According to what I just saw on MSNBC on my local cable channel, out here in my nearly bankrupt coastal state, the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Max Baucus (D, Sort of, Montana) their version of the health insurance reform bill that they have been balking and dawdling over for months, just came back from being scored by the Congressional Budget Office, and the price tag is: (drumroll, please! )
829 billion dollars over a ten year period
The obscure Republican Talking Head they had on for this occasion immediately demanded we just throw the entire thing out, and start over again because this was an “830 billion dollar TAX INCREASE and the American people don’t want this plan.”
I thought, man, even I could do a better job of making the thing unpalatable as possible, why doesn’t he just say that Cal yee forn nee yah Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed the concept of health insurance reform yesterday in order to butter up Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine, another coastal state, with another “moderate” Republican, and then they could have all the True Republicans run screaming from the Capitol Building calling for an air strike.
Oh, wait, they can’t do that anymore.. Darn it.
That thing with the Republicans losing the last election has just been so… inconvenient sometimes it is resulting in a lot of frustration for them. No more running to the Dept of Homeland Security every time they get into a snit or an inconvenient or embarrassing political position and demanding somebody jack the threat level up to apoplectic purple.
So now, as the Senate grinds on, frantically searching for more reasons not to pass this kidney stone of a bill, and just calling for more morphine, we go to the set of dueling health insurance reform (cough…) bills, one from the Senate FC that lacks a Public Option and is coming in under the bidding estimate limit, which is loathed by everyone except Lord Nelson of Nebraska and Carpe Donation of Delaware, (who are these people, and what did they do to the Democrats in the Senate) and the other, from the House Tri Committee, which has the Public Option, and is obviously a socialist plot to convert people to being able to pay their medical bills if they survive their illnesses, which is merely loathed by the Teabaggers.
Note which side of the pond had the MSM story first:
Remember, Obama had called in his joint-session speech for a bill that was $900 billion or less. So it meets that and then some, and is a huge relief for Democrats on the deficit front.
The deficit-reduction aspect of this will be grounds for a coming intra-Democratic fight. Obama has only ever promised a revenue-neutral bill. House Democrats and more liberal senators will therefore push for a bill that raises subsidies and doesn’t worry about deficit reduction. Baucus and his cohort will fight for this current version.
And then of course there’s the public option question, which is still open. If included, it will presumably require re-scoring, but that shouldn’t have a dramatic effect on CBO numbers.
I want a CBO score on putting 40,000 more troops into Afghanistan.