NYT: House Democrats won’t pass Senate ObamaCare bill in cramdown

posted at 12:55 pm on January 20, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

If Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama sounded pugilistic on Monday about pursuing ObamaCare in the wake of a theoretical Scott Brown victory on Tuesday, by Tuesday night they sounded positively Roberto Duran-ish.  Pelosi had insisted that Congress would pass a bill regardless of the outcome in Massachusetts, but as the New York Times reports, her caucus has other ideas.  Instead of “combative” approaches, it’s beginning to look more like “No mas!”

House approval of the Senate plan was favored by some lawmakers and strategists as a way to quickly resolve the issue and deliver the president a bill on a signature domestic achievement with just one final House vote. Remaining problems could be worked out with a subsequent piece of legislation.

But many House Democrats expressed deep reservations about the Senate bill, and those complaints, combined with the message sent by the Massachusetts electorate, apparently were sufficient to leave Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and her lieutenants reluctant by Tuesday night about moving in that direction.

Democrats now face decisions on whether to give up on the health care fight — an approach few lawmakers appear willing to entertain — or perhaps pull together a scaled-back measure and use special procedural rules that would eliminate the need for 60 votes in the Senate. But it is not clear how many of the key provisions of the legislation could be passed under such a procedure.

What can’t get passed under reconciliation?  Insurance mandates for one, which means that the Democrats will lose the insurance lobby.  State exchanges can’t get passed either, nor the end of existing-condition limitations on insurance issuance.  Reconciliation only works for budgetary issues, so all of the Medicare cuts, Medicaid expansions, and new taxes can pass through this process — but those are the least popular elements of ObamaCare.

Furthermore, some of Pelosi’s progressive caucus seems ready to declare “no mas!” on this version of the bill.  Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) blamed the backroom deals for the anger in Massachusetts and indicated that his party needed to jettison it in order to clean the slate:

Noting that the election in Massachusetts turned on a variety of different factors like the economy and local issues, Representative Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland and a top party campaign strategist, said resistance to the emerging health legislation also figured in the anti-Democratic equation.

“Health care was also part of the debate, and the people of Massachusetts were right to be upset about provisions in the Senate bill like the Nebraska purchase and other special deals,” Mr. Van Hollen said, referring to elements included in the bill to win the votes of Democratic senators and round up 60 votes.

That doesn’t sound like a man ready to face political death on the hill of the Senate version of the bill.  Certainly part of the anger ObamaCare has generated comes from the “stinky” manner in which Democrats have conducted themselves on its construction, to quote Karl Rove on Fox News last night.  That’s at least a palatable spin, especially for Democratic progressives who lost the public option in the Senate when Harry Reid secretly rewrote the entire bill last month.

Moderates have also called for a halt to the effort.  Jim Webb, whose home state elected a Republican governor in a bellwether election two months ago, said that further action would be inappropriate until after Scott Brown took his seat in the Senate.  Reid seems to have capitulated on that point, saying that Brown will get sworn in as soon as Massachusetts provides documentation certifying his election — which may mean that an informal letter from Secretary of State William Galvin of the kind issued for Niki Tsongas will suffice.  Galvin promised to provide one for a clear winner of yesterday’s election, and Brown’s five-point win seems to assure it.

For the moment, it seems as though ObamaCare has been stopped.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s dead.

Update: Bruce Kesler has ten suggestions for Republicans on health-care reforms most people can support.


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Frankly, I am sick of people telling/suggesting to me what I must do.

Blake on January 20, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Same here! The DEMS have been deciding our candidates for decades. An anti-abortion candidate is bad for us. So is a pro-abortion candidate (the Left appealing to Christian Cons to not vote for him/her).

It’s a rigged game by the Left to stop playing into. Division and divisiveness is their stock in trade. Hopefully, their game will soon end.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 2:38 PM

Frankly, I am sick of people telling/suggesting to me what I must do.

Blake on January 20, 2010 at 2:31 PM

Join the club. One of the most deliberately hushed-up consequences of independent adult life – more authority figures by a couple orders of magnitude.But its not like we have any choice…

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 2:39 PM

But its not like we have any choice…

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 2:39 PM

you always have choices. your problem is that you have no grasp of personal liberty. in short, you’re a defeatist.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 2:41 PM

But its not like we have any choice…

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 2:39 PM

And, far as I’ve seen, a lib.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 2:42 PM

When everyone stops hi-fiving each other – we still have a problem with the Maine Twins (Snowe & Collins).

I wouldn’t doubt it at all that one or both can’t be persuaded to switch their vote.

We need some level headedness here – in case the roof caves in…

Oopsdaisy on January 20, 2010 at 2:46 PM

Incumbent RINOs should also be at risk in 2010 if better alternatives are available. Keep your dollars away from the RNC and send them directly to candidates. The same thing happens as does with tax dollars to the government,…loss of control and lack of efficiency.

a capella on January 20, 2010 at 1:55 PM

It is my hope that the tea party movement develop as an independent auditor with the litmus test being fiscal conservatism. That may well be a moderate Democrat.

Social conservative issues are important as well but until we fix Obama’s economy and unemployment failures, it is tough to get too worked up over such issues as amnesty or abortion when it comes to who to vote for in November. Other than the Obama agenda, there is no great movement when it comes to social issues at this time and it is far more important to save this nation from all the reckless spending and waste of the last year.

highhopes on January 20, 2010 at 2:51 PM

you always have choices. your problem is that you have no grasp of personal liberty. in short, you’re a defeatist.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Oh get a grip, you Davy Crockett wannabe.

Feel free to go Galt at any time and reject society’s authority figures. Oh wait, you won’t, because you enjoy the benefits a lot more.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 2:39 PM

You can have all the choices and liberty you want. But you might have to fight for it.

My dad always told me “The world owes you a living but you have to work like hell to get it.”

Your liberty is up to you. But quit trying to steal ours to get yours. And you’re NOT free by being taxed out the wazoo, to the detriment of your own household.

C’mon! Switch up to Marlboro Country!

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Oh get a grip, you Davy Crockett wannabe.

Feel free to go Galt at any time and reject society’s authority figures. Oh wait, you won’t, because you enjoy the benefits a lot more.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Oh, thank you!

Crockett fought for liberty. I’m honored to be compared to such an honored man, when I’m just an average guy.

Society’s ‘authority figures’? Okay, it’s cool for you to SUBMIT to authority, but in my life no man rises above me in my personal life. If submission works for you, that’s your life. Do what pleases you. I’m into that but, how dare you impose on me?

Your debate says much about you, doesn’t it? Submission being at top of your list, as evidenced by your post.

Shoot me–I bow to NO man. You seem to need an authority to lead you.

I like my personal liberty. Sad for you you can’t live that, let alone grasp the ideal.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:01 PM

And you’re NOT free by being taxed out the wazoo, to the detriment of your own household.

The problem isn’t so much the ‘out the wazoo’ part, as much as it is what I get back for my tax dollars. Which is increasingly little and of poorer quality.

C’mon! Switch up to Marlboro Country!

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 2:51 PM

No thanks. I never did figure out what other people found so enjoyable in sucking on a bundle of burning weeds.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Shoot me–I bow to NO man.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:01 PM

I bet you wouldn’t even defy a traffic cop, Mr.Macho. You may be a loudmouth, but I doubt you’re dumb enough to try and live up the chest-thumping caveman ideals you trumpet.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:05 PM

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:05 PM

So we went from political ideals to being stopped by a cop for a traffic violation, when I don’t own a car?

Are you serious?

Yep–you are. Nice try to do your typical lib thing and change things by oddball circumstances I don’t face. Gotta have that ‘win’, don’t you?

Well, what about my assertion you can have all the liberty you want, if you abandon your liberalism? You didn’t address that, did you? As I expected.

You know, you could have everything you want, all you wish in your life and those you love most if government gets out of our way.

With DC out of the way, you and yours can be wealthy. Really–if it’s evil for a Wall Street tycoon to be rich, isn’t it also evil YOU are wealthy, too? Or do you find some sense of ‘nobility’ to be poor?

I’m a Con, no doubts there. Being such, I want you and yours to be so wealthy you reek of greenbacks. I want to see you driving a Lamborghini, with ten more in the garage.

Just the same as I want for myself. That’s somehow a ‘sin’?

Where do you get off reviling me, where do you get off claiming you’re somehow ‘above’ me and our fellow Citizens?

If we’re not ‘paying’ enough, then neither are you. If your way is so great, so demanding sacrifice for the common good, then how can you afford being online? You don’t ‘deserve’ that, by your party’s own measure.

You should, by your party’s own ideals, be giving up so much for your causes that you should be on the street much as you people say I should be, too.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:17 PM

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:05 PM

BTW, hotshot–liberal ways of nitpicking and other ways to change the point just don’t work much.

Would be nice for once if you kept to the point at hand. Let the world know if YOU can do it.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Would be nice for once if you kept to the point at hand. Let the world know if YOUI can do it.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Point at hand – everybody has to obey a lot of somebodies in a civilized society. Deal with it or go Galt extreme.

Now, back to the thread…if they won’t pass ObamaCare in a ‘cramdown’, are we in for another 2-3 decades of their stranglehold on the school system.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:27 PM

DARK STAR v LIAM: Film at 11!!

leftnomore on January 20, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Point at hand – everybody has to obey a lot of somebodies in a civilized society. Deal with it or go Galt extreme.

Galt is a fictional character, one little-defined

True liberty is obeying the FEWEST of somebodies.

Now, back to the thread…if they won’t pass ObamaCare in a ‘cramdown’, are we in for another 2-3 decades of their stranglehold on the school system.

You have a problem with the school system? I do, too.
Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:27 PM

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:31 PM

DARK STAR v LIAM: Film at 11!!

leftnomore on January 20, 2010 at 3:31 PM

News story: World ends at 10:00. Film at 11:00

LOL Good shot!

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:33 PM

DARK STAR v LIAM: Film at 11!!

leftnomore on January 20, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Liam will be a bit late to the show; he pounded on his chest a bit too hard and broke a rib.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:33 PM

I’m almost more scared of what they will agree on and pass…nose under the tent.

PattyJ on January 20, 2010 at 3:36 PM

You have a problem with the school system? I do, too.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:31 PM

I would expect so, everyone with a semblance of sense does. The only people who aren’t concerned about it these days are the ones sticking their heads in the sand.

We’re way out of balance, to put it simply. While abolishing public schools wouldn’t be the best move, it’s long past time to tie the money to the kids instead of the school districts, otherwise known as ‘vouchers’. Oh yes – and limit the teacher’s unions to the state levels already.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Liam will be a bit late to the show; he pounded on his chest a bit too hard and broke a rib.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Presuming again, as do most libs?

I’m right here.

Tell me—what is wrong with me wanting YOU to be wealthy?

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:38 PM

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sarcasm

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:43 PM

I would expect so, everyone with a semblance of sense does. The only people who aren’t concerned about it these days are the ones sticking their heads in the sand.

We’re way out of balance, to put it simply. While abolishing public schools wouldn’t be the best move, it’s long past time to tie the money to the kids instead of the school districts, otherwise known as ‘vouchers’. Oh yes – and limit the teacher’s unions to the state levels already.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:37 PM

I’m not thrilled with the school system, either. I had an excellent education, with the basics taught. But social engineers changed that. Not good at all.

And we–you and I–have suffered for it. We have seen the schools trash the ideas you and I want to teach in our own homes. And that’s not right. That’s a government imposition we shouldn’t have to battle.

I have no problem with you being liberal, and having all freedom in your own household. That’s none of my business. But, as you have posted, where does government get off telling me my ways are bad?

Where does government get off saying how money YOU can earn? Be certain: if government says Wall Street has limits, so will you be limited. It’s inevitable.

Funny–liberals are ‘for’ the people but, in your mind, my saying I’d like seeing you so rich you can shit Italian marble I’m somehow ‘evil’?

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 3:48 PM

I have no problem with you being liberal, and having all freedom in your own household. That’s none of my business. But, as you have posted, where does government get off telling me my ways are bad?

Sigh.

I am neither liberal nor conservative, despite numerous attempts by both sides to pigeonhole me for convenience.

Look – I won’t attempt to defend the many overreaches our government has made. I’m simply taking issue with the attitude of “I don’t need anybody to tell me what to do!” It sounds like something you’d hear from a John Wayne fanboy or the self-propelled hormone bundles we call ‘teenagers.’

Where does government get off saying how (much?) money YOU can earn? Be certain: if government says Wall Street has limits, so will you be limited. It’s inevitable.

Strictly speaking, there should be no such thing as an income cap. And although I and others wish there were some way to make some businesses and charities devote the majority of their profits to their stated goals (such as providing insurance or food/lodging to the hungry)…it’s just not feasible. Not without an army of bean-counters that we can’t afford.

BTW, when did we go from ‘stop whining about authority figures’ to ‘you like the evil government taking my money you (insert name here)’?

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 3:37 PM

A pointed question: Wouldn’t you like to be wealthy?

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 4:01 PM

A pointed question: Wouldn’t you like to be wealthy?

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 4:01 PM

What definition of ‘wealthy’ are we going by?

By the standards of the Turd-World peasants who comprise a huge portion of the planet’s population, I’m living like a king.

By the standards of most Americans, someone without any reliable source of income would definitely not qualify as wealthy.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 4:00 PM

I am neither liberal nor conservative, despite numerous attempts by both sides to pigeonhole me for convenience.

I see you in a certain wayfor some time, and back off on that.

Just one on one, if we can?

No one ‘needs’ anyone on their side. It’s not a bad thing to not want anyone on his/her side. I’m into free thinking, going by oneself. Everyone has to decide what works in his/her personal life. The idea of ‘groupthink’ is a major killer.

I don’t claim being an arbiter of right or wrong. I’m just me. What I’d like seeing is every American be so rich that they never have to fret about anything ever again. I want to see YOU wealthy the same way I want it for myself. Liberalism leaves to room for that, no quarter.

Also, in a free society, you can’t ‘make’ businesses surrender profits. True altruism can not be had at the point of a gun.

More, if the tax system let up, there would be more charity from Americans. We are the mot generous and giving of people. If DC left us more of the money we earn, you can bet we’d give even more.

Just a few ideas, if you please.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 4:14 PM

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Quit nitpicking now, quit splitting hairs. You define your own sense of ‘wealth’.

Tell me, are you able to KEEP that under government? How long?

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 4:16 PM

By the standards of most Americans, someone without any reliable source of income would definitely not qualify as wealthy.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 4:08 PM

But by the “American way”, everyone can have opportunity to become wealthy. sk the immigrants of a century ago, wno came her destitute and some became millionaires.

Ask of my maternal grandfather, who came here from Italy in 1912 with five children and made a living. As a matter of fact, he was wealthy till the Depression hit. But my mom never went hungry.

Success can be won, but liberalism isn’t the path to success.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 4:25 PM

I don’t claim being an arbiter of right or wrong. I’m just me. What I’d like seeing is every American be so rich that they never have to fret about anything ever again. I want to see YOU wealthy the same way I want it for myself. Liberalism leaves to room for that, no quarter.

Liam…that’s a very noble goal.

Unfortunately – like so many noble goals – there’s simply no way it can happen.

Now wait! Please, bear with me for a minute on this.

There is simply no possible way in creation for everybody to be that rich. I would LOVE for everyone to never have an unmet want. Heck – I’d settle for no unmet needs in a heartbeat, at any cost.

But there are only so many resources to go around, and you can only print money so much until it becomes no more than pretty paper. The physical barriers to the goal you state are impossible to overcome because people are imperfect and the world we live in is a screwy one.

However – that does not mean we should all adopt the ‘crab bucket’ mentality. There are good ways to distribute the resources at hand, and there are bad ways. A purely capitalist system is very efficient…but not a very nice way to live. And a system with an all-powerful state has never ended up being efficient or nice to live with.

More, if the tax system let up, there would be more charity from Americans. We are the most generous and giving of people. If DC left us more of the money we earn, you can bet we’d give even more.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 4:14 PM

I have some doubts about this, as churches are getting by on an average tithe of ~2.5-3%, but the collection plate certainly wouldn’t be hurting if churchgoers didn’t have to agonize so much over every dollar.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 4:28 PM

But there are only so many resources to go around

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Resources are created or abandoned. Sure, there are limits but those limits have yet to be reached.

And who decides the ‘distribution’ of resources? To whom would you give that power? Why would you even give that in the first place?

As for charity, the Left’s view is always ‘it’s not enough’, as if the Left has ability to decide what is ‘enough’. Among them, there is never ‘enough’.

Really, who decides that? Recall Bono, the panhander in a Bond Street suit. The US, under Bush sent $60 million to Africa while Bono said it wasn’t enough.

Yet, he left his own country to avoid a tax increase, while telling the rest of us should pay more taxes for Africa.

WHAT??????

Who set Bono as the final arbiter of the ‘value’ of charity?

We do what we can. And please don’t discount the churches. Some are political, more into gay marriage than feeding the hungry and clothing the naked.

Others, however, do outside the common convention.

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 4:45 PM

And who decides the ‘distribution’ of resources? To whom would you give that power? Why would you even give that in the first place?

You’re thinking I’d give that power to an individual or group of individuals. I wouldn’t. That would be a real-life version of Palin’s “Death Panels”, even if only by omission. And no way in hell I’d want on that panel, I’d have a river of blood on my hands no matter what choices I made.

I was trying to compare the different systems that nations use for resource allocation. Russia used nearly-pure Communism for awhile and failed miserably. We’ve used some form of Capitalism for a long time, and while there have been ups and downs, the net direction certainly has been in the right direction.

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 4:55 PM

You’re going to hate this, I’m trying to get into, but it seems you and I are about on the same page.

Coolness!

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 4:59 PM

You’re going to hate this, I’m trying to get into, but it seems you and I are about on the same page.

Coolness!

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 4:59 PM

Heh…maybe we just had to get past each other’s AA guns before we could land at the same airport. 8]

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 5:04 PM

You’re going to hate this, I’m trying to get into, but it seems you and I are about on the same page.

Coolness!

Liam on January 20, 2010 at 4:59 PM
Heh…maybe we just had to get past each other’s AA guns before we could land at the same airport. 8]

Dark-Star on January 20, 2010 at 5:04 PM

–I’m glad you two are playing nice. I’m also glad you two are doing this over the internet, because if you were doing this in person I’d suggest you get a room.

Jimbo3 on January 20, 2010 at 5:55 PM

Ed, you and the Hot Air crew know how to pick them. In this case, I applaud you and crews choice of the accompanying picture for this article.

As they say a picture is worth a thousand words, in this picture Speaker Pelosi is conveying her heartfelt disgust over the outcome of Mass. election. Probably because she has lost one more friend (but that list must be very short because she does not like anyone to outshine her-even the President).

MSGTAS on January 21, 2010 at 10:09 AM

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