Posts Tagged ‘senate health care bill’
Health Care News
The Senate’s health care bill became law earlier this week, but the fight against a government overhaul of our nation’s health system continued in the Senate. Senators voted on many amendments to the reconciliation bill passed by the House as a “fix” to the massive Senate health bill, H.R. 3590.
This process proved extremely important, since it underscored some very key policy issues that have surfaced in the national debate. Forget what lawmakers say; look instead on how they act. Votes on key issues tell a big story. Consider the following policy issues:
Medicaid For Congressmen: CBO and other experts estimate that more than 30 million Americans will secure health care coverage under the recently enacted health care legislation. But there is one little problem: Roughly half of those will be covered, not under private health insurance, but under Medicaid, a poorly performing welfare program that indisputably delivers low quality care. Even though Medicaid is a mess, Congress voted to extend Medicaid coverage to 16 million more Americans by 2019. If Congress thinks Medicaid is the right option to cover millions of their fellow citizens, then House and Senate members should not mind enrolling in it themselves.
Health Care News
On the eve of the House of Representatives push to jam through the misguided and highly unpopular Senate health care bill, the President continues to try and convince the American people that the health care bill would reduce cost while showing his commitment to creating jobs and improving the economy. The raw facts make it clear that he cannot keep either of these promises. For example:
– The President claims the health care proposals would reduce health care spending. The reality is health care spending would increase. According to the latest Congressional Budget Office report of the Senate bill, health care spending under the Senate bill would increase by $210 billion over the next 10 years. This is similar to the results found by the President’s chief actuary which estimated an increase of $222 billion. While CBO predicts spending would decrease in the second decade, history shows spending rarely, if ever, goes down on government health programs. Medicare is hurtling toward a financial crisis, and Medicaid is breaking state budgets. (more…)
This week, the House is preparing to vote on the Senate-passed health care bill, which depends on a massive expansion of Medicaid to reduce the number of uninsured.
However, as has become apparent in the months of debate surrounding Democrats’ health care proposals, all that glitters is not gold—especially in the case of expanding Medicaid, a low-quality, poorly-functioning federal-state program which fails to meet the needs of its beneficiaries. Increasing the number of citizens dependent on this program fails to address its numerous shortcomings, and instead applies them to millions more.
A recent article in the New York Times portrays the plights of current Medicaid beneficiaries which are slowly becoming the norm. Since Medicaid reimburses doctors significantly below the cost of providing care, more and more doctors are being forced to turn patients away. According to Dr. Saed J. Sahouri, “…we’re really losing money on seeing those patients, not even breaking even. We were starting to lose more and more money, month after month.” (more…)
The House Rules Committee will meet this afternoon to discuss what has been dubbed the “Slaughter Solution” to passage of the Senate health care bill. The precedent cited by Rules Chairman Louise Slaughter to justify the proposed maneuver (to “deem” passage of the Senate health care bill when in fact the bill has never been actually “passed”) simply does not support the planned manipulation of the House rules and may well violate the U.S. Constitution.
As early as 1933 House rules were interpreted to permit House acceptance of Senate Amendments in a bill simultaneously with House passage of a Resolution on a separate matter. But that precedent clearly included House concurrence in (or “passage” of) the Senate Amendments. The new maneuver planned for this week’s health care bill is not designed to be an up or down vote on Senate Amendments to a bill or a bill itself. Instead the proposed Rule will “deem”, or pretend, that a Senate bill that will never have been in fact “passed”, was instead “deemed” to have been passed. (more…)
President Barack Obama and congressional leaders claim that the Senate health bill, which will likely face a vote in the House by the end of the week, will decrease the deficit and bend the cost curve related to health care spending. However, recent analysis by The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis (CDA) shows that this is far from true. Instead, the bill’s mandates and numerous new taxes will have tumultuous effects. Passing Obamacare will come at the expense of the American people as it would grow the federal debt, increase premiums, and stifle economic growth.
The Senate bill would have disastrous effects on the economy and federal spending. CDA shows that the bill:
– Increases the federal deficit and national debt. The Congressional Budget Office shows deficit neutrality for the Senate bill—however, this is based on static analysis which ignores the effects new taxes and an individual and employer mandate would have on economic growth. These provisions would decrease investment in the economy, resulting in lower wages and salaries. This means less taxable income, lowering federal revenues and growing the debt. Increased borrowing puts upward pressure on interest rates causing some private sector productive investment opportunities to be foregone. This also increases the interest owed on the national debt, such that the government would pay, on average, $20 billion more in interest between 2010 and 2020. By the end of the decade, CDA estimates the publicly held debt would be $755 billion dollars more than under current law. (more…)
Another day, another poll showing President Barack Obama’s health care plan is wildly unpopular with the American people. Yesterday NBC News/The Wall Street Journal released their latest poll showing that the percentage of Americans who believe President Obama’s health care plan is a bad idea (48%) is at the highest level since they started asking the question last year. Only 36% of Americans are willing to call the plan a “good idea” which is up a whole four points from the time when House Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter (D-NY) wrote this about the Senate health plan:
“[U]nder the Senate plan, millions of Americans will be forced into private insurance company plans, which will be subsidized by taxpayers. That alternative will do almost nothing to reform health care but will be a windfall for insurance companies. … Supporters of the weak Senate bill say ‘just pass it — any bill is better than no bill.’”
“I strongly disagree — a conference report is unlikely to sufficiently bridge the gap between these two very different bills. 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.”
The Senate health bill is so unpopular, even among House Democrats, that the leftist House leadership is desperately trying to trick the American people into believing that the House can pass the Senate bill without voting on it. Hence the Slaughter Rule which would deem the Senate bill passed at the same time the House would approve a new reconciliation bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was crystal clear on her motives this week telling a group of leftist bloggers: “It’s more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know. But I like it because people don’t have to vote on the Senate bill.” (more…)
According to the official site of the House Rules Committee, “questions of privilege” relate to “matters affecting the safety, dignity or integrity of the House, or the rights, reputation or conduct of a member acting as a representative.”
House leaders are poised to use a procedural tactic of questionable constitutionality to move the single most consequential piece of legislation in over seven decades through the House without a vote. Here’s the idea: (1) pass a rule to bring to the floor a “reconciliation” measure that would detoxify certain provisions in the Senate-passed health-reform bill, and (2) insert in the rule a sentence that “deems” the Senate bill to have passed the House.
Health Care News
“Deeming” and “reconciliation” are hardly household words, but for the next week Americans will come to know them as key procedural maneuvers that could push Obamacare across the finish line. But while they might deliver a bill to President Obama’s desk, they will also make it easier to repeal the measure, says former White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove.
On the road for his “Courage and Consequence” book tour, Rove chatted with The Heritage Foundation about Obamacare, his defense of President George W. Bush’s conservatism, the growth of Tea Parties and anger toward government spending.
Rove, who joined Heritage for the launch of our San Francisco Community Committee last September, recalled how even in the heart of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) district, conservatives were teeming with energy and enthusiasm. Rove will appear at a Heritage Foundation community committee event in Naples, FL, next week.
Health Care News
As written, the current health care bill before Congress already is guaranteed to face serious constitutional challenges on enumerated powers, 5th Amendment, racial discrimination, and unequal state treatment. Now the White House seems determined to add a whole new reason courts will throw out Obamacare on sight. Director of the Stanford Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and former-federal judge Michael McConnell explains:
“To become law—hence eligible for amendment via reconciliation—the Senate health-care bill must actually be signed into law. The Constitution speaks directly to how that is done. According to Article I, Section 7, in order for a ‘Bill’ to ‘become a Law,’ it ‘shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate’ and be ‘presented to the President of the United States’ for signature or veto. Unless a bill actually has ‘passed’ both Houses, it cannot be presented to the president and cannot become a law.” (more…)
Health Care News
A piecrust promise is one that is easily made and easily broken. The promise – more a rumor than anything else – that the U.S. Senate will use the reconciliation process to adopt a strong ban on abortion funding if the House passes the Senate-approved bill is flakier than most. Never before in the history of the 34-year abortion funding debate have pro-life members of Congress approved a bill containing abortion funding on the promise that a subsequent vote will fix the problem.
The scenario being discussed in the media requires some explanation. The House-passed version of health care reform includes the blanket provision known as Stupak-Pitts. (more…)
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