Obamacare

Do Democrats Actually Have 60 Votes For Health Care?

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After two days of drama following Joe Lieberman's declaration that he would refuse to vote for any health care legislation featuring a Medicare buy-in, it seems as if there's now a widespread understanding that, with the buy-in gone, health care is more or less back on track — to the point that The New York Times is even wondering: "Did Senator Joseph I. Lieberman actually save the Democrats' big health care bill?"

Maybe. But I'm not sure the bill is actually saved, because I don't see a solid 60 votes. For one thing, there's no indication that the abortion language has been revised in such a way as to satisfy Sen. Ben Nelson. More to the point, it's not clear that Lieberman is actually on board. Like so much of what Lieberman has put out over the course of the past few weeks, the statement he released is broadly positive about moving toward passage but doesn't confirm that he's a yes. And he's also cautioning that legislators should wait to see actual language — which they don't currently have — before threatening filibusters (ignoring, of course, that that's exactly what he just did). Meanwhile, Sen. Dick Durbin is telling people that Democrats will have 60 votes by sometime next week

That's presumably meant to project confidence. But what it means is that they don't actually have 60 votes yet, and likely won't for several days at minimum. Given the length of time it takes for the Senate to vote on a bill — cloture takes several days — this may mean that Senate Democrats have blown their hoped-for Christmas deadline. 

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  1. The dems have seemingly made many concessions to appear bi-partisan on this bill. At what point do the reps start glomming onto this so they don’t miss out on this historic legislation for the next election cycle?

    1. At what point do the reps start glomming onto this so they don’t miss out on this historic legislation for the next election cycle?

      Presumably if and when the bill actually is a positive instead of a huge negative in the polls?

      1. An insightful comment on what Democrats are thinking, from an anonymous Democratic strategist:

        At that point — Republicans will love this — he compared congressional Democrats with robbers who have passed the point of no return in deciding to hold up a bank. Whatever they do, they’re guilty of something. “They’re in the bank, they’ve got their guns out. They can run outside with no money, or they can stick it out, go through the gunfight, and get away with the money.”

        That’s it. Democrats are all in. They’re going through with it. Even if it kills them.

        1. me, last week:

          brotherben|12.9.09 @ 3:07PM|#
          I think the best way to describe the reformers on this is “pot-committed.”
          They are so invested in getting health care reform that they can’t turn back now. Gotta cobble together something.

        2. me, last week:

          brotherben|12.9.09 @ 3:07PM|#
          I think the best way to describe the reformers on this is “pot-committed.”
          They are so invested in getting health care reform that they can’t turn back now. Gotta cobble together something.

          1. Great. Now the squirrels are taking a breather between double posts.

    2. Suderman (Dec 15, 1:29 pm EST):

      Meanwhile, Sen. Dick Durbin is telling people that Democrats will have 60 votes by sometime next week.

      That’s presumably meant to project confidence. But what it means is that they don’t actually have 60 votes yet, and likely won’t for several days at minimum. Given the length of time it takes for the Senate to vote on a bill ? cloture takes several days ? this may mean that Senate Democrats have blown their hoped-for Christmas deadline.”

      Kathryn Jean Lopez (Dec 15, 11:57 am EST)

      Meanwhile, a senoir GOP aide points out to me that Durbin has today said that the Dem leadership hopes to have 60 votes by next week. That sure sounds like they don’t have 60 votes today.

    3. They haven’t made any concessions to appear bipartisan. At this point they have only Ds. They’ve made all these concessions to try and get all 60 D votes onboard.

      1. But when it’s campaigning time, the dems will say, “we did all we could to help the children and the folks out of work because the eevill corprashuns. We bent over backwards and made many concessions to the other side of the aisle. The republicans and their mouthpieces at foxnews spread lies and misconceptions and used scare tactics to deny this basic right to the poor minority children of this great land.”

        I am not saying this is true. I am saying that this will be used as a hammer in the next election cycles if the reform bill doesn’t pass. It ain’t about the truth. It’s about the sale.

    4. No, Dems have NOT made any concessions to appear bi-partisan on Health Care. They have made concessions to other (mostly moderate) Democrats. Only when they start addressing “bending the cost curve” and “improving health care” will they start becoming bi-partisan. But don’t hold your breath for that.

    5. The repubs WON’T sign off on this morass because it ADDS to the deficit and is front-loaded with taxes and backloaded with benefits to make it APPEAR sustainable in the long run. When your household finances are on the edge you don’t have a family meeting and figure out how to fool yourselves into spending lots more money (credit cards) unless you want to end up on the street.

    6. Bipartisan? What planet are you from? Bipolar maybe.

      They don’t have 60 votes within their own party. All the compromises made so far are simply to try to sell this to the democratic senators.

      They have, so far, NO Republicans on board, nor is that surprising considering that in the House this was crafted ENTIRELY by dems, and in the Senate most of this was done behind the closed and locked doors of Harry Reid’s office without even a hell of a lot of moderate democrats invited to play.

      We know that the dems are the pro-abortion party, and this particular abortion is ALL THEIRS.

  2. For this week’s Friday Funnies, how about a picture of a dusgusting looking ogre (labeled “US Senate”” taking a huge dump (labeled “Obamacare”) on a crowd of people (labeled “The American People”).

    The caption would read: That can’t be healthy.

    1. “Is pink eye covered?”

      1. Much better.

  3. Doesn’t it have to go back to conference committee to reconcile with the House version?
    How are they going to square the public option and abortion stuff in the house version with the senate version?

    1. Hopefully they won’t. Failure should be an option here.

    2. Doesn’t it have to go back to conference committee to reconcile with the House version?
      How are they going to square the public option and abortion stuff in the house version with the senate version?

      Hypothetically, the House could just pass whatever the Senate passes without a conference committee. That sort of ping-pong is unusual, so the normal case is as you say.

      1. Yeah, so, as I recall, the House had a hell of a time getting it’s own bill passed, as the progressive Democrats wouldn’t get onboard without a public option.

        Ah. Now I see. They plug the public option back in in committee, and then it gets the 50 votes in needs to pass the senate at that point. They won’t need Lieberman’s vote anymore.

        However, hopefully, by the time they get to that point, the 2010 election year will have kicked in.

        1. They plug the public option back in in committee, and then it gets the 50 votes in needs to pass the senate at that point. They won’t need Lieberman’s vote anymore.

          Actually, you can filibuster a conference committee report. Rare, but possible.

          It’s rare because:
          1) You can’t filibuster the motion to proceed to the conference report as a piece of business, only the vote to shut off debate on it and proceed to voting, and
          2) It’s not amendable, which means that you can’t have a “filibuster” of offering tons of amendments, but you have to do a Filibuster Classic of talking about it nonstop.

    3. One sneaky option that’s been mentioned: no reconciliation, Pelosi just brings a vote on the Senate version and *boom* it’s passed.

      1. Pelosi wouldn’t do anything sneaky.

      2. It would still have to do back to the House for passage. But as Thacker mentioned, the house can just call for a vote as soon as they get it.

        1. But they would lose the House vote with the current version as is.

          On both abortion and public option grounds.

      3. They have to * get * a Senate version first.

        That’s the hard part. Getting 60% is harder than getting 50%.

        1. That they do. I don’t think it will be easy, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it fails.

          But not long ago another H&R poster assured me that passage was a done deal when Blanche Lincoln voted to move it forward.

  4. Occasionally, corruption works in our favor.

    http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2009/12/13/

  5. Oh please, Mister Government, please run my healthcare:

    “AP – Hundreds of thousands of swine flu shots for children have been recalled because tests indicate the vaccine doses lost some strength, government health officials said Tuesday.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200…..lu_vaccine

    1. The private sector doesn’t issue safety recalls?

  6. That “Buy Reason Gear Now!” chick looks like she just escaped from a two week gang-bang. Those are some disturbingly vacant eyes.

    1. So that’s what I like about her….

    2. So that’s what I like about her….

    3. ad-unblocked so I could see her… yikes.

      “She’s got dead eyes, like a doll’s eyes.”

    4. “Just like a car crash, just like a knife
      my favorite weapon is the look in your eyes

      1. Have you ever heard the 1st album? Think Depeche Mode without the macho.

  7. I don’t know. Lieberman’s remarks to the press this afternoon don’t inspire much confidence:

    Lieberman told reporters Tuesday that if the Medicare expansion and government insurance plan are gone, “I’m going to be in a position where I can say what I’ve wanted to say all along: that I’m ready to vote for health care reform.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200…..ieberman_1

    I’ve gone to bed the past couple of nights pretty giddy at the prospect that this bill was kaput. I woke up this morning to find National Review noting that “health-care fighters on the right” are suddenly very depressed. And Lieberman’s remarks don’t help the mood.

  8. this may mean that Senate Democrats have blown their hoped-for Christmas deadline.

    At which point, Cthulu willing, they will return to their constituencies, and be roundly and unstintingly motherfucked for attempting to ram this monstrosity through the legislative pipeline.

  9. Sadly, I think they’ll gather up enough votes through bribery and pork to get this crap fest passed. Only real hope is for the American public to give the Dems such a whipping in 2010 that Obama gets nothing done for the second half of his one and only term. Of course ten years down the road when people wonder why America has fallen behind in medical innovation and prices have gone through the roof, pundits and politicians will blame capitalism and call for more regulation.

    Boy, I’m in a pissy mood today.

    1. Yeah, that’s pretty much where I’m at too, Benjamin.

      I’m kind of pissy too at the pundits who have gotten my hopes up the past few days, raving about how this thing is dead, Republicans are on the cusp of victory, etc. I let them actually convince me we were about to get a huge victory for liberty.

      Maybe I’m being just as myopic now as I have been the past couple of days. But I can’t help feeling like a cool Christmas present just got yanked away after my friends convinced me I was almost surely going to get it.

    2. when people wonder why America has fallen behind in medical innovation

      And who are these mythical people we’re going to “fall behind”? The sad truth is, there won’t be anywhere left to go.

      Unless it’s somewhere like India?

  10. Cthulu is always willing to see some Motherfucking. However, I think you are missing the point that these “people” are his minions and tools. He is, however, a fickle master.

  11. Stuck out in the cold trying to get into the convention center that the developing countries had left were thousands of registered participants including delegations from universities, trade unions, and the press. It took more than 8 hours for non-governmental delegates, like Heritage’s Steven Groves and Ben Lieberman, to check in on December 14th. The New York Times described the registration system as chaotic, and notes that the overflow of freezing unregistered delegates forced the Copenhagen police to shut down the subway stop nearest the conference. The problem: despite some two years of planning, the United Nations organizers failed to come up with a way to fit the 45,000 people they registered for the conference into the 15,000 person capacity Bella Center. Oops.

    http://blog.heritage.org/2009/…..l-economy/

  12. That “Buy Reason Gear Now!” chick looks like she just escaped from a two week gang-bang. Those are some disturbingly vacant eyes.

    Adblock just made my murderin’ list.

  13. What Benjamin said at 2:12pm. It’s done. The only question now is what the merged bill will look like.

  14. The private sector issues safety recalls all the time too. So, what is your point?

    1. above comment directed at:
      Enough About Palin|12.15.09 @ 1:57PM

      1. Stupid much?

        1. But to your point, the private sector doesn’t want to run our lives. If a company frequently issues recalls, it goes out of business. If the government frequently issues recalls, it stays in business.

          1. No no, you have to get with the times. Microsoft doesn’t issue recalls, it issues security patches.

  15. There’s still hope. Supposedly Roland Burris has bailed on the compromise surrender of the buy-in, and will not vote on a bill without a public option. I’ve been telling my econ classes since September that the Democrats are going to defeat themselves: too many people to buy off, and not enough horses.

    1. You can’t print more horses. Money, on the other hand…

      1. No doubt bb But I’m not sure that, Ben Nelson for one, will take some of the crisp, nice smelling, hot off the presses fiat currency, and say okay to government funded abortion.

        There are all sorts of issues, non-money related, that the D’s have to square with everyone. Nearly impossible. Keep your fingers crossed.

  16. Maybe we should call health care a right under pursuit of happiness. A right doesn’t mean the government gives it to you. The 2nd amendment does not mean everyone gets government issued arms.

    A right means (suppose to) that the government can not stand between you and the subject of the right. Therefore, the right to health care would mean the government can not stand between you and your doctor.

    The bill in the Senate would violate our right to health care.

    Just having a little fun. But the next time one of my liberal friends speaks of health care as a right, I’m going to throw that angle at them to see what kind of look I’ll get in return.

    1. Good luck. But I for one predict you will simply get yourself put on the Inquisitor’s list. You blasphemous soul, how dare you poke holes in The New Socialist Dawning?

      1. I’m not on the list already?

  17. So even if we put this vampire to sleep again, how long will it stay that way?

    If something real isn’t done about the situation, they’ll try again. And the democrats are closer to getting it this time than last time around.

    Or maybe that’s an illusion. But I don’t think so.

  18. This administration is the worst in history. They want to raise taxes in a recession, spend trillions of dollars that we don’t have, relocate terrorists to our country, Cap&Trade; (what a joke) and the philosophy that if it makes no sense, let’s do it. I see a mass exodus over the next 3 years,

    1. I don’t know. I remember this president whose initials were FDR.

  19. Okay libs, go ahead and pass this “financial disaster in waiting”. If you don’t think this can be undone by the next congress just wait. 2010 marks the end of the dem party for a LONG time.

    1. “”2010 marks the end of the dem party for a LONG time””

      We heard that line a couple of years ago about the republicans.

      The dems do need an ass kicking in 2010. I hope they get it. I just wish some republicans would get some balls and claim whatever the dems pass will be moot because they will repeal it in 2010.

  20. The Dems are damned if they vote on the health bill and damned if they don’t.

    http://tinyurl.com/demsaredamned

    The alarm bells are ringing and the sirens are approaching, so some feel that they might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, but others don’t.

  21. This is a Democratic problem, do not blame republicans. The Democrats can make it happen because they have no direction and frankly the plan is poor and at best mediocre and will hurt most Americans.

  22. “Messiahcare”, is the continued deliberate liberal destruction of the American way of life.

    “The Messiah’s” statement of “spreading the wealth”, should be “destruction of American wealth.

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