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Posted: 11/5/2009 7:23:43 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/5/2009 7:24:01 AM EST by ArmyInfantryVet]
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091105/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_overhaul

WASHINGTON – The second-ranking House Democrat predicted that historic health care legislation will be passed Saturday, extending coverage to tens of millions of uninsured and banning the industry from turning people away.


Rep. Steny Hoyer told reporters House leaders would have the 218 votes needed to pass the sweeping bill that President Barack Obama has made the defining social goal of his young administration — presuming a couple of final issues are resolved. Hoyer acknowledged that the vote could be tight.


"I wouldn't refer to it as a squeaker, but I think it's going to be close," Hoyer said. "This is a huge undertaking."

The Maryland Democrat said language on abortion and illegal immigrants was still being worked out, but predicted those issues could be solved in time for Saturday's scheduled debate and vote on the 10-year, $1.2 trillion legislation.

"We certainly have well over 218 people who say they want to vote for the bill," Hoyer said in an interview with wire service reporters.

"The trick is making sure they have a comfort level with the provisions they are particularly focused on to allow them to do so," he said. "So I think that's what we're in the final stages of trying to get to."

Obama planned a rare trip to the House on Friday to try to win over wavering lawmakers.

Hoyer also said that the bill's endorsement by the powerful seniors' lobby AARP, announced Thursday, was a significant boost.

AARP Senior Policy Adviser John Rother said the 40-million strong organization favors the House bill because it closes the coverage gap in Medicare prescription benefits, puts strict limits on what health insurers can charge older workers too young for Medicare and creates a voluntary, long-term care insurance program.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network also announced its support for the legislation Thursday, and the American Medical Association, which had endorsed an earlier version of the bill, scheduled a midday press call to weigh in.

Action is slower on the other side of the Capitol, where senators are awaiting an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office on legislation written by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and others. The timeline there appears likely to spill into next year.

The AARP's backing is a big boost for the House effort. Support from this group proved a crucial stamp of approval when then-President George W. Bush pushed the Medicare prescription drug benefit through a closely divided Congress in 2003.

But strong opposition remains on Capitol Hill.

Republican leaders were scheduled to appear outside the Capitol at a rally opposing the legislation, a protest led by anti-big-government "tea party" activists.

With no GOP backing, Democrats will need overwhelming support from within their own caucus. An intraparty disagreement over how to prevent federal funds from being used to pay for abortion has not yet been entirely resolved, though Hoyer said that language being circulated by one anti-abortion Democrat, Rep. Brad Ellsworth of Indiana, seemed likely to be the basis for an agreement.

Ellsworth's language aims to strengthen stipulations already in the bill against federal money being used to pay for abortions. It would still allow people to pay for abortion coverage with their own money.

That distinction doesn't satisfy anti-abortion groups, which dismiss it as an accounting gimmick. They say federal subsidies for insurance coverage would not be clearly segregated from private funds used to pay for abortions.

The National Right to Life Committee issued a blistering press release Wednesday night calling Ellsworth's proposal "a political fig leaf made out of cellophane."

Ellsworth said that didn't bother him: "I know what's in my heart, I know what's in my head and I think the big guy upstairs knows," he said.

House leaders are also still grappling with illegal immigration, specifically whether illegal immigrants — who would be barred from getting federal subsidies — should be able to purchase insurance coverage within new government "exchanges," using their own money.

The White House does not want this allowed, but some members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and other Democrats view that position as too extreme. Hispanic Caucus officials were scheduled to meet with Obama at the White House on Thursday.

The House bill would provide government subsidies beginning in 2013 to extend coverage to millions who now lack it. Self-employed people and small businesses could buy coverage through the new exchanges, either from a private insurer or a new government plan that would compete. All the plans sold through the exchange would have to follow basic consumer protection rules.


Time to start getting REALLY loud.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 8:47:55 AM EST
bump
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 8:49:35 AM EST
Several thousand protesting on the capitol steps as we type.

Folks are getting louder.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 8:50:44 AM EST
At this point, go ahead and let them. This game they are playing is horseshit and is starting to smell up the whole damn place.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 8:55:51 AM EST
I doubt it. Steny Hoyer also thought he had the votes to pass it before the August recess.

Of course, there is the possibility this could be a carefully-choreographed piece of political theatre: The Dems would allow the House –– which contains their most vulnerable members –– to pass a bill and thus keep their Left wing happy, but then allow the Senate to kill it and thus protect their right flank from the angry hordes come election time.

Since most Senators don't have to worry about an election next year they could get away with letting it die, or even voting to kill it. The old "Hey, we tried to pass it but those Eeeeevil Republicans stoppped us! We can pass it next time if you'll just vote for us again!" strategy.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 8:56:37 AM EST

Originally Posted By GarandM1:
I doubt it. Steny Hoyer also thought he had the votes to pass it before the August recess.

Of course, there is the possibility this could be a carefully-choreographed piece of political theatre: The Dems would allow the House –– which contains their most vulnerable members –– to pass a bill and thus keep their Left wing happy, but then allow the Senate to kill it and thus protect their right flank from the angry hordes come election time.

Since most Senators don't have to worry about an election next year they could get away with letting it die, or even voting to kill it. The old "Hey, we tried to pass it but those Eeeeevil Republicans stoppped us! We can pass it next time if you'll just vote for us again!" strategy.

I mostly agree, I think they are just trying to act tough, but really won't be able to pass it.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 8:57:32 AM EST
Originally Posted By GarandM1:
"Hey, we tried to pass it but those Eeeeevil Republicans stoppped us! We can pass it next time if you'll just vote for us again!" strategy.


Except the Dems have a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate. The uber-leftist activists will know better.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 9:01:19 AM EST

Originally Posted By Bubbles:
Originally Posted By GarandM1:
"Hey, we tried to pass it but those Eeeeevil Republicans stoppped us! We can pass it next time if you'll just vote for us again!" strategy.


Except the Dems have a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate. The uber-leftist activists will know better.

Yes and no. That supposes that Lieberman will vote with them, and if he doesn't –– as he has publicly said he would not –– they can still get off the hook.

Besides, there's no one the Left wingers love to hate more than Lieberman. The House members get to claim credit for a bill, the Senate kills it to keep the heat off, and they can blame it on Lieberman. For the Dems it's Win-Win-Win.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 9:07:23 AM EST

Originally Posted By GarandM1:

Originally Posted By Bubbles:
Originally Posted By GarandM1:
"Hey, we tried to pass it but those Eeeeevil Republicans stoppped us! We can pass it next time if you'll just vote for us again!" strategy.


Except the Dems have a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate. The uber-leftist activists will know better.

Yes and no. That supposes that Lieberman will vote with them, and if he doesn't –– as he has publicly said he would not –– they can still get off the hook.

Besides, there's no one the Left wingers love to hate more than Lieberman. The House members get to claim credit for a bill, the Senate kills it to keep the heat off, and they can blame it on Lieberman. For the Dems it's Win-Win-Win.

Yeah, if they know they can't pass it and don't want just come out and say they give up and lose a huge amount of credability, this is an option for them to save face.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 9:12:48 AM EST
The Madness of Queen Pelosi

This paragraph stood out, for me...

John Feenery, who worked for then-House Minority Leader Bob Michel, sees many similarities with Congress's ill-fated rush to pass "catastrophic" health coverage for seniors in 1988. "Like the catastrophic bill, the Democrats' health care bill frontloads the pain and backloads the gain," he told CNN last month. Because Democrats wanted to avoid a negative deficit score from the Congressional Budget Office, taxes went up immediately while benefits were phased in. But seniors revolted. House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski was famously chased down a Chicago street by an angry mob. In November, 1989 –– almost exactly 20 years ago –– Congress took the extraordinary step of repealing the catastrophic health care law.




Link Posted: 11/5/2009 9:22:39 AM EST
So how do we make sure that they dont do something that allows them to hide who voted which way???
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 9:29:21 AM EST
Originally Posted By jmb_nova:
So how do we make sure that they dont do something that allows them to hide who voted which way???


Actually, I do wonder if they will just call a voice vote and declare that it passed.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 9:32:23 AM EST
The question is, will America stand for it?
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 9:42:14 AM EST

Originally Posted By GarandM1:
I doubt it. Steny Hoyer also thought he had the votes to pass it before the August recess.

Of course, there is the possibility this could be a carefully-choreographed piece of political theatre: The Dems would allow the House –– which contains their most vulnerable members –– to pass a bill and thus keep their Left wing happy, but then allow the Senate to kill it and thus protect their right flank from the angry hordes come election time.

Since most Senators don't have to worry about an election next year they could get away with letting it die, or even voting to kill it. The old "Hey, we tried to pass it but those Eeeeevil Republicans stoppped us! We can pass it next time if you'll just vote for us again!" strategy.

Pretty much...

Further, the Senate is where the individual members get the most attention on their votes, due to the fillibuster rule...

In the House, anything the leadership wants passed, gets passed...

Link Posted: 11/5/2009 9:42:42 AM EST
Originally Posted By Subconscious:
The question is, will America stand for it?






Hope not
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 9:54:48 AM EST
Originally Posted By Subconscious:
The question is, will America stand for it?


America voted for Obama. Obama care will be embraced with similar enthusiasm.

"This is how democracy dies, with thunderous applause."
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