use in the Constitution, I consulted a source from that period. I happened to own a reprint of the 1828 edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language. Here is how the word "welfare" was defined 40 years after it was written in the Constitution:

WEL´FARE, n. [well and fare, a good going; G. wohlfahrt; D. welvaard; Sw. valfart; Dan. velfærd.]


1. Exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; applied to persons.

2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applies to states.

http://www.reasontofreedom.com/general_welfare_clause.html HD

Posted by: nateminor | January 5, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

Typical -- more emphasis on timing than content. First it was Christmas Eve, like this was some kind of gift. Now they want this in place so half the senate chamber can cheer wildly during the BO speech while the other half observes a somber occassion with silence (as they should).

Posted by: jimbob3 | January 5, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

To form a more perfect Union

The opposition to the Healthcare Reform Legislation will never be received by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. The plaintiff argument of point of order, constitution interpretation based on the founder’s intent and Germaine, may not be enough to sway the jurists to accept their complaint. The US Congress has the power to draft legislation for general welfare, and collect taxes.

Congress has blessed us with, Social Security, FEMA, Medicaid, Medicare, Home Land Security, FBI, civil rights for Africans Americans and Decease Control Center. The founders could not for see, the freeing of slaves. However, Congress did. Do any Republicans, willingly, want to ask the courts to take away African Americans voting or civil rights, social Security or Medicare based on the founder’s intent?

To form a perfect union we the democrats and republicans must rid ourselves of paradigms that prevent us from working on together as a united front. We need to view each other as “We the People” rather than individuals labeled with ideology neon signs that blind our sights. ________________________________________

The United States Constitution “Preamble:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Article 1, Section 8 states:

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States."

Noah Webster's American Dictionary Definitions:

First, what did "welfare" mean in the age of the Founders?

From the Free Republic Web Site:
We all know the meaning of words can change over time. In order to more accurately assess the meaning of the word "welfare", with respect to its use in the Constitution, I consulted a source from that period. I happened to own a reprint of the 1828 edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language. Here is how the word "welfare" was defined 40 years after it was written in the Constitution:

WEL´FARE, n. [well and fare, a good going; G. wohlfahrt; D. welvaard; Sw. valfart; Dan. velfærd.]


1. Exemption from misfortune, sickness, calamity or evil; the enjoyment of health and the common blessings of life; prosperity; happiness; applied to persons.

2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applies to states.

http://www.reasontofreedom.com/general_welfare_clause.html HD

Posted by: nateminor | January 5, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

--i think CSPAN may pick it up.

I would like for the Health Exchange to stay federal. States always mess up their own backyards. Health and education are the top issues they mess up their own backyards with!

This bill is nothing of what it started out as (HR3590). Stupak Amendment got added in House. It goes to Senate. Senate dissects it by making two Senate bills and a Senate amendment. No wonder they can't agree on anything.

The bill is a shadow of what it was.

Posted by: TheBabeNemo | January 5, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Trust me and Dr. Dre on this: slow is better. And, open.

Posted by: rusty3 | January 5, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

How about President - are you a man of your words or just another politician.

YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA pledged to have televised negotiations on the health care bill. SO... When does the coverage start Mr. President?

Oh yeah that's right now it's time for him to duck and cover with the line that he's asked for this from congress but...

Liars All !

Posted by: AmzgGrce | January 5, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Democrats' Own Words Reveal Broken Promises on "Transparency" - Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpgO5Lgq3SE&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: kwoods2 | January 5, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Come on Washington Post, do your job on open meetings...demand that all negotiations wbe televised so, as Obama said during his campaign, that the American public can see what their representative is saying about health care reform.

Posted by: tonyjm | January 5, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Just like the democrats actions so far - say one thing, do another, and then act mystified as to why we are all so stupid not to believe what they are trying to pass off.
This has nothing at all to do with fixing and coming up with the best health care reform now but all to do with rushing through anything they can get passed by their own party members to meet their predetermined deadline of making sure their first African American president can go down in the history books during his first state of the union saying he has done what 7 other presidents couldn't.
Whatever finally ends up in this bill doesn't matter at this point as long as there is one no matter what is in it before Obama needs it.

Posted by: justmyvoice | January 5, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Team Obama: FIRST, DO NO HARM. What are you doing to stop these atrocities?

U.S. SILENTLY TORTURES, IMPAIRS AMERICANS WITH CELL TOWER MICROWAVES, SATELLITES, SAYS VETERAN MAINSTREAM JOURNALIST

• Secret Bush legacy multi-agency federal program uses cell tower/GPS satellite microwave/laser electromagnetic radiation attack system to torture, impair, subjugate "targeted" citizens -- and oversees local "community watch" vigilante terrorism and financial sabotage campaigns.

See story at: Poynter.org ("Reporting" section)
OR http://www.nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "U.S. SILENTLY..." / "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 5, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Are Democrats such cowards as to run like little children from C-Span? What happened to "Transparency"? Only applies to others? Only a good campaign speech for this Post Turtle Punk President? Looks good on a bumper sticker but doesn't apply in the "Real World"?

You are all pathetic - too bad you're not up for re-election this year, you'd be voted out in a heart-beat.

Sign me a disgusted AMERICAN - at least I did my job serving MY country, too bad the same can't be said for you Democrats.

Bob in NC
Major USMC (Ret.)

- Have you all read the Health Care Bill yet?

Posted by: rvenema | January 5, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Are Democrats such cowards as to run like little children from C-Span? What happened to "Transparency"? Only applies to others? Only a good campaign speech for this Post Turtle President? Looks good on a bumper sticker but doesn't apply in the "Real World"?

You are all pathetic - too bad you're not up for re-election this year, you'd be voted out in a heart-beat.

Sign me a disgusted AMERICAN - at least I did my job serving MY country, too bad the same can't be said for you Democrats.

Bob in NC
Major USMC (Ret.)

- Have you all read the Health Care Bill yet?

Posted by: rvenema | January 5, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

I would be upset as anyone about locking one party out of deliberations if that party was interested in constructively working to improve the bill. However, before we feel too sorry for the Republicans, let's keep in mind their leadership decided the potential political benefit of killing the bill was more important to them than the policy benefit of trying to improve it. Their 'outrage' is over being excluded from a process they had no interest in contributing to in the first place.

Posted by: nation123 | January 5, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Are Democrats such cowards as to run like little children from C-Span? What happened to "Transparency"? Only applies to others? Only a good campaign speech for this Post Turtle Punk-ass President? Looks good on a bumper sticker but doesn't apply in the "Real World"?

You are all pathetic - too bad you're not up for re-election this year, you'd be voted out in a heart-beat.

Sign me a disgusted AMERICAN - at least I did my job serving MY country, too bad the same can't be said for you Democrats.

Bob in NC
Major USMC (Ret.)

- Have you all read the Health Care Bill yet?

Posted by: rvenema | January 5, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

"And, forcing the House to vote on a Senate bill would prevent the House GOP from using a stalling maneuver known as a "Motion to Recommit" to hold up the bill. "

It other words, the Democrats want to force Congress's job out of it.

Posted by: kwoods2 | January 5, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Team Obama: FIRST, DO NO HARM. What are you doing to stop these atrocities?

U.S. SILENTLY TORTURES, IMPAIRS AMERICANS WITH CELL TOWER MICROWAVES, SATELLITES, SAYS VETERAN MAINSTREAM JOURNALIST

• Secret Bush legacy multi-agency federal program uses cell tower/GPS satellite microwave/laser electromagnetic radiation attack system to torture, impair, subjugate "targeted" citizens -- and oversees local "community watch" vigilante terrorism and financial sabotage campaigns.

See story at: Poynter.org ("Reporting" section)
OR http://www.nowpublic.com/world/u-s-silently-tortures-americans-cell-tower-microwaves
http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america OR NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "U.S. SILENTLY..." / "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 5, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse


The irresponsible actions by the Lib Dem Socialist led Congress will not be forgotten by voters this Fall. There tactics smack of Fascism. All along they have in FACT locked out the Republicans, they have gobbled together in the secret a massive overhaul of one sixth of the American economy that the majority do not want. The Dems long ago morphed into Socialists. Lest we forget, their irresponsible wasteful Liberal Load of Lard Stimulus Scam was the beginning of the end for any Democrat up for reelection. And Barry LIES. He lied, mislead and deceived the American public about his BS of transparency. He is not to be trusted.

Elections of 2010 & 12 Cannot Come Soon Enough!

Posted by: jas7751 | January 5, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

No transparency, no "change we can believe in", just standard Chicago hard-ball politics.

Posted by: JCM-51 | January 5, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

WaPo has failed to recognize yet that C-Span has offered to show all negotiations and meetings on health care.Nancy Pelosi rebuked C-Span with the statement that the process has been "open".

Posted by: bowspray | January 5, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

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