The Healthcare Debacle [Reader Post]


There are at least 3 viable healthcare bills and one healthcare proposal out there. There was a bill passed in the Senate which could not be passed in the Senate today. There is a House bill passed in the House which the Senate could not pass today.

The Republicans have a much shorter bill which they have had online for about 6 or 8 months.

President Obama has presented a bill—well, sort of. It is not really a bill but a collection of ideas, not that different from the Senate bill, and a document which cannot be scored by the CBO (the Congressional Budget Office).

The Obama bill is just slight of hand; it does not mean anything, it is not being drafted into legislation. Obama’s “bill” it is something which may have had some meaning had he come out with it prior to the House and Senate bills, to indicate that it is the target they ought to be aiming for. However, it is about 1 year too late for that.

About a week later, the President gave some remarks about healthcare, surrounded by doctors and nurses, all wearing lab coats and scrubs so that we know who they are. In this talk, he essentially says that it is time to act.

All of Obama’s speech here means little or nothing because he is talking about his proposal. His proposal is not a bill, it is not being drafted into being a bill, and on one is going to vote on it. It is a smokescreen.

I think the idea is, the public sees Obama’s speech, and conflates it with Senate and House bill. Maybe he wants us to forget what the real bills are?

There has been talk of reconciliation. Here is the only way that reconciliation can be used: the House must pass the Senate Bill, the President signs it into law, and then, parts of that bill would be changed in the Senate on a simple majority vote (these changes are supposed to deal with budgetary matters only).

However, here is what is going on behind the scenes. There will be no Republican bill, no incremental approach (as of right now). There will be no starting over (as of right now). The House bill is dead. It is not going anywhere. The Senate will not pass that bill. They do not have the 60 votes necessary to pass the House Bill, thank you Scott Brown. And again, Obama’s bill that he has posted online, has talked to Republicans about, and gave a speech about, is not a bill.

What this leaves is the Senate healthcare bill, and here is what is being done: behind the scenes, there is massive arm-twisting being done, to get the votes in the House to pass this. The intention is to pass the Senate bill in the House, Obama will sign it, and game over. There will be no reconciliation bill. The Senate cannot be convinced to pass budget changes which the House likes that they do not. At best, House members will be led to believe that these measures will be passed.

If the House cannot get up the votes, then a supplementary bill will be written in the Senate, and 51 Senators will have to give their assurances that they will pass this bill, and it will be the reconciliation bill. This will be incentive for House members to sign this HC bill from the Senate, but it will not in anyway guarantee that the Senate will pass this other bill, despite their assurances.

To recap:

The Republican bill: ignored.

Obama’s proposals: smoke and mirrors; not really a bill; no one is voting on it.

The House Bill: dead.

The Senate Bill: on life support, but it may yet be passed. This is where attention ought to be focused. This bill is in the House right now, and the House passing this bill or not is what is really going on.

This is a link to the names and phone numbers of those House members who are on the fence.

One more thing about the Senate bill, and very few people are telling you this: this is the bill with the Cornhusker kickback and the Louisiana Purchase and the very unfair treatment of non-union workers with good medical coverage (they will be taxes; union workers with the exact same plan will not—not until 2018, if then). The Senate Bill passed because of those 3 things. Those bribes will remain in the bill that goes into law. Unless the Senate runs a separate bill through under reconciliation and removes these provisions (which legitimately could be removed under reconciliation), they will be the law of the land.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Thank you for your post.

We are praying Stupak and like-minded Congressmen hold out and do not fall prey to a Pelosi/Reid promise of “fixing” the bill in reconciliation and/or more BRIBES. Heck, Pelosi would probably hop on her broom and fly the paperwork to the White House for signing, the second she got it passed.

Unfortunately, many actions would be taken immediately and add to our burgeoning deficits and uneployment ranks including: new taxes would start along with the new monthly fee for abortion services, the commencement of the new Health Service Corps (Union,) 113+ new government agencies would appear overnight, our lives would be under increased government control and the really sad part — the folks truly in need of medical insurance would not receive benefits for a few years AND Senior medical programs would be drastically cut.

The PUSH right now is to ram it through before Easter break and Nobama’s trip SE Asian trip. Gary Kukis is correct in his advice to contact the on-the-fence Congressmen — NOW. If at all possible stop by their state offices or better yet — their DC offices if time and resources permit.

We need sensible Health Care reform to take care of those truly in need and to cut fraud/waste — as proposed in the Republican Patient’s Choice proposal — but not ObamaCare which goes in the opposite direction.

Great over-view Gary. Thanks.

Gary, there is, and has been a “reconciliation” bill that has been worked on now since December. What do you think all those secret meetings in the WH have been about? And that is the phantom bill-to-be that comprises Obama’s “proposal”.

So what you say is not entirely true.

The smoke and mirrors does have the possibility of becoming true, assuming the Senate Dems want to screw the House Dems with an outright lie and reneging on a promise. They have to convince House Dems… who will not vote for the Senate bill in it’s current form… that the Senate will indeed pass the reconciliation bill that is finished being crafted, and sent on to the CBO. Therein the leap of faith by the House Dems. I noticed that Hot Air has broached the possibility that Pelosi holds the House bill until the reconciliation bill is revealed. But I don’t think you can hold legislation that has been voted on hostage. That’s new ground in the Congressional rules.

The House Dems do not trust the Senate Dems. That is the reason the Senate is trying to do a “gesture” of good faith… i.e. a letter with signatures of 51 Senators that promise to vote for the phantom reconciliation bill that does not exist to our eyes yet, but is “promised”.

I, for one, do not believe for even a nanosecond they are lying about a reconciliation bill. True, I can’t entirely discount the slight possibility that the Senate lies to the House Dems in order to get something thru in a serious moment of desperation. However, I’m about 95% sure that will not happen. To renege on a promise to “fix” the bill post passage between chambers would put a chasm in the Dem party that would echo throughout the land. They are divided on this subject enough. To pit the Senate against the House, based on a lie, is political suicide.

Not to mention that same act would also back Obama into a media corner, as he promised to include some GOP ideas on nationwide TV several times this past week into the reconciliation bill.

Can you say the GOP dream come true?

What you seem to suggest here… sans any proof there is “no reconciliation bill in progress”…. is simply pie in the sky fantasy. There is no bill to “vote” on now, that is true. But you suggest there is no reconciliation bill in the works at all as a promise to the House Dems. That is not in the least bit true. Please follow the links in my post on the reconciliation bill three days ago.

In the end, will this clusterf*#k way of doing legislation work? Don’t give it a chance, myself. But time will tell just how forthright and convincing the Senate will be, and how willing the House Dems are to put their faith in the other chamber.

John Boehner sent out his routine “what is on the radar this week” email this AM including
a link to the new Code Red Site for monitoring the status of the current DemCare legislation activities.

“. . . Republicans have launched ” Code Red ,” an all-out effort to put the heat on vulnerable Democrats and pressure them into opposing this massive and unpopular bill. . .

Gary, the House Dems refuse to accept the Senate bill as written. That’s Obama and Reid’s problem. The *only* way they will agree to vote for the Senate bill is to be assured that a reconciliation bill is written, cures their problems with the Senate bill, and have a guarantee that the 51 Senators *will* agree in advance to say “yea”.

Considering that no one has seen the reconciliation bill legislative language yet, and we only have Obama’s proposals and “just words” of what’s in it…. and also considering that the Senate Parliamentarian has to take an axe to it for non-budgetary items…. the House Dems are in no mood to blindly agree to the Senate bill.

The “vote” they will cast for the Senate bill as is totally depends on what a reconciliation bill says… thus they are asked to vote on a bill they haven’t seen… because they won’t do the first battle without seeing their victory in the second reconciliation bill.

As far as I can see, unless they get reconciliation language out there for them to see, and can convince the House Dems that 51 Senators will guarantee an up vote, O’healthcare is a dead issue. The next two weeks will tell us for sure.

@Gary Kukis: I did not say a reconciliation bill did not exist; I simply said that is not nearly as important as the actual Senate bill as is, with its many warts.

First, what you said in your post, Gary, was:

President Obama has presented a bill—well, sort of. It is not really a bill but a collection of ideas, not that different from the Senate bill, and a document which cannot be scored by the CBO (the Congressional Budget Office).

The Obama bill is just slight of hand; it does not mean anything, it is not being drafted into legislation. Obama’s “bill” it is something which may have had some meaning had he come out with it prior to the House and Senate bills, to indicate that it is the target they ought to be aiming for. However, it is about 1 year too late for that.

Again, this is not true. The reconciliation language was supposed to be finished by the end of last week, and sent on to the CBO. Obama’s proposals are a summary of that, so they say. But without seeing the language, who the hell knows? It’s exists… but only a chosen few have drafted the language, and constructed the details. The rest of Congress and the public are privvy to nothing but Obama promises and rhetoric.

As far as not being important? Again not true. The House Dems will not say yes to the Senate bill until they are confident about the reconciliation bill’s language and approval in advance. So it is everything in importance.

Gary, I don’t know how to say this to you any more kindly. You are so far out of the information loop it’s embarrassing. I am getting ready to put up a follow up post on the “fix it” bill once again, and the demand that the House Dems take all this on a measure of faith, based on the latest info and Pelosi statements. But you are so completely wrong on a process and the still-in-progress-stealth reconciliation bill (that will be debated and argued on the floor… assuming the House Dems take that “leap of faith”… which is all over the news today, BTW), that I don’t know where to begin.

The Obama “proposal” is just an outline of the WH backroom stealth reconciliation. It *is* being sent to the CBO for scores. Is *is* a reconcilation bill that NO ONE but those that wrote it have seen. And, as Nancy Pelosi says today,

You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other. But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket. Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting. But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy. . . .

Therefore, when you say:

That was my point is, what Obama presented as his bill is not a bill, it is not being scored, it is not the reconciliation bill, it is just some ideas that he put together. He might be sincere about it, but it is not at issue now, and possibly (probably), not ever.

…. you are simply wrong, wrong, wrong. Embarrassingly wrong.

Let me lay this out AGAIN for you, slowly. The Obama proposal is a synopsis of the stealth reconciliation bill that… IF the House takes the leap of faith and passes the Senate bill… will be debated on the Senate floor as a fix it bill.

And of course there is no “assurance” the Senate bill will be reconcilled and fixed. Well, duh wuh. And that is why the House Dems will *not* pass the Senate bill without significant assurance the second bill will fix it.


You are so late to the political strategy game, and your comprehensive of it all so discombobulated, that I’m actually embarrasssed to see it as a “reader post” on FA, guy.

Sometimes political opinion is gut instinct. . .Mata Harley has an encyclopedic knowledge/fact data base beyond normal citizenry and a mind like an Ivy League scholar (one BHO would envy). I would love to see this author run for elected office — even as a RINO. She could teach a lot of people, give new meaning to floor debate, and give the Sunday pundits a run for their money!!

However, this country’s freedom was won on belief — George Washington and a rag tag army fought against logic/facts of winning — with belief and against all odds.

Flopping Aces is an awesome site for the exchange of ideas. . .but all RESPECTFUL contributions should be considered as valuable within a public forum.

We used to say the two biggest lies are â��The check is in the mailâ�� and â��It wonâ��t hurt a bit.â�� Now, there is a third biggest lie, which is, â��We have the best health care system in the world,â�� as Bill Clinton and George Bush uttered repeatedly during their respective terms. In truth, all of the standard measures of health care quality points to ours as being â��the best substandard price-gouging health care system in the worldâ��. We need to find out what’s really wrong and why no one wants to fix it. Healthcare + politics = chaos.