Posts Tagged ‘democrats’

Glad to See The New Republic Agrees with My Take

February 26, 2010

Today, in two blog posts, TNR writer Jonathan Cohn writes essentially the same I did yesterday:

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The Truth on Reconciliation

February 26, 2010

In my previous post, I described how almost all of our health care legislation in the past 30 years has been through reconciliation.  I do not want to leave anyone with the impression that health care reform this year is being passed through that process.  Health Care Reform has passed the senate on Christmas Eve 2009 with 60 votes .  It got passed a filibuster and received a super majority.  What will be passed through the house and senate with simple majorities, will be fixes to the bill, such as removing a provision which says that only Nebraska will get extra funding to expand Medicaid or only Florida will be exempt from the repeal of Medicare Advantage.  What is not being passed through reconciliation with a simple majority is the entire health care bill.  It is only these small fixes that Republicans will not let through for an up or down vote.  So when you hear Republicans complain that Democrats are “jamming health care through with a bare majority” pay no attention to them.  They are flat out lying.  The Republicans required a 60 vote majority to pass HCR and the Democrats got the required votes.  Only these minor fixes are being passed through on a majority vote.

When did our democracy go so far off the rails?

January 27, 2010

Why I am still hopeful that House Democrats will do what I suggested last week and simply pass the Senate’s bill and fix it through reconciliation, Senate Democrats (at least some of them) are making it difficult to believe that reconciliation will be a viable option.  For those who do not know, reconciliation is a procedure by which the Senate can pass certain measure (that have an impact on the budget and revenues) by a simple majority, without the possibility of a filibuster.  You know, the way a democracy is supposed to work.

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Earth to House Democrats: Just Pass the Senate Health Care Bill

January 20, 2010

After last night’s debacle in Massachusetts, the House Democrats have only one thing to do: pass the health care bill the Senate passed last year. This will mean that the Senate does not have to vote again and Brown’s vote on the issue won’t matter. Is the Senate bill a great bill? No. But it is better than nothing. And more importantly, most of the bad parts of it can be amended later this year or next through reconciliation, which only requires 50 votes.

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Why Not Open Up Medicare to Everyone?

December 8, 2009

In the latest effort to get a “public option” in the health care reform bill, 10 senators are negotiating to open Medicare up to some people who are 55-64, but require them to “buy-in” to the system.  In this proposal, certain people from the ages of 55-64 would be able to purchase insurance through the Medicare system that currently insures our seniors.  (It is unclear if this program would be available to all people ages 55 to 64 or only those who cannot get insurance now).  This will give all of the benefits of Medicare to a larger pool of people without the government having to set-up a whole new “public” insurance program.  This will alleviate the federal government from having to set-up a new public insurance program because the infrastructure already exists.  And from all of the polling data, Medicare seems to be extremely popular with its beneficiaries.

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Alternate Universe

December 3, 2009

Over the past year, I have been following the health care debate closely. But only recently have I realized how ridiculous parts of the debate are. Well, that is not exactly true. It has just gotten more ridiculous since August.

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Another State on the Right Side of History: Maine Becomes the 2nd State to Enact Gay Marriage

May 6, 2009

Maine joins Vermont as the 2nd state to legislatively approve gay marrige.  Today, Democratic Gov. John Baldacci signed a bill legalizing gay marriage.  Next up, New Hampshire.