(6 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The latest whip count from the house from David Dayen at FDL reports New Health Care Whip Count: Still 191 Yes, 206 No (205-209 with leaners). Since Dennis Kucinich has now switched his vote to “yes”, Nancy Pelosi still finds that they are short voted to pass this travesty.
I think they are withholding the CBO score because without the Public Option, cutting back on the excise tax (Cadillac tax, yes they did that by giving Unions a reprieve, and not raising taxes on the wealthy, the House bill is more costly than even the Senate version. In order for it to pass via reconciliation the bill must be cost effective and in the case of this particular bell must cost less than the one the Senate has already passed. Ergo, hold back the CBO report until they can hammer out details that add to the cost to tax payers. Confused? That’s what they want.
This how the White House intends to “fix” the cost of this bill on the backs of the middle class
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka is headed into a meeting with President Obama this afternoon after the White House and Congressional leaders have begun to discuss a higher-than-expected excise tax on some health care plans, in order to maintain their claim that health care legislation will reduce the deficit, a source involved in health care talks said.
I have no hope that this bill will get “fixed” so that it will actually be Health Care Reform. Right now it is a “Health Insurance Give Away” with little regulation, no reform, more taxes on the middle class and the attack on a woman’s freedom of choice.
Kill it and bury it
They already stole at least $10 billion in the student loan reform bill from community colleges to pay for this PhRMA bailout. Jon Walker notes that adding a public option would save at least $25 billion in the bill. The House paid for its bill by taxing the richest Americans.
And yet, faced will trying to contain the costs of this bill, Democrats’ first instinct is to raise taxes on the middle class even further. Brilliant!
Never mind taking the profit motive out of health care or raising taxes on the wealthy, just kill the middle class with more taxes.
Kill this bill not the middle class
Frankly, this is what unions get for accepting the excise tax in the first place. They agreed to the health care tax – a Reagan idea – and so of course they should expect it to be raised. I just don’t think they thought it’d be raised before they even pass the bill.
Update 2 by ek hornbeck
dday’s whip count moved from above the fold.
House Democratic leaders are obviously pleased by Dennis Kucinich’s vote switch and some other recent developments. But I continue to stress that the move of one member of Congress will not lock in the bill. In fact, there have been other developments today which should discourage supporters
Kucinich and Kirkpatrick are Yes votes, Altmire goes back to undecided, Kaptur from lean Yes to undecided, Lincoln Davis is a No, Bean’s back to undecided.
Meaning that we’re still at 191-206, right where we were the last time. If you push leaners, we’re at 205-209. Still lots of work for the leadership to do. And where’s that CBO score?
The full totals on the flip:
191 Democrats, including Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who voted No last time, in November.
178 Republicans, including Joseph Cao (R-LA), who voted Yes in November. He’s in the Stupak bloc.
Up Date 3:
Oversight. Never mind.
By: David Dayen Wednesday March 17, 2010 2:57 pm
In a completely obvious maneuver, the Senate parliamentarian has kicked out the Health Insurance Rate Authority from the reconciliation set of fixes. The national rate reviewer would have had the ability to cancel premium increases across the country, in association with state regulators. But it has no primary budgetary impact, so out it goes.
“I’m crushed it’s out,” she said. But she added that she would bring it up with him one more time to try to make the case that it would be a legitimate use of reconciliation. “I’m going to make one last effort with the parliamentarian,” she said.
It’ll be a difficult effort. Reconciliation rules require that legislation must have a direct and substantial effect on the budget to qualify for the majority-vote procedure. Merely an incidental budget effect is not enough. Feinstein’s rate authority would save the government money by reducing private insurance premiums, which would then reduce the amount of subsidies needed – but such an effect is apparently too indirect for the parliamentarian to give it the thumbs-up.
I’ll remind everyone that this was basically the major carrot inside reconciliation, the one new thing that most people agreed would improve the bill significantly.