WASHINGTON – In an epic struggle settled at dawn, the Democratic-controlled
Senate passed health care legislation Thursday, a triumph for President Barack Obama that clears the way for compromise talks
with the House on a bill to reduce the ranks of the uninsured and rein in the insurance industry.
The vote was 60-39, strictly along party lines, one day after Democrats succeeded in crushing a filibuster by Republicans
eager — yet unable — to inflict a year-end political defeat on the White House.
At the White House, Obama called the vote historic, and said because of it, "we are incredibly close to making health insurance
reform a reality in this country. Our challenge now is to finish the job."
Democrats, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, said they would, by early in the new year. Even before they held
a celebratory news conference, Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement pledging, "We will soon produce a final bill that is
founded on the core principles of health insurance reform: affordability for the middle class, security for our seniors, responsibility
to our children by reducing the deficit, and accountability for the insurance industry."
The House passed its bill in November, and officials said it was likely to be February before the two sides can sort out
their differences over issues as diverse as government's role in a remade health care system, coverage for abortion and federal
subsidies for lower and middle-income families who would be required to purchase insurance.
Senate Republican attacked the bill to the end, and citing public opinion polls, said they would use it as an issue in
the 2010 congressional elections. "This debate was supposed to produce a bill that reformed health care in America. Instead,
we're left with party-line votes in the middle of the night, a couple of sweetheart deals to get it over the finish line,
and a public that's outraged," said the Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
The Senate vote unfolded as the sun rose over the Capitol on the day before Christmas, and marked the culmination of a
battle that lasted months and included failed bipartisan negotiations, a last-minute flurry of Democratic dealmaking to lock
in 60 votes and a highly partisan debate that held lawmakers in session a near-record 25 consecutive days.
For the third time since Sunday night, Sen. Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, 92, was wheeled into the Senate so he could
cast his vote. Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., did not vote.
For Democrats there was an air of bittersweet celebration, underscored by the presence of Vicki Kennedy in the visitor's
gallery that overlooks the Senate floor. Her husband, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, died in August after
a career spent working relentlessly for universal health care.
"With Sen. Ted Kennedy's booming voice in our ears, with his passion in our hearts, we say, as he said: The work goes on,
the cause endures," said Reid, echoing words Kennedy uttered in his most famous speech.
Beginning in 2014, the Senate bill would establish insurance exchanges where consumers could shop for private coverage
sold under federal guidelines. Most Americans would be required to purchase insurance or face penalties, and hundreds of billions
of dollars in federal subsidies would be available to families up to incomes of about $88,000 a year. Insurance companies
would be banned from denying benefits or charging higher fees on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions. That provision
would take effect in 2013 in the House version.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates the Senate measure would extend coverage to about 31 million Americans who lack
it, while cutting federal deficits by $130 billion over a decade and possibly much more in the following 10 years. Premiums
would rise for some, but fall for many others, particularly when the effects of federal subsidies are factored in, the agency
Literally hundreds of issues remain to be settled in the two bills, a House measure that ran to 1,990 pages and a Senate
version of 2,074, not counting 383 pages of revisions that Reid unveiled over the weekend.
To finance extended coverage, the House bill relies on an income tax surcharge on incomes over $500,000 for individuals
and $1 million for couples, a provision the Senate omitted. Its bill includes higher Medicare payroll taxes on high wage-earners
and a new tax on high-cost insurance policies that labor unions generally oppose.
Medicaid, the federal-state health care program for the poor, is expanded in both bills, but the House provision includes
many more people. The House legislation also requires large employers to provide insurance to their workers or pay a fine.
There is no such mandate in the Senate bill, although companies would face penalties if any of their uninsured employees qualified
for federal subsidies to purchase their own insurance.
The House-passed bill is estimated to extend coverage to more individuals than the Senate measure, 36 million over a decade
as opposed to 31 million.
It also provides more generous subsidies, on average, according to calculations by the Congressional Budget Office. The
agency says the approximate average subsidy in 2019 under the House will would be $6,800 a year; for the Senate bill, it is
$5,600. Those differences reflect one of the biggest contrasts between the two bills — the $574 billion the House bill
provides for subsidies over a decade, as opposed to $336 billion under the Senate measure.
Both bills also rely on hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts in future payments to doctors, hospitals and others who
care for Medicare patients, with the largest reduction falling on insurance companies who provide a private alternative to
Over 10 years, the House bill closes a gap in coverage under Medicare prescription drug benefits popularly known as the
doughnut hole. The Senate bill reduces but does not eliminate that interruption in coverage, although Reid has pledged to
defer to the House, a pledge made to secure AARP's endorsement for the bill.
Already, the liberals who dominate the Democratic caucuses in the House and Senate have shown a willingness to yield on
key issues to moderates whose votes are essential to passage of legislation, and more of the same will be needed for a final
compromise to emerge.
For her part, Pelosi, D-Calif., has already signaled she will not insist on a government-run insurance option in a final
bill. The House bill has one, a provision its liberal supporters said was designed to put pressure on the insurance companies
to hold down premium prices.
Democratic moderates insisted no such plan make it into the Senate bill, which calls instead for national plans overseen
by the same office that manages health coverage for federal employees and members of Congress. Those plans would be privately
owned, but one of them would have to be operated on a nonprofit basis, as many Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are now.
A dispute over abortion clouded the final days of debate in the House, and again in the Senate.
In both cases, liberals were forced to yield more than they wanted to opponents of the procedures who insist that no federal
funds be allowed to pay for abortion services. The two bills have different approaches to the subject, and that issue, once
again, is likely to be one of the last resolved.
The bill is H.R. 3590
Howard Dean: "Kill the Senate Bill"
"This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United
States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation
process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill."
Yesterday hours before President Obama spoke to
the nation from West Point about his plans to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, former Vice President Dick Cheney had
a few words of his own to say about President Obama.
interview from his home in Mclean, VA the former VP continued to try and lay blame
on the problems in Afghanistan onto the Obama administration.
For several months now Cheney has spoken out about President Obama and his policies that American will
no longer torture, his closing of Guantanamo Bay and the time it took for President Obama to set his plan of action into play
with regards to Afghanistan.
In the interview Cheney was asked if the Bush administration bears any responsibility for the disintegration
of Afghanistan because of the attention and resources that were diverted to Iraq and Cheney said, “I basically don’t”
The same Bush administration that started the war which is now in its ninth year. The same Bush administration
that had Osama Bin Laden cornered and
“within our grasp” and then did an about face into Iraq and allowed the man responsible for
the attacks on September 11, 2001 to get away.
For eight years the Bush administration conducted the war policy in Afghanistan and allow the Taliban
and al-Qaeda to regroup and increase their numbers to the point where
Cheney is concerned with covering his tracks with his deflection speech’s and interviews against
President Obama in order to protect his anterior superior spine. He is counting on President Obama and Attorney’s General
Eric Holder not going after him for his crimes against the United States and humanity.
Dick Cheney has no problems with using American troops as cannon fodder or
November 23, 2009: In an recent interview with the St. Cloud Times, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) expressed
bewilderment that the Democrats don't like her. "I grew up a Democrat in a Democrat family," she said, and "in some ways I
don't understand why the Democratic Party would be opposed to me, because I stand for the same values that my parents stood
for when we were Democrats." Here at TPM, we take pride in our exhaustive coverage of Michele Bachmann and her long and antagonistic
history with Democrats, so we can only conclude that she's simply forgotten. So consider this a friendly reminder...
November 5: Viva La Revolución! Bachmann makes a speech at her Capitol Hill Tea Party against health care
reform: "It was Thomas Jefferson who said a revolution every now and then is a good thing. What do you think?" This is not
the first time Bachmann has touted revolution. Back in March, she called for "orderly revolution" because "we can't let the
Democrats achieve their ends any longer." She continued: "Where freedom is tried, the people rejoice. But where tyranny is
enforced upon the people, as Barack Obama is doing, the people suffer and mourn." In response, the Minnesota DFL chairman
said: "Michele Bachmann must have missed the memo: The revolution already happened. The old way of doing business -- her way
of doing business -- lost."
October 8: On The O'Reilly Factor, Bachmann weighs in about why the left hates her so much: "It may bother
them that conservative women are happy and don't need government in order to be successful in life." "I have a great husband,
great kids. I had a great career as a federal tax attorney. And I don't need government to be successful. And it seems like
they have a stereotype for women and I don't fit in their stereotype."
September 16: In a House floor speech, Bachmann suggests that since President Obama has pushed to curb
energy use, the next logical step is...limiting food consumption: "President Obama said we can't eat as much food as we want
and think the rest of the world will be okay about that -- as if that matters to freedom-loving Americans. Well, we just heard
last week that the Federal Government now under the Obama administration is calling for a re-ordering of America's food supply.
What's that going to mean? Now will the White House decide how many calories we consume, or what types of food we consume?"
September 14: In the wake of Rep. Joe "You Lie" Wilson's outburst in a joint session of Congress, Bachmann
comes to his defense, saying that he "spoke truth" on the House floor. She also defends the "death panel" meme that had created
some controversy in the health care debate: "But there's been a confusion about death panels. 'Death panels' isn't just about
end-of-life counseling. Death panels are the bureaucracies that President Obama is establishing, that will -- where bureaucrats
will make the decision on who gets health care, and how much. Who will have access to doctors? How quickly? What will the
delays be? Because we know, this bill will include rationing."
September 4: Saboteur! Bachmann accuses the Dems of undermining her because they're scared she might become
the first female president: "They want to make sure no women, no woman becomes president before a Democrat woman, and so they're
doing everything they can to, I think, sabotage women like Sarah Palin, perhaps women like myself, or similarly situated women,
to make sure that we don't have a prominent national voice."
September 1: Bachmann gets kind of graphic on health care reform: "What we have to do today is make a
covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure
this doesn't pass." She continues: "Right now, we are looking at reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom.
And we may never be able to restore it if we don't man up and take this one on." Interestingly, on August 20, she appeared
on Sean Hannity's radio show and declared that she was going to tell Democrats that "under no certain circumstances will I
give the government control over my body." If Michele Bachmann wants to slit her wrists, the government had better stay out
April 6: Here's a doozy: In response to a recently-passed national service bill that expands Americorps,
Bachmann expresses concern that this could lead to mandatory service for young people, and what she describes as "re-education
camps," where "young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have
to go and work in some of these politically correct forums. It's very concerning. It appears that there's a philosophical
agenda behind all of this, and especially if young people are mandated to go into this. As a parent, I would have a very,
very difficult time seeing my children do this. Again, a huge power-grab, at a cost of billions of dollars."
March 23: Bachmann again whips out the violent rhetoric, this time about an energy tax. She calls herself
"a foreign correspondent on enemy lines" just telling everyone about "nefarious activities that are taking place in Washington."
Bachmann says she wants "people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue," because "we need to fight back." This continues
Bachmann's, er, crusade against environmentalism. On August 12, 2008 she spoke out against Nancy Pelosi's "global warming
fanaticism" that has come "to the point where she has said that she's just trying to save the planet." According to Bachmann,
"we all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet -- we didn't need Nancy Pelosi to do that."
October 17, 2008: And of course, this classic: During the 2008 campaign, Bachmann appears on Hardball,
rails against "leftist liberal views," and declares that she is "absolutely" concerned that Obama is Anti-American. She goes
on to say that "the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look, I wish they would, I wish the American media
would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress find out are they pro-America or anti-America."
CHICAGO (CAP) - It's out with the old, in with the new organs as the
American Medical Association and the International Liver Transplantation Society prepare to celebrate the second annual Mother-Daughter
Liver Transplant Day. Tomorrow's event is expected to draw hundreds to dozens of hospitals around the country.
"Last year we oversaw 42 liver transplant surgeries on MDLT Day," said AMA spokesperson Candace Meriden. "Now that we've
gotten the word out, this year we're hoping to increase that number to over 300. To us, that would spell success."
A $10 million ad campaign tops this year's media blitz, as well as public service posters in subway stations around the
country. Insurance companies denied payment in only 45% of last year's surgeries, deeming them "unnecessary." If that trend
holds true this year, the ILTS said they would gladly pick up the tab for the remainder.
ILTS spokesperson Chad Bergman said the day is meant to focus on both the growing number of patients in need of liver transplants
as well as the often tenuous relationship between a mother and a daughter.
"Can you think of a better way to help keep your teenage daughter away from alcohol than to remove her liver entirely?"
asked Bergman. "There's no stronger message than one drink will kill you, sweetie."
Bergman also said that girls shouldn't fear the loss of the organ because if all goes well, they will eventually get it
back. "Perhaps a little worse for the wear," he said, "but typically functional."
Meriden said the number of heartwarming stories to come out of last year's MDLT Day "was just astounding," and she hopes
this year is the same. Highlights from last year include:
- the alcoholic mother who hadn't seen her daughter in over ten years but somehow found the courage to approach her and
ask for her liver
- the dying mother who desperately needed a new liver weeks before last year's MDLT Day but held on to take part in the
- the daughter who donated her liver to her birth mother and then received one in return from her adoptive mother
Meriden said if they can fit it into the AMA budget, they are also working on plans for a Deadbeat Father-Son Swap-A-Lung
Day sometime next year.
There were plenty to choose from, here are some
of the more memorable ones, enjoy.
1. "This president I think has exposed himself over and over again as a guy who has a deep-seated hatred
for white people or the white culture....I'm not saying he doesn't like white people, I'm saying he has a problem. This guy
is, I believe, a racist." -Glenn Beck on President Obama, sparking an advertiser exodus from his FOX News show
2. "The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have
to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of
productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil." –-Sarah Palin, in
a message posted on Facebook about Obama's health care plan, Aug. 7, 2009
3. “You Lie.” Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) to President Obama during a speech before Congress
and the Nation.
4. "Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer. His whole thing is entertainment. Yes, it's incendiary. Yes, it's
ugly." --Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele
"I have enormous respect for Rush Limbaugh. I was maybe a little bit inarticulate. There was no attempt
on my part to diminish his voice or his leadership." --Steele, two days later
5. "Everywhere I go in my district, people tell me they are frightened. … I share that fear,
and I believe they should be fearful. And I believe the greatest fear that we all should have to our freedom comes from this
room — this very room — and what may happen later this week in terms of a tax increase bill masquerading as a
health care bill. I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right
now in any country.” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) from the floor of the House of Representatives
6. “This cannot pass,” (referring to health care reform) …“What we have to
do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever
it takes to make sure this doesn’t pass.” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) wing Independence Institute in Denver,
7. "If we’re able to stop Obama on this (Health Care Reform) it will be his Waterloo. It will
break him," Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC)
8. "There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life,"... "And from
that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn't have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling
20 years before you're going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don't have any problem with things like living
wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you're going
to pull the plug on grandma." Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) speaking at a Town hall earlier this year.
9. "I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long 'Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.'
Somebody’s gotta say it." --talk radio host Rush Limbaugh
10. “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out then under
Democrat President Jimmy Carter. And I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it is an interesting coincidence.”
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) in an interview with PajamasTV
Over the last ten years there have been several events that helped to change the way we live both here
in the United States as well as the world, here are my top ten event for the first decade of the new millennium.
Top Ten Events of the Decade that Changed America Forever
Hotline On Call gives a sneak preview of National Journal’s new
survey of beltway insiders on “the member they’d like most to shut up, the brightest thinkers and strategists
in their parties and much more.” Topping the list of GOP voices these insiders would like to “mute” is Minnesota’s
Rep. Michele Bachmann — but there’s a five-way tie. Eleven percent of Republicans polled would also like Fox’s
Glenn Beck, Iowa Rep. Steve King, Sarah Palin and Georgia Rep. Tom Price to pipe down.
Sixteen percent of Republican congressional insiders — a list of 65 senators and representatives, including Bachmann
and Rep. John Kline — said they didn’t want to mute anyone.
But among GOP “political insiders” — an even bigger group that includes the likes of Gary Bauer, Ed Gillespie
and Charlie Crist — the most-mutable figure was Sarah Palin. Twenty-eight percent of people in this group wanted her
to shut up; 12 percent selected RNC chair Michael Steele.
Democrats in both groups, congressional insiders and political insiders, would prefer Joe Lieberman be muted, getting 22
and 23 percent of the vote, respectively.
Other results worth noting:
Among GOP political insiders think Sen. John Thune of South Dakota has the “brightest future,” with 32 percent
of the vote.
The figure getting the highest vote in all the results revealed by Hotline On Call call was Newt Gingrich. Forty-one percent
of GOP congressional insiders and 53 percent of GOP political insiders think he’s the “most creative thinker”
in the party.
Mr. Beck, you are bad to the bone, So it’s time that you start to atone. And stop trying to steal Jewish
holy days. Heel! Kindly leave all my people alone.
THIS WEEKS FEATURED MUSIC VIDEO
VARIOUS LATE NIGHT QUOTES
"Remember the phrase, 'hope and change'? They amended it today.
Now it's 'don't give up hope, nothing is going to change.'" –Jay Leno
"Oh, and listen to this. It happened yet again last month. A Georgia
couple showed up a day early for a tour at the White House — you know, just regular folks. Showed up to tour the White
House, somehow wound up in an invitation-only breakfast with President Obama and the First Lady. Isn't that amazing? The only
two people that couldn't get in the White House this year were John McCain and Sarah Palin." –Jay Leno
"The Obama Administration announced today that the Shinnecock Indians
on Long Island will be federally recognized, which means they can now build a casino in New York City. The White House recognized
them as an official tribe after meeting with the four tribal leaders, Fat Tony, Louie the Barber, Crazy Sal, and Momo Ricardo.
The Gambino tribe, indigenous people to the area." –Jay Leno
"And listen to this. After one single senator, just one senator
— Joe Lieberman of Connecticut — was able to block passage of the Medicare buy-in provision of that health care
bill, some people are calling for the Senate to begin experimenting with a whole new way of doing business. Yeah, it's called
majority rules. They're thinking of trying it to see how it works." –Jay Leno
"Well, on the news today, people are complaining that we can't
find Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Bin Laden in Afghanistan? We can't even find Tiger Woods in Florida." –Jay Leno
"Well, here's good news, I think. The Democrats down in Washington
believe they have 60 votes to pass a health care bill. That's 58 Democrats and the Salahis. They're going to go in there and
vote." –David Letterman
"But they don't think that the health care bill will get passed
before Christmas, unless they switch to the Mayan calendar." –David Letterman
"Anybody going over to Denmark for the world global climate conference
thing in Copenhagen? Yeah, I know. I'm going too. Here's the idea. It's got to be every country on the planet working together.
And the United States is doing its part. And today, as a matter of fact, Barack Obama was talking to the Netherlands. He said,
'Here's the deal. You send us a windmill and we'll send you Joe Lieberman.'" –David Letterman
"Senior New York Senator Chuck Schumer was on an airplane, and
they were flying someplace. And they landed. He called one of the flight attendants a 'bitch.' Apparently, there was some
ugliness. There were words exchanged. And it got heated and at one point the argument was so loud, it actually woke up the
pilot." –David Letterman
"It's hard to believe there's only two weeks left in 2009. President
Obama is already said to be hard at work on his New Year's resolutions. His plan for 2010 is to do all the things he said
he was going to do this year." –Jimmy Kimmel
"Hey, this is interesting. After somebody threw a tomato at Sarah
Palin during a book signing at the Mall of America, she went to another signing at a Costco in Utah, where they took all the
tomatoes off the shelves. So instead she got hit by a three pound bag of frozen spinach ravioli." –Jimmy Kimmel
"During his speech at a Home Depot in Washington, D.C. today, President
Obama said he thinks energy efficiency and retrofitting are 'sexy.' He had to cut the speech short, however, after Al Gore
showed up and tried to give him a lap dance." –Jimmy Fallon
This Week in God!!!
YodasWorld.org is updated each Monday. Some of the items from
the previous week are added to the various topic links on the left side of the main page. Links embedded should be good
for at least the date posted. After the posting date, link reliability depends on the policy of the linked sites. Some sites
require visitors to register before allowing access to articles. Material presented on this page represent the opinion's of
Copyright 2000-2009 YodasWorld.org. All rights reserved
on original works. Material copyrighted by others is used either with permission or under a claim of "fair use."
YodasWorld.org is updated each Monday. Some of
the items from the previous week are added to the various topic links on the left side of the main page. Links embedded
should be good for at least the date posted. After the posting date, link reliability depends on the policy of the linked
sites. Some sites require visitors to register before allowing access to articles. Material presented on this page represent
the opinion's of YodasWorld.org.
Copyright 2000-2011 YodasWorld.org. All rights
reserved on original works. Material copyrighted by others is used either with permission or under a claim of "fair use."