The millions of Americans suffering in a health care system that costs too much, and denies too many care, cannot afford another year-long debate.This is a pack of lies, of course, as you know if you checked out the summary post from last week. However, it does pretty much guarantee that Obama is going to push for reconciliation even though he knows that with only about 30% approval, the Dems are going to be slaughtered in November because of it.
President Obama made that clear at yesterday's bipartisan meeting on reform: While he is listening to good ideas from both sides of the aisle and hopes to move forward in a bipartisan fashion, the American people cannot afford an incremental approach.
Yesterday, the President extended a hand to the Republicans and showed he's open to any idea that will help cover the uninsured, cut costs, and give Americans control over their own health care.
But he made clear that the millions of Americans who cannot afford insurance can't wait on political games in Washington. After this meeting, all ideas are on the table. Now, Congress must move swiftly to complete and pass a final bill.
It was a conversation focused on substance, not process, and it showed. Both sides found areas of agreement.
But there was a fundamental divide on establishing common sense rules to protect families from the worst insurance company practices, and making sure that every American -- rich or poor, old or young -- has access to care.
The President does not believe we can address a problem this big incrementally -- or after another year of rising costs and loss of coverage.
Nancy Pelosi confirms it:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), appearing on ABC's This Week on Sunday, sent a thinly-veiled message to wavering members of her caucus: passing Obamacare trumps keeping your seat in November.
Pelosi also said of the bill that despite sizable public opposition, "the American people need it," and "We're here to do the job for the American people."
VARGAS: What do you say to your members, when it does come to the House to vote on this, who are in real fear of losing their seats in November if they support you now?
PELOSI: Well first of all our members — every one of them — wants health care. I think everybody wants affordable health care for all Americans. They know that this will take courage. It took courage to pass Social Security. It took courage to pass Medicare. And many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.
But the American people need it, why are we here? We're not here just to self perpetuate our service in Congress. We're here to do the job for the American people. To get them results that gives them not only health security, but economic security, because the health issue is an economic issue for — for America's families.
But it'll still be the responsibility of Republicans, you know:
The Hill reported:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Sunday that Republicans have left their mark on the healthcare bill and should accept that the bill will go forward.
“They’ve had plenty of opportunity to make their voices heard,” she said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday morning. “Bipartisanship is a two-way street. A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes. Republicans have left their imprint.”
No, no, no, Nancy, actually it cannot, and they have not. It's really interesting to see how desperate you are to evade responsibility for this, though.
What's Obama's latest justification for shoving DemCare down our throats? It's Olympic spirit. No joke. It's pathetic.
Of course, there's just one problem with all of this reconciliation talk...Senate Dems aren't committing to it yet:
“…reconciliation cannot be used to pass comprehensive health care reform. It won’t work. It won’t work because it was never designed for that kind of significant legislation. It was designed for deficit reduction… The major package of health care reform cannot move through the reconciliation process. It will not work… It will not work because of the Byrd rule which says anything that doesn’t score for budget purposes has to be eliminated. That would eliminate all the delivery system reform, all the insurance market reform, all of those things the experts tell us are really the most important parts of this bill. The only possible role that I can see for reconciliation would be make modest changes in the major package to improve affordability, to deal with what share of Medicaid expansion the federal government pays, those kinds of issues, which is the traditional role for reconciliation in health care.”That's the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, Kent Conrad, by the way.
This should get really interesting. Get ready to dial the phones.
There's my two cents.
The four minute guide to the seven hour summit