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Forcing the Senate health insurance bill as is through the House, the option that seems to be building steam among Dem leaders, is going to be fraught with difficulties. There's the right:

In an interview on Monday, Representative Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat who opposes the Senate bill in part because of provisions related to insurance coverage of abortions, said: "House members will not vote for the Senate bill. There’s no interest in that."

When the idea was suggested at a Democratic caucus meeting last week, Mr. Stupak said, "It went over like a lead balloon."

And then there's the left, who for reasons from the lack of a public option to the inclusion of the Coathanger amendment to the affordability issues to the maintentance of the anti-trust exemption, have serious policy concerns about making this flawed bill actual law. Add a national exchange, as opposed to state exchanges, to that mix, and here the House has some back-up.

A coalition of labor and progressive consumer and health groups sent a letter [pdf] today to Reid and Pelosi, demanding that the compromise still being negotiated included a national exchange. Greg Sargent reports:

The  letter argues that a state-based approach risks undermining reform from the start, and that a national exchange is the only way to ensure real reform that prevents insurers from gaming the system:

In sum, we urge you to adopt the House approach of a national exchange, with the option for states to establish an exchange if they have the capacity to meet or exceed national standards. We also urge you to adopt the House provisions which prohibit the sale of individual converage outside the exchange, the Senate provisions which pool risk of the small group market outside and inside the exchange, and to prohibit insurers from selling only outside the exchange. A national exchange and strong rules to prevent insurer manipulation will lay the foundation to help millions of Americans secure affordable, good-quality coverage starting the first day the exchange opens.

Labor and the White House already reached a deal on the "Cadillac" tax, and this opens another front for negotiations and possible differences. If Brown wins, there will be heavy pressure on the House — as well as unions and other liberal groups — to accept the inevitable and back the Senate bill as is.

The question is whether these groups will acquiesce, or whether they’ll draw a line over issues like the exchange and insist on another way forward other than merely swallowing the Senate bill, such as reconciliation.

Here's the problem for the "shove the Senate bill through" argument--in order to do that, you need to have labor on board. They've negotiated the excise tax compromise that would have to be passed through a subsequent (if not simultaneous) reconciliation bill. The exchanges are another matter, one that really couldn't be addressed in reconcilation, which is essentially limited to the revenue side of the bill. The national exchange has been one of the primary sticking points for the House, for the good reason. In the absence of a public option, a national exchange is one of the very few mechanisms that could provide a means of keeping insurance companies at least relatively honest.

Here's a trade the House could make, though: a robust public option, which could be passed through reconciliation and which could provide the additional cost control lost through the adjusted excise tax, for a national exchange.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 01:54 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Precisely why the labor movement (14+ / 0-)
    is as important now as ever.
    •  we have until at least the 29th (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandy on Signal, LansingDan

      to pass whatever bill comes out of informal conference.  if brown wins, it seems it only bolsters the chances to negotiate a better bill.  

      also, rep. degette thinks stupak is full of it and doesn't have the votes he thinks he does.

      The problem with people who need to follow leaders is that they need to follow leaders.

      by Cedwyn on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:17:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm disappointed though that labor (0+ / 0-)

      made such a crappy deal last week.  What is it about The White House being "committed" (Robert Gibbs during a WH press conference)to an excise tax on health benefits. When exactly did that become part of the Democratic platform? I also believe the deal cut last week is totally unfair to those that will be taxed right away just because they are not in a union???

  •  Now Is The Time (19+ / 0-)

    To stand up to the Senate an The White House

    They have miscalculated by trying to craft a bill the would woo Olmypia Snowe

    While the rest of the America Public got the shaft.

  •  Yet Democratic Leaders wonder why (9+ / 0-)

    they're having trouble in MA, VA and NJ.

  •  What's the consensus.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, soms, jethrock

    of the time frame between the time the Senate bill gets passed and the time a reconciliation bill "fixes" it? Is the thinking that they can be done somewhat simultaneously?

  •  No, you can't have it. (11+ / 0-)
    Damn liberals always wanting more, more, more.

    When is enough enough with these liberal extremists?

    /snark, distasteful as it is.

  •  Now is the time to dump the senate (10+ / 0-)

    I'm really tired of most of those self centred pontificators.

    Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

    by LaFeminista on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:00:34 PM PST

    •   I emailed , wrote them and called my... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, LaFeminista, jethrock

      Senators (and my Congressman, and the Speaker) at their DC offices last week urging them not to tax Health Care benefits and to stand firm for a Public Option.  The one senator's staff that seemed to care and was actually interested was Senator Cantwell (WA).  

    •  Self Centered? (0+ / 0-)

      They've been trying to pass this for 8 months, and would have if the progressives and netroots would have been able to face the reality that we don't have enough votes for what they wanted.  But instead we had to drag this out for nearly a year, and ended up with a bill that was nearly exactly what the blue dogs and Lieberman wanted at the start.  

      Eight months, and we got nothing in negotiation because we had no leverage and couldn't face up to that reality.  Now we risk getting nothing because of this community's steadfast refusal to accept reality.

      •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        DailyKos, overlord of the American political scene. I feel ... so powerful.

      •  We dragged this out? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        denise b, KingCranky, annieli

        I beg your pardon, single payer thrown under the bus without even getting to the table, then every corporate/blue dog dem throwing a hissy fit at every opportunity.

        Actually you can blame 4 or 5  centrist Dems for the stonewalling.

        Blame the progressives for this


        If Brown wins the Lieberman will be upset and have to give his tutu back.

        Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

        by LaFeminista on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:21:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes. (0+ / 0-)

          Progressives had no leverage to negotiate with, and as a result, we got nothing.  All the negotiations did was postpone voting on a bill acceptable to the blue dogs by 8 months and keep us from doing anything else meaningful (like trying to address the economic issues killing us with voters) in the meanwhile.

  •  Call me a downer today, but I think (10+ / 0-)
    if we get any healthcare reform at all (which, given the current timidity of the dems, is in serious doubt) it will be something only the repubs and corporate america will celebrate.

    Sorry. Maybe I'll see the glass as half full tomorrow.

    "I still say a church steeple with a lightning rod on top shows a lack of confidence."

    by logsol on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:00:45 PM PST

    •  Personally I think (0+ / 0-)

      the whole bill is dead. I'm sorry I think the time has come and gone for it to pass.

      And I say this as being one who would have been helped by ANY bill passed, since I've not had any type of health care for 10 years.

      I read these comments here about those 'horrible dems' and it's partly true, but then I read all of these new comments about demanding more and more and I must shake my head.

      I'm much more pessimistic than anyone, because I was so looking forward to anything being passed to help me and 10's of millions of others..

      This bill is dead--and You heard it from me.

      This union may never be perfect, but generation after generation has shown that it can always be perfected. Barack Obama

      by Wary on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:50:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The state-based exchanges would be awful (8+ / 0-)

    it'd allow private insurers to game the system. The national exchange MUST be included in that conference report!

    Dude, you can follow me on Twitter! You can also join my Facebook group, PublicOptionNow

    by slinkerwink on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:01:47 PM PST

  •  Senate bill does not apply to 100M. Can't stand. (9+ / 0-)

    Insurer okayed out-of-network care for heart patient but family faces huge bill. To these advocates' dismay, both the House and Senate health-care reform bills explicitly permit balance billing, even though it's a major contributor to health-related bankruptcies.

    Additionally, "self insured" health care provided by big corporations is not covered under House or Senate bill, nothing in bill applies to them. 100M Americans are covered by "self insured" plans.

    If you want nation to look like Massachusetts, then pass the Senate bill, otherwise, kill the filibuster or use reconciliation to pass real reform...which what people voted for and what 70% of Americans have always wanted.

    •  That's not how I read the House bill. (0+ / 0-)
      Sec. 202 of the House bill, if I'm reading the House bill correctly, subjects the self-insured to the minimum benefit packages after five years, and Sec. 213 subjects the self-insured to the community rating immediately.  Now the self-insured will still be exempt from premium taxes, reserving requirements, etc. -- if I'm reading the legislation correctly.  But that's how I read the House bill.

      The Senate bill is a different story. ...

  •  I agree that a public option (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Timothy J, soms

    can be the substitute for a national exchange.

    Obama too likes the national exchange.

    Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:02:48 PM PST

  •  Keep dreaming. (7+ / 0-)

    A robust Public option? Not a chance.  Either the House votes for the senate bill or they kill reform and the House will go back to the GOP this November.  Their choice.

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:03:09 PM PST

    •  Well, I'll blame Obama for not siding with the (9+ / 0-)

      House and the PO to begin with.

      If he had, he could have pointed at the Senate for failing the American people.

    •  Sadly, yes. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Our Congresscritters can at least do something that the great minds of DKos apparently cannot: Read a calendar.  We are about 9 months from the November elections.  Congress does not have the time to continue dicking around on healthcare.  They need to quickly wrap this up to allow enought time to get jobs bills done and a financial rregulatory reform bill done.  Its all about J-O-B-S and smacking around the banks/Wall Street at this point if the Democracts are going to have any hope of not getting creamed in the mid-term elections.

      And if they fail to pass HCR, its going to be gridlock until November - with no jobs bills, and no financial reform bill.

      Its a pretty stark clusterF*&k, and the "progressive" community bears as much fault for it as the centrists.

      Liberals drive me crazy. Unfortunately, conservatives are even worse.

      by goblue72 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:09:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think that we should still pass the bill now (6+ / 0-)

    even if there is not a national exchange.

    The exchange isn't going to happen until 2014 which gives us a few years to pass legislation to actually get a national exchange.

    I also think there should be a public option that can be obtained via reconciliation.

    Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:05:05 PM PST

    •  I agree, but too much was given away (0+ / 0-)

      right off the top.  Single-payer should have been the starting point, not hush money to Big Pharma to keep them out of the fray, probably on the advice of the Clintons.  That's what made things cheesy right at the beginning.  And for those who insist the government cannot do anything right, well, this sausage making would only support that notion.  There will be no trust or support for a jobs bill, financial regulation reform or anything else.  Lamentable.

  •  Was a proud member of my teachers union (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Linnaeus, chuckvw, jethrock

    before coming out west.  Didn't know unions till i moved away from Texas.
    Wound up in Buffalo, N.Y. Whoo hoo Buffalo Teachers Association!!!!!
    And my baby brother is in Sheriff's association in San Antonio, my other bro is a union stewart with the phone company.

    I will have to write this up one day!

    My grandmther was one of the three women who confronted the San Antonio police during the Pecan Shellers Strike of 1938!

    One of my beefs about ......... Teach for America


    by TexMex on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:05:28 PM PST

  •  What about a timed two-step? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr, Helenann

    Make the deal as follows:

    The House agrees to vote for the Senate bill as is, provided that the required changes are put into reconciliation simultaneously.  Since reconciliation is tied to taxation and I think has to originate in the House, the House can pass a bill that corrects the Senate bill.  It would thus change the Yugo Tax as agreed, which certainly, being tax-related, fits into reconciliation.  The exchanges and even a public option might fit into reconciliation.

    So the Senate bill goes to the President, and the House bill goes to the Senate for 51 votes under reconciliation.  This passes within a week, and the President signs them both at one ceremony.

    Of course we all know how reconciliation bills can expire in five years, yadda yadda, but that gives five years to make the changes permanent.  The new system will be in place by then and it's unlikely that Congress would stomach major changes from its expiry.

  •  I just don't know anymore (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pescadero Bill, jethrock

    My thoughts now are ...whatever.

    •  I think that's why Dems have had trouble (6+ / 0-)

      getting voters to the polls to vote all year.

      If the Dems  don't wake up to the fact that people are tired of watching them capitulate to the very industries they were elected to reform.

      Then they will have major trouble in November by people who have tuned out completely.

      Think about it. I think it's fair to say the majority of us here on DKos are the political activists...

      And even we are getting disgusted.

      •  You "Think"? That's Bullshit. (0+ / 0-)

        There's no polling data to support that thought.  You think one thing (not moving fast enough or far enough), the right wing and blue dogs think it's another thing (moving too fast and too far).  

        Personally, I think both sides are wrong, and this is just plain old anger, anti-establishment/incumbent feeling, and a backlash against everyone in power, no matter the side.  Largely driven by the economic collapse and slow recovery.

        Of course, my position isn't a particularly pleasant prospect for either side of the ideological breakdown, it doesn't fit into our media's desire for horse-races and gaming, and it requires accepting and taking responsibility for doing the things that have pissed people off, which is hard.  

        It also doesn't reinforce a each group's push for their ideological positions, so no progressives taking these results and demanding we get even more progressive, no conservatives taking the results and demanding we go backwards.  Both things that are hard to give up, and so you don't see either side willing to face this reality.

  •  "MEDICARE FOR ALL" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GiveNoQuarter, KingCranky

    It's understandable. And it works.

  •  Franken says today HCR will pass, period (4+ / 0-)

    If Brown wins Tuesday's election, Democrats would no longer have a filibuster-proof majority. But Franken said that could be overcome by having the House vote on the health care bill senators passed last month, which would make a Senate vote on a conference bill unnecessary.

  •  Uh, how is it that a PO passes through (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    reconciliation?  I know it would necessarily have to be a budget items, but wouldn't it also need to address the revenue side to be "reconcilable"?

  •  NEWSFLASH: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    House has to suck it up

  •  I Think The President Would Go Along (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with a PO in reconciliation.  He would win progressives back and would get some independents back too.

    •  but Rahm Won't. (0+ / 0-)

      Miserable DLC'er wants the Clinton Drama.

      George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

      by nathguy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:47:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rahm isn't the final word. (0+ / 0-)

        Yeah, Rahm's got influence but he's not the guy who makes the orders.  Rahm merely carries them out.  And Pres Obama has stated publicly, many times, that he favors the PO.

        "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

        by rainmanjr on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 04:36:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's just too bad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    congress didn't have any time to get HCR passed over the past year.

    here come da triumph...

    by Coss on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:12:03 PM PST

  •  The AFL-CIO will get out the vote for Coakley (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and make this a mute point (I hope).

  •  The Democrats fucked themselves. (6+ / 0-)


    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:15:45 PM PST

  •  Question: how is PO passable via budget reconcil- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    I've heard it stated over and over that PO could be passed with budget reconciliation, and I believed that, but thinking about it now, how could it be?  Sure, PO has impact on the budget, but it's in no way strictly a budget item like tax cuts are.  It's actual enactment of a program.  Why is everyone so sure that such could be done with budget reconciliation?

    Another question: I've heard that "Medicare for all" is doable with budget reconciliation.  Again, I question that, because you're actually altering the existing Medicare program, not just dealing with revenue.  Same goes for simply lowering the Medicare age to 55.  Why is everyone so sure that changing Medicare eligibility is doable with budget reconciliation?

    I ask the above in earnest and in good faith.

  •  This is brilliant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It enables the House to pass the Senate bill AND revives the Public Option. Is this being discussed in the White House and Congress? It would change the entire narrative and give the American peole, the White House, and the Democratic Congress a real success. Even Howard Dean and Ariana Huffington would be cheering. Will someone make sure Rachel knows about this idea?

    Health care is a human right.

    by Helenann on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:16:31 PM PST

    •  Can you imagine that they don't? (0+ / 0-)

      If this was thought of here then most certainly it's been discussed within WH and Congressional walls.  If not then we ought to hire the person writing Obama's speeches because Obama must not be smart enough for it.

      "There's really nothing I want out of the past except history." - Autoegocrat

      by rainmanjr on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 06:28:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If HCR doesn't pass... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What do the Dems run on in Nov? The GOP will run on the fact that the Democrats had a filibuster proof majority for a year and did nothing.  

    Pass HCR ASAP and move on to financial regulation and jobs - both areas where GOP can't politic and obstruct even with 41 votes in the Senate without taking a political hit.  

    Have Democrats go to the polls with HCR, Financial reforms and a jobs bill - give them a fighting chance.  

    Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

    by Jonze on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:17:41 PM PST

    •  And if HCR does pass? (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paleo, pletzs, WisePiper, KingCranky, judyms9

      I guess they will run on mandates to buy private insurance... and taxing benefits for the first time in history.

      Taxing benefits for the first time in history helped loose McCain the election... I wonder how far it will get Dems.

      That's the problem with too much compromise... you adopt too many Republican ideas... they refuse to vote for them... and you are stuck with the consequences.

      •  Most folks won't have an issue with mandates... (0+ / 0-)

        Because they see those without coverage as feeeloaders. The mandates pay for security for current policy holders - they can't be dropped, don't have caps and can't be denied for pre-existing conditions if they change or lose their job.  Those are great changes that all current policy holders will love - so you throw it back on the GOP challenger - do you not think these were good improvements? How would you pay for them? Why didn't would indicate your support for the public option if you are so concerned about mandating into private hands?

        The House passed a PO bill, they can blame the senate and say they had to accept less in order to get something because the Senate is broken.  

        Politics is like playing Asteroids - You go far enough to the left and you end up on the right. Or vice-versa.

        by Jonze on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:32:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not passing HCR (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pletzs, jethrock

      will deprive Republicans of an issue, and give Democrats the opportunity to hammer them as obstructionists.  The latter would require Obama to get off his ass and turn it up several notches.

      Excise the excise tax.

      by Paleo on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:25:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the Dems only had "60" votes for 4 months (0+ / 0-)

      or so, and didn't really have 60 votes even then.

      Also, logically the GOP can't run on "The Dems did nothing with 60 votes" if the basis of that is that the Senate passed HCR with 60 votes but as soon as the Senate Dems had only 59, they were blocked from completing the final step.  Logically, that only points to GOP obstructionism; in fact, it's the smoking gun of GOP obstructionism.

      But I agree with you because the GOP always runs campaigns devoid of logic and the public eats it up like candy anyway.  I think the House should pass the Senate bill and say "F-U" to the GOP and MSM in the process.

      THEN, the progressives can try their budget reconciliation tactics to make improvements, and if it works, great; if not, then at least something got passed.

  •  Passing the senate bill is the worst (8+ / 0-)
    thing Democrats can do.  Substantively, the bill is terrible.  Politically, it will give Republicans an issue they will hammer Democrats over the head with.  No bill is better than the senate bill.

    Excise the excise tax.

    by Paleo on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:17:52 PM PST

  •  Maybe it's better to pass the Senate bill, then (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jim bow

    pass card check (EFCA or whatever the acronym is).  The latter will mollify the unions.

    Then do like social security, and improve the passed health care bill as time goes on.

    •  EFCA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big Tex

      It has to get through a filibuster.

      Excise the excise tax.

      by Paleo on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:24:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think PO is subject to filibuster as well (0+ / 0-)

        because I currently think that PO can't get through budget reconciliation because it's not strictly a revenue issue, it's enactment of a new program.  I asked in another post why people are so sure that PO is even eligible for passage through budget reconciliation, and I see nobody has responded.  I'm beginning to think that it was all a big myth that PO is doable under budget reconciliation.

        It's better to blow up the filibuster.  Then both PO and EFCA would pass (if there are even 50 votes for either, which is debatable).

  •  Ping pong plus Reconciliation= Opportunity (0+ / 0-)

    The House can bargain now to reinstate a public option in Reconciliation or Medicare add-in.

  •  If Coakley loses (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Blutodog, LansingDan

    and if house cannot pass senate bill then healthcare reform is dead and it is dead for at least a generation because I don't see a Democratic 60 seat majority in near future after the asswhooping the Democrats will get in November.  

  •  What don't people understand? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    If Coakley loses, it is the Senate bill or nothing.  
  •  Okay, Joan (0+ / 0-)
    I want to apologize for the way I treated you the last few weeks.  You clearly are brighter than what I give you credit for.  I overlooked the importance of subjecting those in the large group market and the self-insured to the community rating and the minimum benefits packages, which the House bill does in Secs. 213 and 202 of its bill and the Rockefeller C-1 amendment did.  You picked up on this, so I must give you credit for that.

    I would make the public option trade a little bit more comprehensive.  Here's what I'd demand for the public option:

    1. National Exchange
    2. The House's "prudent purchaser" language
    3. The House's requirement that all plans be sold inside the Exchange
    4. The House's prohibition of allowing benefits outside of the minimum benefits package (i.e., dental and vision care) to be offered on the basic, enhanced, and premium tiers
    5. The House's limitations on claims processing

    How's that for you?  Pretty damn good tradeoff, ain't it?  You saw what I suggested for the excise tax, no?

    Anyhow, I hope you'll forgive me for the way I've treated you and others.  I am capable of being a bigger person than the way I've behaved towards you and others.

    Well, more important, back to the policy!

  •  18 mill ppl paying $100/mo= 1.8billion dollars (0+ / 0-)
    Follow my numbers: if we had a public option, funded only by participants

    46million uninsured.
    Subtract 10million for indigent, mentally ill and illegal
    36 million who can pay
    Out of that 18million who can afford $100/mo = 1,800,000,000

    18million can only pay $50/mo = 900,000,000.
    That's 2,700,000,000. PER MONTH

    Totals 32Billion, 400million per year.

    We could have had a public option paid for by ourselves.

    We could have added a 1cent tax on fast food, high fructose drinks/foods, etc. for subsidies and to pay into medicare.

    •  Typical tax-and-spend liberal. (0+ / 0-)

      Add a penny to my Whopper?

      This will not stand!

      Yes, I know President Palin would be a disaster, and I do understand the ponies are on back order. Now, what the fuck was your point again?

      by WisePiper on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:39:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What The Fuck? (0+ / 0-)

      So you totally support a tax on the food consumed by poor people, and yet no doubt were part of the brigade screaming bloody murder over the prospect of taxing health care plans costing more than your average uninsured person makes in total per year?  Really?  How does that work?

  •  If Reid doesn't use reconciliation, after today, (0+ / 0-)

    He's the next corpy milquetoast that needs a career change. His hands are tied only to the extent that he's the one designing the knot.

    IGTNT...Honor the Fallen...Grace Their Loved Ones.

    by geez53 on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:31:49 PM PST

  •  A small step (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If Coakley loses we the progressives are going to have to swallow our pride and accept a small step forward on health care. IF we can get the Senate bill passed (if the House of REps can pass it) we should accept it. It will be disastrous for the Dems and everything we believe in if we don't. Does anyone think anything will get done if the Repubs win either house of Congress?

    Don't get me wrong I don't like it any better than anyone else. I have been very very critical of the Senate bill and the way this has been done, BUT the bill IS better than nothing.  It expands access and allows the Dems a fighting chance to prevail in the fall election.

    Unfortunately the time has past for us to be purists and make demands.  Huge mistakes and miscalculations have been made (and we know who made them) but the bill IS a small step forward and should be passed if possible.  

  •  Reconciliation Bill (0+ / 0-)

    Imagine 10,000 people in front of the White House, chanting

  •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

    Anthony Weiner says health care reform dead  if Brown elected?    Anyone else hear this?

  •  rahm hates the public option (0+ / 0-)

    because it will kill all those contributions from
    the AHIP people

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 02:46:33 PM PST

  •  Here's a very good overview of Reconciliation (0+ / 0-)

    I think we do need to try and pass as much as we can through it, this article makes clear how much of a shitshow reconciliation can be too. (Of course, if Coakley wins tonight, all this is moot.)

    Basically, reconciliation will take several weeks, as it'll need to pass through all five congressional committees that have jurisdiction. Republicans can gum up the process by offering up unlimited amendments. Then in the Senate, Kent Conrad's budget committee also has to mark-up the bill.

    Once it gets to the floor of the Senate:

    ... any grouping of 41 senators can knock out any provision in the reported bill that...

    a) has no budgetary impact (or which has a budgetary impact that is only incidental to the policy provision),

    b) increases the deficit by any amount over a five-year or ten-year period,

    c) ups the deficit by more than $10 billion in any one year before 2014 unless fully offset over a five-year period, or

    d) makes any change to title II of the Social Security Act.

    And of particular importance to a massive and open-ended bill like health care, the Senate’s PAYGO rule requires 60 votes for any provision that would increase the deficit by more than $5 billion in any ten-year period going all the way out to the year 2059. (You read that correctly: 2059.) This is why so many provisions in reconciliation bills have to "sunset" and expire after ten years.

    Once all that has passed, debate on the Senate floor is limited to 20 hours, BUT unlimited amendments can be offered, which means that once 20 hours have expired, votes on all outstanding amendments must be taken up in succession, which could also drag the process out or stall it. Typically this requires 15 minutes per vote, but it could be limited to two minutes each only if unanimous consent is waived (60 votes).

    Afterward, the bill has to go to conference, as reconciliation bills cannot be ping-ponged, and then any provision not in either house's reconciliation bill needs 60 votes when it comes to the floor. All told, we're looking at late February, early March by the earliest.

    One interesting tidbit though, and one that could give Pelosi leverage to force the Senate to take up a reconciliation bill of fixes, is that apparently the Speaker does not have to deliver legislation approved by Congress (so in this case, the Senate bill, if the House votes to approve it) to the President for up to a year. So she can hold it in reserve until the Senate passes the reconciliation bill.

  •  Whatever we can do (0+ / 0-)

    we just gotta do it. I know Obama supports a national approach, which means a national exchange. National seems better than the less controllable state version.

    Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

    by JamesE on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 03:05:21 PM PST

  •  Of course, under the Neutron Bomb option ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... here, the House would decide how long is appropriate before the trigger matures, 41 Senators have to defend the rider from being stripped out of the bill, one brave Senator has to move to bring the measure to a vote after its filibustered and the trigger has matured, and the Chair (the potential chair with the institutional incentive to reign in the filibuster would be the President of the Senate, Joe Biden) would have to appeal to constitutional grounds to agree to the motion.

    Then its a full court press to get 50 votes to table the appeal of the decision of the chair, and it comes up for a vote, which would presumably be the same 50 votes.

    IF ITS BEEN FILIBUSTERED, the bill on passage would go straight to the President, because the filibuster would have been, in effect, the Senate decision not to amend the bill prior to the trigger maturing and Bernie Sanders (I) pulling the trigger.

    Start 2010 with Lesbian Creative Works, 100% Yuri from ALC Publishing

    by BruceMcF on Tue Jan 19, 2010 at 04:42:22 PM PST

  •  Pass the House Bill (0+ / 0-)

    If time is short and they just need to get something out, I'd suggest they simply get the Senate to pass the House bill. That's much easier than getting the House to pass the Senate bill (and you get a much better bill). It would only take twisting the arms of two or three key Senators to make this work. To get the House to pass the other bill would mean getting lots of Representatives to vote for it.

    It just makes a lot more sense to demand that recalcitrant Senators take it in the shorts for the party.

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