Saturday, December 19, 2009

Filibuster Proof Healthcare Bill: Limit Abortions Credits Small Business Multi-state Plan Tax Rich Medicaid Help

I Strongly recommend Bill Moyers conversation with Mike Taibbi of Rolling Stone and Robert Kuttner of American Prospect You can read the transcripts, a summary of what is discussed, and I especially recommend watching the 30 minute video. I favor Kuttner's view based on is judgement in the past. Mike Taibbi is much younger, but a superb reporter, but I trust Kuttner's judgement more on what to do. Vote for the bill no matter what.

Most Democrats are corporate democrats. Keep this in mind in Obama's assessment on what strategy to follow in getting a Healthcare bill passed. They decided to get the Healthcare and Financial Lobby on their side as much as possible. Rahm Emanuel stacked the House Finance Committee with 15 freshman conservatives to play favor to Wall Street and the Banks so the funding for the Democratic Party will remain intact and partially neutralize the opposition to regulations. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) who is chairman of the Finance Committee got a stronger bill than Barney Frank (D-MA), chairman of the House Finance Committee who is liberal, could muster.

Obama also made deals with Big Pharma before the legislation to give them a deal to prevent Medicare from going for the lowest price in Drugs. I am not sure how much of a discount the insurance companies get for their drugs to allow a somewhat lower payment of those insured.

There is a plus and a minus for mandatory enrollment, but due to provisions of subsidies for those, as I recall, up to $90,000 or so for each family, most will be able to pay for it. I am not sure whether this is still in the final bill in the Senate. This article came out about 39 minutes ago.

Remember that 80 percent of Americans did not want to go to War after Pearl Harbor. Unfortunately, most news is not designed to allow a clear understanding of the issue or issues. Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann, Dylan Ratigan, and Joe Scarborough explains what is happening more clearly. MSNBC has now overtaken CNN for 24 hours of news. Olbermann in a repeat now beats CNN's most favorite newscaster. Other shows I have seen The Ed Show 6 PM ET, 3 PM PT, and a number of others are better than CNN during the weekdays. I tape Meet the Press, 8 AM ET/PT (NBC) and Fareed Zakaria http://CNN/GPS at 1 PM ET Sunday and 10 AM PT.

One factor that really helped get this bill through Nelson is that he really likes President Obama a lot based on their friendship in the senate and his help in getting elected as senator in Nebraska. Reid also has fairly close ties because they are both conservative. Nelson met dozens of times with Reid and Obama.
Jim Kawakami, Dec 19, 2009,

President Obama Hails Senate Health Care Bill as Ben Nelson Jumps on Board

With New Compromise, Democrats May Pass Bill By Christmas Deadline

Excerpts: ... The changes that would impact the budget the most, according to the nonpartisan CBO, would be expanding eligibility for a small business tax credit -- there will be a $12 billion increase in such credits, beginning in 2010. Cost cuts will also come from increasing penalties on certain uninsured people, taking out provisions that would increase payment rates for physicians under Medicare and increasing the payroll tax by 0.9 percent on individuals that make more than $200,000 per year and couples who make more than $250,000.

Senate Democratic leaders also took out one of the most controversial aspects of the health care bill, the option of a government-run insurance plan and replaced it with a "multi-states" plan that would be managed by the Office of Personnel Management. ...

Democratic leaders also struck a compromise with Nelson to limit the availability of abortions in insurances sold in the exchange to be implemented in the new program. At the same time, he would also get millions in Medicaid funds for Nebraska, which boasts a heavy insurance and anti-abortion lobby.

"The bill also includes provisions Nelson won in negotiations shielding Nebraska from an unfunded mandate and new national protections barring public funding of abortion," said a statement issued by Nelson's office.

End for Senate Health Care Bill in Sight?

As for the issue of abortion, current law prohibits federal funding from going to abortion but Nelson and several Republicans wanted to take the language further. Nelson's office today said the new provisions would ensure that no public funds go toward abortion services, mandate that every state provide an insurance plan that does not cover abortion and gives each state the right to pass a law barring insurance coverage for abortion within state borders. ...

"I know this is hard for some of my colleagues to accept and I appreciate their right to disagree," Nelson told reporters today. "But I would not have voted for this bill without these provisions."

The move upset some anti-abortion lawmakers such as Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., who this week told ABC News he will not vote for the final health care bill if it did not include his abortion language that is in the House health care bill. He also said there was enough momentum on the Senate front with his views. [Stupak is a member of the conservative Family (See Jeff Sharlet in his book "The Family," but bill actually written by Pike (R-PA).] ...

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