Healthcare and the holidays

December 24, 2009

It’s Christmas Eve and there is a lot more stirring than just a mouse.  In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Senate just voted to approve a wide-ranging healthcare overhaul bill with Democrats and Republicans divided as they have ever been.

All 60 DemocrUSA/ats voted for the legislation while 39 Republicans opposed it (Republican Senator Jim Bunning was absent), ending a month-long marathon debate in the Senate with the first Christmas Eve vote in more than a century (1895).

In what some could interpret as a sign of just how important this legislation is to President Barack Obama’s agenda, his vice president, Joe Biden, presided over the session serving in his dual role of president of the Senate.

Now lawmakers will have the task early next year of trying to meld the two different versions of  healthcare legislation that passed the Senate and House of Representatives, with Republicans vowing a tough fight.

“This fight is long from over. My colleagues and I will work to stop this bill from becoming law,” said Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

With the Senate vote done, that cleared the way for senators to head home finally and Obama to head off to the sunny skies and warm sand in Hawaii where he will spend the holidays with his family. Luckily he has Air Force One to get him there as a major winter storm is moving through the Midwest which could snarl plans for many trying to make it home for the holidays.

Already a few flights out of one major hub for Northwest Airlines, Minneapolis-St. Paul, has been canceled this morning and that is expected to um, well, snowball down to Chicago and elsewhere.

For more Reuters political news click here.

– Photo credit: Reuters/Hugh Gentry (spectators gather for a surfing competition in Hawaii)


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This is junk legislation at its worst.

The biggest melodrama now facing the mainstream parties is what pattern of paper they should choose for wrapping this gift to the Zombie Insurance Co.

Posted by HBC | Report as abusive

It is so easy for the people to be against President Obama’s health care yet offer no plan other than to continue with the same abuses we have endured from the Health Care cartel. Big money didn’t win this one even though they pumped millions of dollars to Republican politicians to derail this much needed reform. Do the Republican politicians still get the money even though they lost this one? Maybe this is what they are so upset with. If they ever had to deal with a family member who was denied insurance or they were dropped because they were sick I wonder if they would still be so oppositional? So many people have been blinded by health insurance big business and the right wing Rush Limbaugh crowd they have lost focus on what this country stands for.
Way to go President Obama, the people win one for a change.

Posted by randybarlow | Report as abusive

It is a shame that the party of NO could not come up with one useful idea during this legislation. I am also disappointed in the Democrats for allowing what could have been the biggest overhaul to the health system in my lifetime to become derailed. It has been gutted of most the the needed ideas.

Shame on both parties. America Deserved Health Care Reform but had to settle for less due to the efforts of the Insurance and Health Care Lobby which organized and ran the Tea Parties, and the Party of NO who did nothing to repair our broken health system while they were in control of the Government and still get in the way of true reform.

Shame also on the people who bought into these staged Tea Parties. People, Grass Root efforts begin at the bottom and work their way up, not the other way around as actually happend.

I hope their paychecks from the Big Insurance Companies was worth selling out the American People on this issue.

Posted by Robert76 | Report as abusive

Hopefully, the health care fiasco can still be derailed. America does not deserve any of the plans, past or present, actually becoming law.

Posted by TyC | Report as abusive

To paraphrase the president, Congress “Acted Stupidly” in passing a 2,700 page health care bill that does very little to address major issues like portability, rising costs, and will ultimately lead to much higher taxes. The “New Era of Transparency” promised now ranks up there with “we will close Guantanamo within the year”, and “unemployment will not go above 8%”. I also thought the special interest groups would no longer have a “place” in governing (special interests I guess do not include a plethora of various unions, trial lawyers, the cosmetic surgery industry, pharma, the states of Louisiana and Nebraska, and on and on…). So many pages… many broken promises……

Posted by enoughalready | Report as abusive

Jeremy Pelofsky reported (on or about 1/5/10) an otherwise good story about the Yemeni detainee who lost his appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals.

But Mr. Pelofsky made the curious statement: “The decision is one of a handful of cases to reach the appeals court. Dozens of detainees have sought release from the Guantanamo prison under the so-called habeas corpus doctrine.”

Jeremy, “so-called”? Where did you get that? Is this an editorial? The right of habeas corpus is embedded (that’s a term the press knows) in the First Article of the U.S. Constitution, Section 9, Clause 2. Your preface cheapens that right, it’s like saying our so-called constitution, or the so-called journalist Jeremy Pelofsky. This may be your editors fault, and if, so accept my apology and please pass along my complaint to them. Thanks

Posted by presswatch | Report as abusive