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House Budget Committee approves reconciliation bill

By Lori Montgomery
A key House committee voted Monday to advance President Obama's plan to overhaul the nation's health-care system, clearing the way for the House to vote on the measure later this week.

The House Budget Committee voted 21 to 16 to send the health care legislation to the House Rules Committee. That panel is expected to meet Thursday to draft new language for the reconciliation bill, compiling a package of fixes to the $875 billion measure that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve.

Two Democrats voted with all 14 Republicans to reject the effort to proceed with the Democratic strategy. Rep. Chet Edwards (Texas) and Allen Boyd (Fla.) both voted against the House health care bill last fall.

By Lori Montgomery  |  March 15, 2010; 3:36 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Health Care  
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Next: Health-care reform's road map through the House


The health care bill should be passed now and the public option added to it. When this is done not only will it be better for everyone in the U.S., it is what the majority want. The spin by the republicans that health care reform isn't popular, hopes we don't check what the polls really say. People want health care reform, just more of it than the present bills give. That can and should be fixed.

Posted by: Bopper1 | March 16, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

. . . That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

It is time . . . Washington has demonstrated they no longer serve the needs of the people.

Posted by: redduke | March 16, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

I Guarantee there will be a Medi-Care Buy In at Age 55 & Up, If not Younger and All You Republican Hate Mongers are Going to Buy In to Medi-Care, as Soon as its Confirmation.


Dem.Chris Van Hollen: He Defended the [Deem-&-Pass] Strategy as a Way "To Make it Clear We're Amending The Senate Health Care Bill"

Dem. Chris Van Hollen: Warned, "People are Going to try to Create the Impression that the Senate Bill is the Final Product and it's Not."


There will be a Health Care Over Haul and there should be. In the Republicans Reign of the Senate-Congress of 2001-2006 They Allowed the Insurance market To Go Crazy & Run Wild.

Republicans have No Interest in Health Care Reform Nor Bank Reform, They want Things as they are [Now]

Ignoring The 2008 Wall Street Collapse and Bail Outs.

Posted by: omaarsblade | March 15, 2010 11:46 PM | Report abuse

Good job, House budget committee!!

Only Republicans would oppose a bill that cuts the deficit and adds insurance coverage to 31 million American citizens.

Republicans, apparently, prefer bills that add to the deficit, as shown by their years in power, and/or cut coverage.

Posted by: chi-town
Not sure how expanding a service by making payers pay for non-payers can lower the deficit. Please explain.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | March 15, 2010 9:00 PM | Report abuse


Maybe if you understood the Constitution that you quoted, you'd know that federal control of health care is in fact not a power of the federal gov't.

There's a difference between a "PREAMBLE" i.e. why something is written, and the ACTUAL powers i.e., "legislative powers herein granted..."

Maybe if more people actually read this Contitution thing--rather than cherry picking what you think supports your bogus claims--we wouldn't be in the situation we are today.

Posted by: emperorboot | March 15, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"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."

Sometimes we forget what our government is supposed to be about. People scream "socialism" when in fact that isn't the case. Whack-a-moles like Michelle Bachmann claim "it's unconstitutional" when it isn't -- and clearly the founding fathers (whom they love to cite) thought "promote the general Welfare" was important enough to include it in the "recipe" for good government -- making certain that citizenship in this new country was a good thing for its people, that they were "faring well."

I listened to Steve Forbes (Malcolm Forbes' progeny, billionaire and lunatic politician) say to David Shuster that healthcare is a privilege not a right, that as with other things people should take care of themselves, that, for example, "if they have a problem with food there are food banks and food stamps" --- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot???!!!!

Just where the heck does he think "food stamps" come from? And what "problem" with food is he too chicken sh** to refer to directly? The words "homeless" or "hungry" or heaven forbid, "poor" are too harsh for his delicate, despicable lips?

So if you have a "problem" with your health care there are drug stores and emergency rooms and don't forget the "faith healers."

Pass this bill for the sake of 31 million men, women and children who Steve Forbes and other heartless Republicans like him cannot -- CHOOSE NOT to see or help.

Posted by: jade_7243 | March 15, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Obama promises the $500 billion dollars he is taking away from Medicare to give to his health care bill in order to make it viable, will not harm Medicare?

You lie, sir! There are no mental gymnastics that allow one to spend $500 billion dollars in two places at the same time. It cannot be done. The arrogance of Obama and Pelosi is enough to make one vomit conspicuously in their presence.

When hired government officials run amock and willfully disobey the citizens who have hired them to office, the only recourse is impeachment.

Impeach those government officials who refuse to do the will of the people, which is; trash this health care reform bill and start over with true clarity and disclosure. They have left no other option.

Posted by: prossers7 | March 15, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

For the practice of medicine, it's the end of the world as we know it. Everything will change. Paradigms of health care delivery will shift dramatically towards coalesced models of practice. Solo and small group practices will be a thing of the past. Nurses and PAs will move to the frontlines of primary care. Specialists will flock to hospitals. Urban and suburban hospitals will amalgamate to increase their collective bargaining power against private insurers. Medicare reimbursements will fall precipitously over the next decade. To make up for the loss, providers will chase incentive payments that are tied to Federally mandated guidelines of treatment and patient management. Etc., etc., etc.

But physicians have always been smarter than politicians and lawyers. Doctors always find a way to adapt and game the system. And the new legislation leaves open plenty of holes. One of the best things about massive legislation like this is that there's plenty of room for unforeseen consequence.

Posted by: e-doc | March 15, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the Budget committee did not approve "a reconciliation bill." As explained elsewhere in this paper, this was just a "shell" bill --

The text of the bill they voted on will be completely replaced in a few days, with language that has yet to be written.

It's appalling how the Democrats are going about this. Like all tyrants, they believe that their end justifies any means.

Posted by: CapnRusty | March 15, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the House Budget Committee did not approve a reconciliation bill. As explained elsewhere in the WaPo

the text of the bill "approved" by the Committee will be completely replaced a few days from now, after the new text is written.

It's simply disgusting how the Democrats are doing this. Like all tyrants, they think that any ends justify their means.

Posted by: CapnRusty | March 15, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

I continue to hear those who are against the Health Care Bill say that Democrats who vote for the bill will be sorry in November, because this will cause them to lose their reelection. It seems to me that if this is the case, the GOP politicians should be happy that the bill pass. They should now just shut up and let the bill pass, then campaign from April through October that they voted against the bill. Am I missing something here? Somebody please turn on the lights for me because I am in the dark on this one.

Posted by: jms3rd | March 15, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Courage... This bill will pass this time... And when the smoke clears, many more Americans will be glad they can finally have health insurance without fear of disqualification or price gouging.

I would still prefer a single payer system, but this is an obvious improvement over what we have.

Posted by: khrabb | March 15, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Pray and pray hard that this can be STOPPED. Prayer works!

Posted by: princessjill7 | March 15, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Down with Obama Socialism, but I will not give up my medicare, social security, home mortgage deductions, college grants and other benefits owed to me by this government from which I have paid in a pittance to what I will receive. Now, about that Mr, Obama?

Posted by: october30 | March 15, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

We are going to get health care reform in spite of the liars, the screamers, and the corporate shills who had 8 years to come up with something and chose not to.

Posted by: fluxgirl | March 15, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

To all of you harping about how we NEED this health care bill passed, how do you intend to pay for it? If you believe that this bill will decrease costs, you are sadly misinformed. For starters, what good is a bill that we pay taxes for for the next four years before the benefits actually start? That's right, the "ten year" budget projections are for only SIX years of actual benefits. AND, all current cost estimates are based on the bill as it was written, NOT the version that will be crafted this week.

Compassion is a wonderful thing, but please don't use it when making a decision of this magnitude. Do the research, look at both sides of the story. Stop drinking the kool-aid.

Posted by: TheLoudTalker | March 15, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Good job, House budget committee!!

Only Republicans would oppose a bill that cuts the deficit and adds insurance coverage to 31 million American citizens.

Republicans, apparently, prefer bills that add to the deficit, as shown by their years in power, and/or cut coverage.

Posted by: chi-town | March 15, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't like it ----- LEAVE--- sound familar ?

Posted by: jmfromdc | March 15, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Those of you who cry "socialism" as a euphemism for anything by a Democrat you don't like only diminish your own credibility and keep people from taking you seriously. You have no clue what socialism is.

Posted by: ajlerner1 | March 15, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

It's about time for some help for'll be embraced by reps. in 15 years just like medicare and social security.

Posted by: mbangour78 | March 15, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Special deals for the Wall Street bankers in Connecticut!

Chris Dodd got them a $100 million earmark!

Wall Street Wellness Bill!

Keep the bankers healthy!

Posted by: Cornell1984 | March 15, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama: Change We Can Deceive In --A critique from the Left By Lori Price 19 Aug 2009

Posted by: lorifromclg | March 15, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

It is inevitable that costs will go up and quality will go down with this plan. The question is when. Because so much of what is in this bill doesn't happen for years, it may take a while for its true costs to become apparent. But in Massachusetts, where something very similar was done, costs have risen significantly.

But we probably have to actually pass the bill for people to realize this - because right now Obama/Reid/Pelosi can say whatever they want and there's no real way to argue it. If it actually passes, everyone will know.

Posted by: dsfitzge | March 15, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

A Majority of you guy thought fighting two wars was a great idea. The Republicans offer nothing, but empty words. Let's move America and get things done. It's so funny how all I hear from the Right is the word "Socialism". Get a grip Dems, it's my government. Take a stand and vote help the 30 million people who need Healthcare. Finish the JOB!!!!

Posted by: gree8055 | March 15, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing that the democrats in the face of high unemployment, very high ratings against this healthcare "reform" doggedly stick to their leaders coattails as he "leads" us into fiscal chaos.

Posted by: mikeintexas1 | March 15, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

These claims of socialism are so silly. These folks have no understanding of what socialism means. Just briefly for you: socialism's key concept is the notion of state ownership of all properties. In other words, there is no such thing of "private property." Is this our society now? Almost everything in the U.S. is private. The main reason for not having private property is to prevent 'class' conflicts, as they would exist between those who own factories/businesses and those who work for them under a capitalist system. So, those who are claiming that Mr. Obama is a socialist need to learn a little bit about what socialism means. Personally, I think you guys are being fooled to many on the Right. I think you're smarter than that, so get your act together and stop being taken advantage of by many on the Right.

Posted by: Figaro1 | March 15, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

People die each and every day from lack of health care - shame on those who vote against the bill. Wouldn't it be nice if Congress' health care was denied until they at least voted on the bill.

Posted by: rlj611 | March 15, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Way to go -- don't stop now!

Posted by: tailwagger | March 15, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Where do I contribute to "Repeal the Bill" just in case Nancy puts a spell on enough wavering Dems to get this done. I also hope for the mother of all lawsuits and expect the Supremes to find at least one or two items in the bill that are unconstitutional.

Posted by: kenpasadena | March 15, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I've said it before and I will say it again: Republicans can't even deliver a pizza. This bill will pass and the Republicans will have to explain why they didn't support a lot of the popular positions in the bill including purchasing insurance across state lines.

Posted by: ATLGuy | March 15, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm going to buy stock in luggage companies. The Democrats in Washington will be buying a lot of suitcases after the November election.

Posted by: JudyBird | March 15, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

My representative, Lloyd Doggett, will be out of a job, along with many others that voted against the majority of their constituents wishes. Any bill that needed arm-twisting, secret back room construction, chicanery and bribes to get it through has a foul stench. You slap the people in the face and they will come back with a roar.

Posted by: inmanorj | March 15, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Good to see the government actually moving again.

Posted by: onifadee | March 15, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | March 15, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

We can all have ring side seats for the end of American democracy as we slide head first into Socialism. I wont go quietly.

Posted by: mikeintexas1 | March 15, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Great news!!!! Let's finish the job this week and fix the broken health care system.

Posted by: achalgarg | March 15, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Excellent!! Let's get this done!

Posted by: cookrb1 | March 15, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

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