Porkulus alert: The massive expansion in health-care regulation

posted at 2:40 pm on February 12, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported on a stealth provision in Porkulus that would set the stage for federal diktats in patient care.   The bill created a Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research, a Tom Daschle pet project that would study the effectiveness of patient treatments and set federal rules on which treatments would be allowed by health-care providers throughout the US.  As Betsy McCaughey reported, Daschle’s vision was to eliminate costly treatments and slow progress on medicine:

Hospitals and doctors that are not “meaningful users” of the new system will face penalties.  “Meaningful user” isn’t defined in the bill. That will be left to the HHS secretary, who will be empowered to impose “more stringent measures of meaningful use over time” (511, 518, 540-541)

What penalties will deter your doctor from going beyond the electronically delivered protocols when your condition is atypical or you need an experimental treatment? The vagueness is intentional. In his book, Daschle proposed an appointed body with vast powers to make the “tough” decisions elected politicians won’t make.

The stimulus bill does that, and calls it the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research (190-192). The goal, Daschle’s book explained, is to slow the development and use of new medications and technologies because they are driving up costs. He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

When confronted by this provision by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, cancer survivor Arlen Spector professed surprise at hearing about the inclusion of such a program.  He then promised to vote against any bill that included such a provision:

Well, it looks as though it’s time to call Specter’s bluff.  HA reader Dr. Eric Novack, who once led an effort in Arizona to put health-care freedoms into law, has reviewed the new version of Porkulus — and the same sections remain.  In fact, as Eric notes, it occupies almost a third of the entire bill:

Of the 1434 pages, pages 806-1251are dedicated to the expansion of the federal health care bureaucracy.  (That is, not including the COBRA, Medicaid, etc. expansion that begins on page 1278.)

page 826 line 8 establishes: There is hereby established a Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Research
And the FCCCCER is the engine by which Daschle intended to eventually force all health providers to adhere to federal standards of treatment.  They didn’t make 445 of 1500 pages about health care to decrease federal control of the industry.
Will Specter honor his commitment and vote against the nationalization of the health-care industry?

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Jeez, Specter sounds like the living dead. I so much miss Rick Santorum. What on earth is the matter with Pennsylvania?

Hilts on February 12, 2009 at 3:54 PM

rockmom on February 12, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Yes, they will have Transparency… just like the last TARP money!… oh… wait… crap…

Romeo13 on February 12, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Now, I readily admit that we aren’t going to treat everybody for everything. One way or the other, we are going to ration healthcare. We DO ration healthcare. It’s unavoidable. The only question is how.

paul006 on February 12, 2009 at 3:37 PM

That’s easy. If you can pay for it, you get it.

Vashta.Nerada on February 12, 2009 at 3:57 PM

So because some people can’t get care for cancer you want to have the government decide who lives and dies? I don’t fancy listening to come government employee tell me “Sorry, but you’re too expensive and we don’t allow you to pay for the care on your own. Just accept it and go home to die.”

theotherKate on February 12, 2009 at 3:28 PM

Well, we decide now who lives and dies. No, the decisions aren’t made by bureaucrats in government (not usually, anyway); they’re made by bureaucrats in hospitals and insurance companies.

I think you can argue, reasonably, that market-based mechanisms are more efficient than government-based mechanisms. My point is this: We like to pretend that we don’t already ration health care, and that there are no inequities in our health care system. That’s just bunk. In fact the whole purpose of market mechanisms — whether we’re talking about health care, gasoline or designer jeans — is to ration supply. (Normally, the market does this through price discrimination.) Today, we ration health care upfront, by raising the bar of access.

People like Tom Daschle say that’s not equitable; they say we should ration care on the back end, by denying coverage for costly services. I think Daschle has a reasonable argument. I’m not saying he’s right. I’m just saying he’s reasonable. And I think conservatives do a great disservice to ourselves by pretending that nobody suffers under the health care system as it exists today. People know better. They know we’re lying, and that undermines our credibility.

paul006 on February 12, 2009 at 3:57 PM

And the really interesting part?

My Medical records are already online here in Denver… as were my recent colonoscopy results… and blood work…

So, if industry is already doing this… why the Federal Intrusion?

Romeo13 on February 12, 2009 at 2:46 PM

Exactly. I work for a very large world renowned hospital system and most of our tests, labs, charting are already on-line. The only difference between what the communist dictator wants to do and what is already being done, is that the f**king govt. gets to look in and tell you how much and what type of care you should recieve. The funny thing is, when the Patriot Act was introduced, the left went ballistic over our civil liberties being trampled. They said that listening in on their international calls when they used words associated with terrorism harmed their lives. But not a goddamn peep from them when the govt. is on the brink of passing legislation that can lead to them being denied expensive meds, or surgeries? The cult religion of Liberalism lacks any molecule of common sense and independent thought. Make the world a better place, punch a liberal in the face (figuratively of course ;-) )

kriscoleman on February 12, 2009 at 3:58 PM

The problem there of course is Democrats are in the back pocket of the lawyers, so not much chance of such malpractice reform. The republicans have tried for years, but lawyers are much more important to the dems, than doctors are.

Dasher on February 12, 2009 at 3:14 PM

I know you’re right, and I agree entirely. I should have framed my entire comment as a rhetorical question because I know plaintiffs’ lawyers have too much at stake to see this happen. Still, many people hate lawyers–even more than doctors and big companies–and I think GOP candidates should really make a big stink when they are opposed by a small group of plaintiffs lawyers, ATLA, or affiliates. We have to educate people about the parasites that are ruining our competitiveness. And I say that as a lawyer.

BuckeyeSam on February 12, 2009 at 3:59 PM

And I think conservatives do a great disservice to ourselves by pretending that nobody suffers under the health care system as it exists today. People know better. They know we’re lying, and that undermines our credibility.

paul006 on February 12, 2009 at 3:57 PM

ER’s across this country must treat any patient who shows up regardless of their ability to pay. Period. Is this the “gold plan”? No, for that you must actually pay your own money, and not the taxpayer’s.

kriscoleman on February 12, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Last summer the Dems talked about confiscating our 401k’s and other retirement accounts.

I guess they decided it will be easier to just kill us all off. And, hey! It has the side benefit of solving the SS/Medicaid crisis!

jeanneb on February 12, 2009 at 4:03 PM

The goal is reasonable. We can either ration health care up front, by denying some people access to any care (which is what we do now), or we can ration it on the back end, by denying a few people access to expensive care. But we can’t avoid the rationing altogether. No society is going to spend unlimited money on healthcare.

paul006 on February 12, 2009 at 2:57 PM

Denying government paid expensive care to a few for the better of the rest is not only unethical but a violation of equal protection. What you will end up with is denying expensive care to all equally, and a system that no one will want to be in.

BrianA on February 12, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Arlen Sphincter!

TheSitRep on February 12, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Now, I readily admit that we aren’t going to treat everybody for everything. One way or the other, we are going to ration healthcare. We DO ration healthcare. It’s unavoidable. The only question is how.

Medicaid is available to anyone who cannot afford health insurance (and even to a lot of people who can but who would rather spend their money on other things), although it’s true that many are too stupid or lazy to make the effort to sign up for it.

A lot of people forgo health insurance because they’re too cheap to pay for it and they’d rather make a Lexus payment or pay for other idiotic crap. I have a buddy who is an optometrist, the majority of his patients are on Medicaid. Medicaid pays for the eye exam and then the peel off $300 in cash for designer glasses. It happens every day.

If some appointed board is going to be making decisions on what gets treated and how, it will be a disaster. These hacks will undoubtedly be lobbied, bribed and the money will go towards taking care of donor and constituents, not the maladies. Politics screws up everything.

Not to mention, what’s the most effective treatment today, might not be the most effective treatment tomorrow. Medicine progresses but it won’t progress in an era of rationing and of centralized planning based on political winds.

NoDonkey on February 12, 2009 at 4:11 PM

FWIW, I called Specter’s office. I noted that the health care provision was in the bill and gave the page numbers. I also mentioned that he had promised to vote against the bill if the provisions were still there. The staffer said he’s just starting to read the conference report and hasn’t decided how he’s going to vote.

So anyone willing to take odds on Specter’s vote, keeping in mind he would, probably, be exempt from the program as he would have the super-special Congress-only health care plan…

batter on February 12, 2009 at 4:13 PM

batter on February 12, 2009 at 4:13 PM

Um, then why did he stand with Dems at yesterdays announcment of the Deal?

You know, the one where he was called a Patriot?

Romeo13 on February 12, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Maybe the Health Czar will mandate that sodomists pay higher premiums, given the health problems that attend their proclivities.

I’m sure that’s where they’re going with all this.

Akzed on February 12, 2009 at 4:18 PM

ER’s across this country must treat any patient who shows up regardless of their ability to pay. Period.

kriscoleman on February 12, 2009 at 4:02 PM

That’s false.

ERs — and ERs is plural, not possessive; accordingly, no apostrophe is needed; in fact, the apostrophe is illiterate — are required, if they accept federal money, to stabilize acute injury or illness. They are not required to treat chronic illness, and they do not treat chronic illness. You will not provide any evidence to the contrary.

If you have no cash or insurance, you will end up at either a county hospital or other charitable institution.

If you think that health insurance is essentially unnecessary, stop paying for yours and save the cost of the premiums. Then, if you develop cancer or some other chronic condition, go to the ER and post the follow-up report here. We’ll all be intrigued, I’m sure, to read how you received speedy, high-quality service, without cash or insurance, from any random hospital where you decided to park your ass.

(By the way, if you really believe that fiction, do you also believe that the free market normally works this way? In other words, do you think that the government can just mandate unpaid services and that the market will happily provide them? And if so, do you support government mandates for, say, high-rise condos and designer clothes?)

paul006 on February 12, 2009 at 4:19 PM

paul006 on February 12, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Of course there is natural rationing, and of course people suffer and die. But it’s not government mandated. Do you truly not see the difference?

theotherKate on February 12, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Gregg withdraws.

Must have a tax problem.

getalife on February 12, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Where’s good old Death when you need him?

omnipotent on February 12, 2009 at 4:22 PM

What does the AMA think of all this?

misslizzi on February 12, 2009 at 4:26 PM

No Paul, I believe it is you who is confused. You seem to be informed about some things and not others. Your first argument was “access”, not “equity”, and there is indeed adequate access for the uninsured in this country. I work at one of the county hospitals you speak so derisively of, and we gave away $110 million dollars of charity care last year, most of which is subsidized by state, local, and federal governments. And yes, included in that was brain tumor resection, cardiac cath, CABG, and chemo/radiation.

And let me assure you, if Mommypundit drops her insurance and marches her ass off the ED with the sniffles or asymptomatic hyperglycemia, she’ll get treated. Guaranteed. At our hospital she’ll also get a voucher for the pharmacy and an appointment to get rated based on her ability to pay it back. Depending on her financial resources, she may get a 20% discount or she may not get a bill at all. Now, all that may not be done in the ER, as you point out (although many times it will be), but then they get admitted to the medicine service, or the peds service, or the surgery service. They hardly get turned away, or “denied access” as you seem to imply. Suggesting that what I’ve described doesn’t drive up costs or that the people who think this either don’t care about the poor or are racist(I assume that was the purpose of the backhanded “spic” comment-classy) is just asinine and takes away from an otherwise reasonable argument.

Now, as to your argument that bureaucrats are defining who lives and who dies, this is similarly BS. If anything, its the reverse. Because of the way the system is, we spend billions upon billions of dollars on futile care at the end of life in this country, regardless of insurance status: Ventilators, trachs, surgeries, futile antibiotics or pressors. Bureaucrats defining who lives or dies? Give me a break. Whether its good business is another argument entirely, but anyone arguing what you seem to be has never spent anytime in an ICU.

But if your argument is that a homeless, uninsured guy can’t walk into a boutique internal medicine practice and get an appointment, well, then, you’re right. But that seems to be where you stop being right. Because poor, uninsured children; poor uninsured demented people with no chance of quality of life; and yes, poor underinsured “spics” get chronic, ICU, end-of-life, or routine f/u care of exceptional quality, with little or no regard to insurance or ability to pay. I see it (and live it) every day. So get off your high horse.

I agree with some of what you have said, but giving the government MORE say in health care, when it already has far too much to begin with, is a recipe for disaster.

johnnymozart on February 12, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Keep phoning and faxing Specter. The Judd Gregg withdrawal should give him pause, as well as the FCCER.

james23 on February 12, 2009 at 4:51 PM

My email to Specter:

“We are not going to let the Federal Government monitor what doctors do” are your words to Megyn Kelly on Fox News.

I know you are a man of integrity, and I do hope your honor that commitment. The health provisions in the “pork” bill have nothing whatsoever to do with economic stimulus and are too important to be rushed through in such an unseemly manner regardless of their merit (or, in my opinion, the lack thereof).

Please can you also reconsider your position on supporting this bill in general? It is a terrible piece of legislation that will indenture our children and their children. You and I both know that many of the provisions are not economic stimulus provisions at all, but are pet Democratic projects and social programs that will impose a generation of inflation, high taxes and high interest rates for no detectable social benefit.

No doubt this will be a difficult decision for you, as you have made a commitment to vote for the package. But history will bear out that blocking the bill will be the right thing to do. Your change of heart will be forgiven and forgotten much sooner than will be the legacy of punishing taxes and disincentive to productivity, the thin edge of which is represented by this bill.

My daughter is 22 years old, and is paying her way through college by doing a dangerous and difficult job. She works long hours, then comes home to study at night. Do you think it’s fair to this young lady to have her income taxed away and her meager savings destroyed by the inflation that this falsely-named stimulus bill will cause? Why should she work so hard and risk injury to put herself through college when her future income will go to support those who can’t be bothered to work, or who have made poor life choices and want to avoid responsibility for them? And worse yet, why should her income go to paying for frisbee golf courses and dog parks in other states? Why should she bail out states that have been irresponsible with their finances? Is this moral or ethical?

Isn’t it the American Way that hard work is rewarded? This fake stimulus bill dilutes that principal and will lead to the penalization of success, and a further decline in America’s fortunes. Surely you must know this. Are you certain you wish to vote “YES” on legislation that will have such dire consequences on the future of so many Americans?

Please, sir, just say “NO”.

mr.blacksheep on February 12, 2009 at 4:54 PM

Where’s the complaints from AARP?

moonsbreath on February 12, 2009 at 5:02 PM

paul006 on February 12, 2009 at 3:57 PM

Of course there is natural rationing, and of course people suffer and die. But it’s not government mandated. Do you truly not see the difference?

theotherKate on February 12, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Do I see a difference between government-mandated and market-mandated rationing? Yes, I see a difference. But I don’t see why you, or others, think the difference is morally significant.

You could argue — and perhaps this is morally significant for some — that the market is generally more efficient than the government. But it’s false to suggest, as some here do, that a) the market doesn’t ration health care, or that b) you suffer no disadvantage under the current system if you lack health insurance.

paul006 on February 12, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Romeo13 on February 12, 2009 at 4:17 PM

I know about that. I was just being sarcastic. I am quite sure Specter will vote “yea”. Ain’t “nuanced patriotism” grand?

batter on February 12, 2009 at 5:09 PM

Do I see a difference between government-mandated and market-mandated rationing? Yes, I see a difference. But I don’t see why you, or others, think the difference is morally significant.

You could argue — and perhaps this is morally significant for some — that the market is generally more efficient than the government. But it’s false to suggest, as some here do, that a) the market doesn’t ration health care, or that b) you suffer no disadvantage under the current system if you lack health insurance.

paul006 on February 12, 2009 at 5:06 PM

One of the secret statistics not reported by the mid-stream media is that many people who lack health insurance can afford it but still don’t have it. This is a choice that these people have made, and yes, it puts them at a disadvantage. So what?

For those folks who can’t afford it, well, how many of them are poor because of rotten life choices? I had a second-rate education at a public school, received no financial help from anyone whatsoever, and no affirmative action, but worked my butt off, put myself through college, stayed away from drugs, and now have a job that allows me to afford the health insurance I think I need. I’m not the sharpest pencil in the pack, and if I can do it, there are many others out there who could do it too, but don’t. Does that put them at a disadvantage? Yep, but that’s tough. Nobody is guaranteed a life of ease.

If all the people who could afford insurance bought it, and all those who could take responsibility and educate themselves and get good jobs would do it, there would be plenty left over for those poor, hapless souls who, through no fault of their own, find themselves unable to get medical coverage.

Until that happens, things aren’t going to work that well, but at least those people who suck up responsibility and take life seriously aren’t penalized for their success.

mr.blacksheep on February 12, 2009 at 5:19 PM

But it’s false to suggest, as some here do, that a) the market doesn’t ration health care, or that b) you suffer no disadvantage under the current system if you lack health insurance.

Again, I disagree here, but I think it depends on what you mean by “disadvantage”. If you are arguing that there are perhaps fewer points of access (eg fewer hospitals, fewer available doctors that want to absorb the costs of the uninsured) or the financial burden to the uninsured patient is higher, perhaps I might agree, but if you are arguing that the disadvantage is access, and that implies that those who are underinsured or uninsured do not or cannot receive care that meets the US medical standard of care, then that’s just utter, uninformed nonsense.

By the same token, you can apply the same to “equity” of care. “Equity” of care should only imply that both uninsured and people with the best insurance available can receive appropriate, timely medical treatment that meets the standard of care. If what is being argued is that that is not what happens, then what I am saying is that that is wrong.

johnnymozart on February 12, 2009 at 5:40 PM

What a self-possessed putz!

ladyingray on February 12, 2009 at 6:07 PM

So, do you think that if this passes, Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd will be told they’re too old to be getting medical treatment?

Not a chance.

And what about that medical “bill of rights” that the Democrats were pushing. Wasn’t there something in there about having your treatments decided by your doctor and not some bureaucrat? I guess that was only for the rubes, huh?

schmuck281 on February 12, 2009 at 6:18 PM

“One main stumbling block to the purchasing of troubled assets has been pricing, specifically how does the government price a diverse set of assets in a way that does not put the taxpayer on the hook. However, this should not be the standard by which we judge the efficacy of the plan, because a more prolonged deterioration in the
economy will result in a higher terminal unemployment rate and a greater deterioration of the tax base. As such, the decline in tax revenues will crimp many of the essential services provided by the government. Ultimately, the taxpayer will pay one way or another, either through greatly diminished job prospects and/or significantly higher taxes down the line to pay for the massive debt issuance required to fund current and prospective fiscal spending initiatives.

We think the government should do the following: estimate the highest price it can pay for the various toxic assets residing on financial institution balance sheets which would still return the principal to taxpayers.

One leading economist described the memo to TPMmuckraker as a “ransom note” to the US government”

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/02/deutsche_bank_analyst_pay_a_good_price_for_our_ass.php

Economic terrorists.

getalife on February 12, 2009 at 6:33 PM

Government subsidies are responsible, at least in large part, for the runaway cost of healthcare. Factor in all of their ridiculous Medicare and Medicaid rules and regulations, and you have a recipe for disaster. Health care isn’t rationed in this country because of inequities on the insurance side. It’s rationed because there are simply not enough health care professionals to provide the care that’s needed, and that shortage is only going to grow worse as the population ages and would-be physicians are deterred from entering the profession because the burdens outweigh the benefits.

By way of example, try finding a doctor who is accepting new Medicare patients. When my 90-year-old grandmother moved halfway across the country to come live with me, she went NINE MONTHS without a PCP. As it happens, she is in relatively good health for someone her age, but this is nevertheless ridiculous and unacceptable. I could call any one of these same doctors I was trying to get her into see and have an appointment for myself that week, because I have regular old BCBS (which I pay for out of my own pocket BTW). Yet someone with actual, real pressing health concerns has to get on some waiting list. When we finally *DID* get in to see someone, he informed us he’d have to pass us on to someone else because he would be retiring in a few months. The poor man was burned out and suffering health troubles of his own because of the insane workload, the mountain of red tape and bureaucracy he was supposed to endure, all while seeing his own profits dwindle because outfits like Medicare refused to reimburse him fairly for the care he was providing. Anyone who thinks this problem isn’t going to multiply exponentially once they pass their secret back-door nationalized healthcare plan is spending too much time inhaling from the crack pipe. I don’t know what the answer is b/c there are certainly people — the elderly in particular — who are going to need assistance in covering their own healthcare costs. But as this plan aims to make it LESS accessible for them, it is hardly the answer.

NoLeftTurn on February 12, 2009 at 7:58 PM

Isn’t this tyranny exactly what Rahm had in mind when viewing crisis as opportunity?

Mark30339 on February 12, 2009 at 8:25 PM

Good thing no one gets to read this before it is signed into law……………

……….. Whew! I was worried for a moment.

Seven Percent Solution on February 12, 2009 at 9:24 PM

The first post mentioned Soylent Green. I think the socialists version of our future is more like Logan’s Run where mankind lives in what can only be described as a giant Habitrail, are ceremonially executed at 30, and are paired with their mates by the government and they have to get a permit to have children. The only difference is that in the movie, people are in the Habitrail after a nuclear war. In our dystopian future we’re forced to live in a Habitrail to protect the environment from us.

DerKrieger on February 12, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Following a market crash, accredited economists who have studied historical records prior to revision or deletion of accounts remind us that federal mandates and excessive taxation cripple the economy turning a recession into a depression. The more the government overwhelms free market enterprise, the Greater the Depression.

Bonanza Hitler Obama is pimping our economic woes like a VD whore set out on the corner to spread STD along with her wares to every interested Bozo. And BHO has the Nazi health care plan embedded so as to hold monopoly on required treatments.

Specter can’t have his cake and eat it, too. If he is against Federally Socialized Health Care the he is voting against Obama’s package. If he excuses his vote FOR Obama’s package because he pledged a “yes” vote and doesn’t want to flip, he must admit that he is flopping on his PREVIOUS PLEDGE to fight Socialized Comprehensive Federal Health Care that legitimately was pledged FIRST.

The one who votes “yes” on any comprehensive legislative reform package without having read it, even though the bill counters the one’s own platform, the one denying legitimate criticism of said legislation from reliable sources that HAVE read the bill, that particular legislator should be impeached by his constituents.

Judd Gregg saw the iceberg and changed course. Specter, Snowe and Collins hold the die determining whether or not Socialism destroys our Constitutional government now.

maverick muse on February 12, 2009 at 11:27 PM

I feel like I’m living in a grade B movie now. The entire government seems like they’re against us but there’s always the hungry mob waiting to vote them in or vote them to stay. What sort of delusion has beset us?

Mojave Mark on February 13, 2009 at 12:28 AM

Spetor is a liar and a POS. He hasn’t ever been honest about being a Republican and he ain’t starting now.

God I wish he’d quit lying about his principles and just go away. A liberal Dhimmicrat who we knew would always stand with the Ds would be better in his place than a RINO who tells us he’ll support Republican positions and then lies about it constantly. Why Rs accept him as a Republican is beyond me

Hey, Arlen. You’re a liar and always have been.

Subsunk

Subsunk on February 13, 2009 at 4:12 AM

This moron hasn’t the first idea of what’s in this bill.

The dictates in this bill would determine when your parents and family die. Daschle is all for accepting “hopeless” cases for monetary effectiveness. It is the Logan’s Run of health care.

Specter’s ignorance of the content is mind-boggling.

Renew!

drjohn on February 13, 2009 at 7:19 AM

What on earth is the matter with Pennsylvania?

Hilts on February 12, 2009 at 3:54 PM

The answer is simple, more people in the state wanted to let the federal ‘gubmint’ take care of them instead of stepping up and assuming personal responsibility for their meager little lives. That’s what ails the people of PA.

PS. This disease isn’t just restricted to the people of PA, it appears to be an epidemic in the blue states.

belad on February 13, 2009 at 8:37 AM

To all the trolls I’ve loved before:

All of you must be relativly young in age for this horror to not concern you. You go to your Doctor, he punches in your info and presto, the far left radical on the other end, decides if you live or die. What info will he have, your voting record, age, race, gender? Who will live?

Are you guys really ok with this… It’s IN THE BILL!

Mark Garnett on February 13, 2009 at 10:00 AM

“A Republican party that added more than $30 trillion to the future debt in a time of boom has no credible answer but raw partisanship for opposing $800 billion in the swiftest downturn in employment since the Great Depression. That’s the bottom line.”

Andrew “The Conservative Soul” Sullivan.

What 30 Trillion dollars is Sullivan talking about? Where did he pull that number from? Id did not care for increases of spendging under Bush and agree the GOP should have done more, but I must have missed the 30 trillion in future debt.

Mr. Joe on February 13, 2009 at 10:29 AM

What’s the chance that Daschle would be back as the Health Czar? That position doesn’t need Senate approval.

ladyingray on February 13, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Will Specter honor his commitment and vote against the nationalization of the health-care industry?

Of course not. I don’t think so. He needs to be shown the door if he acts as predicted and supports that monstrosity.

And when he goes, the two lady senators from Maine should be right in his shadow as well.

itzWicks on February 13, 2009 at 10:58 AM

He praises Europeans for being more willing to accept “hopeless diagnoses” and “forgo experimental treatments,” and he chastises Americans for expecting too much from the health-care system.

I would love to see Daschle say this while standing on a podium next to Teddy Kennedy. Seeing Teddy’s reaction would be quite entertaining, I expect. A punch to the face? Or a quick drive through Chappaquiddick?

After all, all treatments were considered experimental when they were first developed–including treatments for brain tumors.

jedijson on February 13, 2009 at 11:55 AM

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