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.
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.
A retired math teacher who spends most of his time exegeting the Old Testament and, once a week, puts out an ezeen.