6 reasons healthcare reform might fail in the Senate

November 17, 2009

“We no longer expect Congress to pass impactful health reform legislation this year, or even in this political cycle.” That is the opinion of Sector & Sovereign analyst Richard Evans:

1. Voter attitudes are shifting away from both Democrats and health-reform; placing the considerable number of Dems from conservative states and districts in increasingly untenable positions.

2. Substantial time should pass before a vote on final legislation; the Senate is unlikely to vote on a bill by year end, and a final vote on a conference bill is virtually impossible before late January. If trends in voter opinion continue, this is almost certainly too late.

3. On top of this, efforts to keep abortion as a neutral issue have failed. 20 pro-life House Dems have put the issue ahead of health reform, refusing to support legislation that does not completely bar abortion coverage in plans that receive Federal funding.

4. Pro-choice House Dems outnumber their pro-life House Democratic peers nearly 8 to 1. As any final legislation will certainly be well to the right of the House bill, this means House progressives may be asked to support a final bill whose healthcare provisions they find lacking in appeal, and to surrender ground on choice in the process. We bet at least a few refuse.

5. Immigration is a less potent but still meaningful wild-card; 20 House votes rely on the Senate ultimately agreeing to loosen its language and let illegal immigrants purchase coverage on the exchanges with their own money, and to extend subsidies not only to citizens, but to anyone who is in the US legally. 15 Senate Democrats hail from states that Obama either lost, or carried with a 5 percent margin or less. These swing-votes hold inordinate power, and are much more conservative on immigration than their blue-state peers; we believe they may balk at these House provisions.

6. The House bill’s largest source of funding is an incremental tax on the wealthy, which the aforementioned 15 Democratic Senators from red- or swing-states cannot support. The Senate Bill’s largest source of funding is taxes on relatively more expensive ‘Cadillac’ health plans, which the union friendly House cannot support. In effect, each has settled on a plan that the other cannot pass.

Me: Never underestimate the power of numbers. And the Ds do have a big majority in the Senate. And what do they fear more, passing the bill or not passing it? Obama might still sign something, but it might not resemble comprehensive healthcare reform anymore. We await the CBO score ….

12 comments

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There will never be a meaningful health care reform until We are willing to all of the unnecessary players. We cannot support these players. We need to invent a Walmart model if we are to succeed. In my 50 years in healthcare the cost has gone from 5% of GDP to 17% with a progressive loss of quality care. I doubt that quality can be legislated.

Posted by William Durick, M.D. | Report as abusive

[...] 6 reasons healthcare reform might fail in the Senate [...]

Congress “will let immigrants purchase health care?”Will Congress PUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN JAIL..LIKE THEY WILL AMERICAN CITIZENS FOR NOT BUYING INTO THIS DEATH INSURANCE?Will Congress allow American citizens TO PAY FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WHO DO NOT BUY HEALTH CARE AND END UP IN AMERICAN EMERGENCY ROOMS WITH NO MEANS OF PAYING THEIR OWN BILLS?Will Congress allow American citizens to do the same?That MY questions!

Posted by rj | Report as abusive

E-VERIFY OVERTIME CAN REDUCE THE 20-30 MILLION ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN THE WORKPLACE BY “ATTRITION.” WE DON’T NEED DEPORTATION ON A MASSIVE SCALE AS THEY WILL LEAVE ON THERE OWN. POLITICIANS CAN ADD AMENDMENTS TO THE 1986 IMMIGRATION BILL, INSTEAD OF THE TRAVESTY OF FORCING A NEW ONE ON THE FINANCIALLY HURTING AMERICAN PEOPLE?Bloggers nationwide brought to the public attention the need to stop the infiltration of illegal immigrants in the workplace. Now the voice of –THE PEOPLE–are demanding sealing the borders tight and that every corrupt politician catering to corporate welfare–MUST GO, Starting with Sen.Harry Reid (D-NV) Special attention should be drawn to incorrigible governors, lawmakers, mayors judges and elected officials who have ordained policies of SANCTUARY STATES.Hopefully E-Verify will become a nationwide vetting system to remove illegal workers from your office or from your factory? It has shown its efficiency, because the open border organizations have moved heaven and earth to smash it? Now it is firmly entrenched in every American workers mind, that it can save their jobs. Even Sen.Harry Reid, who tried to table E-Verify failed miserably and now, is funded for another 3 years. This gives reputable politicians time to make E-Verification mandatory as it’s been evaluated as a good immigration enforcement instrument and it could be introduced for other purposes. As a national legal people’s identifier and combined with other data bases, it usages could be essential to recognize fraudulent drivers license, auto registration. Child support, health care and many other verifications of individual who think they are safe from government. But its main restrictions will to terminate foreign nationals appropriating US workers jobs.In the future this data base could be established at airport terminals for departures and arrivals. It will be an ongoing fight against the opponents such as US chamber of Commerce, ACLU, Council of Foreign Relations, business organizations, agriculture and other groups. It is certain to be a bargaining chip in shoving through another Comprehensive Immigration Reform package, that will devastate America. An overflow of poor, uneducated humanity, looking for free health care will start pouring into our nation. Around the world rumors are already flying that if you slip across the sieve of a border, you can get work as low income and get all your taxes back by lying on the tax form. Tax credits for non-existent supported children is an industry, that costs the US taxpayer billions a year. If Napolitano thinks that –ALL–Democrats will accept another trillion dollar budget deficit, cause by a new BLANKET AMNESTY.That bridge is still available in Brooklyn..? Very few Republicans will accept another AMNESTY? Not too much chance from Independents. Nor will legal immigrants or ethnic Americans who were born here, fought in four wars. Even people from South of the border are very reticent of allowing more people in, when there is 15 million unemployed. It means millions of low skilled workers would feel the crunch first, as already illegal immigrants who take their wages under the table, especially in Sanctuary States and undermine US labor?I know quite a few Democrats who signed onto the Obama Presidency that will fight against any travesty called Comprehensive Immigration Reform? The one in 1986 was a complete disaster and unable to handle the sudden in surge of millions of more destitute people, thinking they were going to collect welfare? Our country is overrun with every conceivable crime, that includes murder, child and female violation, document fraud, transporting of illegal aliens, welfare fraud, house invasion, burglary, robbery, spousal abuse, gangs and other heinous activities The biggest scourge is drunken driving, which is killing and maiming citizens and residents on the highways and streets in rampant numbers. Go to THE DARK SIDE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION site for statistics. The doors to America are wide open, but nobody in their right mind is going to accept the first surge of 2-3 million coming from the South when they hear Lady Napolitano proclaiming a new AMNESTY? Those who believe in America’s survival, without OVERPOPULATION as stated by the US Census bureau better read facts, not the lies at NUMBERSUSA. Those who want details of corruption in WASHINGTON and state government go to JUDICIAL WATCH. Overpopulation, traffic hell should go to CAPSWEB. Other sites of interest on Immigration enforcement is ALIPAC and AMERICAN PATROL. We the people have the ultimate power to throw out anti-sovereignty incumbent politicians. Call and command these do-nothings to–STOP–this facade at 202-224-3121.

Posted by Brittancus | Report as abusive

A huge reason that this bill will succeed is the recent development of the public option model. It’s clear that there’s one to base the national one on. It’s a relief that we have such a successful model! http://cli.gs/23yYaM/

Posted by Stephanie Hunter | Report as abusive

The one thing that “healthcare reform” certainly does NOT do is offer “choice”! Quite the contrary. This was made abundantly clear in an Op-Ed that appeared Friday, December 13, 2009 in The Wall Street Journal by Andrew Heinze, a registered Democrat from New York. Following are a few words from that article:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB 1000142405274870440240457452749316960311 8.html“I’m a registered Democrat living in New York City, and I buy my own health insurance. But now, having seen the health-care reform bill that passed the House, I’m preparing for life without health insurance. And unless I’m the only person covered under the Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield “Tradition Plus” plan, a lot of other people will end up just like me, uninsured.I will gain one thing, though—an annual fine for losing my insurance. The exact amount of that fine isn’t clear yet, but so far it looks like I’ll be paying about the same amount—$2,000 a year—for having no insurance as I do now for having it.”Mr. Heinze goes on to describe the fact that, today, his minimum cost for a comprehensive major medical plan is $13,000 per year. His cost on a plan that just covers hospital stays is $2,000 per year. Therefore, he chose the less expensive option. He correctly points out that the $11,000 difference would pay for A LOT of doctor visits should that become necessary. Today Mr. Heinze has a CHOICE between these two alternatives. Under the provisions of the healthcare bill passed in The House of Representatives on Saturday, November 7, that CHOICE will NO LONGER EXIST!!!The irony here is ultra liberal Democrats want to ensure “choice” for abortion in a bill that, in every other respect, takes away freedom of choice from individuals and transfers that choice to the federal government.Healthcare reform is something that needs to be done correctly. Another irony is the fact that President Obama wants us to rush into this very important decision while, at the same time, the General that The President personally chose to run the war in Afganistan has asked for more troops MONTHS AGO, but when it comes to that decision it’s quite a different story. No rush there according to Obama! The White House says they need to take the time to get it RIGHT! Go figure!!!Given the fact that a recent poll indicates the vast majority of Americans believe that JOBS should be the number 1 priorty for the administration in Washington while only 17% believe that to be the case on the subject of healthcare reform, it appears to me that President Obama has his priorities, shall we say, BASS ACKWARDS!!!For the record, I am also a REGISTERED DEMOCRAT!

Posted by BorisB | Report as abusive

I like Lieberman

Posted by Camron Barth | Report as abusive

I like Lieberman.

Posted by Camron Barth | Report as abusive

BrianB – For all your moaning about the loss of choice, millions of Americans DON’T HAVE A CHOICE PERIOD thanks to the immoral practices of insurance companies, and many that do stand to be left holding the bag when the company they trusted doesn’t feel like supporting them.And I don’t believe for a second you would fall anywhere on the ‘Left’ side of the political spectrum.

Posted by Tony18 | Report as abusive

God bless Lieberman and also any and all Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who will stand against this ridiculous mess of healthcare proposals, bills, amendments trying to balance one evil against another. Stop the “monster”; in exchange, begin to deal with problems in the system one by one. Americans will applaud heros; those who refuse to support bad legislation just because their party created the mess and dictates that members should support it. Real heros can yet emerge out of this chaos. The way forward is to restart with a step by step approach

What we really need is a single-payer health care system – excluding the corporate health insurers entirely is the only way out of this mess. We would need a bit more than $900 billion per year to fully fund a US clone of the German single-payer system – $900 billion per year in total, not $900 billion in addition to our current government spending on health care.In 2007, the combined Federal, State, and local government expenditure on health care was $1035.7 billion. So, we can fully nationalize health care with the US National Health Service, and cut government health care spending by about $100 billion per year at the same time. No additional taxes would be needed.Additionally, adopting a US version of Germany’s single-payer health care system will free up more than $1.2 trillion per year in private funds no longer needed to pay for – largely illusory – private health insurance. These funds would be better spend paying down the massive Republican-incurred national debt.Adopting a US version of the German single-payer system will also save the lives of nearly 12,000 infants per year – infants currently being sacrificed on the black altar of amoral corporate greed.The bottom line is that we are already paying for universal health care – with taxes, and with the blood of our children./Data from: the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary, National Health Statistics Group; U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis; the U.S. Bureau of the Census; the U.K. National Health Service; and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook.

Posted by Universal Solution | Report as abusive

“The irony here is ultra liberal Democrats want to ensure “choice” for abortion in a bill that, in every other respect, takes away freedom of choice from individuals and transfers that choice to the federal government.”Right on! Brilliant!The best thing that could happen with health care is to get the government the hell out of it and eliminate the regulations and incestuous relationships that make the health insurance industry so huge, expensive and overbearing.The individual, each one of us, needs to be the customer NOT a third party be it Big Insurance or Big Government.Competition and choice = lower prices and higher quality.

Posted by Terri K | Report as abusive

[...] James Pethokoukis » Blog Archive » 6 reasons healthcare reform … [...]

[...] James Pethokoukis » Blog Archive » 6 reasons healthcare reform … [...]

Defeat of the anti-heathcare people control bill is essential for the defeat of the collectivist liberals in 2010 who have killed the once great democratic party and now occupy it’s corpse like some demon Parasite in a B grade SI-FI movie. This an attempt to take over another one sixth of the American ecconomy. Make no mistake about it, this is a full blown coup in progress to distroy the American economy and force the transformation the United States into a Fabian Socialist/Communitarian Totalitarist State. The don’t give a damn about people, just power. As Cicero said “Power Corupts, Absolute Power Corupts” Absolutely… The sad thing is that they are not truly dedicated social revolutionary cadres, just corrupt evil people. Real revolitionaries don’t try to make themselves rich on the backs of the people as Al Gore is! They are behaving just like the Laissez-faire Capitalist they want to replace!

Posted by Padraigs Ghost | Report as abusive