Is ObamaCare in trouble in the Senate?

November 12, 2009

A few thoughts on healthcare reform:

1) Just talked to a very insightful Capitol Hill Watcher who doesn’t think Harry Reid has the votes in the Senate to pass anything resembling comprehensive healthcare reform. You can count out Lieberman, Landrieu, Nelson and maybe even Bayh.

2) First, of course, comes the CBO’s analysis of various proposals. Any of them that boosts the deficit or healthcare premiums are DOA. Remember, healthcare reform was supposed to expand coverage, lower premiums and bend the curve on the long-term deficit.

3) Assuming Reid can get 60 votes to proceed to the floor sometime next week, we are talking December being taken up with debate on amendments concerning the public option, abortion, taxes. As it is, Reid is reworking the Senate bill on the fly. One day it is a new version of a PO trigger, the next a hike in payroll taxes. Reconciliation? “That ship has sailed.”

5) Time does not help.  Once the Congress goes homes, members could be inundated with complains and protests, just like in August. Also, the rising unemployment rate continues to sap public confidence in the Obama agenda and Washington, in general.


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Nice, I found that to be a spot on assessment of where this is at right now.Please people do not let this Commy junk pass, Call your Senators and tell them a vote for this means NO vote for them. Do not let this outragous excuse for reform pass.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

This so-called reform is an obscene intrusion of the federal gov’t into personal affairs.The USA has the best health care system in the world, but it won’t if Obamacare passes.

Posted by LoachDriver | Report as abusive

Don’t forget about Tom Coburn threatening to have the entire 2000 page bill read on the floor of the Senate.

Posted by Brad Templeman | Report as abusive

I am praying that this thing doesn’t make it out of the Senate. I am just finishing Nursing School and shutter to think what will happen to the medical field if it passes.The majority of the Doctors that I have spoken with concerning this thing is that they think that it will in fact kill their livelihood and force many Doctors around the US to close their doors, especially if they are in a private practice, which the majority are.Call up your Senator folks and tell them to send a message back to the Dems and the Administration, this is not what the majority of the US population want.

Posted by minimumwage | Report as abusive

Don’t count out reconcilliation yet. If Obama tells Dingy to pass it with 51, he will attach it to the omnibus appropriations bill, and pass it with 50+ Biden if he has to. And he will do it in the dead of night when no one is paying attention. Socialization of Medicine is the keystone of Socialism, and they are not going to let a once in a lifetime opportunity like this pass up. They will gladly sacrifice 10 Senate seats to pass this since they will gain back 20 in later years once the country has been socialized. If they have to use the so-called “nuclear option” that the GOP tried to do 6 years ago on judges, and permanently abolish the fillibuster, they will do it. This bill is so important to the future of the Democratic Party, that they will make any sacrifice necessary to pass it.

Posted by Andrew P | Report as abusive

God Bless Senator Coburn! He is now threatening to have the entire bill read on the Senate floor every time a new amendment is brought up. We should urge all the other Republican senators to support him in this effort. I expect the Republicans to use all the parliamentary tools available to try to defeat this bill or delay it indefinitely.

Posted by Sheri | Report as abusive

I agree with Andrew P. Obama/Reid/Pelosi will sacrifice as many seats as necessary to get this passed. 10 Senate seats and 30+ House seats is a small price to pay for a permanent Democratic majority 10 years from now in the USSA, regardless of what happens in 2010.

Posted by higgins1990 | Report as abusive

Regarding the definition of Single Payer in the Reuters article “Factbox: a Glossary of Terms”:Both liberals and conservatives have confused the public, probably intentionally, by treating single payer as one and the same as government run health care. This is one of the great political heresies. Single payer is a method of having one entity or company collect premiums and pay health care bills rather than a bunch of companies doing the same thing. Who manages the single payer system is a separate matter. It could be the government or it could be an independent entity or it could be some other mechanism. Government running it is a bad choice because, among other concerns, Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, will take the money collected from the payers and spend it on something other than health care, leaving a stack of IOUs to be repaid by the taxpayer, just as it did with Social Security. The choice of a managing entity is not a liberal or conservative issue.It is a hard-nosed, business decision. It is fiscally irresponsible and not good business to have eight large insurance companies and hundreds of consultants and millionaire bean counters charging and collecting premiums, keeping as much as they can, and paying the bills with what they don’t want to keep. They are the elephant in the room. They don’t make automobiles, boats, appliances or any other product that produces profits. They only make money off of money. Our money. That is like an arbitrage business. The only way to ever seriously reduce costs and introduce market based competition is to have these companies and any other qualified business that want to do so, bid on a contract for one company to collect premiums and pay the bills for a fixed management fee, with no authority to deny payments or coverage, no right to invest or control the money. Health care is big business. Big business does not let a bunch of outside companies manage and invest their money and let each of these outside companies decide on their own how much of the money they are going to keep and how much they will charge the businesses for the service. They have to compete to get the right to handle the payment of bills. Once you get the insurance companies out of the heath care business and employers out of the business, you get real competition because patients can switch from doctor to doctor and hospital to hospital at the drop of a hat. The entity managing the single payer system, such as an independent commission made up of “roll up their sleeve” doctors, nurses, financial analysts, auditors and other professionals, can hire employees to negotiate costs of health care providers, vendors and suppliers, making them compete for business based on market forces for the first time, just like Walmart and other large companies do. And just as large companies spread their costs of doing business — advertising costs, operational costs, purchasing costs — over a nationwide network, The costs of health care can be spread over a nationwide network of premium payers.”Single payer” is a word that is too demonized to use to describe this. It should be called a smart health care business plan. Liberals probably won’t support it because they are enamored with government running things come hell or high water. Conservatives probably won’t support it because they aren’t really conservatives anymore. Congress wants to keep all the insurance companies in the business because they get tons of campaign financing from them and get a high end cadillac health care plans from them paid for by taxpayers, whom Congress can’t afford to let have the same kind of plans.

Posted by john scope | Report as abusive

[…] planning to bring ObamaCare to the floor next week, where do things stand? It depends who you ask. James Pethokoukis writes: Just talked to a very insightful Capitol Hill Watcher who doesn’t think Harry Reid has […]

Posted by The Greenroom » Forum Archive » ObamaCare: Friday nuggets and tidbits | Report as abusive

Tom Coburn has threatened to have the entire 2000 page bill read on the floor of the Senate. Not a bad idea.I doubt that most senators have reviewed the bill in its entirety. I’m certain that most representatives haven’t.Our elected officials employ staffs to read this type of material The staff summarizes it’s important points and areas of concern to the official’s constituency, etc.

Posted by waltonr | Report as abusive

[…] planning to bring ObamaCare to the floor next week, where do things stand? It depends who you ask. James Pethokoukis writes: Just talked to a very insightful Capitol Hill Watcher who doesn’t think Harry Reid has […]

Posted by Patterico's Pontifications » ObamaCare: Friday nuggets and tidbits | Report as abusive

[…] Just talked to a very insightful Capitol Hill Watcher who doesn’t think Harry Reid has the vot…. You can count out Lieberman, Landrieu, Nelson and maybe even Bayh. […]

Posted by Political Risk: Is ObamaCare in trouble in the Senate? | The Kansas Progress | Report as abusive

We don’t have a Health Care crisis in this country; we have a Health Cost crisis. We spend three times per capita what Europe spends and the future unfunded liabilities for Medicare alone are $100T (that’s trillion). I will support any proposal (including Single Payer) that cuts out spending by 2/3. Problem is, it’s not possible. NO way pols will EVER cut spending by such amounts because the voters would hunt them down with pitchforks. That’s why I reject Obamacare; it will NOT bend the cost curve. It’s the mother of all entitlement programs and will EXPLODE the national debt in 5-10 years. Incremental Health Cost reform, yes! Obamacare, No!

Posted by JohnR | Report as abusive

The comparison of American Healthcare quality and available services to Euro, Canadian, etc national healthcare or even privately funded HC always, as the comments here attest, skip the crucial fact:There is very little Specialized Care outside of the US available, nor is there the research for Specialized Care and Medicins ongoing because there is NO ONE to pay for them.Nationalized healthcare does not have the funds for unique and specialized care practices. They barely, if at all, provide people with General Practicioner Care.The survival rate for Cancer, once diagnosed in the US, is nearly 40% higher than Europe and Canada. Most people who can afford to come to the US to get Proton / Cancer treatment because it is not available in Euro/Can and around the world.Same/similar story for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).CVD and Cancer are the two leading causes of death in the US and are the result of our lifestyles, not available care.You have to imagine the impact of Obamacare on the loss of Specialized care in the US.And then realize that we are going to see a decline in the ranks of our Doctors who, for the most part, oppose this nationalization of our health… and our liberty.Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or retiring early if it were adopted, a new IBD/TIPP Poll has found.The poll contradicts the claims of not only the White House, but also doctors’ own lobby — the powerful American Medical Association — both of which suggest the medical profession is behind the proposed overhaul.———-More than seven in 10 doctors, or 71% — the most lopsided response in the poll — answered “no” when asked if they believed “the government can cover 47 million more people and that it will cost less money and the quality of care will be better.”———-Recent population growth has been 1% a year. Patients, in short, are already being added faster than physicians, creating a medical bottleneck.The great concern is that, with increased mandates, lower pay and less freedom to practice, doctors could abandon medicine in droves, as the IBD/TIPP Poll suggests. Under the proposed medical overhaul, an additional 47 million people would have to be cared for — an 18% increase in patient loads, without an equivalent increase in doctors. The actual effect could be somewhat less because a significant share of the uninsured already get care.Even so, the government vows to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from health care spending to pay for reform, which would encourage a flight from the profession.The U.S. today has just 2.4 physicians per 1,000 population — below the median of 3.1 for members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the official club of wealthy nations.

Posted by GlennO | Report as abusive

Most politicians never read a bill, they have an aide read it and give them a summary. How do you summarize a bill like this that is 1990 pages long? You can’t. This is why we need to encourage our politicians to read everything that they sign into law. This is the job we elected them to do. They need to remember they serve the people, not the other way around. Our country was founded to alleviate excessive government control, yet 233 years later we have the same thing with the Patriot Act that trampled all over The Constitution and now we are passing socialized medicine. “Socialized” medicine, meaning government controlled. Didn’t we go to war and lose a lot of good Americns fighting socialism, yet now we embrace it? Since the Patriot Act took away freedom of speech, I think I’ll stop here before I get labeled a “domestic terrorist” when just a few years ago I would have been considered a patriot.There is a grassroots non-partisan movement in California encouraging politicians to actually read the bills before signing them, in other words, do their job. If you agree with this and would like more information, visit their website.

Posted by JIm Gitlin | Report as abusive

The ObamaCare proposal in its current form should be DOA. With America’s talent, intelligence, research and development of medicines, Healthcare should be a growth industry. This legislation curtails it. The competitive free market will advance medical discoveries far better than government can even imagine.

Posted by Keith Mazikowski | Report as abusive

The individual mandate on insurqnce is obviously Unconstitutional at the Federal level, yet they seem to hve no fallback position,

Posted by John D. Froelich | Report as abusive

The naked item that they want = Healthcare providers (Doctors, nurses, hospitals, etc) working for them, at the price they want to pay them, for the services they want from them – It’s a beautiful thing to get what you want from someone else, b/c you can make them toe your line – Yea – That approach will bend the cost curve in time, but yuk – Next it will be the bankers/accountants working for them – Last, though, if ever, will be the lawyers working for them

Posted by David Weidner | Report as abusive

What is Medicaid for? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have health insurance. According to the New England Journal of Medicine Americans pay $752.00 more per year than Canadians. I’d rather have our health care. 12 million people in this country don’t have insurance. Of course, we do have 20 million plus Mexican citizens residing here who have free health care in their own country. Why can’t they go to a health care clinic for non emergencies and pay a nominal fee. ($15.00) Why can’t we cover the 12 million or so with catastrophic insurance? Don’t think you can escape. You can’t. In this bill is a plan to charge American citizens living abroad for this. If they don’t pay it, there will be an excise fee attached to their income tax. There is so much wrong with this bill. Insurance companies can’t be sued for refusing treatment. That’s in the bill. Imagine that! Somehow this is about putting money in someone’s pockets. If this passes we’ll all be saving our money to fly to India for surgery. That’s where our doctors will go unless of course our Nazi govt. makes it a federal crime for them to leave. Nothing would surprise me.

Posted by Karen | Report as abusive

[…] James Pethokoukis » Blog Archive » Is ObamaCare in trouble in the … […]

Posted by New Update Nov 1st **James Dean Xbox 360 3 Red Light Fix. | Distraught Society | Report as abusive

[…] Reuters James Pethokoukis is reporting that Senators Liberman, Landrieu and Nelson are at NO, and Bayh maybe too. Pethokoukis is reporting the same thing Hammond said in his memo (below) that reconciliation is a no-go. […]

Posted by The HSA Coalition » Carville: Only 57 Votes in the U.S. Senate for ObamaCare | Report as abusive

[…] Reuters James Pethokoukis is reporting that Senators Liberman, Landrieu and Nelson are at NO, and Bayh maybe too. Pethokoukis is reporting the same thing Hammond said in his memo, that reconciliation is a no-go. […]

Posted by Carville: Only 57 Votes for ObamaCare in the Senate – Dan_Perrin’s blog – RedState | Report as abusive

[…] Reuters James Pethokoukis is reporting that Senators Liberman, Landrieu and Nelson are at NO, and Bayh maybe too. Pethokoukis is reporting the same thing Hammond said in his memo, that reconciliation is a no-go. (Politico is reporting, correctly, that reconciliation rules would strip the Stupak amendment.) […]

Posted by Carville: Only 57 Votes for ObamaCare in the Senate « Yuvablog | Report as abusive

Someway and somehow we must not let this bill or any of the future bills Obama wants to pass. If this passes he will have all the power he needs to take over total control of the U.S.A. That is what he wants and will stop at nothing to get his way. If this passes you can kiss any future we all may have had before away!We are a laughing stock to the world right now because we elected this man for president.He is hiring prisoners for his Ameri Corps so he will have the army he thinks he needs to protect him and control us. Remember how East Germany was before the wall came down? Well, that is how we will be if he is not stopped.Wake UP People! PLEASE?

Posted by Angel Scholder | Report as abusive

My grown kids think that socialism/communism would be okay. What did I do wrong in raising them? I wonder when they start paying more taxes if it will make any difference to them?They do not seem concerned about the U.S. deficit, they are too wrapped up in their own little worlds and watch the propoganda(?) machines every night.

Posted by Angel Scholder | Report as abusive