Obama’s Plan B? Update: Maybe, says Hoyer!

posted at 8:48 am on February 25, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama plans to use today’s health-care summit to make one last push for the highly unpopular ObamaCare proposals currently stalled in Congress.  Over the last few days, a number of leaks from Democrats on Capitol Hill suggest that Obama and Nancy Pelosi don’t have the votes to pass the current Senate bill and may find themselves bogged down in the Senate over reconciliation as well.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Obama has prepared a scaled-down version of ObamaCare to spring on both sides in today’s meeting that will almost certainly anger progressives — and probably won’t endear him to his party’s embattled leadership, either (via Geoff A):

President Barack Obama will use a bipartisan summit Thursday to push for sweeping health-care legislation, but if that fails to generate enough support the White House has prepared the outlines of a more modest plan.

His leading alternate approach would provide health insurance to perhaps 15 million Americans, about half what the comprehensive bill would cover, according to two people familiar with the planning.

It would do that by requiring insurance companies to allow people up to 26 years old to stay on their parents’ health plans, and by modestly expanding two federal-state health programs, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, one person said. The cost to the federal government would be about one-fourth the price tag for the broader effort, which the White House has said would cost about $950 billion over 10 years.

Stung by accusations of profligacy in an era of massive increases in the federal deficit, a $250 billion plan would make Obama look comparatively thrifty.  That will be part of why Democrats will object to the proposal.  While the WSJ analysis concludes that a scaled-back plan would help protect blue-dog Democrats, it would be more likely to further anger the electorate and cut off Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid at the knees after backing the White House for months on the original ObamaCare plan.

That’s probably why Ezra Klein reports in today’s Washington Post that the White House is denying that any Plan B exists:

The Wall Street Journal has a splashy piece this evening on the White House’s plan B for health-care reform: a fallback approach that would cover 15 million people, do less to reform the system and cut costs, and carry a lower price tag. Call it health-care lite.

Plan B has been around for awhile. In August, discussions raged in the White House over whether to pare back the bill. The comprehensive folks won the argument, but people also drew up plans for how you could pare back the bill, if it came to that. More thinking was done on this in the aftermath of the Massachusetts election, when Rahm Emanuel and some of the political folks again argued for retreating to a more modest bill. As you’d expect, these conversations included proposals for how that smaller bill would look.

At this point, I could quote some White House sources swearing up and down that that’s all this is. A vestigial document that’s being blown out of proportion by a conservative paper interested in an agenda-setting story. They’re furious over this story. None of the quotes are sourced to the White House — not even anonymously — raising questions that the whole thing is sabotage. But it hardly matters. There’s no Plan B at this point in the game, and most everyone knows it.

The problem with Klein’s analysis is that it’s become increasingly clear that there isn’t a Plan A, either, and everyone knows that.  Progressives now want reconciliation for a public option that is opposed by more Senate Democrats than ever.  House progressives don’t want to vote for a Senate bill that doesn’t include one.   Bart Stupak’s coalition is once again threatening to block the Senate version in the House over the lack of language blocking federal funds for abortion.  And if the House passes the Senate bill and reconciliation doesn’t work, they’ll have stuck the unions with a heavy tax on their health insurance plans they can ill afford .

Obama called this meeting to find a way to pass anything for which he can claim a victory.  The proposal outlined by the WSJ makes sense politically for that purpose, but is weak tea and would almost certainly find no support from either side in Congress.  Expanding S-CHIP again on the heels of the contentious fight over the last two years on that program will be difficult, especially since Congress has already exhausted ideas for funding it.  Medicaid expansion alone will get fought by the states, which will bear most of the new costs, unless Obama proposes a Cornhusker Kickback for all 50 states.

For Democrats, a package with minimal health-insurance “reform” will be a bitter loss.  Republicans would argue that interstate competition and tort reform would save more money than a plan to expand already-sinking entitlement programs, and they’d be right.  But worst of all for Democrats — and best of all for Republicans — a new plan would mean that the entire legislative process would have to start from Square One, meaning that health-care reform will take another several weeks, if not months, out of the legislative calendar.  Even if it passed, which would seem rather unlikely, the fight would cripple Democrats in the midterms and keep them from addressing issues that play more to their strengths, like the long-promised immigration reform effort.

Update: Rob Port notes that no governors have been invited to attend today’s summit, despite the backbreaking hikes in Medicaid that Obama and the Democrats propose.

Update (AP): The Journal’s not blowing smoke, or so says the House majority leader:

Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat, said the president would have to look at a fallback proposal if the current proposals before Congress weren’t able to muster the votes to pass.

“I think the president’s open to that,” Hoyer said during an appearance on CNBC, cautioning that the president would clearly prefer to see the comprehensive bills pass…

“Obviously, the president has indicated he wants to have a comprehensive bill,” Hoyer said. “But the president, like all of us, understands that in a democracy, you do the possible.”

Between his comments this morning and what he said on Tuesday, is Hoyer trying to kill Obama’s bill?


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What does it matter when the filthy lying coward and his party have blocked them from all discussions since last April. The ideas put forth in any of the proposals the GOP put out (a working document changes over time) were not even considered by Democrats. How dare you take a snarky attitude about GOP efforts after we all have witnessed those of your ilk have so derailed the normal legislative process in an effort to seize control of 1/6 of the economy, further the socialist agenda, and fund the killing of children and old people through federal regulation? Again, how dare you?

I would love to see your defense of your side’s blatant partisanship and behavior. I would love to hear your defense this push to still pass some version of the House/Senate bills even though 3/4 of the American public is against it. I would love to hear your rationale why reconcilation on such a landmark measure is even being considered by the supposedly post-partisan President and most transparent Congress ever.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 9:43 AM

–As usual, you and the GOP are the filthy lying cowards. The Senate Finance Committee discussions were bipartisian but senior GOP members stopped that by requiring no agreements without the consent of the GOP caucus: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33486_Page3.html.
And the reconciliation process has been used by each President since Carter, GOP or Dem, for bills. And this does not represent a “federal takeover” of 1/6th of the economy because there is no public option involved at this point. And the Senate bill doesn’t go beyond the current situation with the Hyde Amendment being renewed or adopted each year.

How dare you lie to the American public. You have no shame.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 9:48 AM

Silly me. I thought the summit was a place to present possibilities and discuss ideas. There they are.

Is this summit something else?

ROCnPhilly on February 25, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Just stop with the lies. Really, everybody knows they are lies which makes you appear even less credible. The Obama non-plan expands the Cornhusker Kickback to all 50 states and also gets rid of the expands Cadillac healthcare exemptions to all. In other words, the “plan” offers increases in Medicare spending and no longer seeks to tax some Americans’ for having too good a plan. All this while supposedly lowering costs and expanding coverage to the non-insured. You have no integrity if you make the claim that it has already been spelled out. This is sham legislation by a radical socialist regime intent on taking over healthcare and converting it to a public utility.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 9:49 AM

–Just stop with the lies, high hopes. The plan doesn’t eliminate the tax on high-cost plans. It just postpones it. And it eliminates the Cornhusker Kickback, but probably does increase the payments to the states.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Dorobama and her little dog Rahmoto must be feeling a little http://files.wizardstower.co.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/surrenderdorothy.jpg today.

There aren’t in Kansas anymore.

/teh ghey.

Doorgunner on February 25, 2010 at 9:15 AM

Neither is Kathleen Sebelius.

Steve Z on February 25, 2010 at 9:57 AM

Hoyer trying to kill Obama’s bill?

Nah, just sees Obamacare going down anyway and wants to hang it around Pelosi’s neck.

He’s after her job.

cs89 on February 25, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Via Politico—Nancy Pelosi’s opening remarks:

From Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s remarks prepared for delivery at President Obama’s health-care summit on Thursday:

“Traveling around the country, we’ve all heard stories about people unable to pay their medical bills. I’ve even seen a grown man cry – a senior citizen from Michigan, whose wife had been sick for 16 years. He didn’t know how he’d pay the medical bills. He was too proud to ask his children for help – they had financial challenges of their own. He worried he might lose his house because of the cost of care. All he could ask was: how can I tell my children?

His story and others illustrate why reform is so critical and why inaction and incrementalism are simply unacceptable.

As the President has said many times, health care reform is entitlement reform – and its success will help ensure a more secure fiscal future.

Got this folks? According to Nancy, health care is already a settled entitlement in the minds of many of Pelosi’s factions. And, she’s dragging Obama along in her pathetic statement.

This is the typical strategy for Democrats—it’s right out of the playbook of “starving children” the Dems used back in the 90′s when they were thown out of power.

If the Republicans let Pelosi read this POS statement, then it’s WALK-OUT TIME!

Rovin on February 25, 2010 at 10:01 AM

What a line up of Progressives in that room. Clyburn, Waxman, Dingell, Rangel. They certainly pulled in the far left for this thing.

Just A Grunt on February 25, 2010 at 10:02 AM

All Obama’s health plan needs is a new logo!

Disturb the Universe on February 25, 2010 at 8:57 AM

You beat me to it!

GrannyDee on February 25, 2010 at 10:02 AM

“I think the president’s open to that,” Hoyer said during an appearance on CNBC, cautioning that the president would clearly prefer to see the comprehensive bills pass…

So, instead of ruining our country in one fell swoop, the Socialist Democrat Statist Liberals are resigned to the fact that they’ll fall back to what they’ve already been doing for the last 100+ years…..incrementalism.

Tactics.

ted c on February 25, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Medicare folks have to watch the docs and hospitals on this front…and it’s not easy. They both suggest this or that test or small procedure and not being physicians one is never sure whether to agree to it or not.
jeanie on February 25, 2010 at 9:53 AM

The paperwork for even a simple procedure is mind numbing.
Extra tests, for the most part, are protection against lawsuits.

Medicare is screwing health care providers, and in turn they are getting back by ordering extra procedures or overcharging for standard procedures.

It’s a cluster.

donh525 on February 25, 2010 at 10:03 AM

The only thing the American people need from Barack Obama today is his formal resignation.

NoDonkey on February 25, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Talk about an idea that would receive overwhelming bipartisan support.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Frankly, B.O. can submit any Plan B, C, D, or any other letter of the alphabet he wants and it will still come out spelled as UNACCEPTABLE as far as We The People are concerned.

pilamaye on February 25, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Nah, just sees Obamacare going down anyway and wants to hang it around Pelosi’s neck.

He’s after her job.

cs89 on February 25, 2010 at 9:59 AM

Be nice to have a family quarrel going on during the runup to midterms. Hoyer better hurry if he wants her job.

a capella on February 25, 2010 at 10:05 AM

the real reason why this makes sense is that illegals are largely working as an underground workforce. You make them legal and all of a sudden you have a heck of a lot more names added to the tax rolls.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Yes, so that they can claim their tax credits. The vast majority of illegal aliens who are employed are working in low- or no-skill, low-wage jobs, and many of them have multiple dependents. If you think that legalizing them is somehow going to significantly increase our tax revenues, you’re dreaming.

AZCoyote on February 25, 2010 at 10:06 AM

And the reconciliation process has been used by each President since Carter, GOP or Dem, for bills. And this does not represent a “federal takeover” of 1/6th of the economy because there is no public option involved at this point. And the Senate bill doesn’t go beyond the current situation with the Hyde Amendment being renewed or adopted each year.

How dare you lie to the American public. You have no shame.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Price controls = gov’t control. This bill gives the Federal Gov’t the ability to mandate what is covered and how much it will cost. You know it, I know it, and you are denting any credibility you have by spinning it any other way.

They Hyde amendment is an amenedment that is added onto bills to prevent federal money appropriated in those bills from being spent on abortions.

It’s not renewed every year like you say, and it ISN’T attached to the healthcare bills in any form.

Stop blatantly misrepresenting the truth while lecturing someone for telling the truth.

uknowmorethanme on February 25, 2010 at 10:07 AM

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

You mistake the tone of my posts. I have righteous anger at what this administration, Democrats, and concern trolls like you are doing to this nation.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 10:08 AM

pilamaye on February 25, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Agree – again, it’s the framework and that we don’t trust this bunch of Democrats with something as important as health care.

Because we all know that what they say to sell it and how they will intrepret it afterwards, are two different things.

Once we buy the framework, we own it. Don’t buy the framework.

NoDonkey on February 25, 2010 at 10:09 AM

Yes, so that they can claim their tax credits. The vast majority of illegal aliens who are employed are working in low- or no-skill, low-wage jobs, and many of them have multiple dependents. If you think that legalizing them is somehow going to significantly increase our tax revenues, you’re dreaming.

AZCoyote on February 25, 2010 at 10:06 AM

Not from them but from their employers.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 10:10 AM

Obama looks like the alien from that Disney movie, Monsters vs. Aliens. Especially around the mouth.

petunia on February 25, 2010 at 10:12 AM

And the reconciliation process has been used by each President since Carter, GOP or Dem, for bills. And this does not represent a “federal takeover” of 1/6th of the economy because there is no public option involved at this point. And the Senate bill doesn’t go beyond the current situation with the Hyde Amendment being renewed or adopted each year.

How dare you lie to the American public. You have no shame.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Wow. In an era of shocking political dishonesty, you manage to make a ripple in the pool, lol.

“And the reconciliation process has been used by each President since Carter, GOP or Dem, for bills.”

No. You, are a liar. Not “for bills”, and you damned well know it, but you’re doing a good job of regurgitating Reid’s talking points.

Reconciliation is for “budget bills”. It has *never* been used for something like setting up new programs and entitlements like the healthcare things being proposed now – and again, you’re not stupid, so you damned well know it.

You are an unconscionable liar.

Midas on February 25, 2010 at 10:13 AM

Redeploying over the event horizon.

Ed,
In one aspect, that’s just funny, but on the other hand it is a really good metaphor. Government healthcare is likely to be the point of no return for the complete economic destruction of our economy. I like it.

Marine_Bio on February 25, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Easy guys, all will be well after Professor Obama’s groovy lecture.

Little Boomer on February 25, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Reconciliation is for “budget bills”. It has *never* been used for something like setting up new programs and entitlements like the healthcare things being proposed now – and again, you’re not stupid, so you damned well know it.

You are an unconscionable liar.

Midas on February 25, 2010 at 10:13 AM

–The Congress under Reagan used reconciliation to pass COBRA (which gives people up to 18 months of continued health care coverage after they lose their jobs). You are the unconscionable liar.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Obama is really boring these days. We all know this Mr. President… we disagree on what to do about it.

You think we should have the horror stories like is on Drudge today instead of the ones he talks about.

He wants to trade our health care down not up.

Republicans want to make it better, Dems want to make it worse.

Okay long enough now, let someone else talk… and it is the Republicans turn. Equal time.

Someone should count the minutes Republicans are allowed to speak…

Blah blah blah blah blah….

petunia on February 25, 2010 at 10:16 AM

And the reconciliation process has been used by each President since Carter, GOP or Dem, for bills. And this does not represent a “federal takeover” of 1/6th of the economy because there is no public option involved at this point. And the Senate bill doesn’t go beyond the current situation with the Hyde Amendment being renewed or adopted each year.

How dare you lie to the American public. You have no shame.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM
Price controls = gov’t control. This bill gives the Federal Gov’t the ability to mandate what is covered and how much it will cost. You know it, I know it, and you are denting any credibility you have by spinning it any other way.

They Hyde amendment is an amenedment that is added onto bills to prevent federal money appropriated in those bills from being spent on abortions.

It’s not renewed every year like you say, and it ISN’T attached to the healthcare bills in any form.

Stop blatantly misrepresenting the truth while lecturing someone for telling the truth.

uknowmorethanme on February 25, 2010 at 10:07 AM

–The states already regulate insurance and have price controls on insurance. And the Hyde Amendment has been passed in various forms since the late 70s. So why change that practice?

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:17 AM

You know, I think the DEMS could have pulled out of this with a little bit of dignity if they would have just let it die a quiet death a few weeks ago. But all this talk of reconciliation, this summit, etc., this won’t end well for them.

The DEMS will implode over this. They have absolutely done it to themselves. Of course they’ll blame the GOP which is a joke considering we’re the minority and we couldn’t have stopped this at all.

Couldn’t have happened to a better bunch of people.

Oink on February 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM

–The Congress under Reagan used reconciliation to pass COBRA (which gives people up to 18 months of continued health care coverage after they lose their jobs). You are the unconscionable liar.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Tell me did that take 1/6 of the economy from the private sector to the public sector? No.

Is all disagreement with you an unconscionable lie? Because that does put you squarely on the left who books no disagreement with totalitarian power!

Obama–drones on… breaking 1st promise of the day.

petunia on February 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM

–The Congress under Reagan used reconciliation to pass COBRA (which gives people up to 18 months of continued health care coverage after they lose their jobs). You are the unconscionable liar.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Hey – do you know what COBRA stands for, idiot?

Consolidated Omnibus BUDGET Reconciliation Act

Guess what? That’s a BUDGET bill!

Try again, liar.

Midas on February 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM

Obama called this meeting to find a way to pass anything for which he can claim a victory.

Many democrats stated all along that this health care bill was to big and would be impossible to reconcile with everyone.

They wanted to tackle these issues in smaller bites that would be easier to pass.

This plan B seems like nothing more than opening the door so that later on they can say “we need to add this and that” to improve on what we have already passed.

It’s either this or force it through with their “51″ votes reconciliation/nuclear option that these same dems said just a few years before would “wreck the Republic” and “destroy the Senate as we know it”.

This health care loser sits at 24% with the American people.Combine this with the other failures like the stimulus,cash for clunkers,giving terrorist civilian rights,and raising taxes,along with their future proposals of amnesty,and cap and trade…..and this turns “Hope and Change” into the biggest failure ever seen on our national stage.


The democrats have had total power and have nothing to show for it but incompetence and failure.


Yes We Can!!!!!

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Price controls = gov’t control. This bill gives the Federal Gov’t the ability to mandate what is covered and how much it will cost. You know it, I know it, and you are denting any credibility you have by spinning it any other way.

uknowmorethanme on February 25, 2010 at 10:07 AM

–The states already regulate insurance and have price controls on insurance.
Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:17 AM

Jimbo, I know this is difficult, but see if you can comprehend the difference between “state” and “federal.”

That difference is not negligible in this or any other instance.

Missy on February 25, 2010 at 10:21 AM

The democrats have had total power and have nothing to show for it but incompetence and failure.

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 10:20 AM

But somehow their failure is because the mean Republicans keep saying ‘no’, or something.

Midas on February 25, 2010 at 10:21 AM

–The Congress under Reagan used reconciliation to pass COBRA (which gives people up to 18 months of continued health care coverage after they lose their jobs). You are the unconscionable liar.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Hey – do you know what COBRA stands for, idiot?

Consolidated Omnibus BUDGET Reconciliation Act

Guess what? That’s a BUDGET bill!

Try again, liar.

Midas on February 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM

COBRA doesn’t “give” health insurance to people either. I believe it allows former employees the option to keep and pay for the plan they had for a period of time after layoff.

forest on February 25, 2010 at 10:25 AM

You know, I think the DEMS could have pulled out of this with a little bit of dignity if they would have just let it die a quiet death a few weeks ago. But all this talk of reconciliation, this summit, etc., this won’t end well for them.

Oink on February 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM

It is stunningly inexplicable what the Dems did. They were going to do a hard pivot in January and concentrate on jobs so healthcare would be on the back burner for a while. The perfect out to let the whole mess die. Instead, they held one photo-op where union leaders and idiots like Jennifer Granholm showed up at the White House for coffee and a little chat. Then it was full bore back into the healthcare debate.

I’m with the pundits who think that this issue (seizing control of healthcare) is the holy grail for radical socialist ideologues like the filthy lying coward in the White House. He is unable to leave the issue alone. That’s why I also think that passing Obamacare by reconciliation will occur. Followed by a huge public uproar that marginalizes the Dem party after the next elections.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Baxter, ya know I love ya man….

Must disagree with one component of your take; Obama has much to show for his work if one believes the destruction of the private sector is by design, as I do…

Keemo on February 25, 2010 at 10:27 AM


The Congress under Reagan used reconciliation to pass COBRA (which gives people up to 18 months of continued health care coverage after they lose their jobs). You are the unconscionable liar.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:16 AM
Tell me did that take 1/6 of the economy from the private sector to the public sector? No.

Is all disagreement with you an unconscionable lie? Because that does put you squarely on the left who books no disagreement with totalitarian power!

Obama–drones on… breaking 1st promise of the day.

petunia on February 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM

–This bill also doesn’t take 1/6th of the economy to the public sector. There is no public option in this bill. And I was called an “unconscionable liar” by the person who commented on my post. I was just responding in kind. So perhaps you should talk to Midas about why he called someone who disagreed with him an unconscionable liar.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:27 AM

COBRA doesn’t “give” health insurance to people either. I believe it allows former employees the option to keep and pay for the plan they had for a period of time after layoff.

forest on February 25, 2010 at 10:25 AM

I believe that is correct.

My point was that reconciliation is used for ‘budget’ bills, not ‘bills’ as Jimbo intentionally and disingenuously indicates. All kinds of bills have all kinds of things in them, and I’m sure ‘budget bills’ have all kinds of things in them that may or may not be directly related to federal expenditures.

That doesn’t detract from the *fact* that they are, in fact, ‘budget bills’ for which the reconciliation rules apply.

Jimbo and Reid et al aren’t concerned with reality or the truth, however.

Midas on February 25, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Popcorn! Get yer popcorn!

GarandFan on February 25, 2010 at 10:29 AM

COBRA doesn’t “give” health insurance to people either. I believe it allows former employees the option to keep and pay for the plan they had for a period of time after layoff.

forest on February 25, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Yep. And you pay in full, which is a ton of money each month, especially for family coverage.

Mr. D on February 25, 2010 at 10:30 AM

So perhaps you should talk to Midas about why he called someone who disagreed with him an unconscionable liar.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:27 AM

You weren’t called a liar because I disagree with you.

You were called a liar because you’re lying.

I will allow that there’s an alternative – you could simply be uninformed and ignorant, but I don’t think that’s the case.

Midas on February 25, 2010 at 10:31 AM

–The Congress under Reagan used reconciliation to pass COBRA (which gives people up to 18 months of continued health care coverage after they lose their jobs). You are the unconscionable liar.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Hey – do you know what COBRA stands for, idiot?

Consolidated Omnibus BUDGET Reconciliation Act

Guess what? That’s a BUDGET bill!

Try again, liar.

Midas on February 25, 2010 at 10:19 AM
COBRA doesn’t “give” health insurance to people either. I believe it allows former employees the option to keep and pay for the plan they had for a period of time after layoff.

forest on February 25, 2010 at 10:25 AM

–It does give them the option to continue their insurance for up to 18 months. And it’s no difference in my mind about what bill they added that provision to. They used the reconciliation process to pass healthcare-related legislation. They’ve also used the rconciliation process to pass non-budget bills like The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 which was considered to be a fundamental shift in welfare. That bill was a cornerstone of the Republican Contract With America.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:32 AM

You weren’t called a liar because I disagree with you.

You were called a liar because you’re lying.

I will allow that there’s an alternative – you could simply be uninformed and ignorant, but I don’t think that’s the case.

Midas on February 25, 2010 at 10:31 AM

–I’m not lying.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Price controls = gov’t control. This bill gives the Federal Gov’t the ability to mandate what is covered and how much it will cost. You know it, I know it, and you are denting any credibility you have by spinning it any other way.

uknowmorethanme on February 25, 2010 at 10:07 AM

–The states already regulate insurance and have price controls on insurance.
Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:17 AM
Jimbo, I know this is difficult, but see if you can comprehend the difference between “state” and “federal.”

That difference is not negligible in this or any other instance.

Missy on February 25, 2010 at 10:21 AM

–I don’t see alot of practical difference between regulation at one level or at two levels. If there are price controls at the state level, I don’t see much difference in moving those to the federal level. It’s not like they weren’t regulated before.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:35 AM

I don’t see alot of practical difference between regulation at one level or at two levels. If there are price controls at the state level, I don’t see much difference in moving those to the federal level. It’s not like they weren’t regulated before.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:35 AM

One of the hallmarks of the GOP plans is transportability. Why is your side so intent on putting the feds in charge of regulation instead of changing the regulations imposed on the states? Beyond, of course, the fact that the real intent is the seize 1/6 of the economy and as a tool to further the radical socialist agenda.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 10:42 AM

–I don’t see alot of practical difference between regulation at one level or at two levels. If there are price controls at the state level, I don’t see much difference in moving those to the federal level. It’s not like they weren’t regulated before.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Yeah, I figured you didn’t see a lot of “practical” difference. But thanks for the revealing answer – it explains a lot.

Missy on February 25, 2010 at 10:43 AM

I don’t see alot of practical difference between regulation at one level or at two levels. If there are price controls at the state level, I don’t see much difference in moving those to the federal level. It’s not like they weren’t regulated before.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:35 AM
One of the hallmarks of the GOP plans is transportability. Why is your side so intent on putting the feds in charge of regulation instead of changing the regulations imposed on the states? Beyond, of course, the fact that the real intent is the seize 1/6 of the economy and as a tool to further the radical socialist agenda.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 10:42 AM

–If you set up insurance exchanges at either the national or state level (and allow for states to group together), you have transportability. You also have transportability if companies are required to issue insurance to people. There are just different ways to solve this problem.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:46 AM

–I’m not lying.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:33 AM

Um… Yeah you are. Lie: A false statement purposely put forward as truth. That definition sums up your statements in a nutshell.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 10:47 AM

–I’m not lying.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:33 AM
Um… Yeah you are. Lie: A false statement purposely put forward as truth. That definition sums up your statements in a nutshell.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 10:47 AM

–Point out one.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:47 AM

The democrats have had total power and have nothing to show for it but incompetence and failure.

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 10:20 AM

But somehow their failure is because the mean Republicans keep saying ‘no’, or something.

Midas on February 25, 2010 at 10:21 AM

That’s because the “smartest people in the room” that are supposed to be the “adults in charge” somehow believe that having a filibuster proof House…a filibuster proof Senate….and the White House was somehow not enough power to overcome the Republicans who had ZERO power to stop anything on the Hill.

This is no different then listening to the same people who cried the Constitution was being torn apart,our checks and balances were being torn apart,and the very fabric of the Senate and our Republic as we know it would be destroyed if the Republicans forced through their agenda with a simple “51″ majority vote:

Do democrats like Reid stand by these words still or was he lying to the American people:

“The Senate is not a rubber stamp for the executive branch,” Reid said. “Rather, we’re the one institution where the minority has a voice and the ability to check the power of the majority. Today, in the face of President Bush’s power grab, that’s more important than ever.”

“If Republicans roll back our rights in this chamber, there will be no check on their power,” Reid said. “The radical right wing will be free to pursue any agenda they want. And not just on judges. Their power will be unchecked on Supreme Court nominees, the president’s nominees in general and legislation like Social Security privatization.”

Reid concerning the use of the nuclear option in 2005.


Does Reid stand by his own words here or was he lying to the American people:

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): “[N]o Senate Right Is More Fundamental Than The Right To Debate. Should The Majority Choose To Break The Rules That Give Us That Right, The Majority Should Not Expect To Receive Cooperation From The Minority In The Conduct Of Senate Business.”

(Sen. Harry Reid, Letter To Sen. Bill Frist, 3/15/05)

Does Obama stand by his words here or was he lying to the American people:

“What you will have is majoritarain absolute power”

Obama on using the nuclear option,2005


Does Hillary(now in the State Dept.) stand by her very words or was she lying to the American people:

“That’s a bridge to far…you have to restrain yourself Mr. President”

Hillary Clinton on using the nuclear option


Does Chuck Schumer stand by his own words today or was he lying to the American people:

“The checks and balances that are at the core of this Republic..are about to be evaporated by the nuclera option”
The checks and balances that say,it you get 51 votes…you don’t get your way 100% of the time.

Chuck Schumer,2005


Does Senator Feinstein stand by her words (written on her hands or otherwise)or was she lying to the American people:

“The nuclear option,if successful,will turn the Senate into a body that could have it’s rules broken at any time,by a majority of Senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority.

Diane Feinstein, 2004


Does VP Biden stand by his own words or was he lying to the American people:

This nuclear option is the ultimate example of the arrogance of power”

Joe Biden, 2005


Does Senator Byrd stand by his own words or was he lying to the American people:

(Sen. Byrd: “We have kept the Republic.”)

Senator Byrd on deal to stop the use of the nuclear option in 2005.

Does Chuck Schumer stand by his own words…Banana Republic no less…or was he lying to the American people:

Use of the nuclear option “would make the Senate look like a banana republic … and cause us to try to shut it down in every way. Social Security and tax reform need Democratic support. If they use the nuclear option, in all likelihood they would not get Democratic support [for those and other initiatives].” —

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY.


Does Senator Byrd stand by his own words in the Washington Post or was he lying to the American people:

‘Nuking’ Free Speech
By Robert Byrd
Friday, March 4, 2005; Page A21

A “nuclear option” is targeting the Senate. No, this isn’t some terrorist plot. Rather, some in the Senate are considering dropping a legislative bomb that threatens the rights to dissent, to unlimited debate and to freedom of speech.

This nuclear option could rob a senator of the right to speak out against an overreaching executive branch or a wrongheaded policy. It could destroy the Senate’s very essence — the constitutional privilege of free speech and debate.

If senators are denied their right to free speech on judicial nominations, an attack on extended debate on all other matters cannot be far behind. This would mean no leverage for the minority to effect compromise, and no bargaining power for individual senators as they strive to represent the people of their states.

Yes, Americans believe in majority rule, but we also believe in minority rights. Our liberties can be truly secure only in a forum of open debate where minority views can be freely discussed. Leave it to the House to be the majoritarian body. Let the Senate continue to be the one in which a minority can have the freedom to protect a majority from its own folly.

The writer is a Democratic senator from West Virginia and former majority leader.

Democrats have conducted closed door meetings with themselves and lobbyist,shutting out Republicans.

They have forced through legislation without allowing debate.

They have refused to hear on the floors of the House and Senate Republican ideas and amendments.

They have “sneaked in” amendments AFTER bills have been negotiated and finalized.

Republicans were told by the President “I won” and to “shut up”.

Democrats have passed huge bills that have cost the taxpayers trillions of dollars without even reading them.

Now they want to force through legislation on a simple majority vote that they criticized as destroying the very fabric of our legislative process just a few years ago.

All this after campaigning on openness,transparency,and honesty.

Democrats are straight up full of sh!t!!!!

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 10:50 AM

–This bill also doesn’t take 1/6th of the economy to the public sector. There is no public option in this bill.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Jimbo, the practical effects of all Democratic proposals thus far will be an eventual choking out of private sector insurance companies. The eventual “bailout” of the last remaining 2 or 3 largest companies will be a defacto takover by government of healthcare in the US. It may take 4, 5, or 10 years but it will happen if these so called “reforms” are enacted. The President is on video stating as much from several years ago. He needs a bridge to single payer and this is step one.

This means one two things for you and liberals like you:
1. You understand this reality and welcome it–and are therefore a liar (as stated above by others).
2. You do not understand this and suffer from the worst kind of ignorance–self-imposed ignorance.

You all can argue with liberals like Jimbo all you want about details, but it’s futile because of the two categories of mindset stated above.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 10:52 AM

The writer is a Democratic senator from West Virginia and former majority leader.

Democrats have conducted closed door meetings with themselves and lobbyist,shutting out Republicans.

They have forced through legislation without allowing debate.

They have refused to hear on the floors of the House and Senate Republican ideas and amendments.

They have “sneaked in” amendments AFTER bills have been negotiated and finalized.

Republicans were told by the President “I won” and to “shut up”.

Democrats have passed huge bills that have cost the taxpayers trillions of dollars without even reading them.

Now they want to force through legislation on a simple majority vote that they criticized as destroying the very fabric of our legislative process just a few years ago.

All this after campaigning on openness,transparency,and honesty.

Democrats are straight up full of sh!t!!!!

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 10:50 AM

–You are wrong. The nuclear option was a threat to in effect change the Senate’s rules so only a majority would need to approve judges or other matters by declaring a filibuster unconstitutional. It’s different than the use of reconciliation.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Jimbo, the practical effects of all Democratic proposals thus far will be an eventual choking out of private sector insurance companies. The eventual “bailout” of the last remaining 2 or 3 largest companies will be a defacto takover by government of healthcare in the US. It may take 4, 5, or 10 years but it will happen if these so called “reforms” are enacted. The President is on video stating as much from several years ago. He needs a bridge to single payer and this is step one.

This means one two things for you and liberals like you:
1. You understand this reality and welcome it–and are therefore a liar (as stated above by others).
2. You do not understand this and suffer from the worst kind of ignorance–self-imposed ignorance.

You all can argue with liberals like Jimbo all you want about details, but it’s futile because of the two categories of mindset stated above.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 10:52 AM

–No, I don’t believe it will do that. Insurance companies are already highly regulated by the states and I don’t see anything in these bills that would choke the insurance companies.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:56 AM

You also have transportability if companies are required to issue insurance to people.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Forcing insurance companies to cover everybody has nothing to do with transportability. The only way that such mandates would work is if you force universal participation so people pay into the system even when they are well or you allow those “greedy” companies to charge according to the risk that the individuals bring to the insurance pool.

Transportability in Obamacare is a variation on mandatory participation. Everybody has to participate in a plan so that, over time, the feds get a public option by default as they take over failing cooperatives or insurance companies and undercut prices on true competition. Failure of these organizations is a given since the model will clearly not result in profitability and “someone” would have to step in to fill the void in a society with a buy insurance or go to jail healthcare system. It is pure socialist incrementalism and you are very foolish if you think that the public is unaware about the true nature of the bills put forth by this administration.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 10:56 AM

–No, I don’t believe it will do that. Insurance companies are already highly regulated by the states and I don’t see anything in these bills that would choke the insurance companies.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:56 AM

So it’s option 2 for you. Thanks.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 10:57 AM

No, I don’t believe it will do that. Insurance companies are already highly regulated by the states and I don’t see anything in these bills that would choke the insurance companies.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:56 AM
So it’s option 2 for you. Thanks.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 10:57 AM

–Do you have any proof that this will happen?

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:59 AM

And the reconciliation process has been used by each President since Carter, GOP or Dem, for bills. And this does not represent a “federal takeover” of 1/6th of the economy because there is no public option involved at this point. And the Senate bill doesn’t go beyond the current situation with the Hyde Amendment being renewed or adopted each year.

How dare you lie to the American public. You have no shame.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Actually you’re the one who doesn’t seem to have a grasp of the facts.

Reconciliation has only be used to deal with budgetary issues, per the amendments associated with it, not entire bills.

Obamunistcare is going nowhere and todays dog and pony show is nothing but a stupid waste of time.

Bozo and his clown posse will probably resort to incrementalism thats the socialist way if they cant push the whole enchilada. Ask Van Jones. Its what the socialists have been doing since FDR.

Democrats are straight up full of sh!t!!!!

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 10:50 AM

+1

dogsoldier on February 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Transportability in Obamacare is a variation on mandatory participation. Everybody has to participate in a plan so that, over time, the feds get a public option by default as they take over failing cooperatives or insurance companies and undercut prices on true competition. Failure of these organizations is a given since the model will clearly not result in profitability and “someone” would have to step in to fill the void in a society with a buy insurance or go to jail healthcare system. It is pure socialist incrementalism and you are very foolish if you think that the public is unaware about the true nature of the bills put forth by this administration.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 10:56 AM

–How will this “clearly” not result in profitability?

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Baxter, ya know I love ya man….

Must disagree with one component of your take; Obama has much to show for his work if one believes the destruction of the private sector is by design, as I do…

Keemo on February 25, 2010 at 10:27 AM

You are exactly right…

I stand corrected.

My take was on what many people who bought the lies and bullsh!t coming from the “Hope and Change” campaign “thought” they were going to get…..

……they thought they were going to get “bipartisanship”


………they thought they were going to get an “open,honest,and transparent White House”..


…………they thought they were going to get the “world to love us again” through “smart power”…


……………they thought they were going to get “economic progress and stability”…..Jobs…Jobs…Jobs…


………they thought Obama was going to “end all the wars and rebuke the policies of President Bush”…..


………….As the polls and the reality on the ground show…..the people that voted for “Mr. Hope and Change” have gotten a big dose of “Whine and blame Bush”,massive debt,and international embarrassment…

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 11:01 AM

Point out one.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:47 AM

This bill also doesn’t take 1/6th of the economy to the public sector. There is no public option in this bill.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:27 AM

Two in two sentences. Just because the bill doesn’t specifically state that the feds are attempting to seize control of 1/6 of the economy or institute a public option doesn’t mean it isn’t in the bills. Same holds true for the way the bills make it impossible to keep federal funding out of abortions.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Reconciliation has only be used to deal with budgetary issues, per the amendments associated with it, not entire bills.

Obamunistcare is going nowhere and todays dog and pony show is nothing but a stupid waste of time.

Bozo and his clown posse will probably resort to incrementalism thats the socialist way if they cant push the whole enchilada. Ask Van Jones. Its what the socialists have been doing since FDR.

Democrats are straight up full of sh!t!!!!

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 10:50 AM
+1

dogsoldier on February 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM

–So why was it used to pass a bill that reformed welfare?

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Two in two sentences. Just because the bill doesn’t specifically state that the feds are attempting to seize control of 1/6 of the economy or institute a public option doesn’t mean it isn’t in the bills. Same holds true for the way the bills make it impossible to keep federal funding out of abortions.

highhopes on February 25, 2010 at 11:02 AM

–And this is where I think it’s pretty clear that you’re the one lying. If there’s no public option, there’s no public takeover or any way that 1/6th of the economy can be taken over because the business will go to the new exchanges or current insurance companies. It’s not in the President’s current plan. And all the Senate bill does is institute the same procedures that have been used to pass the Hyde Amendment each year. Right now, if the equivalent of the Hyde Amendment passes this year, then there will be no changes in abortion or abortion plan funding. It’s certainly possible that there is no federal funding for abortion beyond that permitted by the current Hyde Amendment.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:06 AM

The president keeps telling us this is a “framework” and we know where he wants this “framework” to lead – single payer.

How many times did he say that on the campaign trail?

Pardon us if we don’t want his precious framework. We know that trick.

NoDonkey on February 25, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Bozo and his clown posse will probably resort to incrementalism thats the socialist way if they cant push the whole enchilada. Ask Van Jones. Its what the socialists have been doing since FDR.

dogsoldier on February 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Great point and would like to add to it if I could:


The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism.
But, under the name of “liberalism”,they will adopt every
fragment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation,….without knowing how it happened.”


Norman Thomas, U.S. Socialist Party Presidential candidate 1940,1944,and 1948.

The Russians,Chinese,Europeans,Australians,and even Obama’s buddy Hugo have all called Obama and his policies out for what they are…socialist.

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 11:10 AM

The Byrd Rule (described below) was adopted in 1985 and amended in 1990. Its main effect is that reconciliation cannot be used for provisions that would increase the deficit beyond 10 years after the reconciliation measure.

Congress used reconciliation to enact President Bill Clinton’s 1993 (fiscal year 1994) budget. (See Pub.L. 103-66, 107 Stat. 312.) Clinton wanted to use reconciliation to pass his 1993 health care plan, but Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) insisted that the health care plan was out of bounds for a process that is theoretically about budgets.

capejasmine on February 25, 2010 at 11:11 AM

–Do you have any proof that this will happen?

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Please refer to earlier statements:

2. You do not understand this and suffer from the worst kind of ignorance–self-imposed ignorance.

–No, I don’t believe it will do that.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:56 AM

So it’s option 2 for you. Thanks.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 10:57 AM

You all can argue with liberals like Jimbo all you want about details, but it’s futile because of the two categories of mindset stated above.

I’ll just leave you with this…
Even if there is a chance Global Warming Government takeover of private insurance could happen, we must do everything in our power to stop it.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 11:11 AM

–Do you have any proof that this will happen?

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:59 AM
Please refer to earlier statements:

2. You do not understand this and suffer from the worst kind of ignorance–self-imposed ignorance.

–No, I don’t believe it will do that.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:56 AM
So it’s option 2 for you. Thanks.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 10:57 AM
You all can argue with liberals like Jimbo all you want about details, but it’s futile because of the two categories of mindset stated above.
I’ll just leave you with this…
Even if there is a chance Global Warming Government takeover of private insurance could happen, we must do everything in our power to stop it.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 11:11 AM

–So you have no proof or solid evidence, just a fear.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:13 AM

The Byrd Rule (described below) was adopted in 1985 and amended in 1990. Its main effect is that reconciliation cannot be used for provisions that would increase the deficit beyond 10 years after the reconciliation measure.

Congress used reconciliation to enact President Bill Clinton’s 1993 (fiscal year 1994) budget. (See Pub.L. 103-66, 107 Stat. 312.) Clinton wanted to use reconciliation to pass his 1993 health care plan, but Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) insisted that the health care plan was out of bounds for a process that is theoretically about budgets.

capejasmine on February 25, 2010 at 11:11 AM

–Bush 2 tried to use reconciliation to open the artic to oil drilling. Things change.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:15 AM

Bush 2 tried to use reconciliation to open the artic to oil drilling. Things change.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:15 AM

I’m open to arctic drilling. I have no issue with it…but Bush was wrong to try and use reconcilliation to do it. As is Obama, and the Democrats for trying the same tactic to pass health care. Especially when a majority of Americans know….we can’t afford it, and we don’t want it!!!

capejasmine on February 25, 2010 at 11:18 AM

–You are wrong. The nuclear option was a threat to in effect change the Senate’s rules so only a majority would need to approve judges or other matters by declaring a filibuster unconstitutional. It’s different than the use of reconciliation.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 10:54 AM

No…you are wrong and the NY times of all places has even called this out.

This is nothing more than a name change:

The checks and balances that say,it you get 51 votes…you don’t get your way 100% of the time.

Chuck Schumer,2005

Reference this from democratic Senators:

“The nuclear option,if successful,will turn the Senate into a body that could have it’s rules broken at any time,by a majority of Senators unhappy with any position taken by the minority.

Feinstein

“The Senate is not a rubber stamp for the executive branch,” Reid said. “Rather, we’re the one institution where the minority has a voice and the ability to check the power of the majority. Today, in the face of President Bush’s power grab, that’s more important than ever.”

Reid..

They are plainly objecting to the use of a simple majority to push through legislation without consent of the minority.

This is plain to see in all of their arguments.

They are not simply upset because it has to do with just a rule change or not….

….they are upset that the powers granted the minority were being struck down.

Only a blind partisan could not see the hypocrisy here.

Now do your democratic representatives still believe that forcing through legislation by simple majority will destroy our legislative system or were they lying??????

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 11:21 AM

–So you have no proof or solid evidence, just a fear.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:13 AM

It would take some macro and micro-econ courses and lots and lots of time explain it to you but…since we’ve already established that you suffer from self-imposed ignorance (#2), it would be futile to get into the weeds with you as others in the thread have discovered.

The proof is in the reading of the bills and having an understanding of their practical effects on an industry that barely makes 2 to 3% profit today.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 11:23 AM

It would take some macro and micro-econ courses and lots and lots of time explain it to you but…since we’ve already established that you suffer from self-imposed ignorance (#2), it would be futile to get into the weeds with you as others in the thread have discovered.

The proof is in the reading of the bills and having an understanding of their practical effects on an industry that barely makes 2 to 3% profit today.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 11:23 AM

–I have an MBA from one of the two top graduate business schools (for finance) in the US. I’ve also taken at least eight micro- or macro-econ classess. Try me.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:29 AM

No…you are wrong and the NY times of all places has even called this out.

……..
Now do your democratic representatives still believe that forcing through legislation by simple majority will destroy our legislative system or were they lying??????

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 11:21 AM

You’re wrong. See the link.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_option

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Reconciliation is being used to prevent a filibuster…plain and simple.

Preventing the filibuster is what the Senator Byrd’s,Reid’s,and Schumer’s yelled and screamed about as being the very fabric of our legislative process…..

Health Care Nuclear Option – Liberals Ready to Launch

Posted By Brian Darling On February 19, 2010 @ 10:50 am In Health Care | 34 Comments

The Health Care Nuclear Option, also known as reconciliation, is being considered by liberal politicians to insure that Obamacare makes it to the President’s desk by Easter.

Here is how the NYT writes it up [1]:

President Obama will put forward comprehensive health care legislation intended to bridge differences between Senate and House Democrats ahead of a summit meeting with Republicans next week, senior administration officials and Congressional aides said Thursday.

The legislation is being crafted in a way to allow for partisans in the House and Senate to pass the legislation without any support from Republicans and it a way that avoids a 60 vote threshold of a filibuster in the Senate.


Democratic officials said the president’s proposal was being written so that it could be attached to a budget bill as a way of averting a Republican filibuster in the Senate.
The procedure, known as budget reconciliation, would let Democrats advance the bill with a simple majority rather than a 60-vote supermajority.


Yet again, the Obama Administration has tossed aside transparency and has crafted this legislation behind closed doors. Not even all Congressional Democrats have been looped into this secret proposal:

During a conference call on Wednesday night, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, told the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, and the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, that she could not agree to a proposal until rank-and-file lawmakers returned from a weeklong recess. A House Democratic caucus meeting is set for Monday evening. … Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said the president would “take some of the best ideas” from the House and the Senate and “put them into a framework.”

The plan is for the House would pass the Senate version of Obamacare and use the special reconciliation process as a means to amend it. This special procedure is clearly an abuse of the reconciliation procedure and helps liberals to toss aside the filibuster in the Senate. As Charlotte Davis explained earlier [2]:

Reconciliation was not intended to be the procedure of last resort when other means fail, and to do so would be a complete abuse of reconciliation rules [3]. Some may bring up other examples of massive legislation passed through reconciliation bills as proof that using reconciliation bills to explode government spending is okay, but past instances of wrongdoing does not make it acceptable to add $2 trillion dollars worth of health care spending.

This is also a means to empower Vice President Joe Biden to act as President of the Senate during this debate so that he can ignore Republicans who will be outraged by the process. The election of Scott Brown to the Senate in liberal Massachusetts was a strong referendum against Obamacare. Add that to the polling that indicates that a large majority of Americans are opposed to the President’s health care proposal (see Real Clear Politics [4]) and one can understand why Congress was backing away from the proposal.

But The New York Times article indicates that the Obama Administration and liberal Members of Congress are willing to use the Nuclear Option to get the unpopular bill through the House and Senate.

Going around simply changing the name from “nuclear option” to “reconciliation” is nothing more than a liberal word game to hide their blatant hypocrisy and power grab.

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Going around simply changing the name from “nuclear option” to “reconciliation” is nothing more than a liberal word game to hide their blatant hypocrisy and power grab.

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 11:32 AM

–Your article doesn’t prove your point. Obama may be planning to use existing policies to pass this by reconciliation. The nuclear option was in effect a change in Senate rules to cut off debate.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:34 AM

One last push- how many times have we heard that.

rjoco1 on February 25, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Over and over and over it is stated that the democrats are using reconciliation for the sole purpose of shutting down the filibuster:

CONGRESSIONAL MEMO; A Fight for the Right to Filibuster

NY Times

By CARL HULSE
Published: March 29, 2009

They have good reason to fret. If Democrats successfully invoke reconciliation, such major bills could pass by a simple majority vote, denying Republicans the filibuster, their sole remaining weapon to influence federal policy given the Democratic grip on government.

Once again Jimbo…..do the democrats stand by their own words of how important the rights of the minority to filibuster are in the legislative process or where they lying to the American people???????

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 11:44 AM

–Your article doesn’t prove your point. Obama may be planning to use existing policies to pass this by reconciliation. The nuclear option was in effect a change in Senate rules to cut off debate.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:34 AM

No jimbo ,you insist on deflecting the point back to the “rule change”.

Democrats like Reid and Byrd along with many others yelled and screamed about minority rights and how important the use of the filibuster is.

They stated that subverting the use of the filibuster tore at the very fabric of our legislative process and would “destroy the republic”.

I have provided many quotes to this effect and there is much video…including here at hot air…that details this.

Now are you going to continue to cover your ears..jump up in the middle of the room yelling “rule change..rule change” or can you address the overwhelming evidence democrats stated that shutting down the filibuster was a crime against democracy…were they lying to the American people when they took this position just a few years ago?????

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Your article doesn’t prove your point. Obama may be planning to use existing policies to pass this by reconciliation. The nuclear option was in effect a change in Senate rules to cut off debate.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:34 AM
No jimbo ,you insist on deflecting the point back to the “rule change”.

Democrats like Reid and Byrd along with many others yelled and screamed about minority rights and how important the use of the filibuster is.

They stated that subverting the use of the filibuster tore at the very fabric of our legislative process and would “destroy the republic”.

I have provided many quotes to this effect and there is much video…including here at hot air…that details this.

Now are you going to continue to cover your ears..jump up in the middle of the room yelling “rule change..rule change” or can you address the overwhelming evidence democrats stated that shutting down the filibuster was a crime against democracy…were they lying to the American people when they took this position just a few years ago?????

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 11:49 AM

–I don’t they were lying. I think they were talking about it in the context the changing of Senate rules to stop fillibusters. That’s a different situation than what’s going on here.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:54 AM

We’ll give them ‘one last push’ in November.

Considering the day and time, our friend the MBA probably didn’t make the cut a while back, and being unemployed, needs health insurance. Probably also is a Keynesian.

jodetoad on February 25, 2010 at 11:59 AM

–I have an MBA from one of the two top graduate business schools (for finance) in the US. I’ve also taken at least eight micro- or macro-econ classess. Try me.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:29 AM

Oh dear, you decided to go with the appeal to authority route? Careful, the next step for you is ad hominem…

That usually gets trolls banned.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 12:06 PM

I say again…

You all can argue with liberals like Jimbo all you want about details, but it’s futile because of the two categories of mindset stated above.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 12:08 PM

–I don’t they were lying. I think they were talking about it in the context the changing of Senate rules to stop fillibusters. That’s a different situation than what’s going on here.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:54 AM

“to stop filibusters” is the key word here Jimbo.

That is exactly what they are doing with reconciliation.

The democrats were not yelling and screaming about just “rule changes”….they were upset with what the rule changes would actually accomplish…which is “STOPPING THE FILIBUSTER!!!!”

Now they have no problem with it and you are to partisan to even admit this obvious point.,

Here is the now democratic majority leader telling the American people how IMPORTANT THE USE OF THE FILIBUSTER is ….not rule changes….but the IMPORTANCE OF THE FILIBUSTER:

try to hold back tears as a weary but unconquerable minority leader strides to the floor of the Senate and makes an impassioned case in defense of the filibuster,

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/02/23/reid-to-gop-stop-crying-about-reconciliation-already/

Your liberal spin is not working here or on the American people.


Now do the democrats stand by these words or were they lying to the American People??????:


Rather, some in the Senate are considering dropping a legislative bomb that threatens the rights to dissent, to unlimited debate and to freedom of speech.

If senators are denied their right to free speech on judicial nominations, an attack on extended debate on all other matters cannot be far behind. This would mean no leverage for the minority to effect compromise, and no bargaining power for individual senators as they strive to represent the people of their states.


Yes, Americans believe in majority rule, but we also believe in minority rights. Our liberties can be truly secure only in a forum of open debate where minority views can be freely discussed.

Senator Byrd in the Washington Post …..
…DEFENDING THE USE OF THE FILIBUSTER.

Baxter Greene on February 25, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Baxter, look at the context below. I believe I’m right.

If senators are denied their right to free speech

on judicial nominations

, an attack on extended debate on all other matters cannot be far behind.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 12:32 PM

I have an MBA from one of the two top graduate business schools (for finance) in the US. I’ve also taken at least eight micro- or macro-econ classess. Try me.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 11:29 AM
Oh dear, you decided to go with the appeal to authority route? Careful, the next step for you is ad hominem…

That usually gets trolls banned.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 12:06 PM

–You said I wouldn’t understand it. I would.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 12:33 PM

–You said I wouldn’t understand it. I would.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Actually there’s a fine difference between what I said…and what you say I said here–”that you would not understand.”

What I essentially said was–since you suffer from #2, that you would refuse to understand (self-imposed ignorance or simply denial of something I think is relatively easy to discerne). Since you’ve already had all the courses I suggest and still believe what you do, you prove my point–and therefore there is no use in debating with you on individual points of policy.

Bottom line is, we disagree, I accept that, and therefore refuse to get into the policy weeds with you as others here have.

Unfortunately, the only way to prove who’s right is to enact the Democrat plans, wait 10 years, and then I get to say “see I told you so” when we are both standing in line waiting for the government to give us an appointment to see a doctor in 6 months.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 12:52 PM

–As usual, you and the GOP are the filthy lying cowards. The Senate Finance Committee discussions were bipartisian but senior GOP members stopped that by requiring no agreements without the consent of the GOP caucus:

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 9:54 AM

As usual, jimbo is projecting.
1) Requiring the members of the committee to get the consent of the entire caucus does not mean the Republicans weren’t being bi-partisan. Do you honestly believe that the Democrats on that committee would agree to anything with running it by Reid first?

2) As you are well aware, but to much of a liar to admit, it really doesn’t matter what the committee passed, because shortly after that, the entire bill was taken into Reid’s office where it was completely re-written and no Republicans were permitted into those negotiations. The committee to reconcile the house and senate versions of the bill also had zero Republicans on it.

As to other presidents using the reconcilliation process, true, but irrelevant. They used it to pass budgetary items, not a takeover of 1/6th of the economy.

MarkTheGreat on February 25, 2010 at 1:39 PM

Jimbo will get to see a doctor, but the rest of us won’t because we don’t Think Correctly™.

Mary in LA on February 25, 2010 at 1:46 PM

2) As you are well aware, but to much of a liar to admit, it really doesn’t matter what the committee passed, because shortly after that, the entire bill was taken into Reid’s office where it was completely re-written and no Republicans were permitted into those negotiations. The committee to reconcile the house and senate versions of the bill also had zero Republicans on it.

As to other presidents using the reconcilliation process, true, but irrelevant. They used it to pass budgetary items, not a takeover of 1/6th of the economy.

MarkTheGreat on February 25, 2010 at 1:39 PM

–We’ll never know what might have been because the Senate Finance Committee GOP members were effectively told by GOP leadership to stop working on the Finance Committee bill.

And it’s “too much of a liar”, not “to much of a liar”.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 2:19 PM

And it’s “too much of a liar”, not “to much of a liar”.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Shouldn’t your punctuation be inside the quotation marks?

You should always insure you’re spelling and grammer are right when correcting some one elses’ spelling and grammer. If you don’t, theirs a potential for ridicule.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Shouldn’t your punctuation be inside the quotation marks?

You should always insure you’re spelling and grammer are right when correcting some one elses’ spelling and grammer. If you don’t, theirs a potential for ridicule.

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 2:44 PM

–You’re right. Not logical, but that’s apparently how the US grammar rules work.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Is US grammar your second grammar language? (Are you from a foreign land, Sir?)

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 3:08 PM

Is US grammar your second grammar language? (Are you from a foreign land, Sir?)

Youngs98 on February 25, 2010 at 3:08 PM

-No. But I keep trying to be logical about how commas and such are used.

Jimbo3 on February 25, 2010 at 3:51 PM

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