Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This Just In - the Vote

Ryan Grim

Senate Finance Committee Approves Health Care Reform 14-9

Sixty-four years ago, President Harry Truman stood before a joint session of Congress and called on the body "to assure the right to adequate medical care and protection from the economic fears of sickness."
Forty-nine years later, President Bill Clinton made the same demand.

On Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Congress moved closer to achieving that goal than it ever has. The hold-out Senate Finance Committee voted by a 14-9 margin to move the fifth and final health care reform proposal through the conservative panel.

The package, coming in at under $900 billion over ten years, is the least generous in terms of subsidies for working and middle-class Americans to purchase health insurance, and it does NOT include a national public health insurance option. But the bill would dramatically reorganize the nation's system of health care and health insurance and stands as the foundation on which Democrats hope to build a strong reform package with negligible GOP support.

Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) was the lone Republican to support the package. "My vote today is my vote today. It doesn't forecast what my vote will be tomorrow," she said, although her vote does keep her at the negotiating table and at the center of the health care reform debate. Snowe risked marginalizing herself with a no vote.

The year after both Truman and Clinton's failed efforts, the Republican Party retook control of Congress and any hope of reform faded to minority status. President Obama intends to avoid the same fate.
With the bill having officially moved through the panel, deliberations will migrate to the Capitol, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will huddle with Senate leaders to merge the finance bill with a more generous version from the health committee which passed earlier this year.


As if we didn't already know, the Republicans will never vote for health care reform in spite of their hypocritical protestations.   The profess to be for reform, but even though the bill has been watered down to a mere shadow of what it should be and even though the most important part of reform is missing (the public option) they still didn't vote for it.  That makes it pretty obvious that we were right when we said they didn't care 'squat' for the plight of suffering Americans, but just wanted to destroy Obama's presidency. 

If I were the president now I would get them all in my office and tell them that the Democrats were going to include the public option and  they could live with the scorn of the electorate.

We shall see now how tough Obama is going to be and if the public option will be included in the final bill.  Stay tuned.


Rain said...

I am afraid it's not just toughness with Obama but his pragmatic side. If they include the public option, the value of the stock market will fall which will impact the rich but also ordinary people's 401k's. I think that the stock market has forced many bad decisions and following after it blindly is what makes us more vulnerable to the wishes of the 'richest' among us. I still hope for a public option but it will take real courage for them to do what will short term look bad but long term will rise all boats.

Darlene said...

*Rain - Excellent point and one I had not thought of. Thanks a bunch.

20th Century Woman said...

If a public option fails it will be the fault of the blue dog "democrats". Obama should tell them that they will get no support from him or the party in the next election their seats are up if they block the public option.

Looking to the Stars said...

I hope Obama is tough as nails. Will be looking forward to your next post on it. Thanks for keeping us tuned in :)