Historic Day for Healthcare (??) -- the House Votes Tonight

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    The question marks (??) in the thread title is because nobody is absolutely certain there are 218 votes for passage. I know the topic matter here is extrememly perishable. Depending if tonight's House vote goes according to schedule, this will all be old news in a day or two.


    This is one of those long, marathon debate-and-vote days in the House of Representatives. As I type, as you read, H.R. 3962 - the "Affordable Health Care for America Act", and all the amendments - will be debated for another 4, 5 hours on the House floor; then a planned vote on final passage in the late evening. Some say the vote (if it happens) may stretch out until 11 p.m. EST.


    This is a potentially BIG day for healthcare. The dems have been scambling to get the needed 218 votes. There are 258 dems in the House, so they can afford to lose 40 of them (mostly blue dog dems, pro-life dems), but it's extemely tight. Pelosi has been twisting arms. Rahm Emmanuel has been twisting arms. 218 dem votes are needed because not one republican vote is expected. After working into the late night last night, dems came to an agreement with catholic bishops (the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) over abortion funding to receive catholic endorsement:


    Bishops endorse the amendment

    "The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops delivered a critical endorsement to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Saturday by signing off on late-night agreement to grant a vote on an amendment barring insurance companies that participate in the exchange from covering abortions."

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    Obama is making a last-minute push on Capitol Hill. This is from Politico:

    President Barack Obama reminded wavering House Democrats on Saturday that voting against the health care bill won’t insulate them from Republican attacks.

    In a last-minute appeal in the Cannon House Office Building, the legacy-conscious president focused the bulk of his 30-minute remarks on the historic impact of the vote, comparing this reform push to the establishment of Social Security and Medicare – and reminding them that both were demagogued by critics who predicted they would eventually lead to the country's collapse.

    “Remember why you got into politics in the first place and when you do, remember we can’t afford to let this moment pass,” Obama said, according to the notes of one attendee.
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    Moderate dem Jim Cooper is planning to vote for this bill. He represents many on-the-fence dems. He released a statement this morning that read:

    "I will vote yes on H.R. 3962. My vote is not an endorsement of all the provisions of the bill because I find much of the bill to be deeply flawed. There is little chance that H.R. 3962 will become law due to the long legislative process. My reason for voting yes is to advance the cause of health care reform by forcing the Senate to act. Without passage of this House bill, the Senate could delay reform indefinitely. That would be the worst possible outcome because our current health-care system is not sustainable. Congress needs to pass good health legislation in the next few months for the good of the country."

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    The White House got last-minute endorsemsnt from the American Medical Association and AARP yesterday.

    Republican senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma is threatening to have the entire bill, potentially thousand of pages, read aloud on the House floor in an effort to stall passage.

    House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer thinks the 218 votes may be there, but nobody is totally sure.


    I thought this was cute, from the Huffington Post:

    Rep. Rangel to GOP Leader Boehner: "Shame on you." Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) just got into a testy exchange when Boehner asked Rangel if he would guarantee that pro-life language in the House version will remain in the bill through conference committee with the Senate.

    "You've been here long enough to truly understand how this system works," Rangel responded, saying that he couldn't guarantee him anything. Even if he could, said Rangel, who is under ethics investigations, such a guarantee "might be a violation of our ethics laws."

    The press gallery and the House floor erupted in laughter.

    From there it heated up, with Boehner saying that allowing a vote on the amendment was a "shell game" because the party planned to remove it later.

    "Shame on you," responded Rangel, with one of the more direct insults you'll see on the House floor, where speakers are supposed to direct their comments to the chair, not directly to other members.

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  2. Northland

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    Yes, I laughed too when Rangel cackled in his cheshire cat style about ethics. He really shouldn't mention ethics considering the cloud he's shifting about under.

    As to the Boehner/Rangel matter being cute, the Congressional Chambers are not a place for 'cute' especially on such a vital matter and it's quite sad that you find this to be cute.
     
  3. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    Oh, don't be such a pill, North.

    I'll keep everything I have two of crossed, Will.
     
  4. MercyfulFate

    MercyfulFate New Member

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    So insurance companies may not pay out anything for abortions if that amendment goes through with it? WTF?
     
  5. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Sounds horribly uncomfortable!
     
  6. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    It already is. But no one ever said political or legislative change were easy. :biggrin1:
     
  7. hairyman101

    hairyman101 New Member

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    CNN shows that if it passes...36 million more people will have health insurance. what about the one billion that still dont have it?????
     
  8. Zeuhl34

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    Well, the US Congress, can't really write international law, now can they?
     
  9. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    I think I heard the bill passed on the news now.
     
  10. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    WOW I hope some day to HAVE to wait 3 weeks to see a doctor. Yay! Go new healthcare!
     
  11. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    It passed!! 220 to 215.

    Thank god. Now I can start uncrossing things.
     
  12. HazelGod

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    Hopefully, it's a step in the right direction...I still find it unbelievable that abortions were specifically excluded.
     
  13. D_Andreas Sukov

    D_Andreas Sukov Account Disabled

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  14. Guy-jin

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    Now time to reform the hospitals, doctors, and drug companies.

    Wait, you mean everyone thinks insurance was the only problem?!

    Dun dun dun.
     
  15. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    As someone who worked in an allied field for 17 yrs doctors don't need to be reformed. They need to stop having to spend most of their time and having to have to hire people just to deal w/the insurance companies. There needs to be better malpractice rules in law also. The drug companies, well they do what they do. They spend BILLIONS trying to develope drugs and then they do stupid things like offering doctors dividends to prescribe....some drugs work, some don't for all people. Doctors are stuck in alot of hard places because of laws and rules. Honestly after all the stuff I've heard from doctors over the years I have to give a big hand to anyone that can spend a million years in school, apprectice and whatever to be a doctor.
     
  16. Domisoldo

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    Of course not, and patients need reform too, but for-profit insurers are only parasitic organizations standing between the patients and those who can treat them. They add no value, worse yet, they destroy value.

    This attempt at reform (assuming it makes it into law in its current watered-down version) represents one step in the right direction: yet the Aetnas, Humanas, Cignas et al will be allowed to live on and milk providers and consumers alike.

     
  17. monet

    monet New Member

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    Ok, so now that it has passed the House with 220 votes (only 1 Republican willing to do what's right), what else needs to be done before it gets to President Obama to sign and make law? Anyone know the procedure? I'm reading something about Senate voting and ehhh, I thought the House vote was the big and needed victory before it goes to the White House.
     
  18. Guy-jin

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    As a person spending his millionth year in school, I thank you for your big hand. :smile:

    I think you misconstrue my statement about reform.

    My point is that the entire system needs reform for it to work. Health insurance is only part of the system. I am not insinuating that doctors are "doing something wrong." To the contrary. The system, however, is doing a great deal wrong, and this bill is not a solution to those problems.

    I think this will become evident after this insurance reform takes place.

    A step in the right direction? Yes. A panacea? Far from it.

    Indeed, and after this first step in reform settles in, I think the public at large will see that it isn't the end of the world and that they'll generally be more supportive of reform in the future.

    But I also think it's time this knee-jerk defense of specific parts of the health care system (exemplified in the post I just responded to) come to an end. The hospital is just as quote-unquote "corrupt" as the insurance companies. It does what it does because it can, and therefore the rules it plays by need to be changed. This is true for the entire system, not just the insurance side.
     
    #18 Guy-jin, Nov 7, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2009
  19. jason_els

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    It next will go to the Senate where it will be put to a vote there. A simple majority is all that's needed to pass the bill. If there is a tie (as there are 100 voting Senators) then the Vice President, in his dual role as President of the Senate, casts the tie-breaking vote. The VP is not obligated to vote the way the President would necessarily like him to because the VP is a separately-elected official and does not answer to the President. Legislation that requires spending requires origination in the House. It is expected the Senate will pass this version. Then the bill will go to the President to sign. He can sign it, let it sit on his desk (a pocket veto), or veto it outright. Congress can then override the veto if it passes by a 2/3 majority in both houses. It is expected Obama will sign the bill.
     
  20. monet

    monet New Member

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    Very clear explanation, Jason. Thank you! So are there more Democratic Senators in the Senate than Republican Senators? Is that why the bill is likely to pass, you say?
     
    #20 monet, Nov 8, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2009
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