It looks like, while there are still some details to work out, the House is going to pass a health care bill on Saturday night that has a public option with negotiated reimbursement rates. They aren’t going to have three weeks of debate. They aren’t going to let any Democrats stop the process and prevent a vote using procedural obstacles. The people gave the Democrats huge majorities, they endorsed Obama’s health care agenda, and the House is going to act accordingly.
Meanwhile, the Senate can’t get their shit together, even though the Democrats have a theoretically filibuster-proof 60 members in their caucus. It’s time for Rahm Emanuel to clunk some senatorial heads.
Meanwhile, this is funny:
Republicans are learning an unpleasant lesson this morning: The only thing worse than having no health-care reform plan is releasing a bad one, getting thrashed by CBO and making the House Democrats look good in comparison.
Late last night, the Congressional Budget Office released its initial analysis of the health-care reform plan that Republican Minority Leader John Boehner offered as a substitute to the Democratic legislation. CBO begins with the baseline estimate that 17 percent of legal, non-elderly residents won’t have health-care insurance in 2010. In 2019, after 10 years of the Republican plan, CBO estimates that …17 percent of legal, non-elderly residents won’t have health-care insurance. The Republican alternative will have helped 3 million people secure coverage, which is barely keeping up with population growth. Compare that to the Democratic bill, which covers 36 million more people and cuts the uninsured population to 4 percent.
But maybe, you say, the Republican bill does a really good job cutting costs. According to CBO, the GOP’s alternative will shave $68 billion off the deficit in the next 10 years. The Democrats, CBO says, will slice $104 billion off the deficit.
The Democratic bill, in other words, covers 12 times as many people and saves $36 billion more than the Republican plan.
I think the congressional Republicans would do better to honor their own teabagging rhetoric and tell the American people that it’s up to the states to come up with 50 different plans for insuring everyone and cutting costs. Their plan should be that the federal government doesn’t do health care, and they want to eliminate Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, and the veterans’ hospital system. They’ll take all the cost savings from that and give everyone a huge tax cut. People who don’t make enough to pay taxes can go pound sand. If they would just run on that, the teabaggers would stop harassing them.
But, of course, we all saw what the Republicans did when they ran Congress. They ran up the biggest deficits in history, and expanded Medicare. They gave all our money to the pharmaceutical industry and did nothing to regulate the insurance industry and protect the consumer. So, no wonder they have a teabagger problem. They’re rhetoric is empty. It’s also crazy. That’s why the people who want them to live up to their rhetoric come off as crazy. What a mess.