Obamacare

Let's Make a Deal, Health Care Reform Edition

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It's been widely reported that Sen. Mary Landrieu got a nine-figure handout for her state in order to secure her vote on a procedural motion for health care reform. But Landrieu's deal isn't the only one. According to The Hill, the side deals are stacking up across Capitol Hill:

Before Rep. Joseph Cao (La.) cast the lone Republican vote for the healthcare bill in the House, he secured assurances from President Barack Obama to work on Medicaid funding, loan forgiveness and issues related to two of his local hospitals.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) also reportedly promised a visit to Cao's hurricane-ravaged district.

…Other lawmakers won carve-outs for their state healthcare systems.

Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) got her state's existing health program exempted by what the Honolulu Advertiser called the "Hirono Amendment." As a result, the reform measures will be a non-event for many people in Hawaii.

…Lawmakers from Massachusetts ensured that their state's universal coverage program, the Health Insurance Connector, could continue operating independently. The program was a model for the "exchanges" in the Democrats' national bill, but some drafts of the healthcare bill would have left the program's future in question or might have weakened its ability to negotiate with insurers. Massachusetts officials say the program is working well and should be left alone.

No doubt this is just the beginning, and we won't hear about every deal made. Given the determination of Democratic reformers to pass this bill, no matter what the cost—Sen. Chuck Schumer told the A.P. that "we're not going to not pass a bill"—anyone standing even near the fence on this one knows their vote is worth a lot, and is going to bargain accordingly.

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  1. “Failure is not an option.”

    Yay.

    1. “Failure is not an option.”

      I suppose most people thought this was a cool phrase the first time they heard it. I’m sure it was probably some action movie. But really, it should fade away at this point. You know why? Because it makes no fucking sense. At what point in the planning or execution of anything you have EVER been involved with has failure been an OPTION? “Ah, well? this test is hard? Luckily, failure is an option. I can just walk away with no consequences what-so-ever! Woo-hoo!”

      Since failure is never an option, but sometimes a result, the best thing that you can say about the phrase “Failure is not an option” is that it is stunningly obvious. But really, isn’t it just posturing?

      “I was planning on failing, but that’s not an option! Man, I sure glad General Fuckface cleared that up for me!”

      1. Some NASA dude originated that phrase, I believe. At least the Space Center in Houston sells a bunch of crap with the phrase on it…

        1. Apollo 11 (the movie) started it in its current existence in pop culture.

        2. According to this, it was originated for the movie Apollo 13 after interviewing one of the mission control officers for that flight.

          1. Sorry, I meant 13.

            1. With that improper citation, you have failed me for the last time!

        3. Apollo 1, a Saturn 1B with Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Edward White, Roger B. Chaffee aboard on a mission to orbit the Earth: Failure – never launched: command module destroyed and three astronauts killed on 27 January 1967 by fire in the module during a test exercise – Retroactively, the mission’s name was officially changed to “Apollo 1” after the fire. Despite the fact that it was scheduled to be the fourth Apollo mission (and despite the fact that NASA planned to call the mission AS-204), the flight patch worn by the three astronauts, which was approved by NASA in June 1966, already referred to the mission as “Apollo 1”

          But like expert philologist SugarFree posted. Failure was a result, not the plan. The plan was to orbit.

          1. But like expert philologist SugarFree

            What did you just call me?!?

      2. People choose to fail all the time… I can study for the test tomorrow and pass, or I can blow it off for something more fun and fail it; I know this project is due tomorrow, and I can complete it if I stay up all night… but hell, they don’t pay me enough for this shit; I can keep fighting to pass this bill that’ll cripple the economy, or I can cave to the pressure, give up, and let it die; etc, etc, etc…

        Failure is often an option, and sometimes it’s the best option.

    2. Failure is ALWAYS an option. I’m grading quizzes right now, so I know.

      1. And your slave revolt isn’t exactly synonymous with ‘stunning success.’

        1. Well, there’s that, too. However, my name is immortal, so it wasn’t a complete failure. Can distinguish between levels of failure here?

  2. Landrieu! Landrieu. We are the Archons. We are the Archons. We’ve come to speak. We are the Archons. We want to talk to you.

    1. FESTIVAL!

      1. Well, there was war, convulsions. The world was destroying itself. Landrieu was our leader. She saw the truth. She changed the world. She took us back,
        back to a simple time, a time of peace and tranquility.

        And you guys should all stop speaking in strange whispers. That is not the way of Landrieu.

  3. This thing is fucking golden, and I’m not going to just give it away!

    1. The Chicago connection is perfect..well done.

  4. How about carving out an exemption for each of the 50 (57?) states. That way the bill can be dropped altogether.

    1. exactly my thoughts on reading about those. Can the bill they pass actually just be hyperlink to the 10th amendment?

  5. http://z.about.com/d/gameshows…..nkgoat.jpg

    Hey, it’s not Carol Merrill, but you guys get the idea.

    1. Uh, and it’s not a goat either, it’s a llama or an alpaca. Of course, some posters around here might not consider a llama to be a ‘zonk’. They might want to keep it…

  6. According to Wikipedia, “Failure is not an option” is a phrase not spoken by Gene Kranz during the Apollo 13 mission. Internet failure.

    1. So, we failed at failure quotes? Does that equal a success, or what?

  7. And this is how we see that the American empire is falling apart, as barbarians plunder its riches and sack its capital city, just as happened with the Roman empire. But these barbarians are much worse than the ones who sacked Rome. At least with Rome, the barbarians were foreigners and not politicians elected by the people.

    1. Also, Rome didn’t have as large a credit line as DC has.

    2. ‘At least with Rome, the barbarians were foreigners and not politicians elected by the people.’

      preemptive STFU,L!

    3. In Rome you knew who the barbarians were because they smelled bad.

      Damn, an unintended down side to modern conveniences and the progress brought about by capitalism. Today even barbarians take showers.

  8. A Parliament of Whores redux.

  9. Sen. Chuck Schumer told the A.P. that “we’re not going to not pass a bill”

    Chuck Schumner is not going to ever not suck.

    1. +1

      Would someone please slam a splintered two-by-four with a big, rusty spike sticking out of it into his ugly fucking melon? I would pay $12.50 to see that.

  10. Actually, I thought that stupid “Failure is not an option” shit originated with the Oakland Raiders. One more giant reason to hate it.

    FAILURE IS ALWAYS AN OPTION.

    Frequently, it is the option with the highest probability.

  11. Something tells me the cost of these deals didn’t make it into the CBO’s scoring algorithm.

    1. algorithm: a statement made by a lisping acolyte of the penultimate former VP.

  12. “Failure isn’t an option; it comes bundled with your Microsoft product”

  13. “we’re not going to not pass a bill”?Chuck

    Yep, Chuckster, you will be passing a bill- passing the Gaia Earth Mother of all bills onto the taxpayer.

  14. I’d like to know how they’re planning on buying Lieberman.

    1. Easy, NC promises to run smear campaigns on any future primary challenger. No money needs to change hands.

      1. damn! DNC. D-N-C. North Carolina has nothing to do with this.

        1. Oh…I thought that was just how deep the rabbit hole went.

  15. ‘ Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) got her state’s existing health program exempted by what the Honolulu Advertiser called the “Hirono Amendment.” As a result, the reform measures will be a non-event for many people in Hawaii.

    ‘…Lawmakers from Massachusetts ensured that their state’s universal coverage program, the Health Insurance Connector, could continue operating independently. The program was a model for the “exchanges” in the Democrats’ national bill, but some drafts of the healthcare bill would have left the program’s future in question or might have weakened its ability to negotiate with insurers. Massachusetts officials say the program is working well and should be left alone.’

    National health care is a wonderful idea for all those other states. You know, those states that are less awesome than my state, and who cannot be trusted with their 10th Amendment prerogative of self-government.

    1. Reason #3,110 why I voted against that bitch Hirono.

    2. Hmmm, what am I missing? When I first read that Hirono got Hawaii exempted, I thought, “Wow, you go, girl, way to get out from under the thumb of a crippling piece of legislation.” Question is, will Hawaiians, through taxation, be paying for health care in all the other states? What exactly does “exempt” in this instance mean? Is it like, “In my house, recycling is not required, but everyone else in the neighborhood will recycle under threat of fines that nobody in my house has to pay?”

  16. This is beginning to look, not so much like national health care reform, but health care reform for states that have Republican representation in Congress.

  17. The entire purpose of becoming a Congressman/women seems to be to achieve power and prestige, or promote an agenda. It doesn’t seem to me they have any purpose other than promoting themselves. We need to get the cost of medical care under control, we need to assure that all our citizens have access to this care.

  18. the public option is the pivotal part of this health care bill. As a result of its success people are having trouble dismissing it. http://cli.gs/z3AtaY/

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