Republican sees Democrats passing healthcare overhaul

November 13, 2009

Sarah Palin says on her Facebook page that the healthcare overhaul passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week should be “Dead on Arrival” in the U.S. Senate. 

The House-passed bill, which includes a new government health insurance plan, may not be what the mooseSenate passes. But the far-reaching healthcare reform backed by President Barack Obama is far from dead. At least one influential Republican senator believes Congress will enact sweeping legislation.

“I think a bill is going to pass,” said New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg. In an interview with C-Span’s “Newsmakers” that will air on Sunday, Gregg said Obama has invested too much political capital in his top domestic priority to allow it to fail. Gregg once considered joining the Obama administration, but now has become a major critic of Obama’s proposed healthcare reform and its impact on the country’s mounting debt.

“We’re on an unsustainable path, it is that simple,” Gregg said.

Gregg said he does not see Democrats scaling back the legislation in the face of eye-popping, record deficits.  On the contrary, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struggling to muster the 60 votes needed to pass the bill in the 100-member Senate, Gregg sees “more baggage” being added to it in an effort to win votes.

The bill that initially passes the Senate is not likely to include a new government-run health insurance program, Gregg said. But he said the legislation will likely “move to the left” once Senate and the House negotiators meet to work out their differences and develop a single bill. He said he expects the final bill to include some version of a new public insurance option.

For more Reuters political news, click here

Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Senator Judd Gregg in his office)

18 comments

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Amazing…people that fall for the—we will tax the rich and not the commpn folk..Let me see–I own a Biz..I get taxes up yang..Ummm—-ok—-let someone go..raise price of product or service…not selling…lower price–layoff more…there we go..Ummm whom just got nailed…DAH

Posted by rgw | Report as abusive

Try to tax me and i will retaliate. We are a family of four and work hard to earn what we do. If new tax goes through here is what we are planning: Close two of the 5 fast food outlets, which will decrease stress and risk. This will lower our income but we won’t pay higher taxes. It will leave about 12 people unemployed, blame that on liberals. I could sell the business but I am better of closing and taking a loss for next 5 years. Go figure you liberal nuts. If you going to penalize people who work hard then it screws up things.

Posted by Tim | Report as abusive

I hope Senator Gregg is right and legislation on health care does psss and it actually inludes a government run health care option. If we were to count on the insurance industry to do the right thing, then people have to be dreaming. It is the insurance industry that got us into this mess. Cherry picking the healthy and leaving all others to fend for themselves.I believe we should have all physicians paid a salary which eliminates the greed and all medication would be severely regulated and insurance companies purely run as a not for profit organization. Totally eliminate the incentive to be greedy.

Posted by D. Moore | Report as abusive

Physicians on Salary? Well the question is how much salary are you going to pay?One must realize that medical profession is tough. Imagine how tough is to even get to a medical school, amount of money and commitment required to go through the medical school and pass the exams. Add the residency requirement where you have to work on basically minimum pay for few years. In residency you typically work 60 to 80 hr per week.So what is the point of going through all that if some bureaucrat is going to decide your salary? You are better of joining some party school and do one of those semester abroad in Europe and let some one else become a doctor and you instead enjoy the government services. Point is that no body is going to do it then. That is the reason Soviet Union Collapsed.Maybe instead of pharmaceutical companies paying millions to researchers we should hire researchers on salaries. This does not work and I don’t know why liberals don’t get this. Imagine if all of us were liberals. Wonder how many of us would be Doctors or Engineers.

Posted by Roy | Report as abusive

Forget it people: there will be no meaningful healthcare reform no matter which party is in power. The doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, and the insurance business all make campaign contributions to members of both parties. The politicians are NOT going to hurt the people who put them in office. This whole healthcare debate is alot of nonsense and is designed to pacify all us discontents… for a little while anyway. You and I will be the biggest losers and the biggest winners will be those who have always won. Don’t like it? Then it’s time to organize and overthrow the government. Don’t want that either? Then stop complaining, because that’s what it’s going to take. We are too far gone for any hope of peaceful change.

Posted by Mufaso | Report as abusive

D>More sounds like a real commo wanting all doctors run by the gov. and paid a mittence of what they are worth,How many does he think will stay in the US. If the insurers are to blame then regulate the insurers. DONT change the whole system for that is what costs the most to do. Ask any manager who has had to rename a company ? Letterheads and websites alone are enormously costly.I think the healthcare system needs fixing BUT NOT redo the whole thing.It is only a wish of an idealog and an ego hunting person who wants to be remembered for what he did in history.

Posted by captain grumpy | Report as abusive

It’s been common knowledge for some time now that if action isn’t taken on health care, its cost will continue to go out of control, which will lead health care costs to become our government’s biggest expense. This is why I find Judd Greg’s comments to be perplexing. While he may think there are different ways to go about health care reform, to say that we’re on an “unsustainable path” by passing the democrats’ health bill is just plain wrong. Yes, it does mean lots more deficit spending right now. But here is what most people, especially republicans, don’t understand. While there may be great upfront costs and more deficit spending, in the long term it will save us more money. People need to stop looking at the upfront cost and realize that this bill is meant to save us in the future. All of you complainers: Where were you when Bush was doing all the deficit spending? Why weren’t you vocal and upset then? And to top it off, Bush was doing all this deficit spending while cutting taxes disproportionately for the wealthy, leaving future generations to pay back the money borrowed from China that was spent on Iraq/Afghanistan. Now we have Obama trying to spend money on us Americans to help stave off out of control health care costs in the future, and yet republicans have the gall to complain about too much spending? For a real eye opener, watch the March 24th “Ten Trillion and Counting” edition of Frontline to help put things in perspective.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

I am a local expert in my field of expertise and I work very hard for the small sum of money I make. I’m happy to pay higher taxes to help my fellow Americans get better health care. I’m happy to pay toward my share of the American national debt. I would rather see Americans pay their own way than to be borrowing more money from Communist China. I would rather own our own destiny than to sell it to the Chinese. We could start by pursuing less-toxic energy solutions. What can toxic energy be doing to our national health? Big Oil has supressed energy progress in favor of profitable oil trade agreements with terrorist nations. What are we doing about nutrition? Some would say that every American has the God-given right to eat themselves to death and that other Americans have the right to profit on our national gluttony. Capitalism is a useful tool until Greed drives necessities. Like National Defense and Infrastructure, Health Care is something We The People all require. Let’s all agree to help each other get it.

Posted by MCS | Report as abusive

D. Moore,I must say that I disagree with you totally. The insurance industry did not get us into this mess. Elected officials for decades have been legislating the insurance companies playing field at the state and federal level in favor of corporations. Corrupt politicians put us in this mess and we should draw the line with them now and NOT give them control over our healthcare decisions. It is insanely illegal anyways. I would advise you to study this a bit more and get to know the constitution.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

MCS, you sound like a true collectivist. Why do you hate yourself so much? You admit that you work hard for very little money. Why? You are willing to pay for someone else’s healthcare. Why? Are others willing to pay for yours? Or are you the self-sacrificing type? Good god, you are even willing to pay for a debt that you personally had nothing to do with! Please get some counseling. Learn some self-respect. Read Ayn Rand’s The Virtue of Selfishness.

Posted by Mufaso | Report as abusive

Tim, this is for all those that want to know the truth.I am a citizen of Arkansas visiting Russia to find out how they have private health care at 10% our cost so here it is. MRI $150 (Brand new U.S. made GE machine!)ECG, $7.50Chest X Ray $10Blood test for cholesterol/diabetes/ liver function/ kidney function ECT $15.The research institute we are going to is private and not part of the government in any way.The people here who want to go to private or government med school go all the way including a PhD in their speciality for no charge as long as they keep a solid 3.5 grade point or higher.They can then go for internship in a private or government hospital as required and be paid a salary by the Russian government then go to private practice. Charges are controlled and Gouging is not allowed. Gouging for drugs is also monitored. Very few people here have or need health insurance and there is no delay for care.You can have bypass surgery for less than $10,000 including airfare and hotel for after surgery followup check. Stateside my neighbor is now paying over $200,000 for the bypass he had done in Washington state.My wife had some dental work done and the price was less than 10% what it would have cost in the states. This was done in a private dental office.My conclusion is we are being misslead on many things about this health insurance bailout.This has been an interesting and informative trip. Most of Europe has this same setup and it seems to work.I got tired of hearing all the bad things about the health care in other countries and decided to see for myself. What an eye opener.There are more countries than Russia that have health care and pharmaceuticals just as good or better than the U.S.at a much lower cost.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

I agree with MCS,We go to war under the justification of “freedom” and think nothing of the cost in blood and money.But when it comes to making sure we ALL have access to health care all of a sudden no body wants to contribute.If this is how e value our own lives then we deserve to suffer and have no right to complain. And we certainly don’t deserve to be world leaders.

This whole debate is just utterly confusing from the point of view of someone from outside America.The current system in the USA is plain ridiculous, the most unusual way of providing healthcare I’ve ever come across around the world – lumbering and inefficient, and blantantly corrupt.Here in New Zealand, if I need almost any kind of medical care it will be provided free. If I want to get a slightly more comprehensive coverage through private providers, I may do that as well (and I have), but this is really only paying for convenience. The point is that I will always be covered, at no direct expense, whenever I need it, by a taxpayer funded system. The UK, France, Australia all have similar systems, all funded by the Government – and they all work perfectly, suprising as it may seem to critics of US healthcare reforms.Why would America not want the same coverage? Personally I cannot see why, and some of the arguements against change seem a little flawed:Sarah Palin’s death-pannel claim. Not at all how things work. Everyone is covered, its as simple as that. The sad irony in this point is that this is in fact the current status quo in the US – the big insurance giants regularly decide to reject medical insurance claims on the smallest of technicalities.Taxes. A lot of arguements seem worried that the ordinary taxpayer is going to be hit with the burden of any change. This may well be true, but the end result must surely be a better option than the current situation. As an example, a contrast between NZ and the US again. Over here, we have free healthcare. The top tax bracket is 38%, which is very reasonable. We also get free schooling and hugely subsidised Universities – but thats another discussion. The US top tax rate seems to be 35%. Slightly lower, but then given the average cost of insuring a family in 2008 was over US$12,000 I think I’d rather go for the 38% tax.Which leads to the next point – public healthcare means that everyone is paying for everyone else’s medical care. Republicans seem to be using this as a negative, but that just doesn’t make any sense. How is that a ba thing? Sure, it means that you’re helpig pay for other people, but when you need it yourself – and you will need healthcare, that is an inescapable fact – it also means that everyone else is paying for you. It means everyone is covered, all the time, regardless of how much money they have. Being anti-universal healthcare makes the republicans seem simpleton and cruel; no, thats just not strong enough. Try utterly devoid of compassion, cold and inhumane.I realise this has been a bit of a rant, but thats what looking at the American situation does to people, when viewed from the point of view of an outsider – confounds to the extent of being somewhat lost for words. I realise right-wing American people may often imagine the rest of the world as being backward to the point of being unable to function, and generally in awe to the great US of A, but look outside your boarders for once. Do some reaseach. Travel. Go home and look again. America needs change.

Posted by NZ Kiwi | Report as abusive

Don’t people realize that it is the government regulations that make health care so expensive in the first place? When a pharmaceutical company has to pay millions of dollars to get their new product through FDA approval of course they are going to charge $100 per pill to try to just break even, much less make a profit. Since the only reason for anyone to do the research in the first place is that they want to make money on it they can’t be expected to charge less than it costs them to get the product to the market. (I know I wouldn’t volunteer to work at my job without receiving a paycheck.) The government makes it so expensive to make medical products available only the big companies can do so. So how, exactly, will having more government regulations in the industry make it cheaper for anyone?

Posted by James | Report as abusive

ANYONE who is NOT an AMERICAN citizen—BUTT OUT! You seem to need your government to tell you how to think-we do NOT. We think for ourselves and want it that way. Its our life, our taxes, our future and its NONE of your concern. We don’t care what you think, nor do we feel obligated to explain ourselves to you.You have no power in your own land, so you rant on and on about how flawed we are -mind your own business it is none of YOUR concern. WE KNOW our country and WE KNOW what we want as a nation. Oh yea..take Obummer with you-he is the only thing flawed in the UNITED STATES.

Posted by blogLogic | Report as abusive

If it was not for the tax payers and people who deposit their money in banks you will not have a business.. Since most of your loans and financing are supported by other hard working people like you.. Just think of a family of 4 all working and paying taxes.. With decent salaries they pay their share of taxes too…

NZ Kiwi, that is the best post on the condition of healthcare in this country I’ve ever read. I’m considering emigrating to your country, where the people and government have some sense. To hell with the Democrats and Republicans!

Posted by Mufaso | Report as abusive

wht part of texas is new zealand in anyway

Posted by JOHN BOY | Report as abusive