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The Most Important Number in Politics Today



Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) unveiled his health care bill this morning without any Republican support. Photo by Melina Mara of the Washington Post

0

That's the number of Republican Senators who ultimately signed on to the health care bill put forward by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) this morning.

For months, Baucus and an increasingly small group of Democrats and Republicans -- known as the Gang of Six -- worked behind closed doors to hammer out legislation that carried at least the patina of bipartisanship.

Slowly but surely Republican negotiators -- Senate Finance ranking member Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Sen. Mike Enzi (Wyo.) -- dropped out of the negotiations until there was only Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine) left. But, on Tuesday Snowe said she could not support the bill as currently written.

National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) seized on the lack of GOP support for Baucus' bill in a statement on the bill released moments ago. "Forcing through a partisan bill gives the impression that Democratic leadership and the White House are more concerned with political victories than they are with passing lasting, bipartisan health care reform," said Cornyn.

While it is entirely possible that the bill will be changed enough before it comes to a vote to attract some Republican support, the real question raised by the Baucus bill is whether passing a bipartisan bill really matters to the average voter.

The new Washington Post/ABC News poll provides contradictory data on this question.

On the one hand, more than seven in ten (71 percent) said that President Obama and Democrats in Congress should try to change the bill to attract some Republican support while just 29 percent said they should try and pass the legislation without any GOP support.

On the other, less than one third of the sample (31 percent) said they believed Republicans were operating in "good faith" to find compromise with Democrats on health care reform; Fifty percent said Obama and Congressional Democrats were operating in good faith.

So, voters clearly prefer a health care bill that has some element of Republican support even if they don't believe the party is operating on the level when it comes to the legislation. Odd.

Broadly, voters tend to express the desire for bipartisanship -- clinging to a belief that a government that works together is one that works best -- even if it is rarely a voting issue for them. But, as the Post's Ben Pershing points out this morning, is a bill that has one or two Republican backers (ala the economic stimulus package) true bipartisanship anyway?

The White House has long believed that the average voter is less concerned about whether large numbers of Republicans support the Administration's priorities than whether the President is making an honest effort to attract GOP support.

The next few weeks will put that theory to the test as Baucus' health care bill makes its way through Congress.

By Chris Cillizza  |  September 16, 2009; 10:36 AM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

shrink2:

Can you please speak with those like JRM2 who just won't believe that THE PLAN is to stimulate the healthcare industry and add to the deficit, regardless of what Obama is saying?

Posted by: JakeD | September 17, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

America's Healthy Future Act of 2009

Bureaucrats everywhere will be delighted.
Paper shufflers, rule makers, auditors, call center workers, meeting goers in general: JACKPOT!

Oh, but will anyone in the real world get better health care?

Stand by, people studying this thing can see who wins, who gets the $$$$ (above), but it is really hard to tell whether anyone is going to get better health care.

...still reading...I really hate some of this stuff, but I have to keep an open mind...so much of it is just pie in the sky.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 17, 2009 2:24 AM | Report abuse

The GOP is obstructionist for purely political reasons. They simply want President Obama to fail, as "Chairman Limbaugh" proclaimed several months ago.

Yet, when health care reform does fail, the Republicans will unabashedly blame the democrats.

The most disturbing thing is that a large section of the American electorate is likely to believe them.

Posted by: rogied25 | September 16, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

eventually a public option will get finessed into the bill. and to hell with the republicans - they're bent on destroying obama and america

Posted by: dmls2000 | September 16, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

SGR "Doc Fix" is NOT PAID FOR in the Baucus bill thats means it is going to add about $200 billion to the deficit over the first 10 years. (He only provides a fix for 1 year)

Posted by: cautious | September 16, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Baucus is NOT an idiot. He cleverly structured things to get exactly what he wanted--a bill designed by and for insurance companies. Insurance companies will gain 47 million more customers if the Baucus proposals are accepted, with no corresponding need to lower costs.

Posted by: lowercaselarry | September 16, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"Do you wonder why?"

Because it's so clearly not serious?

Posted by: nodebris | September 16, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

The GOP, for all its problems, is NOT "the party of NO". There is a GOP bill, HR 3400, which is worthy of consideration, in Congress now. The House leadership and much of the media seem to be ignoring it. Do you wonder why?

Posted by: MKS1 | September 16, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Mark,

It might be better just to exchange emails.
I actually did write up the critique of that Pearlstein piece awhile back, but it is too big to post.

You said,

"As a general matter, the 30-40% lower costs of places like Cleveland Clinic, Mayo, Scott&White, etc. is virtually prohibited to Medicare right now, so I am assuming that will turn out to be the direction the compass needle points."

This is true and untrue. The compass needle will move to integrated systems of care, whole life care, disease self-management and all that. That is...if someone forces fiscal discipline on the industry.

The untrue part is those savings numbers. They come from work with the best risk pools. It is easy to save money with the right people. I'll leave it at that.

As for forcing fiscal discipline. I am rooting for the Chinese. They are our bond buyers, holders and raters.

I ski with Wall Street bankers (don't ask). On the chair lift two winters ago, before the collapse, I asked two bond traders why the relationship would keep on working.

They both replied as if it were obvious that the Chinese need to buy our debt more than we needed them to buy it. They were serious and they laid out the case. Now, some of what they were talking about as received wisdom is being avoided on the sidewalk.

We are living in very interesting times.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 16, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

There are no Democrats supporting the Baucus version either. At least none that can expect to see my vote again. Ever.

Concessions in exchange for no votes makes no sense. If the Republicans won't participate, then write a bill that actually addresses healthcare and force it through without them. Opt-in medicare sounds about right.

And let Baucus and Conrad sit in the basement peeling potatoes for a couple of years for inflicting this lobbyist-purchased monstrosity on us.

Posted by: Brix | September 16, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Even "shrink2" agrees that Obama was LYING about "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficit".

Posted by: JakeD | "

It's not the plan that will add to the deficit, it will be the mismanagement, corruption, people "gaming" the system that does it.

Bu that's what we have now with private insurance and premiums are set to shoot through the roof.

More people losing their insurance, more businesses buckling under the strain are cutting their health care programs for their employees.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 16, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The conceit of Sen. Baucus is a wonder to behold. There will be no Republican support; there never was going to be any support. The GOP has lathered up its ignorant base deliberately and the motive has nothing to do with health care.

The Republicans have openly stated that they hope to use this debate as a way to destroy the Obama presidency, just like they destroyed Clinton's.

They are haters with no concern for the people of the United States. They will NEVER support healthcare reform.

Baucus is an idiot; he has given away the store to the Repubicans and he will not get a single vote in return. He managed to do this while hanging up the bill for an eternity, in the vain hope that his boyfriend Grassley would come through.

It's worth repeating: Baucus is an idiot.

Posted by: Casey1 | September 16, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

shrink, I saw your comment and after I have read the bill, or at least a pertinent part of the bill, I promise to get back to you.

As a general matter, the 30-40% lower costs of places like Cleveland Clinic, Mayo, Scott&White, etc. is virtually prohibited to Medicare right now, so I am assuming that will turn out to be the direction the compass needle points. I'll get back to ya later.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 16, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

It is not the most important number because it was expected. Baucus could have introduced a bill allowing only republicans to vote in any elections and they still would not have signed off on it.

Given that, the bill IS A TURKEY

Posted by: JRM2 | September 16, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The Party Of No is not interested in bipartisanship. Bipartisanship would make Obama look good, and The Party Of No has no interest in causing Obama to shine.

Obama and the Democrats have bent over backwards to attract republican support for their legislation. Now it's time for the republicans to bend over forward and have this legislation reamed up their smarmy as*es.

Posted by: binkynh | September 16, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone really surprised?

When the Republicans announced from the beginning they had no intention of trying to do anything but make Obama look bad?

They don't give a damn what happens to people in this country. All they care about is getting back in power so they can pillage the treasury again.

Posted by: drindl | September 16, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

For anyone interested in the CBO's cost analysis, please read this update on the original WaPo article today:

"The Congressional Budget Office later issued a "preliminary analysis" saying that the plan would cost a total of $774 billion and would "result in a net reduction in federal budget deficits of $49 billion" from 2010 to 2019. There was no immediate explanation for the differing cost estimates."

The CBO correctly nailed the earlier bills for adding to the deficit. Apparently this one passed muster, at least from a cost standpoint.

If that verdict stands up under further CBO scrutiny (and whatever happens via ammendment and conference), it will stiffen Democratic spines and knock out one of the few rational arguments against reform.

(Irrational opposition, of course, will almost certainly continue no matter what the CBO or anyone else says.)

Posted by: Gallenod | September 16, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

No Republicans, no surprise. The party of NO will never come on board until they are back to power. Period.

Posted by: ExpressReader | September 16, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

After all the crap I say "heck" with them....

Posted by: ModerateVoter | September 16, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Only a few Republicans voted for the Dems' stimulus package. Before that package, economists everywhere were predicting The Great Depression II. After, we've managed to completely avoid that, and the recession is actually over already.

So Barack saved us from The Great Depression II in only 6 months, despite massive opposition from the Republicans.

All hail one of the greatest Presidents in history!

And here's hoping he will continue to ignore the party of "No" to do great things for this nation, including bringing us into the fold of civilized nations which, besides us, have all found some form of universal health care or other.

Posted by: zenphoenix42 | September 16, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

My brother is a construction worker. He works his butt off 6 days a week. The company he works for does not provide health insurance. He is married with one child. He has to get his insurance himself. However the cost was so great my 70 year old parents had to chip in to help him out.

Healthcare is broken in this country and it needs to be fixed with or without republicans.

After all the crap I say with them....

Posted by: ModerateVoter | September 16, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Welfare recipients already have healthcare--it's called Medicare. Ever hear of it?

The people who don't have healthcare are mostly the working poor.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 16, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Well that is what the universal health care is ... welfare .. and as we know welfare is dead... After the sick abuses it has been revised to the point that it is now. Not so much a free ride as it was before.

Those that have a job.. they have insurance if they want it.. Who are we insuring? Welfare recieptants... Call it like it is. "
--------------------
So what happens when small business can't afford to pay for their employees health benefits? Or the non-welfare recipients that are unemployed? Oh I know, WE pay for them.


Posted by: jjj141 | September 16, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

It's time for the Dems to announce they tried their best and leave the "just say no" Reps behind.

Three months ago I said the Reps will come to realize they should have played nice on health care. Because now they are going to get a Dem bill without the Reps concerns factored in.

Posted by: egc52556 | September 16, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The GOP wouldn't have and didn't vote for Social Security or Medicare when they were proposed, either. Who cares if they won't support this plan now? In 10 years, they'll be using it and happy, just like SS and Medicare.

Posted by: davidrand1 | September 16, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

The GOP wouldn't have and didn't vote for Social Security or Medicare when they were proposed, either. Who cares if they won't support this plan now? In 10 years, they'll be using it and happy, just like SS and Medicare.

Posted by: davidrand1 | September 16, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

It comes as a shock -- but frankly what else could we expect?

All six members of the Senate Finance Committee come from six of the most sparsely settled states in the country--Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Wyoming. Altogether, their populations add up to only two per cent of the entire nation’s.

The views of their Senators, both Democrats and Republicans, reflect the typically conservative views of their rural constituencies. Even at that, the three Republicans, after months of haggling, voted against the final bill.

It was a fiasco from the start--but we all did learn something valuable: bipartisan policy is a monumental waste of time, even among conservatives.

Posted by: rjldec1 | September 16, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"Come on it cant be that hard!

Posted by: ccharles1"

I'm willing to bet it's harder than using a damn apostrophe.

I hate to be all grammar nazi, but that post was just galling.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 16, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Well that is what the universal health care is ... welfare .. and as we know welfare is dead... After the sick abuses it has been revised to the point that it is now. Not so much a free ride as it was before.

Those that have a job.. they have insurance if they want it.. Who are we insuring? Welfare recieptants... Call it like it is.

And the money... it isnt there. So it dosnt matter.

Posted by: ccharles1 | September 16, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

31% percent think the party of NO is acting in good faith, as opposed to 50% for the Democrats..The GOP have been given an opportunity to show some bi-partisanship, they didn't do so..Now, is the time for the Democrats to use their majority and get this done..Health care reform will benefit 46 million Americans, hard working middle class Americans..If the GOP is too dumb or scared of their own extremist wing, then that is their problem. This bill will be signed with or without the party of NO.

Posted by: ruraledcomm | September 16, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Theres plenty of room for fixing health care, but i dont think universal HC is the answer.

==

Yeah because "we" can see that "welfare" is a big problem.

Go back to sleep. Let the grownups figure out how to achieve what so many other countries have managed.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 16, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Theres more then one issue with Health insurance for everyone. First off.. We have already done Welfare and know what that is like... not good.

On the immigrant question.. obama said he had a plan to make the illegals in the country legals.. that side steps the immigrant issue, so in the end they get health insurance.

The price tag, it hasnt changed. This is a big problem. Weather option or just reform, if the price tag is 800 bill then its tooooo much. Period. What is hard to understand on that? Wheres the money coming from?

500 bill cut from Medicare, that is bogus. How are you gonna make medicare better if you have just stripped 1/3 of there funds?

So this bill dosnt change any thing, or answer any of the questions we have on this bill.

Theres plenty of room for fixing health care, but i dont think universal HC is the answer. We dont have the money for that. Fix what you can with what you have! Come on it cant be that hard!

Posted by: ccharles1 | September 16, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Republicans will happily support Baucus' bill. After all, it benefits insurance companies, not the American people.

Posted by: alysheba_3 | September 16, 2009 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"...a mugging for liberal Dems."

Patently naive, the conflation of "liberal" with "Dems" in every usage.

It is the liberal Dems, from liberal districts, who would be most protected from backlash even if there were to be any. The Dems who are worried about backlash from their vote on this topic are conservative Dems from battleground and Republican-leaning states.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 16, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

There are many Democrats and their constituents, as well as Doctors, Nurses, and other medical organizations who want health care and insurance reform. There are also many Republicans who also tout the need for health care reform. For the most part, by the way GOP has been behaving lately and currently, I am betting that the GOP is highly obsessed with playing politics with this very critical issue.

Each and every time a Bill is written and submitted to the Right-Wing establishment, in which they were also involved in... mind you, they then drop out of the negotiations or claim they will not support such a Bill.

What is it that those in the GOP 'Party of Six' want in order to attract more bi-partisan support? Is their objective to have a Bill that is so watered down to the point where it is not a enough to even put a dent in the reigning costs of health care?

Is their objective to allow more people in this country to continue filing bankruptcy, due to the enormous costs of health care, in which many major monopoly controlled insurance industries refuse to pay for certain illnesses or procedures?

Is their objective to continue allowing my tax dollars to go into the hands of their corporate masters?

They $itche$ and whined about each of the the reform bills not covering illegal immigrants, and abortions. Well, none of these things are in the Bills, but yet they still refuse to support the American people.

So, what are the excuses now?

The Democrats need to grow some more hairs and take charge of this critical issue.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | September 16, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Who cares it's a joke. Baucus and all the politicians that put Industry over people need to be voted out of office for not working in the best interest of the people.

Posted by: Woodstocknative | September 16, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

2010 will be a mugging for liberal dems

==

(*chuckle*)

"There you go again" with the "backlash" BS.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 16, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh joy another two-digit poster going on about "the blame Bush crowd." Someone please issue him a pacifier.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 16, 2009 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Captainkona
you are brilliant ......LOL

Posted by: skunkdad7 | September 16, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Bsweet
Go ahead and blame the GOP , but the fact is you have the majority , what is the problem . I'll tell you the problem , you liberal dems need to get relected and they do not want to face angry Americans who are not just GOP . I'll bet you are part of the blame Bush crowd , who blame GW for every little hangnail even though he is not Prez . Another strawman for you to use because the dem healthcare bill is Dead like Ted and it's your own fault , take responsibility old bean .

Posted by: skunkdad7 | September 16, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

If the trial lawyers enthusiastically supported a "tort reform" bill, we would be mighty suspicious if that bill's sponsors said it would encourage cost containment.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 16, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

The question that is being missed is how many Democrats support the bill? There does not appear to be that much difference between the Democrats and the Republicans involved in writing the Senate Finance Committee bill. The President needs that bill because he can't get enough votes in the Senate to pass health care reform without it. It is not particularly surprising that Olympia Snowe is not quick to commit herself. If she does it, the choice of being the only Republican to vote for the bill will be a difficult one. Clearly, there are going to be some difficult negotiations among the Democrats before the bill gets passed. Olympia Snowe is likely to want to be sure that a bill is ready to pass both Senate and House before committing to it. It would not be too surprising if she does hope for at least some price for her support. But the reality seems to be that the President needs an essentially bipartisan bill to get all the Democrats in the Senate onboard. If he succeeds, it will not be too surprising if at least a few Republicans decide they want to record a vote in favor of the bill.

Posted by: dnjake | September 16, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

It's not "out of the Senate." It's not even out of the Senate Finance Committee yet. Long way to go.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 16, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

This government of fools can not balance a checkbook or run cash for clunkers . These guys surely can't handle healthcare and where are all the Docs going to come from to handle these 30 million moochers ? We will all be waiting in line .
Those that want Euro-style healthcare can move or better yet , buy your own dang healthcare ....imagine that !
Dems should be able to pass this without help , but no one wants to answer to the people in 2010 ....2010 will be a mugging for liberal dems , including Harry Reed .

Posted by: skunkdad7 | September 16, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Cool. It's out of the Senate.
Reconciliation will solve this problem once and for all.

Fluck all Republicans.

Posted by: captainkona | September 16, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Republicans consider this a PARTISAN bill!
ROFL
Hey Dems - it's time to INCLUDE illegals and taxpayer funded abortions (which I oppose) - just to show the Repukes what a PARTISAN bill would look like.

This bill is a cash cow for the Insurance industry that bribes...er donates to Baucus and most senators!

Posted by: angie12106 | September 16, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite and bsweet:

Of course, the government can spend whatever it wants. Too bad for you, however, that your "President" was the one who falsely claimed:

"And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up -- under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions ..."

I'm simply proving that he lied about that too.

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

When the WH and the Dems throw out and call all those who do not agree with them Racists, the game is over . . . the sure words of the loser.

Posted by: pipian | September 16, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

This bill is a joke. Baucus was opposed to a public single payer option from the beginning. Offering health care cooperatives instead is ridiculous, and will not do anything to increase competition in my opinion. Take it from someone who worked for a non-profit health insurance company for years. With all the millions in dollars that the gang of six received from the various health insurance, drug and medical device companies, does anyone think they are going to bring out a bill that would reduce those companies' profits?

We need a single payer option for people who lose their coverage or can't afford regular insurance premiums.

Posted by: rickham12351 | September 16, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Mark said,

"He says his bill encourages the move from fee-for-service to integrated clinic care and begins doing that wit Medicre/Medicaid, which is currently wedded to fee-for-service."

I say this is lip service. Can he or anyone tell us how this bill would make integrated clinical care more profitable than fee-for-service? If it is not profit, then, through what mechanism does this encouragement function?

Posted by: shrink2 | September 16, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin writes
"I have been listening to Baucus on POTUS and he impressed me with his attention to the cost containment issue. He says his bill encourages the move from fee-for-service to integrated clinic care and begins doing that wit Medicre/Medicaid, which is currently wedded to fee-for-service."


Any idea what was included that killed the deal for Sen Snowe?


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | September 16, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

CC - you got to admit, this thread is more interesting than the usual sewage perpetrated by drindl, chris fox, ddawd, shrink, margmyers, mikeinmidland, dee, et al of the loony left mutual admiration club.

there is HOPE for this blog. I predict another thread will clearly demonstrate my point.

Posted by: snowbama | September 16, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

>>On September 3, 2009 YOU requested that I ignore your posts from then on out. If you continue to post false accusations about me and my positions, I will no longer abide by your request.


Oh please what false accusations you ignorant plebe. You said you didn't buy any 'evidence' that the Earth wasn't more than ten thousand years old because it didn't address the supernatural. You're a liar and you're a troll. I'll post it so maybe CC will wake up and see what a stain you are. He wouldn't let my response to your diatribe through either but the shortened version is supernatural events are not measurable, recordable, or present in the geologic record. Thus they are not valid for discussion in comparison to things that are.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/most-important-number/the-most-important-number-in-p-31.html#comments

6:03pm: Bottom line, none of said “evidence” takes into account supernatural causes which could easy produce differing erosion rates or an apparent alternation between calcite seas and aragonite seas (the main objections I've seen to a sudden, global flood event, for instance) as well as the "mistaken age" of fossils, radiocarbon dating, etc. That's what I was pointing out on the other thread.

So liar or the most blatant one you decide?

Posted by: mtcooley | September 16, 2009 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone really expect any Republicans to support any health care reform proposed by either the President or the Democrats in Congress?

A lot rides on what the Congressional Budget Office says about the Finance Committee plan. If the CBO doesn't agree with the "deficit neutral" claims of the bill's sponsors and whatever bill comes out of the conference committe bill does not address the deficit issue, health care reform could end up on life support and require extraordinary effort and courage by the Democrats to keep it alive in this session of Congress.

(Of course, that means it would most likely end up dead.)

Posted by: Gallenod | September 16, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

By all means......FULL SPEED AHEAD!! Ram this bill down our throats in a 100% partisan fashion!! I hope every single democrat votes for it and then praises its glory!! PLEASE JUST DO IT!!

And then, in the 2010 and 2012 elections, we, the voters can decide if that is what the majority really wanted. One side or the other is going to be decimated in a bloodbath.

Posted by: AkCoyote | September 16, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I have been listening to Baucus on POTUS and he impressed me with his attention to the cost containment issue. He says his bill encourages the move from fee-for-service to integrated clinic care and begins doing that wit Medicre/Medicaid, which is currently wedded to fee-for-service.

To the many of you who argue that all other nations that compete with us have single payer, that is simply a mistaken notion. France, Japan, Holland, Germany, and Switzerland have thriving private insurers and multiple payers. We will evolve in that direction almost surely, because Congress has been unable to properly fund M/M. partly from lack of will and partly b/c raw medical costs double every several years.

The HB with its public option directly modeled on Medicare, is now dead, IMHO, and I am not grieving.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 16, 2009 1:34 PM | Report abuse

the semi-colons are behaving better now, I see. they are pesky little guys. a worthy adversary for a limited intellect.

Posted by: snowbama | September 16, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Why does everyone keep saying "lie"? The "L" word = the "N" word....it is not allowed.
The seperatist here is Obama when he says,"Well then what is their plan?" speaking of Republicans...shouldn't he say "Our Plan, and include GOP desires in the compromise attitude that he promised?' Oh yea that also was a "L"

Posted by: doggit1 | September 16, 2009 1:32 PM | Report abuse

ITS THE DEBT STUPID!!!!

Posted by: RongCapsFan | September 16, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Pass the bill without GOP support. First strip out all the garbage added in the futile attempt to garner GOP support. Use reconciliation if necessary.

==

Co-sign

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 16, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Gov't Directed Energy Weapons Torture Makes Health Care Reform a Cruel Joke

SILENT, HARMFUL MICROWAVE AND LASER DIRECTED ENERGY WEAPONS DEPLOYED AGAINST AMERICAN CITIZENS -- AMERICA's HORRIFIC SHAME

A federal-local multi-agency coordinated action program -- an ongoing legacy of the Bush-Cheney years -- is committing a quiet genocide on thousands of unjustly targeted Americans via such weaponry; covert financial exploitation; and a grassroots vigilante army fronted by community policing and anti-terrorism units, protected by fed and local law enforcement...

...an American Gestapo hiding in plain sight, unreported by a complacent mainstream media, unaddressed by naive and apparently misinformed Obama officials.

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

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

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

Posted by: scrivener50 | September 16, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Abortion is just a distraction. It is a legitimate medical procedure and not even noteworthily expensive compared to for example treating one of the inevitable consequences of smoking.

Federal tax dollars for abortion are a wedge issue, a troll no matter where the topic is brought up.

If you disapprove of your tax dollars being used for things you find morally offensive, then take a number. Your turn will come after those of us opposed to wars of choice and subsidizing Israeli terrorists get our say.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | September 16, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

The GOP hasn't supported health care reform in 100 years. Why would they start now? All the talk is a smoke screen. Their ideologically against anything they consider a gov't program (unless it's proposed by a republican otherwise it's socialism).

Posted by: kchses1 | September 16, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm with TroutHound. Just call it the "American Patriot Death To Muslim Terrorists and Anti-Gay Medical Reform Bill" and watch the GOP sponsors line up.

Posted by: nodebris | September 16, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I work in a firm that does consumer litigation after a 20 year career as a prosecutor. For decades I have seen gullible people who get into trouble because they are lured into bad deals by deceptive advertising and by clever contracts they did not bother to read.
All of you liberals out there who keep bashing the GOP for opposing the proposed health care plans are no different than the victims of consumer fraud I see every day. You are so wrapped up in the rhetoric and deceptive advertising that you are not stopping to read the "fine print". Then you get childishly angry at the "meanies" in the GOP who deny you instant gratification (you think) , just like when your mommy told you that you could not have icecream and candy for supper.
I will tell you again, just as I explained to my 3-year old , the concept of provoding health care is not at issue, the issue is providing one that will not do more harm than good. In the grown up world, that means creating a system that (1) actually delivers health care, (2) without creating massive deficits, and (3) does not create "hidden taxes" on the poor and middle class such as higher premiums and criminal penalties for people who cannot afford the higher premiums. Now al of you liberals need to put your pacifiers back in your mouths and have your wet-nurses go over the actual facts and figures.

Posted by: MARKM2 | September 16, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

H.R. 3200 (the link you provided) uses federal dollars to provide "affordability credits" which can be used to purchase health insurance that covers abortions. See the problem?

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The bill That baucaus presented is no more than an insurance pay back. no wonder he could not get any republican support,no one want to be connected to that kind of garbage!

Posted by: jrs6776 | September 16, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

@teoandchive: $800 a month? for a family?? Consider that a good move. My husband and I, in our 40's, were laid off from our jobs. After exhausting 18 months worth of COBRA we were denied coverage from every major carrier. Our COBRA carrier graciously offered to extend our coverage.... for $2400 a month. After years of being loyal Republicans we could see the handwriting on the wall and voted for every Democrat we could find on the national ballot. Without national health insurance reform, health care insurers will never offer affordable coverage to all. They don't have to. They may have to offer coverage in certain cases but they make it so extremely cost prohibitive that you can't afford it or if its affordable, you're excluded. Health insurance currently is a racket. Rep. Wilson had the luxury of yelling out last week. He is covered by TriCare- one of the largest government-run health care systems in the country. (See Newsweek article.) When he offers the rest of us the same luxury of coverage, THEN he can offer an opinion.

Posted by: politicsandamericanpie | September 16, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Time for single payer national health care like EVERY OTHER industrialized first world nation has.

NOW.

Stop wasting time talking to America-hating Republic Party of No people - they have no ideas, other than tax cuts for the ultra-rich.

Posted by: WillSeattle | September 16, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Duh. The average voter has little idea at all what's going on in Washington. That's why it's dangerous picking individual numbers out of ambiguous polling result and making a big deal about them.

Pass the bill without GOP support. First strip out all the garbage added in the futile attempt to garner GOP support. Use reconciliation if necessary.

Posted by: nodebris | September 16, 2009 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Screw Sen. Cornhole and the rest of the Bama Party.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | September 16, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

bsweet:

I quoted the specific language in the Baucus "bill".

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

No GOP support . . . .

imagine that . . . .

Looks like Grassley played the Democrats like a fiddle.

OK - screw the GOP. Ram single payer down their throats now.

See hopw the insurance companies like THAT.


They can't get the blue dogs to support it, so I doubt much "ramming" is going to happen.

Those centrist Dems value their jobs more than they value your access to health-care.

Posted by: owebama | September 16, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"...Forcing through a partisan bill gives the impression that Democratic leadership and the White House are more concerned with political victories than they are with passing lasting, bipartisan health care reform," said Cornyn

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

Ha! Or...it could mean the Repub's lack of any participation in the process means "THEY are more concerned with political victories than they are with passing lasting, bipartisan health care reform."

Typical Republican tactic...Take your most illogical point and turn it on it's head.

When the other team doesn't show up you don't take the field against the nonexistant opponent you split your team and play anyway.

Posted by: Vudd | September 16, 2009 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Did everyone see the news today that "health" insurance premiums have gone up 131% in the last decade?

Single payer, please. I would rather pay in "tax" for guaranteed care than in premiums for guaranteed obstruction.

Posted by: theRealCalGal | September 16, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I just want to comment on these people talking about federally funded abortions. This is an assumption by people who don't take the time to research. I have read the bill http://docs.house.gov/edlabor/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

It is about 1000 pages. There are two references to pregnancy in the bill, none related to termination. There is not the word "abortion" in the entire bill. I see nothing even related to termination of pregnancy.

One other point, you can keep the insurance you have. Most of this will be private companies, so are you saying that private insurance will now start to cover abortions?

Someone please point out specific language in the bill that would allow you to think that there is federally funded abortions allowed under it.

I think this is the majority of the GOP problem, you people are in this box and think that everyone is out to destroy your beliefs. GOP needs to get outside the box and start thinking about the future of this country and world for that matter and not hide behind their silly assumptions that they hear from Rush and Fox NOT News.

The biggest problem with this country is the negative BS that news agencies report, constantly putting fear in people that the world is ending, and the number on followers of this BS are the GOP supporters.

Posted by: bsweet | September 16, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I hope Democrats read the writing on the wall soon, and see there is no compromising, even with moderates like Snowe.Bi-partisanship be damned, the Republicans are only obstructing the process, trying to score political points.My view is ram it through, tell the G.O.P. to get on board or get run over.Future generations will thank us for it.

Posted by: reinpfeiffer | September 16, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I am not sure why everyone is acting like the Baucus bill is The One. It is one of five bills in congress, none of which will have any R support. But this step is over. Now to define the bill that gets the most and can still get 50 votes in the Senate. Let Bidden break the tie. I am guessing that Baucus will be one of the 9 Ds not supporting the final bill.

Posted by: PatVa | September 16, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

The Baucus plan is very bad for Republicans because, as the president and most Democrats have consistently argued, there are no wild and wacky conspiracies included in the legislation; in fact it is a very moderate-to-conservative bill.

No more death panels or rationed care to whine about...

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

Posted by: parkerfl1 | September 16, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

What are “the known facts” about Baucus Bill (aka BOGUS health care bill)?

1) This bill was authored by none other than former WellPoint VP.
2) WellPoint (WLP) stock went by 49.34% or $17.84 in six months from $36.15 (3/17/09) to $53.99 (9/16/09)
3) Ask this simple question. What’s in it for me? Your health care premium will still increase with this bill. For example, if you are paying $10,000.00 annual premium today, you may still ended up paying $15,000.00 or more by 2012. Any bill that would not reduce your health care premium bill from $10,000.00 to at least $8,000.00 by 2012 should be rejected. Period.

Posted by: healthinsuranceripoff | September 16, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

So none of the Gang of Three supports the bill. Tell me again why Baucus wasted all this time on them?

Or why any OTHER Democrats on the Committee should support this piece of crapola?

Posted by: theRealCalGal | September 16, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

tqmek1:

To which "Democrats" are you referring to? You previously claimed that Sen. Baucus is "GOP operatives [SIC] disguising as democrat to blow up the party from inside."

ROTFLOL!!!

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Don't waste anymore time with Republicans. It's apparent the couldn't care less with the public,s health. Just pass a bill with a public option and flip them off. When those oppossed to the option begin to lose their insurance, for whatever reason, will be knocking on the door to sign-up for the option.

Posted by: jckdoors | September 16, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The new and improved, Baucus Bill, just a rehash, of the same old trash.

Beware of tricks and traps.

Posted by: pipian | September 16, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

TroutHound:

Did you watch "The Colbert Report"? He interviewed another Lobbyist and made the same point about deficits are only "good" for wars ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Throw away that plan,Democrats if your are going to own it, then own it, have a real reform.
Single payer system, Public Plan all 9 yards, GOP are not going to vote for it anyway.

Posted by: tqmek1 | September 16, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who holds out the tiniest inkling of a thought that this bill will benefit the American people needs to look right here:

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?type=C&cid=N00004643&newMem=N&cycle=2010

This bill was written by insurance and pharma companies. Baucus is corrupt trash, and his bill is worthless.

Posted by: brendaarchimboldi | September 16, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

mtcooley:

On September 3, 2009 YOU requested that I ignore your posts from then on out. If you continue to post false accusations about me and my positions, I will no longer abide by your request.

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"Ooops, but the main criticism applies. In this case it's the 31% represents the Republican "true believers" that I mentioned. Thus, the statistic is ABSOLUTELY meaningless.

Am I asking too much for a "political news & analysis" column?

Posted by: HughJassPhD"

Well, the implication is that 69 (teehee) percent don't believe that Republicans are acting in good faith. I'd say this is pretty relevant, wouldn't you?

Actually it's 62% who say Republicans are not acting in good faith. 7% have no opinion.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 16, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Simple: disguise the healthcare reform bill as a vote for a war against a Muslim country. The republicans will then surely vote for it--every single one of them.

Posted by: TroutHound | September 16, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Are Republicans being set up to take full blame when this doesn't pass even though the Democrats don't need them in order for it to go through? When will the media learn that they are insulting the intelligence of Americans with their manipulation?

Posted by: thebink | September 16, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

More than 2 out of 3 doctors want a public OPTION included. Don't let the Republicans get between you and your doctor.

Single payer, public option.

Posted by: thebobbob | September 16, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"Read it again, doctor. The 31% represents the people who think the Republicans are acting in GOOD faith."
---------------------------------------
Ooops, but the main criticism applies. In this case it's the 31% represents the Republican "true believers" that I mentioned. Thus, the statistic is ABSOLUTELY meaningless.

Am I asking too much for a "political news & analysis" column?

Posted by: HughJassPhD | September 16, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

They never meant to support it, they are not going to support anything bipartisan, I hope they are only hurting themselves. Although, that is questionable, the citizens that vote for them are just as greedy, selfish, and ignorant than they are. But, step back now, put the bill back to a strong, effective packpage and ram it up their noses. You have wasted a whole lot of time, effort, and my money for nothing. Did ya learn anything.

Posted by: linda_521 | September 16, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

>>$5,000 to $10,000 in additional taxes for every taxpayer in the U.S. is a small price to pay for the life of a child, right?

Well he's thinking a much lesser number since he believes supernatural forces shaped the Earth. They don't need any pesky educations and things like that.

Doesn't really do any good. He just trolls and posts outlandish things then deny he said them. Of course he doesn't want to force them to have children. He just wants to limit choices because they make him feel icky inside. Regardless of personal choice and things like personal responsibility. You know what the sane world deals with.

Posted by: mtcooley | September 16, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The Dems have tried to reach out to the GOP. They have made changes to the bill to address Republican concerns. That is about as bi-partisan as it gets. The GOP is not willing to put the interests of the country before the interests of the lobbyists from the health insurance industry. So be it. Pass a bill. In a few years no one is going to care whether any Republicans supported the bill. Sure people would like to see bi-partisan bills but it is clear that is not going to happen. The only way the GOP will be satisfied is if they are allowed to write the bill. We had an election last year and they lost. I believe there are enough intelligent people who vote that their behavior will result in another defeat in 2010.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | September 16, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Trojan Horse by any other name is still a Trojan Horse. Hiding total government control inside of a Trojan Horse does not change anything. Giving Obama Czars control over COOP is Obama Health Plan. The Trojan Horse with COOP written on side to get it out of Senate only to allow Obama Plan to jump out during hearings with House.

Posted by: browncow | September 16, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

The President is wasting valuable time and energy trying to attract bipartisan support from the Republicans, and in trying to respond to GOP clowns who equate any attemps at health care reform to the policies of Nazi Germany.

Posted by: gerardokeefe | September 16, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Of course universal coverage will add to the deficit. I can not understand how
(1) the Democrats can criticize the Republicans for running their Haliburton/Xe blood for oil campaign off the books, then turn around and
(2) pretend they can force feed millions of people through all of the existing structures of the American health care industry without raising taxes or adding to the deficit.

We must not raise taxes (a jobless recovery is a nasty thing), so we will add to the deficit. We will and that is fine.
We made our bed and we have to lie in it, so to speak.

Reasons are many but the simplest is this. With no reform, health care costs will increase just as fast, eating away more of the GDP, just without the benefits of reform (an ever increasing number of health care driven bankruptcies will not help the housing market, after all).

The Republicans bet the farm on Obama being unable to get the economy going before 2012. Rush said so, so they did.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 16, 2009 12:42 PM | Report abuse

tqmek1:

You've been reading too many "scrivener50" posts ; )

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I do not propose to force every woman in the U.S. to bear a child whether she wants to or not, nor do I think that it would cost $3.07 TRILLION (population x $10,000) per year to do so. Next question?

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"So, voters clearly prefer a health care bill that has some element of Republican support even if they don't believe the party is operating on the level when it comes to the legislation. Odd."
-------------------------------------------

This is not "odd" if you look at the issue as more than a Democrat vs. Republican food fight.

The response makes perfect sense. The non-partisan responders like part of the Democrat's bill, but not all of it.

Posted by: HughJassPhD | September 16, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"The above statistic means ABSOLUTELY nothing.

31% of the population represents the Democrats who will never change their minds - "the true believers". This group will support any legislation the president submits and will ALWAYS see nefarious intent in those who oppose his initiatives.

Likewise, there is a similar group that unquestionably supports Republican initiatives.

Posted by: HughJassPhD"

Read it again, doctor. The 31% represents the people who think the Republicans are acting in GOOD faith.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 16, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Republicans represent Corporate Welfare, not the best interests of the American people. That's the bottom line......

An Independent

Posted by: aeaustin | September 16, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse

If no GOP is supporting the plan, why tehre is no real Democratic plan, with public option and single payer system.

Baucus is GOP operatives disguising as democrat to blow up the party from inside.

Posted by: tqmek1 | September 16, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Even "shrink2" agrees that Obama was LYING about "I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficit".

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

Very well. I respect your objection to federally funded abortions.

Since you propose to force every woman in the U.s. to bear a child whether she wants to or not I'm sure you will also agree to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 per person more each year in taxes.

This should pay for the medical care, food, rent, clothing, and education expenses for all the children who are brought into this world when abortion is outlawed.

Are you and other abortion opponents ready to put your money where your mouth is?

$5,000 to $10,000 in additional taxes for every taxpayer in the U.S. is a small price to pay for the life of a child, right?

Posted by: montana123 | September 16, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

If dropping the public option didn't gain a single Republican supporter, they might as well put it back in.

Thanks, GOP, for showing that true bipartisan spirit!

Posted by: mikeinmidland | September 16, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

No, DwightCollins, the simple fact is that EVERY Dem bill pending to extend healthcare uses federal dollars to fund abortion. As I asked someone else, do you think that this "President" will veto any of those?

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter, that 0.
It was inevitable.

The Ds just had to go through the motions.

Now, if there is no universal coverage, health care industry/economic stimulus bill passed in the next few months, it will be a very bad thing for the Democrats in Congress. If there is, it will be a very good thing for the Ds, more so in 2012 than in 2010.


The health care industry
economic stimulus package will pass, just as long as the Chinese agree to finance it.
Today Republican "ideas" don't matter any more than their votes. The Republicans have no serious candidates, the party is in disarray and since Palin, has become the safe haven for kooks and proud to be bigots.

If they Rs make gains at the ballot box, it will be because (a) the economy got worse not better and (b) the economy got worse, not better.

Posted by: shrink2 | September 16, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"

It is simply amazing that a number of people posting to this article call the President a liar because there is some language about abortion in THIS bill.
Hello, this is Baucus's bill --and he spent WAY too much time producing it. His bill may not even make it out of the Finance committee, much less through the Senate. To claim that THIS bill is the President's is laughable at best and deceitful--that means lying --- at worst.
Posted by: jmsbh | September 16, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse"

any dem plan is the president's plan...

Posted by: DwightCollins | September 16, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I'm all for bipartisanship, and I would rather not see a bill rammed through without GOP support, but if they won't play ball no matter what, then it's time to kiss bipartisanship on this issue goodbye. Do something, with or without them.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | September 16, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

"On the other, less than one third of the sample (31 percent) said they believed Republicans were operating in "good faith" to find compromise with Democrats on health care reform."
-----------------------------------------

The above statistic means ABSOLUTELY nothing.

31% of the population represents the Democrats who will never change their minds - "the true believers". This group will support any legislation the president submits and will ALWAYS see nefarious intent in those who oppose his initiatives.

Likewise, there is a similar group that unquestionably supports Republican initiatives.

Posted by: HughJassPhD | September 16, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

montana123:

Don't forget about federal dollars being used to fund abortions.

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Is anyone REALLY surprised Baucus' health care reform bill didn't get any Republican support?

I'm not, for one.

If you think about it, Republicans are opposed to health care reform strictly for ideological reasons. Republicans, for the most part, don't believe providing retirement security (i.e. Social Security)or health care (i.e. Medicaid and Medicare) is a legitimate function of government.

Republicans have always believed it is up to the individual to provide for his/her own retirement and health care. If you recall most Republicans vigorously opposed Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Despite the Republicans rhetoric about "family values", Republicans apparently aren't too concerned if many families don't have access to quality health care or if some families face personal bankruptcy because of an illness.

Judging from the election results of last November about 46% of Americans share the Republican's view on health care and other social issues.

Posted by: montana123 | September 16, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

This is an administration that does not deign to make logical arguments. This is an administration that calls names and levels slurs at its opponents rather than challenging them on logical grounds. This is an administration that embraces the polarizing politics of racial pandering and class warfare while claiming a nonexistent high-mindedness.

Presidents must govern, not complain. Their supporters must support their policies, and they must justify them. If Obama does something wrong, it does not suddenly become right because Bush pursued similar measures.

And just to be clear, any analogy between the spendthrift policies of the Bush administration and the Obama administration falls flat on the merits. Bush left office with a $455 billion budget deficit for 2009 and a $10.7 trillion national debt. In well under a year, Obama has more than tripled the budget deficit to $1.58 trillion, and the national debt is now up to $11.8 trillion. The Obama economic policies will add a minimum of $9.05 trillion to the national deficit over the next nine years -- and that is a vastly optimistic estimate. Some economists say the deficit will increase by over $14 trillion.

It is time for Obama and his followers to grow up.

Posted by: snowbama | September 16, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I just don't get why the issue of mandates isnt getting more attention. Having the govt force its citizens to buy a product from a private company just for being alive is a massive change in philosophy and direction. Is it even legal? How can the govt force us to do something that is not for public benefit but rather private benefit. this isnt car insurance. one can't not be born.

this is a revolutionary change in the fundamental role of the citizen and the state. philosophically this seems an extremely bad path to go down.

Posted by: PindarPushkin | September 16, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

The Bachus bill does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to improve health care in the USA. It provides for "co-ops" that have as much chance of competing with the large insurance companies as a snowball has in hell. And O yah, it provides that insurance companies may not drop you if you get sick (They will just raise your premium so you can't afford it anymore)and they may not refuse you if you have a pre-existing condition. (same solution )This modest proposal got how many republican votes? None, Nada, Zero. So anyone who still believes in a bi-partisan bill, including the President of the United States has his/her head up their a*se until they will need their elbows to push themselves out. Come on Democrats, this should be a wake up call to you! You WILL NOT get any republican votes for ANYTHING you propose except another tax cut for rich people.Draw up the bill that includes a public option and SHOVE IT DOWN THEIR THROATS, You got the votes, DO IT!

Posted by: Opa2 | September 16, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else who wants to have a "substantive discussion" of federal dollars being used to fund abortions UNDER ANY DEMOCRATIC PLAN OUT THERE, let me know on this thread.

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"OK - screw the GOP. Ram single payer down their throats now.

See how the insurance companies like THAT."
-------------------------------------------

I think you meant, "See how the voters like THAT in 2010."

Posted by: HughJassPhD | September 16, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mark_in_austin | September 16, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

For a quick tease of Monday's Letterman show, here is about the 5 minutes of President Obamafield's late-night routine.


So conjure-up your best Dangerfield impression, picture our prime time President, grab that tie, start jerking around a little, and get started.


Ladies and gentleman...the President of the United States - Barack Obamafield!!!


"I gotta tell ya America...I get no respect."


"I was in the green room trying to get a coke -- the machine kept blinking...NO CHANGE - NO CHANGE - NO CHANGE!"


"Last night I prayed to God to hear the voice of America more clearly...I woke up with bigger ears!"


"Yesterday I told Rahm Emanuel we need to make this health care plan stand out more...he stuck a dead fish in the bill."


"I told Rahm I wanted America to look at me differently tonight...he gave me his leotard to wear."


"No respect!"


"I threw out the first pitch at the all-star game...I got an invitation to the Special Olympics - to participate!"


"Last night I caught my daughter telling a fib, I told her she should always tell the truth"...she said, "Like Joe Wilson does?"


"I get no respect!"


"I told the Surgeon general this health care debate is killing me"...she said, "Relax - have a cigarette."


"Wanda Sykes told me Rush Limbaugh needs a kidney transplant...I'm the only match!"


"No respect!"


"Kathleen Sebelius suggested dropping health care reform all together." I said, "Over my dead body." She said, "is that shovel ready?"


"Before I came out, my staff told me this routine would kill...like your health care plan!"


"I tell ya America, I get no respect!"


Now that's the kind of performance I expect from a real celebrity President. How about you?


now that's funny.


http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/obama_dangerfield_looking_for.html

Posted by: snowbama | September 16, 2009 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Allow me to quote (again): "And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up -- under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions ..."

Whether you are pro-life or not, everyone knows that's a lie.

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

jmsbh:

EVERY bill currently pending extends federal funds for abortions. Are you seriously saying that this "President" will veto an eventual bill based on that? ROTFLOL!!!

Google: Obama abortion "above my pay grade"

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 11:50 AM | Report abuse

It is simply amazing that a number of people posting to this article call the President a liar because there is some language about abortion in THIS bill.
Hello, this is Baucus's bill --and he spent WAY too much time producing it. His bill may not even make it out of the Finance committee, much less through the Senate. To claim that THIS bill is the President's is laughable at best and deceitful--that means lying --- at worst.

Posted by: jmsbh | September 16, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

Now that at long last Sen. Baucus has produced a Bill, let's hope that some of its more useless provisions can largely be ignored when reconciling it with the other Senate Bill, and by the time the finished Senate Bill is reconciled with the House Bill, there may be relatively few vestiges left of it in its original form.

Sen. Baucus definitely deserves all the criticism he is receiving, trying to have it both ways! Quisling wasn't a hero, either!

One knew what Grassley and Enzi were up to during the summer, so that, of course, is no surprise.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | September 16, 2009 11:44 AM | Report abuse

""I want a law named after me -- Feldman's Law -- and I want it invoked whenever that horrible anti-Semite, dreadful human being and unspeakably incompetent President, Jimmy Carter, is hauled out to defend or accuse someone. It would hold that as the Democrat's position grows increasingly weak, the probability of a charge of racism increases, and when the position is on its last mortal legs, that old self righteous misanthrope, Jimmy Carter,will be hauled out of his lonely cellar to pronounce it so.""


Te he

Posted by: snowbama | September 16, 2009 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"ABORTION coverage IS in the bill"

so don't have one, if you don't believe it's acceptable.
no one will force you

Posted by: newagent99 | September 16, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

"And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up -- under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions ..."

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

again, where is Obama?

his ceeding a single payer system before he even started showed the GOP that he is weak.

His exit to Europe followed by his vacation , while the GOP attacked, showed he's naive

His caving on the government option, then swinging back to it, then caving again, showed the GOP that he dithers.

We're going to get a bill that the insurance companies adore, and it's going to because :

1) Obama doesnt' know anything about leadership

OR

2) he's really a corporate president


I vote for #2

Posted by: newagent99 | September 16, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

jhr1:

You are correct. Although there is some lip-service langauge about the "minimum benefits" package NOT covering abortion, it is clear:

"A qualified health plan would not be prohibited, however, from providing coverage for abortions beyond those for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted. Federal funds continue to be prohibited from being used to pay for abortions UNLESS the pregnancy is due to rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger."

pResident Obama is a liar.

Posted by: JakeD | September 16, 2009 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Americans want to repair the system with out the government. I pray tell want to know what that quote was about. How are we supposed to make insurance and health care work for us when if given the opportunity and the deregulation of the insurance market you wouldn't be able to afford it or get coverage if you didn't make massive amounts of money? Profits aren't evil mind you they just don't care.

Posted by: mtcooley | September 16, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Where are your regulars on this thread CC. I miss the miasma?

Posted by: snowbama | September 16, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't think the public at large is going to care if the Republicans sign on to whatever bill is finally written or not; they want affordable health care with certain guarantees, not some sign that our parties can actually agree on something. Besides which, true bipartisanship isn't on the table anyway.

The Democrats have to craft the best bill they can and then pass it. The Republicans are going to cause as much trouble and stir up as much difficulty as they can to prevent such a passage...and the portion of the public railing against reform would never have supported it anyway. So ignore them. The minority has their say but the majority carries the day.

Posted by: dbitt | September 16, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Why do you people care about the Republicans? Republicans mean essentially nothing in Washington right now. All of your focus should be on Democrats. Criticize them. You have little need to even worry about Republicans. This bill's controversy is all about Democrats.

Posted by: lancediverson | September 16, 2009 11:26 AM | Report abuse

ABORTION coverage IS in the bill. And it sure doesn't look revenue neutral to me. I guess the president is a liar after all.

Posted by: jhr1 | September 16, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

We all know the Democrats bent over backwards to seek Republican support. We all know they made all kinds of concessions to those nasty Republicans, but because those nasty Republicans want people to die in the streets, they refused the bipartisan compromise. I am now going to list all the concessions the Democrats offered to the Republicans to get a "bipartisan" bill:


Whoops! I can't think of any. Surely there must be a whole lot of them, but, come to think of it I don't remember anyone saying what they are. Does anybody know? It just couldn't be that the Democrats' idea of "bipartisanship" is their way or the highway, right? I'll leave it up to the Obama supporters to list all those many, many compromises that were offered. I'm holding my breath waiting, so hurry up!

Posted by: beachbum09 | September 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse
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Single payer was "compromised" right at the start. That one was HUGE.

Posted by: Flabergasted | September 16, 2009 11:24 AM | Report abuse

The Party of No has said, "No!", again - as fully anticipated of the Great Obstructionist Party (GOP).

Posted by: TalkingHead1 | September 16, 2009 11:22 AM | Report abuse

We all know the Democrats bent over backwards to seek Republican support. We all know they made all kinds of concessions to those nasty Republicans, but because those nasty Republicans want people to die in the streets, they refused the bipartisan compromise. I am now going to list all the concessions the Democrats offered to the Republicans to get a "bipartisan" bill:

Whoops! I can't think of any. Surely there must be a whole lot of them, but, come to think of it I don't remember anyone saying what they are. Does anybody know? It just couldn't be that the Democrats' idea of "bipartisanship" is their way or the highway, right? I'll leave it up to the Obama supporters to list all those many, many compromises that were offered. I'm holding my breath waiting, so hurry up!

Posted by: beachbum09 | September 16, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Good, they won't be able to claim they suopported it later when it become popular with even republicans.

Posted by: OneFreeMan | September 16, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

The Bill Max Baucus put together is a set up. It is meant to fail. Max Baucus has accepted millions of "donations" from the health insurance companies. If he wants us to even consider supporting a bill he puts together he must give all that money back first. Please join one of our voting blocs to protest against the corruption of Washington here:

For single payer health care reform please join here:
http://www.votingbloc.org/Health_Bloc.php

To stop elected officials from accepting campaign contributions from corporations and PAC's join here:
http://www.votingbloc.org/Reform_Bloc.php

Posted by: letsgobuffalo | September 16, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Cornyn really knows how to turn that equation around, doesn't he?

As was always predicted, the Republicans would make a lot of fitful demands, the Democrats would compromise, more demands, more compromise and ... then the Republicans would pick up their stakes and leave the table.

The Republicans were never in this negotiation. The Republicans don't want reform. The are happy with things the way they are -- the medical industrial complex reams money out of the public without restriction at a cost of 17% of our GDP and poor results, medically, when compared to every other industrialised Western country.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | September 16, 2009 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Please, please Democrats do not support Max's health care coup. There is nothing in it.

Here is one thing I read: 13%. That is what Baucus' bill is expecting middle-income Americans to pay for health insurance (or, at least he is expecting middle-income Americans to pay 13% of their income before they receive subsidies).

Suppose I make $75,000 and I have a wife and two kids. Suppose I am currently uninsured because I am a sole proprietor. My pretax income would be $6250. I would be expected to pay, in health care premiums, around $800 per month.

And, then I would make co-payments of $20 for each visit to the doctor for my little ones. And, for each ER visit I would then pay $100. And, oh that specialist? Well, that's going to be an 80/20 split.

Baucus-care is bad for everyone. Please. We need a public option. Otherwise, this is a recipe for a one-term presidency.

Posted by: teoandchive | September 16, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Once again the Republicans show their true colors. They do not care about anything unless they can say they did. I read an article yesterday from a Republican commentator that said 80% of the health care reform bill has support from both sides of the aisle. So, if that is the case then why don't the Republicans help get that part passed? It is because all they want to do is complain that they aren't in power and that they know what's best for the country. They are a bunch of spoiled little children that truly need to sit down, shut up and do their jobs and get healthcare reform passed so that it will stop costing us an arm and a leg so that we can have health insurance.

Posted by: chocvanswirl | September 16, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Zero. Zip. Nada. Just say no. Negative infinity and beyond. Breaking things and not fixing them. Scaring little old ladies. That's the sum of the GOPs contributions to the problems at hand.

Posted by: SarahBB | September 16, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Agreed Palmtree. Republicans have complained that they are not included, want tort reform, etc but refuse to vote for a bill even if it includes any of these things. If they won't vote on a compromise, why compromise?

Posted by: pezdrake | September 16, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

It's kind of weird how Baucus' bill has just hemorrhaged support recently. Not just from Republicans, but Democrats too. I hate how he has tried to hijack the whole process.

People want bipartisanship because partisan politics is typically a hindrance to getting things done. Now it's the opposite. It's the attempt to work with people who are vested in seeing reform fail that is preventing anything from getting done. No matter how much d*ck sucking Baucus does, do you think that Grassley is going to ever vote for anything? Of course not.

Obama laid out a sort of clear idea of what he wants to see in a reform bill. The Democrats have a much better starting place with that. Oh, and if you're going to get Republicans involved, please leave the pricks out of the process. Otherwise, you're just wasting everyone's time. I'm not so sure why Baucus is so intent on helping the Republicans dig a tunnel back to 1994. Let them do it on their own and hang themselves politically.

Posted by: DDAWD | September 16, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

No GOP support . . . .

imagine that . . . .

Looks like Grassley played the Democrats like a fiddle.

OK - screw the GOP. Ram single payer down their throats now.

See hopw the insurance companies like THAT.

Posted by: palmtree2001 | September 16, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

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