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The Most Important Number in Politics Today

1

That's the number of Republican votes -- in the form of Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) -- that President Obama's health care bill received in the Senate Finance Committee today.

Winning a single GOP vote is rarely a legislative victory but the White House should be heartened by Snowe's "yes" vote for two major reasons.

First, the White House -- and President Obama himself -- lavished attention on Snowe over the past weeks in an all-out effort to win her support for the bill in the Finance Committee. In fact, Snowe's "when history calls, history calls" explanation of her vote sounded strikingly similar to the sort of rhetoric coming out of the Obama White House regarding the health care bill.

For a White House that has taken a series of hits of late for their lack of effectiveness in the sort of political horse-trading that can make or break an administration, this is rightly seen both as a victory and a finger-in-the-eye to those who were questioning Obama's political radar after the Olympics debacle late last month.

Second, with Snowe on board, the White House -- and the liberal left -- now have a key piece of leverage to bring to bear on wavering moderate Democrats. You can almost hear the argument being made to the likes of Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Blanche Lincoln (Ark.); "Snowe is for it, how can you not be?"

While Snowe's support is no guarantee that moderate Democrats will ultimately support the bill, it does give them some level of political cover to do so. With a Republican backing the bill, people like Lincoln, who faces a serious reelection test next fall, can vote for what they can accurately describe to voters as a bipartisan effort to reform the health care system. (Assuming Snowe is the only Republican who votes for the bill on final passage, you can expect Lincoln's eventual opponent to dismiss a single GOP vote as something short of true bipartisanship.)

Finally, from a practical perspective Snowe's support for the bill means that Democrats can afford to lose one of their own and still have the 60 votes they need to break filibusters and bring the legislation to the floor. That means that someone -- someone like Ben Nelson, perhaps -- may be able to vote "no" without bringing the entire health care reform process to a grinding halt. That calculus would change, however, if Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), who is in poor health, was unable to cast a vote -- narrowing to almost zero the Democrats' wiggle room.

All of the above assumes that Snowe's "yes" vote in the Finance Committee today means that she will be a "yes" when and if the bill comes up for final passage. While her support for the measure in committee makes that outcome more likely, it is far from assured as the bill could well move to the ideological left in the floor debate and subsequent conference committee.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 13, 2009; 2:09 PM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
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Comments

Now that the bill is out of committee, the agents of delay will have no place to hide. There is going to be a put up or shut up moment, for or against. The public is quite firmly for. Any democrat who breaks ranks to filibuster from here on out is going to be stepping out into a very lonely, hostile world.

Posted by: theamazingjex | October 14, 2009 1:16 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Snowe gets the title of "last sane and patriotic Senate Republican." Wonder how long until they throw her out of the party?

Posted by: nodebris | October 14, 2009 12:52 AM | Report abuse

"All of the above assumes that Snowe's "yes" vote in the Finance Committee today means that she will be a "yes" when and if the bill comes up for final passage."

Wouldn't it be patriotic to just vote the bill out of committee so the entire floor could vote on it, even if you didn't mean to support it yourself in the final vote? You know, to encourage open democratic debate on important national issues with strong public support. For the good of the country, and so forth.

Posted by: nodebris | October 14, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

I think the opt-out decided by state legistlature or state-wide referendum would be a very democratic way to settle this whole public option thing.

I wonder if the majority of those GOP states are really so against a public option? would a senator dare to vote agains the bill in senate and deprive their citizens of the being able to decide themselves? and if they opt-out this year, they could change their mind next year.

It's brilliant.

Posted by: Rin-tin-tin1 | October 13, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

I would suspect that the MOST significant effect of her vote is that it buys HER a ticket to the conference committee that reconciles the various bills.

Some expert on Senate procedure needs to check in here on two points: First, who names the Conference committee members, who usually makes up the Conference Committee, and what say, if any, do the republicans have on the Committee make up?

AND, is cloture invoked by two thirds of the whole Senate, or just two thirds of the Senators present and voting?

The cloture vote rules do make a difference. Should even one Republican not show for the vote it adds significantly to the Dems wiggle room, and any Republican who votes present also helps the democrats without actually voting FOR cloture. They only need to get SOME semblance of a bill passed in the Senate and the whole process goes to committee to reconcile, and the bill that comes out of that committee cannot be amended nor can it be filibustered. THAT bill gets its up or down vote regardless.

Bet on some kind of pairing, mandatory participation in health insurance, and Insurer of last resort, (a back door public option) in the compromise bill. One or two OTHER compromise clauses, such as a clause giving the Government the authority to insist on appropriate tests and counseling before it pays for controversial medical procedures, (which might buy it a pass form the USCCB and reluctant support from some pro life groups) and the bill might lots of friends from everywhere but the resolute Right Obstructionist Caucus.

This dish is going to have more ingredients than Mulligatawny jambalaya bouillabaisse, and be about as palatable, but it will get passed and it will get consumed.

Ask me to per orate sometime of fatuous tactics in the face of certain defeat.

Posted by: ceflynline | October 13, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

BTW. I'm rooting for McDimwit in VA and pushing for the Red States to secede. The Potomac will make a much better border.

==

Let the whole bunch of them secede. We'll accept Decent Human refugees and won't have to support the revenue-negative reds anymore.

I don't mind, but then I live in Washington State and no red states are upwind from me.I pity people who're going to have to put up with the stench of rotting flesh for a few months.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 13, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

This is insane. We have GOT to find a way to put some age limits in for our elected representatives. The fact that a Senator or Representative from either party would be unable to cast votes due to extreme old age is unacceptable in the modern political age, where the outcome of major legislation can (and does) hinge on one vote.

Those like Byrd who are too infirm to fulfill their responsibilities to their constituents need to step down and be replaced according to the rules of their states.

Posted by: bkriner | October 13, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

You can put this 'vicory' well behind you assssssss

Posted by: bluelagoon21 | October 13, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

What a crock. She is about as Republican as Joe Lieberman.

Nice try, but no cigar.

Posted by: LarryG62 | October 13, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

....Folks, I think a number of Senators and Members of the House are watching two key elections- Virginia and New Jersey as "bellwether states." ...

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | October 13, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

ROTFLOL: Let me be the first to acquaint you with the phrase: "All politics are local."

An off year election one year before a mid-term is bell weather? More like bats in your belfry.

One year out from a general election? Gee I should use last year's general election as a predictor of this coming election in VA and NJ. Except that wouldn't work out the way you would like would it.

What happens in NJ and VA has ZERO to do with what will happen in the next midterm election.

It's the economy stupid. The state of the economy in Nov 2010 will determine the races. The better the economy the more it favors incumbents. It's always been that way. There's no reason to think it will be any different in the future.

One year before the 1992 election Bush 41 was a lock. Unbeatable. Then the economy went south and in Nov 1992 the country elected Bill Clinton. In 1996, the country was at peace, the economy was great and the country really didn't care what Bill Clinton was getting from Monica. [It certainly had more class than hitting the restroom stalls in airports as Republicans are known for.]

BTW. The DOW was actually lower when Bush 43 left office than when he was originally sworn in Jan 2001. That's special! After 8 years of George W. Bush the DOW had a NEGATIVE RETURN. Something to go in his Presidential Library along with "My Pet Duck".

I also think as you walk into the Bush library they should have Rummy saying .... We know where they [WMD] are. They are to the North, South, East and West of Baghdad." What Rummy forgot to say was HOW FAR.

BTW. I'm rooting for McDimwit in VA and pushing for the Red States to secede. The Potomac will make a much better border.

Posted by: James10 | October 13, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

I can only hope there will be a public option salvaged from the mess... The health insurance industry has been wounded by the progress of healthcare reform, but they are still breathing... Put a stake throught their greedy hearts and put them out of theeir misery.

Posted by: demtse | October 13, 2009 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Snowe is courageous for going against the grain of her fringe party and the town hall crazies. She stood for principle and against being for sale. She shines above many in both major parties. Public option must be passed. Rev. Bookburn - Radio Volta

Posted by: revbookburn | October 13, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

I guess if someone is idiot enough to believe Sarah Palin will be our next president then being afraid of a Chinese invasion isn't that much of a stretch.

But neither believe has any basis in reality.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 13, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

SS was established as a safety net not as a crap shoot.
Oh yes buying preferred shares, if you even have the slightest idea what they are, in companies like GM emerging from bankruptcy is precisely where I would want my SS money to be going.Have you called Madoff or Stnford for investing ideas in their Carribean CDs. I believe they had safe 12% yields, you might want to check with them.

Posted by: leichtman | October 13, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Washington success formula:
1 bamboozled idiot = Victory

Posted by: jazbond007 | October 13, 2009 7:26 PM

Well, we had eight years in which 1 bamboozled idiot = president. So this is an improvement, no?

Posted by: PeterPrinciple | October 13, 2009 8:33 PM | Report abuse

I see some jackasses her still think SS is an "investment" It is no such thing and has no rate of return. It is a transfer payment from today's wrokers to today's retirees palin and simple; when it runs a surplus; the surplus is parked in Treasury notes. When it runs a deficit (11 years so far out of more than 70) Treasury notes are cashed in to balance income and payout. it isn't some piggy bank you can buy stocks with; which showss how ignorant Bush really was; privatization would have been a freakin disaster; I hope some stiff like romney brings it up again

Posted by: joelpalmer | October 13, 2009 6:06 PM

====================

I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to say. ... Are you interested in a "real" rate of return like I might find in GM Senior notes? Or preferred stocks which have a particular yield at par?

ALL "investments" are based on some version of wish and hope with a twist of how the day traders may feel that particular day.

Intel just announced a better than expected profit with an upbeat outlook for the next 3 months. ... Something is going to happen to that stock tomorrow. Do you find that to be "real"? Look up the book value of PALM and it's share price and make sense out of that. That's an "investment".

Let's look at a preferred stock CPRZ. It has current yield of 9.0%. Where do you think that yield will come from? That stock is going to pay out $0.4344/share every quarter whether there is a profit or not. Where does it come from? Future revenues of Citigroup is where is comes from. Revenues that doesn't yet exist.

SS as an investment is just as real or not as CPRZ. In addition, SS is also has an insurance aspect to it; disability and survivor insurance.

Are you going to bet that Treasuries are going to default before GM Senior Notes default?

Investments are illusions of value/future value. One illusion is as real as another illusion.

Posted by: James10 | October 13, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

oh yes good old self reliance will take of your medical ills. Need surgery need chemo have a bake sale or a car wash or knock on your neighbor's door and beg. What is next. Ending Medicare and living in Hoover towns.

Posted by: leichtman | October 13, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Folks, I think a number of Senators and Members of the House are watching two key elections- Virginia and New Jersey as "bellwether states."

This turkey ain't going anywhere through the full legislature, prior to 3 Nov.

If anybody wants a reason why this is a bad bill, here it is. That CPR thingamajig, the defibrillator varies in cost, but let's assume $3,000. The new price, with the excise tax? $3,900, plus more sales tax, on top of that.

Folks, we can afford it.

fabricmaven1 complains about how the military medical care, just because they enlisted and he considers himself and others "losers" because of "The Public Option."

Folks, there was a time in this country when self-reliance was king and WELFARE was for those who could not afford their way.

One of the primary reasons for the fall of the Roman Empire was that the Senate started giving away freebies and dispensed them out, faster than the Kennedy Trust could be dismantled, about two years ago.

One thing is certain, Joe Wilson's campaign chest swelled after the "You Lie" remark. I suggest to all you Senators and Members of the House, consider this when you cast your vote on this turkey.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | October 13, 2009 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, no one that hayesap8 knows ever gets killed by China's Shenyang J-12, 13, 14 or Russia's Sukhoi PAK FA / T-50. Maybe then Obama's cancellation of the F-22 will be finally seen as a mistake.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Washington success formula:

1 bamboozled idiot = Victory

Posted by: jazbond007 | October 13, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse

Following 9/11, the U.S. military budget increased 67% in eight years -- while that is a lot is terms of dollar amount -- compare that to 194% increase for China and 172% increase for Russia for the same time frame:

http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

hayesap8:

And people thought that Japan would never be crazy enough to attack Pearl Harbor either.

Gator-ron:

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

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/remarks-by-the-president-to-a-joint-session-of-congress-on-health-care/

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

These callous ignoramus nitwits would spend any amount of money to keep people (and I use the term with reservation) like Terry Schaivo alive in an incubator rather than help millions of children who could benefit immensely by getting basic medical care.

To the question of whether this is a "bipartisan" bill or not -- of course.. Even if there is one snake in the pit, it is still a snake pit.

Posted by: kblgca | October 13, 2009 7:10 PM | Report abuse

Not even Kim Jung Il is insane enough to try to invade the US. Get over your paranoid fantasies about Russia and China.

Posted by: hayesap8 | October 13, 2009 7:08 PM | Report abuse

The is a misconception on the part of the morally confused that there is something wrong with terminating a pregnancy for a sound medical reason. Contraception is not such a reason.

It would be wrong to deprive a woman such a procedure in the same way it would be wrong to deprive a diabetic insulin because you don't believe in transferring hormones.

Specifying abortion as a procedure that can not be performed is going down the road of the government making medical decisions.

Posted by: Gator-ron | October 13, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

fabricmaven1:

What's stopping you from enlisting? Fact of the matter is that "public healthcare" is worthless if China and/or Russia invade us.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

From the NYT today:

"In a preliminary estimate, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation calculated that absent any such employer efforts, 14 percent of family health policies and 19 percent of individual policies would be hit by the tax in 2013. By 2019, according to the estimate, 37 percent of family policies and 41 percent of individual policies would be affected. Those numbers rise over time in these calculations because although the initial tax threshold would increase with the economy’s overall inflation, premiums would be expected to rise even faster."

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

My comments may or may not have anything to do with this post. I live in a military town in Virginia. I listen to jet noise so loud that I cannot have a personal conversation on the phone or in person. My point is that this countries citizenry pays taxes to support agendas like the military. Every pilot that flies over my head rattling my windows has wonderful healthcare along with his family. I have always been self employed and have never been able to enjoy the healthcare that the military is given just because they enlisted. My representatives in Virginia are so business friendly that they will not consider a public option for losers like me. I am disgusted to see what our so called democracy represents. Protect The Health Insurance Industry and screw the real people that have to negotiate the present avenues to see a Doctor if you were stupid enough to get sick. This country sucks.Why are there so many so happy with the staus quo that they find the idea of a Public Option to help all Americans a weird idea? The cost of jet fuel that is wasted for all of this useless flying over my head would fund a health clinic for many years. We have the money to support death and destruction in our Military follies but not a dime to help our population a fair way to seek relief when we get sick.

Posted by: fabricmaven1 | October 13, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

stratman1:

Obama praised Snowe and the "bipartisan" bill today (YUCK!)

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"We know it will slash a half-trillion dollars from seniors’ Medicare, add new taxes and raise premiums."

Actually, we 'know' no such thing. What we know is that if Mitch McConnell said it, it needs serious fact-checking.

Posted by: drindl | October 13, 2009 6:44 PM | Report abuse

C'mon, Chris...you must be smoking something to seriously believe that a SINGLE Republican vote (which so far is merely a committee vote) is going to provide someone like Lincoln with political cover based on the premise that the bill is "bipartisan".. Her constituents might just as easily conclude that Snowe is as crazy as Lincoln (assuming both vote for it on the floor, and that it passes). It'll be awfully humorous to watch Blanche Lincoln campaigning on the premise that the bill is bipartisan, if the only Republican vote she can point to is Olympia Snowe's, lol.

Posted by: stratman1 | October 13, 2009 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"This remains a BHO strength, not well understood by his own partisans. It has been a strength of McC as a legislator, too, and I remain annoyed that so many of you think he is "overrated"."

That seems rather personal, Mark. I do not detract from McCain's previous record. I am simply speaking of now, when he is not reaching across the aisle at all, but simply taking entirely whatever is the standpoint of the base. I see him being oppositional more than anything.

Although I do have to commend him for being gracious about the Nobel, I'm sure he faced criticism for even doing that.

Posted by: drindl | October 13, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement Tuesday regarding the Finance Committee vote on partisan health care reform:

“Sen. Snowe called me this morning to let me know that while she continues to have serious, substantive policy reservations with this proposal, she wanted to keep the process moving. I share her concerns about the direction of this bill once it leaves the committee, and her call for transparency before we vote to proceed to any bill on the floor.

"The fact is, this proposal will never come before the Senate. But what we do know is that the bill written behind closed doors here in the Capitol will be another 1,000-page, trillion-dollar Washington takeover. We know it will slash a half-trillion dollars from seniors’ Medicare, add new taxes and raise premiums. That’s not reform.”

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Obadiah55:

How about the party of reactionaries. They are the direct intellectual descendants of those who tried to stop the American Revolution.

They are the intellectual descendants of those who violated their oaths to the American Constitution, initiated civil war and even turned to America's enemies for support in the conflict.

They are the direct intellectual descendants of those who voted to provide feed to horses and live stock while voting against helping starving Americans during the great depression.

They are in short the enemies of the American Revolution.

Posted by: explorers100 | October 13, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the congress should be voting for accepting the Health Plan as their own health plan or are they smart enough to realize that the plan is perhaps insufficient to provide decent health coverage.

Posted by: rvaw120 | October 13, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

The performance of the GOP over the last several years, especially this year, demands a new name for GOP. Here are my suggestions:

The Selfish Party
The Party of the Stupid
All I Care About is My Money Party
The Superficial Party
The No Party
The Know Nothing Party
The No Compassion party
The Monolithic Party
Let's Bring Back Powdered Wigs and High Button Shoes Party
The Party of the Shallow
The War Mongers Party
The Party of Sound Bites
The No New Ideas Party
The Rapacious Party
The Dumb and Dumber Party
The Greedy Party
The Cold Fish Party
The Dirty Tricks Trips
The Liars and Damn Liars Party
The Status Quo Party
The Change Adverse Party
The Partisan Party
The Dogmatic Part
The Exaggeration Party
The Distortion Party
The Lobbyist Party
The Lack of Imagination Party

I welcome any other suggestions.

Posted by: Obadiah55 | October 13, 2009 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Let me be clear. Lavishing attention upon a politician is not so very different from grooming a monkey.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | October 13, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

Now get a conference bill with the four of five other versions with a pubic plan to compete with insurance somcpanies, and pass it before thansgiving. And we will all have something to give thanks for, aside from the magnificent job our president and congress have done in saving the country from the pathways of disaster the gop had us travelling.

Posted by: John1263 | October 13, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I see some jackasses her still think SS is an "investment" It is no such thing and has no rate of return. It is a transfer payment from today's wrokers to today's retirees palin and simple; when it runs a surplus; the surplus is parked in Treasury notes. When it runs a deficit (11 years so far out of more than 70) Treasury notes are cashed in to balance income and payout. it isn't some piggy bank you can buy stocks with; which showss how ignorant Bush really was; privatization would have been a freakin disaster; I hope some stiff like romney brings it up again

Posted by: joelpalmer | October 13, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

Yes and if fish could fly.

had Seniors had their SS money in the DOW last Sept. as W and the RNC proposed, that would have been a pretty ugly for those who needed access to their money at the time.

Posted by: leichtman
===========================================
If a senior had the money they put into Social Security for the last 40 years in the stock market assuming an average wage of $11/hour and an average return of 9% even after the drop in the last year or so they would have $500,000 in their account.


Once again its called market timing. Had you put your SS into the market any time in 2001 and needed to withdraw it Sept 2008 it would have been worth squat, and every R pushing for it would have deserved it.

Personally I pray that the RNC takes up this insane push to put SS money into the market for the 2010 elections. And all those Rs wanting to do that should be required to sign a legal waiver. Good Luck with that idiocy. An average return of 9%? maybe with Madoff or with CDs bought in Antigua from Sir Alan Stanford.

Curious what that has to do with the subject at hand.

Posted by: leichtman | October 13, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

saw1:
If a senior had the money they put into Social Security for the last 40 years
--------
You forgot that at that time many had defined pension plan which the company help the employees save for their retirement and they pay them. Only very few had the savvy to plan for their retirement outside the pension plan. In the 1980, companies decided that it cost too much to maintain such plan so they set up 401K plan which shifted many of the worker's plan, especially those nearing retirement, onto the 401K.
You also have to remember some of the business leaders decided to underfund the retirement by using the money to cover the company losses (allowed by Congress until someone started complaining about it As a result change the law to prohibit it. As a matter of fact Time did an article on 3 retirees and the difference between the 401K and defined pension plans payout.

Posted by: beeker25 | October 13, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

I think it is possible that some conservative Democrats (plus Lieberman) may vote with their caucus to end debate (ie vote for cloture), and yet vote "no" on the final bill itself.

A filibuster is a procedural delaying tactic, not a vote on the merits, so I can see that going a lot more along party lines. Once the filibuster is avoided, several conservative Senators may still vote against if they want.

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 13, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh please, like the yahoos in Arkansas care what the senator from Maine does. You analyists all the parrot the same thing and nine times out of ten you're completely wrong.

Posted by: _Cowabunga_ | October 13, 2009 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"Party of NO??? You mean like the Dems voting overwhelmingly no on the Civil Rights Act of 1964!!??"

they were called Dixicrats like Strom Thurman your moron who spent his last 40 years in which party? Now lets hear how SS, Medicare, and the Civil Rights programs that the R party tried to FILIBUSTER were all R creations of Republicans. Yes and there are Martians on the planet, better watch out.

Posted by: leichtman | October 13, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

had Seniors had their SS money in the DOW last Sept. as W and the RNC proposed, that would not have been a pretty ugly for those who needed access to their money at the time.

Posted by: leichtman
===========================================
If a senior had the money they put into Social Security for the last 40 years in the stock market assuming an average wage of $11/hour and an average return of 9% even after the drop in the last year or so they would have $500,000 in their account. Placed in several jumbo CD's at about 3.7% today they would have an income of $18,500 yearly without ever touching principal,with a modest principal drawdown they would do quite well. In all reality they would have much more as I assumed a 50% lose in the market downturn.
With your understanding of investing I doubt you need to worry about be wealthy and it explains why you probably want me to pay for your health insurance.

Posted by: saw1 | October 13, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

$900 billion and that has to do with the subject at hand healthcare reform in what parallel universe you are in?

Posted by: leichtman | October 13, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"no matter how many Republicans voted for it...
it's still obama's and the dems bill health care thru and thru...
when it comes back to bite all Americans...
you should know who's bill it is..."

So when all across america the healthcare becomes affordable to low income americans dems should reap political benefit in missisipi,alabama etc...correct

Posted by: x1231 | October 13, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Cillizza has been drinking too much White House Koolaid again.

Snowe was a SURE thing for the Dems.

If this is the best the Dems can do--its great news for America.

The Dems are NOT even going to carry all their own Senators.

ObamaCare--Socialism stupidity and sloth

Posted by: JaxMax | October 13, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have always gotten the big things right. What is past is prologue. Einstein once wrote to a friend, “This separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.” In other words, we have been here before. And we succeeded. We will succeed this time.
The New Deal, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription coverage, and now:
Health Care for most everyone.
The GOP remains, THE PARTY OF NO! No ideas. Just NO! George Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, DeMint, Joe Wilson, Michelle Bachmann - these are the faces of the GOP
'think tank'. We will have health care reform.

Posted by: Iconoclast1 | October 13, 2009 5:03 PM
=====================================

This coming from a moron that has no clue how to post!!! ONCE IS ENOUGH!!!
Since when did the Dems pass Prescription Drug Coverage??? I seem to recall Dems opposing that legislation from the beginning!! Nice try though!!
Social Security= bankrupt, Medicare= bankrupt, Medicaid= bankrupt, New Deal= failure if not for WWII!! Yeah, the Dems sure know how to create good programs!!

Party of NO??? You mean like the Dems voting overwhelmingly no on the Civil Rights Act of 1964!!??

Posted by: dkidwell61 | October 13, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The Senate Committee vote is the first step toward putting together a legislation that either houses will vote on (as there are 5 committee bills on both sides- 3 on House & 2 on Senate). Furthermore there are expected to be more changes through the amendment process during the floor debates. Stay tune...

Posted by: beeker25 | October 13, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

no one expects any less from Lieberman. He is all your's; take him please.

but as usual we should not trust a word you post b/c these are the exact sentiments of Lieberman:

"I believe we can pass significant health care reform this year and I believe we must,'' Lieberman said. "The President's leadership...will be essential if we are to forge a compromise plan.''

And, he added, compromise is essential. "Are we going to hold out for everything...or are we going to try to get a lot done in terms of health care reform?'' he asked.

"So, in Lieberman's estimation, what is possible this year? Insurance market reforms, such as barring insurers from blocking coverage to those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Lieberman also indicated he supports efforts to mandate health care coverage.

Lieberman suggested extending the income eligibility for Medicaid as one way to cover more moderate income people"

Posted by: leichtman | October 13, 2009 5:29 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

You are talking to the WRONG person about the value of "civility".

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I wonder if you take votes for cloture as synonymous with votes for the underlying bill. Sherrod Brown pointed out that only 50 senators (with Biden) are needed to pass the bill; 60 are only needed to allow a vote. He characterized votes against cloture as blocking health reform. Do you see it playing out that way? Cloture has gradually come to be inseparable from the underlying vote, but can they be separated from each other again?

Posted by: JonSM99 | October 13, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

drindl posted:

"There's no point in 'bipartisanship' if the opposition party says no to everything."

MikeInMidland pointed out that "bipartisanship" was not the point of CC's thread.

There should be no expectation of major domestic bipartisan initiatives, but there should be a continuing expectation that partisanship ends at the coastlines and borders. With that in mind, it is good for either party to reach out to the other even when there will be no agreement, so that the lines and channels stay open for the times when there can be agreement. This remains a BHO strength, not well understood by his own partisans. It has been a strength of McC as a legislator, too, and I remain annoyed that so many of you think he is "overrated".

The nature of aggressive debate in a free society calls for the understanding that we all lived together here yesterday, and will do so tomorrow. Thus civility is the grease that keeps an imperfect democracy together.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | October 13, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

leichtman:

Did you look up how much the "stimulus" bill cost?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

info22:

Sen. Joe Lieberman has already stated he is going to vote AGAINST Obamacare (using your "logic" there's just as much bipartisan opposition to the plan ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

This bill stinks. This is not what Democrats voted for last November. This bill is a giveaway for the health insurance companies and big pharma. Behind this bill is deal upon deal, all done with no thought for the good of the citizens. Congress is not voting for the people of the USA, its voting for its corporate sponsors, the people in the CEO offices that own Congress, lock, stock, and barrel. We live in a kleptocracy run by the corporations and the wealthy.

Single Payer Now! Extend Medicare to All Citizens Now!

Posted by: Chagasman | October 13, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

no matter how many Republicans voted for it...
it's still obama's and the dems bill thru and thru...
when it comes back to bite all Americans...
you should know who's bill it is...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 13, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cillizza...you are reading WAYYY too much into Ms. Snowe's "yes" vote today.

She is not the key to bringing aboard moderate democrats...she is to the right of those democrats. The minute the coalescence of the two bills, HELP and Finance, brings about a public option, Snowe is a lost vote....along with those Senate democrats.

Wishful thinking on your part, but this vote means absolutely NOTHING, because the actual Senate bill will look NOTHING like the bill voted on today....

Posted by: boosterprez | October 13, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Jake, you tell us you are close to SS age. Great we all wish you had placed your SS retirement in the DOW last year and lost 40%. You see when you ar taking it out you can't time the market. Perhaps with any luck you would have chosen those days last year when the market was going down 500 points per day.
I truly hope the RNC is listening closely to you and will renews its demand next year to privatize SS. Believe me not even Steele is that dumb.

Posted by: leichtman | October 13, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

JAH3:

You don't have to go to D.C. There are protests planned for October 17-25th all over the country. Check for the closest one to you.

http://teapartypatriots.org/

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse


Will Health Care Reform improve or worsen the overall quality of Health Care?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=6290

.

Posted by: usadblake | October 13, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

The Senate panel by a vote of 14-9 passes the health care bill to move forward to the full Senate. The vote of 23 Senators passed the bill by 5 votes over the 9 panel Senators who voted not to pass the bill.

Of the 23 total, 14 panel members voted that they were OK with the bill. This is not an overwhelming endorsement by the Senate and the panel members must have some vested interest in a bill they worked on so hard to make comprises more agreeable to the political left and the right wing Senators.

This vote indicates a problem of agreement between those who want Obama’s government-run system as compared to those who want a consumer driven health care system. We all know where the American people stand.

Posted by: klausdmk | October 13, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

With Alan Specter already in the democratic party,(a former Republican) Snowe's vote makes it 2 instead of 1, right? Bipartisanship is already assured. Who said that Obama could not make it happen?

Posted by: info22 | October 13, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite:

Does your employer know you post here?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Thank you JakeD.

Tell me when and I'll be there. I've never been a big protest person, but I'm rapidly changing my thinking. And I swore that if there was another march on DC like the one in September, I'd go.

Posted by: JAH3 | October 13, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

For your sake Jake D., you probably see yourself as some John Wayne, Ayn Rand rugged individual. Fine, but Jake don't get sick, don't have your pension stolen, don't become a victim of crime or a hurricane. Jake D. sleep well knowing that you live in an America with a social conscience and a mission to form a more perfect union.

==

Dude, the guy is like sixteen years old and wishes death on people who disagree with him.

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 13, 2009 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Snow always has been a democrat and never was seriously a repub so there is no win whatsoever for Pres O and his gang.

Posted by: zendrell | October 13, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Can you people read? Nowhere in Chris's article does he claim that Snowe's vote equals bipartisanship. It would have passed out of committee with or without her, so she was signaling that--as it stands now--it is something she can support. And that's all Chris is saying. You can read "1" as "only 1" or as "more than zero."

What he's saying, and I agree, is that this thing is about as close as it gets, that cloture is not a sure thing, and we are far from done.

Posted by: mikenmidland | October 13, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

No strong public option. No votes for the Democrats in the upcoming elections -- particularly Obama.

This bill is just a huge subsidy for the insurance industry!

I hate it.

Posted by: shawncrisp2 | October 13, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have always gotten the big things right. What is past is prologue. Einstein once wrote to a friend, “This separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.” In other words, we have been here before. And we succeeded. We will succeed this time.
The New Deal, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription coverage, and now:
Health Care for most everyone.
The GOP remains, THE PARTY OF NO! No ideas. Just NO! George Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, DeMint, Joe Wilson, Michelle Bachmann - these are the faces of the GOP
'think tank'. We will have health care reform.

==============================

Now how do we pay for it........self-righteous self-serving liberals ?

Where's the public option?

Notice how Obama's corrupt left-ist press has droppped that subject.

Anyone can create new programs the key to to "pay" for them.

The Democrats are once again being irresponsible...........what's new....sad

Posted by: allenridge | October 13, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Jake D;

Corporations like to call themselves "corporate citizens". That has proven to be an oxymoron as the only value these citizens (there are exceptions) have is increasing the bottom line. The Social Security system would have been given to the Corporations. It would not have been enough to staunch the wound created by overwhelming greed. Much of the money would have ended up in Swiss banks and the revolution could have taken on violent overtones just like in the Great Depression when Roosevelt saved the rich from themselves.

No, your type is all too predictable from decade to decade and century to century. You are willing to see the poor starve, the sick suffer and once to look the other way and permit millions live in slavery.

The American Revolution is bolstered by the spread of information whether by Ben Franklin's newspapers or YouTube. The Obama phenomenon is the latest product of the information age and it bodes ill for those who are willing to live with injustice and overwhelming greed. That 44,000 plus die every year because they don't have access to adequate health care is news.

For your sake Jake D., you probably see yourself as some John Wayne, Ayn Rand rugged individual. Fine, but Jake don't get sick, don't have your pension stolen, don't become a victim of crime or a hurricane. Jake D. sleep well knowing that you live in an America with a social conscience and a mission to form a more perfect union.

Posted by: explorers100 | October 13, 2009 5:05 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have always gotten the big things right. What is past is prologue. Einstein once wrote to a friend, “This separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.” In other words, we have been here before. And we succeeded. We will succeed this time.
The New Deal, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription coverage, and now:
Health Care for most everyone.
The GOP remains, THE PARTY OF NO! No ideas. Just NO! George Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, DeMint, Joe Wilson, Michelle Bachmann - these are the faces of the GOP
'think tank'. We will have health care reform.

Posted by: Iconoclast1 | October 13, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have always gotten the big things right. What is past is prologue. Einstein once wrote to a friend, “This separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.” In other words, we have been here before. And we succeeded. We will succeed this time.
The New Deal, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription coverage, and now:
Health Care for most everyone.
The GOP remains, THE PARTY OF NO! No ideas. Just NO! George Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, DeMint, Joe Wilson, Michelle Bachmann - these are the faces of the GOP
'think tank'. We will have health care reform.

Posted by: Iconoclast1 | October 13, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have always gotten the big things right. What is past is prologue. Einstein once wrote to a friend, “This separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.” In other words, we have been here before. And we succeeded. We will succeed this time.
The New Deal, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription coverage, and now:
Health Care for most everyone.
The GOP remains, THE PARTY OF NO! No ideas. Just NO! George Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, DeMint, Joe Wilson, Michelle Bachmann - these are the faces of the GOP
'think tank'. We will have health care reform.

Posted by: Iconoclast1 | October 13, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have always gotten the big things right. What is past is prologue. Einstein once wrote to a friend, “This separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.” In other words, we have been here before. And we succeeded. We will succeed this time.
The New Deal, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription coverage, and now:
Health Care for most everyone.
The GOP remains, THE PARTY OF NO! No ideas. Just NO! George Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, DeMint, Joe Wilson, Michelle Bachmann - these are the faces of the GOP
'think tank'. We will have health care reform.

Posted by: Iconoclast1 | October 13, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats have always gotten the big things right. What is past is prologue. Einstein once wrote to a friend, “This separation between past, present and future is only an illusion.” In other words, we have been here before. And we succeeded. We will succeed this time.
The New Deal, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Prescription coverage, and now:
Health Care for most everyone.
The GOP remains, THE PARTY OF NO! No ideas. Just NO! George Beck, Limbaugh, Palin, DeMint, Joe Wilson, Michelle Bachmann - these are the faces of the GOP
'think tank'. We will have health care reform.

Posted by: Iconoclast1 | October 13, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Snowe should get the Nobel Peace Prize.............

.......Oh wait that's right she a Republican.

.......The Nobel Peace Prize is reserved for left-ists, Communists, and Socialists.

Which is why Reagan, John Paul II, and Margret Thatcher never got it for freeing over 1/2 billion people in the old Soviet Union and Eastern Europe......

Hell, freeing over 1/2 billion people, without firing one shot, certainly doesn't the Nobel Peace Prize...(insert eye roll)

Just another pro-Democrat propaganda day at the POST................sad.

Posted by: allenridge | October 13, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

GoldAndTanzanite:

I thought you said on the other thread that you were done posting at this "playground"?

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

leichtman:

That wrongly assumes that the market would have down-turned in the exact same way despite a trillion dollar influx (and before you continue with this line of argument, please look up how much the "stimulus" plan cost ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Who's poring the cool aide in your newsroom.

==

wow

Posted by: GoldAndTanzanite | October 13, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Chris- To suggest ONE vote from a GOP Senator is a major happening is absurd.It is even more ludicrous when that Senator is Olympia Snowe who votes with Democrats with a frequency that is impressive.She could declare she is joining the majority,except she would then become just another liberal Democrat starved for publicity and attention.

Posted by: bowspray | October 13, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

One of the best reasons not to vote for this bill:

http://hollyonthehill.wordpress.com/2009/10/13/baucus-bill-passes-committee/

Posted by: Utah1 | October 13, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

CORRECTION:

I just don't see how a single GOP vote gives Democrats any kind of cover, it's 1 vote. The bill is bound to move to the left and Snow could very well vote NO to that.

However, I am sure the White House would rather "hold her gently to the right" and cater to her every wish instead of bargaining left with progressives.

Posted by: yarbrougharts | October 13, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

had Seniors had their SS money in the DOW last Sept. as W and the RNC proposed, that would not have been a pretty ugly for those who needed access to their money at the time.

Posted by: leichtman | October 13, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I just don't see how a single GOP vote gives Democrats any kind of cover, it's 1 vote. The bill is bound to move to the left and Snow could very well not vote NO to that.

However, I am sure the White House would rather "hold her gently to the right" and cater to her every wish instead of bargaining left with progressives.

Posted by: yarbrougharts | October 13, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

This legislation is little more than a shell of reform. The primary focus seems to be enhancing health insurance company profits with taxpayer dollars.

That said, there is something wrong with this Congress, when back in 2004 Republicans insisted on a Universal Single-Payer Health Care program for Iraqi's, so long as the American taxpayer picked up the tab.

Posted by: Maddogg | October 13, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

"Who's poring the cool aide in your newsroom."

here's the illiterate face of the wingnut right.

Posted by: drindl | October 13, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I see some sane people have showed up -- how refreshing!

There's no point in 'bipartisanship' if the opposition party says no to everything. The Rs have made themselves irrelevant by refusing to participate.

and Olympia Snowe is now even more popular in Maine, where she will be a Senator for as long as she chooses.

Posted by: drindl | October 13, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

JAH3:

Exactly. Did you see that the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation calculated (absent any other employer efforts) 14 percent of family health policies and 19 percent of individual policies would be hit by the additional tax in 2013? By 2019, according to the estimate, 37 percent of family policies and 41 percent of individual policies would be affected. The People need to descend on Capitol Hill en masse!

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Surely you jest. one Republican vote and you call it "a legislative victory for the administration"?
Olympia Snow always votes with the Democrats, she calls herself a Republican but that's in name only.
Who's poring the cool aide in your newsroom.

Posted by: garys_opinion | October 13, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

explorers100:

There's an argument to be made that turning over the Social Security system to CITIZENS who could have invested in Wall Street two years ago would have continued the boom, at least another few months enough to get McCain-Palin elected (of course, if Jack Ryan could simply have kept it in his pants, then Hillary Clinton would be President today ; )

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse


Excuse my paranoia, but what was she promised?

Another stake in the heart of seniors and the middle class.

Posted by: JAH3 | October 13, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

interesting you would make that comment nychap but to my chagrin she was interviewed last week and said that she is a lifelong R and intends to stay one. She is truly independent in her voting unlike Sen Collins. Personally I would trade you Snowe for Lieberman any day of the week. Too bad it just doesn't work that way.

Posted by: leichtman | October 13, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

There is an old political term that needs to be dusted off and used to describe those people who call themselves "conservatives". The term is "reactionary". It is indeed a negative term if you believe as I do that the American Revolution is still ongoing and dynamic, still making social and political progress, still acting as a beacon to the rest of the world.

The reactionaries were once called "Tories". We all know what side they were on when it came to the revolution. Even those of us who slept through history classes (however would we still have so many reactionary Republicans?) can remember the reactionaries who called themselves "secessionists" who were willing to sacrifice 500,000 American lives on the battlefield so that they could hold on to slavery--oh of course in the name of state's rights. And there were those reactionaries who believed that the only business of America was business while the nation slipped into the Great Depression.

Now these reactionaries who call themselves conservatives have shown their hand yet again. They have opposed Social Security, Medicare and now health care reform. They even offered just two years ago to turn the Social Security system over to Wall Street as it was tottering at the abyss.

The Congressman was right last week. Get out of the way I say to the reactionaries. The people have the courage to act and the American Revolution is ready to renew itself yet again. And for some of you reactionaries, you had better stop abusing your right to free speech. The government is fragile and underpinned by compromise. If you can't compromise at any level your time is up. Get out of the way.

Posted by: explorers100 | October 13, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Snowe is not a Republican and never has been. I think she should go the way of "Jumping" Jim Jeffords.

Posted by: nychap44 | October 13, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

curious what the problem with the other so called Maine Senate moderate Collins? Have heard zero from her, its as though she were in hiding.

Posted by: leichtman | October 13, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

This is kind of interesting. I can't remember the last time a Finance Committee vote was not only front-page, breaking news, but also the harbinger of a political Apocalypse. Must be a slow news day.

Let's put his in perspcetive: this is one of five committees that produced a bill. The committee vote is only significant in that it ends the committee process and begins the real negotiations for the shape of the final legislation. It's still relatively early in the process. The final legislation, if Congress does its usual job of wheeling, dealing, and trading, will take the hashes that are the five committee products and produce and even more hashy hash as a final product.

It really is like making sausage, only the ingredients will be five other types of sausage.

Olympia Snowe did what every elected official should do: she voted to represent her constituents and her conscience instead of her party. Yes, the party machinery helps get you elected. But Maine Republicans a quite likely a different breed than Republicans in other parts of the country, and the Maine electorate is correspondingly less conservative than voters in the Deep South. Much like Ben Nelson has nothing to fear from progessive liberals in Nebraska, it's unlikely Olympia Snowe has anything to fear from hard-right conservatives in Maine.

It's going to be at least late November or early December before we have some concrete idea what the final health care reform bill will really look like. Until then, it's like arguing who's going to win the Super Bowl five weeks into the NFL season. There are a lot more games to play, both in the NFL and Congress, before we see how things shape up.

Posted by: Gallenod | October 13, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

It is 50 for legislationand that is enough for veto for fillabuster so 60 isn't needed. But it's needed-health care!

Posted by: crrobin | October 13, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Senator Snowe is a profile in courage.

The other Republicans are left to wallow in the trashy mire of historical irrelevancy. They are cowards and craven hypocrites who are representing only the interests of corporate greed, not the needs of their constituents.

Posted by: dee5 | October 13, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

This bill does not represent reform.

It represents corporate welfare and further enhances the idea that BIG insurance companies can rape and pillage the american worker at will with no penalty.

I would look forward to NOT getting insurance, being sent to Federal Kiddy camp where I can get FREE healthcare.

Posted by: kare1 | October 13, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Just a reminder -- 60 votes are need to stop a filibuster, but only 51 are needed to pass the actual legislation (or, in case of a 50-50 tie, the vote of the VP). The important thing is to get the legislation to the actual vote.

Posted by: marmac5 | October 13, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I see Dottydo is off the meds today.

When you look at Republican vs Democratic states (red vs blue), and compare that to those states that have the most uninsured, you will notice a strong correlation.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20090923_going_red_over_health_care/

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | October 13, 2009 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Attention Democratic haters, we are moving forward with or without you and your negativity. Maybe you are hating because you haven’t face health problems within yourself or someone close to you, but you need to think of someone other than yourselves, there are so many people that need this reform. Oh, by the way, I am a Fed worker and I know it’s going to cost me but guess what this little money we make here we can’t take it with us and I rather help someone live just a little bit longer. No need to respond back because I will not log back in. But I leave you with this. God loves us all the poor and the rich. This is definitely a GOOD DAY for health reform.

Posted by: dcrawley | October 13, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Attention Democratic haters, we are moving forward with or without you and your negativity. Maybe you are hating because you haven’t face health problems within yourself or someone close to you, but you need to think of someone other than yourselves, there are so many people that need this reform. Oh, by the way, I am a Fed worker and I know it’s going to cost me but guess what this little money we make here we can’t take it with us and I rather help someone live just a little bit longer. No need to respond back because I will not log back in. But I leave you with this. God loves us all the poor and the rich. This is definitely a GOOD DAY for health reform.

Posted by: dcrawley | October 13, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

This just proves what everybody already knows, there is no such thing as a moderate republican, they all left the party long ago.

Posted by: whatdyousay | October 13, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

ditto to B202

Posted by: ishinclearwater | October 13, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

If one GOP vote is all it takes than one boy billionaire could buy the Redskins and win the Super Bowl right?

Posted by: FLvet | October 13, 2009 3:44 PM | Report abuse

A single Republican vote for a health care bill does not constitute bipartisanship and most people realize this. As I recall, a few Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to impeach president Clinton. Therefore, with the "logic" employed by Chris, there was bipartisan support for impeaching the president, even if the overwhelming majority of House Democrats voted against.

The legislation approved by the Finance committee is not true health care reform. Subsidies are delayed until after the next presidential election, health care coverage will be unaffordable for most people in the middle class, about twenty five million people legally in this country will be without health care coverage in ten years, to be financed mainly on the backs of people over sixty-five, who will pay higher out of pocket expenses. There is very little change or reform anyone can believe in with this approach.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | October 13, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Just as the last generation passed the Federal Reserve bill which became law, and does nothing but make things worse in America (it's criminal and should be brought up to vote again, so that we can get rid of it), this generation will pass a Health Care Reform bill that will be just as much of a thorn in everyones sides.
Truth be told, Democrats and Repbulicans have done nothing but fail to me in my life time. The problem is, most people don't realize that we can vote all of them out, and we should. When will the government stop making stupid bills and laws that do nothing but harm it's people? They are supposed to protect the constitution and keep trading open, not what they have been, are, and will continue to do. In the next election for seats in congrees, I suggest voting for anyone except those that are part of these two parties. They have had enough time to do what is right, and keep failing and leading our great nation straight into a muddy quicksand that we will be stuck in for who knows how long.

Posted by: ai3di | October 13, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

One further question. What did the President and his cronies promise her?

Posted by: apdseal | October 13, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse


I know you're right, drindl. Sometimes I see a few intelligent, well-reasoned comments, and just get roped in. I'll learn someday.

Nate Silver rocks! I'm going over to see his take on all this. See you at 538.com.

drindl said:

mwallace -- the blog, and the comments section, have become a mindless wingnut's sandbox. better to just skip and go straight to Nate Silver.

Posted by: mwallace8831 | October 13, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

One Republican vote in the "finance?" committee = bipartisanship? Yeah, right! And pigs can fly and the Nationals are a great baseball team.

It is obvious that the Democrats, led by "44", are grasping at straws to call this bipartisan. If there were three or four, maybe, but one? I do not think so.

Posted by: apdseal | October 13, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Just as the last generation passed the Federal Reserve bill which became law, and does nothing but make things worse in America (it's criminal and should be brought up to vote again, so that we can get rid of it), this generation will pass a Health Care Reform bill that will be just as much of a thorn in everyones sides.
Truth be told, Democrats and Repbulicans have done nothing but fail to me in my life time. The problem is, most people don't realize that we can vote all of them out, and we should. When will the government stop making stupid bills and laws that do nothing but harm it's people? They are supposed to protect the constitution and keep trading open, not what they have been, are, and will continue to do. In the next election for seats in congrees, I suggest voting for anyone except those that are part of these two parties. They have had enough time to do what is right, and keep failing and leading our great nation straight into a muddy quicksand that we will be stuck in for who knows how long.

Posted by: ai3di | October 13, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Mid-season trade: Max Bacchus and a blue-dog to be named later for Olympia Snowe. It's already de facto. Might as well make it de jure.

Posted by: JONWINDY | October 13, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Woo-hoo!

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 13, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Woo-hoo!

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | October 13, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how the Washington Post can spin a single GOP vote as bipartisan support. I think this is just more flacking for Obama.

I don't recall the Washington Post ever describing a single democratic crossover vote as 'bipartisan' during the Bush administration.

Posted by: Bsix | October 13, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

mwallace -- the blog, and the comments section, have become a mindless wingnut's sandbox. better to just skip and go straight to Nate Silver.

Posted by: drindl | October 13, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

This COMMITTEE version comes out with more holes than a B-17 returning from a bombing run - and Snowe gives aVERY conditional interim vote - and Chris declares a bipartisan victory?!?!?!?
Shouldn't at least a few of your writers finish journalism school??? Or at least visit one???
Disgraceful and time-wasting!

Posted by: thornegp2626 | October 13, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Good news, I agree.

I know Chris is positive he is nonpartisan, but wow, just look at some of the wording in this blog. Blanche Lincoln and Ben Nelson are moderate Dems - really, Chris? Then please tell us what your idea of a right-wing, might-as-well-be-a Republican Democrat looks like?

The Olympics debacle - really, Chris? I don't think you can fathom how inside-the-beltway that type of thinking is.

Posted by: mwallace8831 | October 13, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

No thanks, DRFJR, those three (3) posts were too long to post as one (1). Try it yourself, if you don't believe me.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Through close examination of voting records over the past couple Congresses, it is clear that Snowe is clearly to the left of at least two Democrats----Nelson of Nebraska and Landrieu. Collins is the moderate Republican whose voting record is actually closest to those two. Nelson is clearly the most conservative of all Senatorial Democrats and should be classified as moderate-conservative. Snowe's voting record is more similar to those of moderate Democrats like Bayh, Lincoln, Conrad, M.Warner---though he is very new to the Senate so difficult to pigeonhole just yet, and Pryor. Mark Pryor might actually be the closest thing to Snowe's ideological twin.

Posted by: OHIOCITIZEN | October 13, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

There is still the health insurers blackmail threat--an immediate premium increase of $4,000.

I think they are serious. Any final bill will have to be strong enough to reign in the billion-dollar corporations and their millionaire CEOs.

To do that, it will take some form of Public Option. Snowe won't go for that.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | October 13, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I have defended the role of libertarians and moderates in the GOP, but this is the final straw. She has sold out our nation's future and our personal liberty for the political version of 30 pieces of silver. She stabbed us in the back on Obama's spending bill when the other moderates said no (including some democrats) and now she has one-upped herself. She had always been a worse republican than Specter in the past, at this point-she's nothing but a lincoln chafee democrat. (I know he's techincally an independant but he never voted like a republican)

Posted by: TexasProud1 | October 13, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Utter nonsense! Only Washington thinks like that. We need to pass a lousy health care bill just so Olympia Snow can vote for it? That is a moronic logic.

Posted by: kevin1231 | October 13, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

"I don't know why people keep thinking 'bipartisanship' is so important here. There are few "moderate" Republicans left these days (Snowe and maybe Collins are it), so it is like saying we need to have some votes from the Taliban to make a liberal modern democratic government in Afghanistan work."

Because the press are idiots. They define bipartisanship as splitting the difference between two extreme elements. Look, if you get 60% of the Senators to agree on something, that's bipartisan. If you look at it in terms of the representation of the people, that's more like 85% of the country.

You want more bipartisan than that? Go move your sorry ass to China.

Posted by: DDAWD | October 13, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

This is good news! We need some health-care reforms, and we need it now. Let's get back to work, get healthy, and most importantly, get green started.

Posted by: rmorris391 | October 13, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe that Sen. Byrd's health would keep him away from being the potential 60th vote. Even if he was on his deathbed.

Posted by: acpinono | October 13, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

WaPo... we need not a liberal to pen these blogs, but at least a non-partisan... or, keep Cillizza for Jake D and the hard reicht and a more moderate person to counter Cilizza and the hard reicht pivot he represents. You will see us coming back in droves because sincerely, we are here because we love politics... just not from one extreme view all the time.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | October 13, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Ah Yes ...the trojan whorse, attempts to cling to power.

The growing voter registration shift to the Independent Party is not her friend or theirs.
The people are done with both the super delegate and the electoral colleges aren't they?

Posted by: dottydo | October 13, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Anything that gets the wingnuts foaming at the mouth is a good thing.

Again, the WaPo creates controversy where there was none. The public option has always been a slam dunk with 60 democratic senators and a majority in the house.

Posted by: Heerman532 | October 13, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

this thing probably will pass (it would be truly remarkable if it didnt) but all this talk about health care "wins" and "momentum" just makes you laugh.

this thing will pass, but not with flying colors and only by being dragged across the finish line by a myopic congress and a cheerleading media.

they learned their lesson about cheerleading for a candidate during the election, can they really not apply that lesson to issues, as well?

remarkable

Posted by: dummypants | October 13, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

As I write this, there are 6 comments regarding Chris' piece -- and 3 of them are from JakeD. What a loser. Get a life, JakeD. Say what you must one time, then BE QUIET.

Posted by: DRFJR | October 13, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

It's a shame that the leader of the Republic Party of No, Rush Limbaugh, doesn't have the guts to kick her out of the Whig Party and ensure a 40 year reign of the Democratic Party in both the House and the Senate.

Come on Rush! Do it! You know you want to!

Posted by: WillSeattle | October 13, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Your usual careful explication escaped you on this one. Assuming any absent or deserting Democrat, Snowe's vote would be necessary only on a motion for cloture.

Posted by: 33rdStreet | October 13, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse


BEAR REVOLT was started by Veterans ( Czar nick named terrorists) seeking to empower the active troops with a clear documentation of the majority's will of the people, via petitions (signatured by all men, women, and children who have No Confidence this 2009 Federal Government). The signed petitions are being entered into County recordations offices as a "recorded document", then pooled, and placed as a" Document" into the Library of Congress by the people of each State.
The well documented majority with " no confidence" can allow the defenders of the US Constitution the ability to carry out the "will of the majority", and allow an emergency election to void all signatures of the current Fed 2009..
This Redress call was named when Pelosi went to THE BEAR REPUBLIC California , threw imported ACORNS at their heads,
then called them astroturf , and walked on their backs with her spikey heels out the door , refusing to listen to them.

PETITION:

The REDRESS of the 2009 Federal Government of the United States of America
For NO CONFIDENCE
By the recall of :
The Congress, (all names listed both Partys)
The Hill , ( all names listed both Partys)
The Cabinet, (all names listed)
The Czars, ( all names listed)
Barack Hussein Obama ( all "currently" known names listed: Barack Hussein Soroeto, Barack Hussein Dunham )

Posted by: dottydo | October 13, 2009 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Thank you Sen Snowe. For doing the right thing, for being an elected representative and not a partisan. The US cannot afford another 15 years before we look at health care reform again - so such support is crucial. Now, on to the floor fights, let's see what comes out of the floor fights and conference.

Posted by: harkish | October 13, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I support health care changes, I would love a full public option...so I am glad for her vote. But let's get real here, this makes the bill about as bipartisan as every GOP bill that they got Lieberman to sign during the Bush years.

Posted by: maurban | October 13, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why people keep thinking 'bipartisanship' is so important here. There are few "moderate" Republicans left these days (Snowe and maybe Collins are it), so it is like saying we need to have some votes from the Taliban to make a liberal modern democratic government in Afghanistan work.

It's like demanding that some paleontologist not only do his job by correctly researching his dig site, but also managing to get one of the unearthed dinosaurs to type up his scientific journal report on the find. It's not going to happen, but it shouldn't be expected to either. Independent voters are smarter than you think. They know how looney some of these Republicans are. That's why they're not Republican themselves.

Just pass as progressive a bill as you can get the Dems to sign on for, and tell the GOP to move to some country where they still have slave labor and the rich still live off their backs.

Posted by: B2O2 | October 13, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Assuming that healthcare reform is not a cruel joke because of "directed energy weapon systems", political opposition will only grow from BOTH sides of the aisle because of the proposed tax on so-called "Cadillac" health insurance. From the NYT today:

"In a preliminary estimate, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation calculated that absent any such employer efforts, 14 percent of family health policies and 19 percent of individual policies would be hit by the tax in 2013. By 2019, according to the estimate, 37 percent of family policies and 41 percent of individual policies would be affected. Those numbers rise over time in these calculations because although the initial tax threshold would increase with the economy’s overall inflation, premiums would be expected to rise even faster.

... House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York, the chamber’s chief tax-writer, oppose the idea, as do labor unions and businesses. Ms. Pelosi last week floated the idea of taxing insurers’ “windfall profits” as a possible alternative, to supplement the House’s main revenue raiser, an income tax surcharge on the nation’s highest earners.

At least 173 House Democrats, two-thirds of the party caucus, have signed a letter to Ms. Pelosi voicing opposition to the insurance tax.

“The tax, supposedly aimed at Cadillac health plans, would affect millions of middle-class people,” said Representative Joe Courtney, Democrat of Connecticut. “The American people soundly rejected the idea when it was proposed by Republicans in elections last year.”

Under current law, employer-paid premiums for health insurance are not taxable. Experts say this provides a big government subsidy for such coverage, and an incentive for businesses to provide better benefits in lieu of higher wages.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 2:19 PM | Report abuse

(cont.)

In an unusual alliance reflecting the shared interest of some unions and businesses on the issue, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. and the United States Chamber of Commerce are mobilizing opposition to the tax.

James P. Gelfand, senior manager of health policy at the Chamber of Commerce, said that if the tax is imposed, “employers will have to reduce wages or benefits or increase cost-sharing.” And, he said, “employees will blame employers, not the government.”

Leaders of organized labor, which in recent years has often negotiated for benefits in place of raises, descended on Capitol Hill last week to lobby against the tax, which could hit many health plans covering unionized workers. Larry Cohen, president of the Communications Workers of America, said at least half his members would be in health plans subject to the tax in 2013.

John P. Yrchik, executive director of the Connecticut Education Association, has lobbied Mr. Courtney and other members of the state’s Congressional delegation, noting that the tax would affect teachers in 30 percent of Connecticut towns. In some towns, Mr. Yrchik said, health insurance premiums for teachers’ family policies already exceed $25,000."

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Snowe voted for the Porkulous Bill too -- no big shocker -- other Republicans know that they can't vote to fund abortions or for a tax increase on so-called "Cadillac" health insurance plans.

Posted by: JakeD | October 13, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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