15 July 2009

"Bipartisan" HELP Bill advances

Via Talking Points Memo:
The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has voted along party to move its health care reform legislation out of committee. The panel has been in mark-up for weeks now, and along the way, has approved 160 Republican amendments--and for all that largesse, not a single member of the minority voted in its favor.
Damn -- 160 GOP amendments approved?  I'd be interested in knowing what they incorporated into the bill there.  One interesting tidbit:
Under a Republican amendment approved Tuesday in the HELP bill, every member of Congress and their staffs would be required to enroll in the public insurance option. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) authored the measure, which has become a rallying point for conservatives opposed to the public option. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), who voted by proxy, and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) called their bluff and voted with Republicans to pass the amendment -- effectively neutralizing the issue for now. It seems unlikely that it would survive the many stages of the legislative process. Then again, Kennedy apparently likes it, according to his spokesman: "Sen. Kennedy believes strongly in the public option and its ability to provide quality and affordable healthcare while keeping the insurance companies honest. This was a no-brainer."
I like it.

And yes, for the irony-impaired, I'm using the "bipartisan" modifier somewhat facetiously.  It never fails to astonish me on some level that despite the dramatic compromises the Democrats have made in crafting this bill in order to please the conservatives, that the GOP seems bound and determined to dig their heels in and say "No, no, no."


  1. This calls for another look at that Horsefeathers video you submitted recently.

  2. The Dems started with a shit sandwich. The Republicans complained about it. Now the Dems tossed on a nice organic tomato slice and put the sandwich on some fresh artisan bread.

    According to you, they should be grateful and eat. I think they'd just be taking a bite out of a shit sandwich.

  3. I get it, shit sandwiches don't taste very good. But when you're in the minority, the menu is limited, isn't it?

    Seriously, I don't believe for a second that this is all about principle. The GOP was more than willing to toss their small-government conservatism out the window when it was a political winner for them (Medicare part D). Now the only political "win" for them is to try to obstruct progress and screw the country and hope the public blames the democrats.

    It's all about politics for these guys, and always has been. They want to win, but don't care about responsible governance.

  4. "It's all about politics for these guys, and always has been. They want to win, but don't care about responsible governance."

    I totally agree with you, as long as you paint the Dems with this brush, too. They're politicians, after all. If we had responsible governance, we wouldn't have a huge national debt, foreign policy problems, government waste, etc.

  5. Lets hope something reasonable comes out of all this.

  6. Shadowfax, here's an example of one of those "dramatic compromises"



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