Senate Health Care Bill Passes 60 to 39!

Archive. Enter at your own risk. Unmoderated thread.


Moderator: Super Moderators

User avatar
racehorse
Pirate
Posts: 14972
Joined: 01-04-2003 03:00 AM
Location: Commonwealth of Kentucky

Senate Health Care Bill Passes 60 to 39!

Post by racehorse » 12-24-2009 07:20 AM

The United States Senate, as expected has just passed the Senate Health Care Bill. The vote was 60 to 39 with all Democrats voting for it and all Republicans who voted voting against it.
racehorse
Image

Biker
Pirate
Posts: 1786
Joined: 11-04-2006 08:39 AM

Post by Biker » 12-24-2009 07:27 AM

That's strange. Any idea who didn't vote and why?

Biker :confused:
"Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding".

Ian Anderson

User avatar
racehorse
Pirate
Posts: 14972
Joined: 01-04-2003 03:00 AM
Location: Commonwealth of Kentucky

Post by racehorse » 12-24-2009 07:36 AM

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=9410912

Senate Passes Health Care Bill with a 60-39 Vote

Democrats United to Pass Legislation, Republicans Continue Attacks


By HUMA KHAN

Dec. 24, 2009—

Senators will finally be headed home for the holidays as Democrats united this morning to pass their $871 health care bill by a 60-39 vote, after 24 consecutive days of often bitter debate and deep partisanship.

All 58 Democrats and two independents voted for the bill, as expected, without any Republican support.

"This morning isn't the end of the process, it's merely the beginning. We'll continue to build on this success to improve our health system even more," Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said before the vote. "But that process cannot begin unless we start today... There may not be a next time."

Republican senators had initially pledged to fight the health care bill until the last minute. But in a sign of defeat, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Wednesday struck a deal with Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. -- much to the chagrin of some GOP groups -- to give up several hours of debate and allow the vote to take place Thursday morning.

The Senate's vote today marks the first roll call on Christmas Eve in more than a century, Congressional Quarterly reported, citing the Senate historian. The last such vote came in 1895 to overturn a law that banned former Confederate army officers from employment in the U.S. army.

The move came as senators tried to hurry out of town for the Christmas holiday and beat a winter storm developing in the Midwest and West.

Republicans tried every maneuver they could to defeat or delay the bill, at one point even forcing clerks to spend a day reading hundreds of pages out loud.

Democratic senators worked through weekends behind closed doors to cobble together the 60 votes needed to defeat a series of Republican motions to block the bill. At the end, they came together, but after giving many concessions to Democratic senators, such as Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who had expressed reservations about some components of the health care bill, in a move that Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., dubbed "one of the great Bernie Madoff gimmicks."

Health Care Overhaul: What Does it Mean?

The Senate health care bill would cost $871 billion over the next 10 years and expand access for 31 million Americans who don't have health insurance. It counts on lower Medicare costs, taxes on the insurance industry and medical device makers, as well as a special tax on high-cost insurance plans, to pay for the legislation.

Every person would be required by the government to have insurance or pay a fine. People making up to $88,000 for a family of four would get help from the government to pay for insurance. Medicaid would be greatly expanded for the poor.

Republicans argue that the Senate health care bill would add an extra $1 trillion to the budget deficit even though the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has said it would reduce the deficit by $132 billion over 10 years.

President Obama, who delayed his vacation to Hawaii until the passage of the Senate health care bill, has hailed it as "the largest deficit reduction plan in a decade."

Even though Senators hailed the passage of the health care bill, the battle is far from over. The Senate legislation will now have to be reconciled with the House bill, which passed in November. A conference committee from both chambers will attempt to merge the two bills, a process which is expected to go into February. The House returns on Jan. 12, the Senate Jan. 19, which leaves little time to get the bill to the president before his state of the union address. Both chambers have to approve the exact same bill, with a simple majority, before sending it to the president.

Democratic leaders have expressed confidence that they can clear this final hurdle, but they are likely to face a tough time resolving differences among members of their own caucus.

"A conference report is unlikely to sufficiently bridge the gap between these two very different bills," Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, wrote in a blistering CNN.com column Wednesday. "It's time that we draw the line on this weak bill and ask the Senate to go back to the drawing board. The American people deserve at least that."

Even though both health care bills were crafted by Democrats and are similar in some ways, there are several significant differences between the two.

Some senators, such as Nelson, have warned that they could yank their support for the health care bill if changes are made. For some members of the Senate, the House version of the health care bill was dead on arrival and many say that members of the House will simply have to cave in.

Meanwhile, some House Democrats, such as Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, who wanted strict language prohibiting federal funding for abortion, say they are unhappy with the language in the Senate bill and other concessions given to senators. Stupak called the bill unacceptable but added, "I remain optimistic that we can work this out."

Here are some key differences between the House and Senate bills:

Taxes

The Senate bill curbs costs by taxing so-called "Cadillac plans," high-deductible insurance plans that some believe are one of the reasons for high insurance costs. The plan would impose a 40 percent tax on insurance coverage in which premiums are more than $8,500 for an individual and $23,000 for a family.

The plan drew ire from the union groups, many employees of which often negotiate lower salaries in exchange for better health care coverage. Some House Democrats are also opposing it for that reason.

In an interview with NPR Wednesday, Obama said this tax would be a good idea.

"Taxing Cadillac plans that don't make people healthier, but just take money out of their pockets because they're paying more for insurance than they need to -- that's actually a good idea and that helps bend the cost curve," Obama said in an interview with NPR.

The Senate bill targets the wealthy also, but by increasing the Medicare payroll tax on individuals who make $200,000 a year and couples who make more than $250,000.

The House, on the other hand, does not include a tax on "Cadillac plans" but it does impose an income tax on the wealthy. Under the House plan, there would be a tax surcharge of 5.4 percent on income over $500,000 in the case of individuals and $1 million for families.

Abortion
Abortion is likely to be the key point of contention between Democrats in the Senate and the House when they try to reconcile the different bills.

Democrats in both chambers have been deeply divided over abortion language in the health care legislation. The House bill includes Stupak's amendment, which takes federal funding restrictions for abortion further with new language that cuts access to abortions for people who receive federal subsidies and those who purchase insurance through the health insurance exchange, a marketplace where people would be able to shop for and compare insurance plans. It also bans insurance companies participating in the exchange from offering abortion services.

The Senate includes slightly less restrictive language on abortion. In that version of the health care bill, states have the option of banning coverage in insurance plans brought in insurance marketplaces.

Democratic leaders in the House would be happy to concede to the Senate version -- liberal members of the party were unhappy with the abortion language inserted in the bill -- but Stupak told ABC News last week he will not vote for a bill that does not include his language. There are several anti-abortion Democrats in the House who insist on this as a condition to pass the bill.

"We plan on keeping the amendment we had and we've had good conversations with White House officials," Stupak said. "We haven't reached a common ground."
Public Option

The Senate plan does not include the option of a government-run insurance plan, a thorny issue among Democrats. The plan initially had a public option in which states would have the choice of whether they wanted to participate. But Democratic leaders did away with that provision to appease lawmakers such as Nelson and independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut.

The House health care bill, however, includes a public option in what becomes one of the biggest health care policy differences between the two bills. Under the House's public option plan, the government would negotiate rates with insurance companies instead of setting fees, as it does in Medicare.

At least 50 Democrats in the House are on the record as saying they will not vote for a bill without this option while Nelson and Lieberman have refused to support a bill that does include a public option.

In her column, Rep. Slaughter said by scrapping the public option, "the Senate has ended up with a bill that isn't worthy of its support."

"Although the art of legislating involves compromise, I believe the Senate went off the rails when it agreed with the Obama Administration to water down the reform bill and no longer include the public option," she wrote.

Obama Monday tried to downplay the differences over the public option, saying that debate is not the most important aspect of the bill.

"This is an area that has just become symbolic of a lot of ideological fights. As a practical matter, this is not the most important aspect to this bill -- the House bill or the Senate bill," the president said in an interview with American Urban Radio Networks, adding that "the Senate and the House bills are 95 percent identical."

In an interview with PBS Wednesday, the president reiterated that point, saying he will sign a bill even if it doesn't contain a public option.

"Would I like one of those options to be the public option? Yes. Do I think that it makes sense, as some have argued, that, without the public option, we dump all these other extraordinary reforms and we say to the 30 million people who don't have coverage: 'You know, sorry. We didn't get exactly what we wanted?' I don't think that makes sense," Obama said.
--

ABC News' Jonathan Karl contributed to this report.
racehorse
Image

User avatar
racehorse
Pirate
Posts: 14972
Joined: 01-04-2003 03:00 AM
Location: Commonwealth of Kentucky

Post by racehorse » 12-24-2009 07:39 AM

Biker wrote: That's strange. Any idea who didn't vote and why?

Biker :confused:


Senator Jim Bunning, I think. My Senator!!!!!!! :(
racehorse
Image

User avatar
racehorse
Pirate
Posts: 14972
Joined: 01-04-2003 03:00 AM
Location: Commonwealth of Kentucky

Post by racehorse » 12-24-2009 07:43 AM

Yes, it was Jim Bunning who did not vote. He was strongly against this bill. I have no idea why he missed voting on it.
racehorse
Image

Joolz
Pirate
Posts: 11976
Joined: 12-25-2002 03:00 AM

Post by Joolz » 12-24-2009 07:51 AM

I enjoyed watching the vote. I loved it when they cracked up laughing when it was Reid's turn to vote. :D It was good to hear them laugh. :) Off to get some sleep now. I waited up for this (still dark here).
Image Anchors Aweigh!

User avatar
racehorse
Pirate
Posts: 14972
Joined: 01-04-2003 03:00 AM
Location: Commonwealth of Kentucky

Post by racehorse » 12-24-2009 07:54 AM

Joolz wrote: I enjoyed watching the vote. I loved it when they cracked up laughing when it was Reid's turn to vote. :D It was good to hear them laugh. :) .


I enjoyed that, too, Joolz. :D

Yes it was good to hear them laugh. :)
racehorse
Image

Biker
Pirate
Posts: 1786
Joined: 11-04-2006 08:39 AM

Post by Biker » 12-24-2009 08:00 AM

racehorse wrote: Yes, it was Jim Bunning who did not vote. He was strongly against this bill. I have no idea why he missed voting on it.


Wow. I imagine you're going to let him hear about it?

Biker :D
"Bring me my broadsword and clear understanding".

Ian Anderson

User avatar
racehorse
Pirate
Posts: 14972
Joined: 01-04-2003 03:00 AM
Location: Commonwealth of Kentucky

Post by racehorse » 12-24-2009 08:07 AM

Maybe not.

I have been too hard on Senator Bunning for most of the past year. I like him though and always supported him. He knows that.

I am sure he had a good reason.
racehorse
Image

SETIsLady
Pirate
Posts: 19872
Joined: 04-14-2003 08:52 PM

Post by SETIsLady » 12-24-2009 10:02 AM

I missed the vote this morning, are there any videos of it ? Would like to see it without all the commentary on the TV.

User avatar
racehorse
Pirate
Posts: 14972
Joined: 01-04-2003 03:00 AM
Location: Commonwealth of Kentucky

Post by racehorse » 12-24-2009 10:18 AM

SETIsLady wrote: I missed the vote this morning, are there any videos of it ? Would like to see it without all the commentary on the TV.



<object id='cspan-video-player' classid='clsid:d27cdb6eae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000' codebase='http://fpdownload.macromedia.com/pub/sh ... on=9,0,0,0' width='410' height='500' align='middle'><param name='allowScriptAccess' value='true'/><param name='movie' value='http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary ... f'/><param name='quality' value='high'/><param name='bgcolor' value='#ffffff'/><param name='allowFullScreen' value='true'/><param name='flashvars' value='system=http://www.c-spanvideo.org/flashXml/217 ... l'/><embed name='cspan-video-player' src='http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary ... Player.swf' base='http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/assets/swf/' allowScriptAccess='always' width='410' height='500' bgcolor='#ffffff' quality='high' align='middle' allowFullScreen='true' type='application/x-shockwave-flash' pluginspage='http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer' flashvars='system=http://www.c-spanvideo.org/flashXml/217 ... /></object>
racehorse
Image

SETIsLady
Pirate
Posts: 19872
Joined: 04-14-2003 08:52 PM

Post by SETIsLady » 12-24-2009 10:35 AM

Thanks !

SETIsLady
Pirate
Posts: 19872
Joined: 04-14-2003 08:52 PM

Post by SETIsLady » 12-24-2009 11:19 AM

Bit of a nail biter with Bernie Sanders :eek:

SETIsLady
Pirate
Posts: 19872
Joined: 04-14-2003 08:52 PM

Next step: Turn two health care bills into one

Post by SETIsLady » 12-24-2009 11:25 AM

CNN) -- The Senate on Thursday passed its version of the health care bill, inching the country closer to the biggest expansion of medical coverage since Medicare was enacted more than four decades ago.

Senate Democrats declared victory after the 60-39 party line vote, but one of the most complicated tasks is still ahead.

A conference committee must reconcile the differences -- notably a public option, how to pay for the plan that emerges, and coverage for abortion -- and merge them into one.

The House and Senate will then have to pass the revised plan before it can be sent to President Obama's desk. Each chamber needs a simple majority vote for final

Although the House won't be in session until January 12, House staff will begin working through the differences on the two chambers' bills, according to several Democratic aides. Leaders and committee chairmen will return in early January for health care meetings.

Snip...

The biggest difference between the two bills is the public option. The House bill has one; the Senate bill does not.

Full Article

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/12/24/ ... index.html

User avatar
racehorse
Pirate
Posts: 14972
Joined: 01-04-2003 03:00 AM
Location: Commonwealth of Kentucky

Post by racehorse » 12-24-2009 02:41 PM

http://www.kentucky.com/latest_news/v-p ... 72020.html

Posted on Thu, Dec. 24, 2009

McConnell vows to continue health care fight; Bunning skips vote

By Halimah Abdullah

WASHINGTON — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to keep fighting efforts to pass a massive health care bill even as Democratic leaders declared victory Thursday after an early-morning vote on the Senate version of the legislation.

"There is widespread opposition to this monstrosity. This fight isn't over. My colleagues and I will work to stop this bill from becoming law," said McConnell, R-Ky.

The fight might not be over, but the Obama administration and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., won a crucial and protracted battle over the shape and scope of Senate health care reform legislation that raged for weeks on Capitol Hill.

McConnell and other GOP senators fought until the final votes were cast early Thursday morning, but Kentucky's junior Sen. Jim Bunning skipped the crucial health care reform vote.

Bunning, who is not seeking a third term and strongly opposes the Democrats' health care reform efforts, did not respond to a request for comment.

McConnell, a lawmaker whose skill as a parliamentary tactician has long earned him begrudging nods of respect from across the aisle, debated fiercely from the floor and marshaled his caucus. Still, he was unable to overcome that chamber's Democratic voting majority.

The Senate voted 60 to 39 Thursday to overhaul the health care system — President Barack Obama's top 2009 domestic priority — moving the nation closer to near-universal health care coverage early in the next decade. The $871 billion bill would require most Americans to obtain health care coverage, and it would provide federal aid for those having difficulty affording it.

"Ever since Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform in 1912, seven Presidents — Democrats and Republicans alike — have taken up the cause of reform," President Obama said Thursday. "Time and time again, such efforts have been blocked by special-interest lobbyists who've perpetuated a status quo that works better for the insurance industry than it does for the American people. But with passage of reform bills in both the House and the Senate, we are now finally poised to deliver on the promise of real, meaningful health insurance reform that will bring additional security and stability to the American people."

The health care vote was an important test for McConnell. As the titular head of a dwindled caucus, he had the difficult task of navigating his party through the debate while ensuring that the GOP wasn't steamrolled in the process.

When New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg sent Republican colleagues a memo on parliamentary strategy that they could use to offer amendments and extend debate earlier this month, the move offered a clue to how McConnell intended to navigate the health care debate. Democrats quickly labeled the letter an "obstructionist playbook" and pointed to the Kentucky lawmaker as the brainpower behind Republican stall tactics.

McConnell and Gregg waved off the criticism and feigned confusion about the Democrats' pique over the GOP's "innocuous" guidance to party members during a tongue-in-cheek exchange on the Senate floor.

Later, Republicans were brought proceedings to a temporary standstill after demanding that a nearly 800-page amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, to include a sweeping single-payer system be read into the record. McConnell had employed that strategy during last year's debate over global-warming legislation.

In the end, however, Sanders withdrew his amendment, and Democrats' 60-seat majority ensured that McConnell was unable to use the tool that in past years had proved the greatest in his arsenal: the filibuster — blocking legislation by defeating efforts to cut off debate. The tenor of the Senate debate over health care legislation could foreshadow the nature of future debate on climate-change legislation and changes to immigration policies.

For his part, McConnell suggested that public sentiment might yet help turn the tide on health care reform.

"This debate was supposed to produce a bill that reformed health care in America," McConnell said. "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."
--
McClatchy Newspaper correspondents David Lightman and William Douglas contributed to this report.
racehorse
Image

Post Reply

Return to “Politics and Government 2004-2009”