The status of Obamacare

I don’t have time to write a coherent piece this evening on the current status of the healthcare legislation winding its way through the Senate, but I did want to pass along a few links that I think you might find of interest.

First, there’s a good piece in the Washington Post about the fracturing alliance between Senate Democrats… Here’s a clip:

Democrats had little time to savor their weekend Senate health-care victory, as two of the lawmakers who voted to move the debate forward Saturday night indicated Sunday that they will not vote to pass the package if it includes a government-run insurance program.

Despite the success in the test vote, the fragile consensus in the Democratic caucus will face its greatest test yet as the health-care debate moves to the Senate floor and Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) struggles to stave off internal schisms. The cracks in the 60-member caucus are most obvious over the public insurance option.

One member of the Democratic caucus, independentSen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.), reiterated Sunday that he will oppose any bill that contains a public option. Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he called such a government-run plan “radical”…

Then, second, there’s this piece in the Huffington Post about how this fight over the so-called public option is playing out… Here’s a clip:

…While conservative members of the Democratic caucus threaten to block passage of health care reform if it includes a public health insurance option, a growing chorus of liberal lawmakers are making similar threats if the bill doesn’t have one.

Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, said in a statement on Sunday that the bill must have a strong public option to win his vote.

“I strongly suspect that there are a number of senators, including myself, who would not support final passage without a strong public option,” he said. Not supporting final passage, however, is different than vowing to filibuster it and prevent it from even getting to a vote on final passage, as independent Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is now doing, hoping to strip the public option…

All that seems certain at this point is that Republicans are determined to stall as long as they can, for fear that passing healthcare legislation – any healthcare legislation – could be seen as a Democratic victory. According to recent reports, they’re now saying they need six weeks to consider the legislation before it can come to a vote, even though it’s highly unlikely that any from their side of the aisle would vote to support it… So it looks like we might have a long time to debate that public option.

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5 Comments

  1. Ernie Best
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Does Lieberman still have his committee assignment?

    We can’t put all the blame on Lieberman. It’s Democratic leadership that’s allowing him to act this way. He should have been smacked down years ago.

  2. Kim
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    If you know people in Connecticut, call them, and beg them to call Lieberman’s office. He needs to hear from his constituents that want reform, not just the health care companies in his backyard that keep making big cash contributions.

  3. elviscostello
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Lieberman is an asshat. I bet those Dems like Obama and Dodd wish they had supported the real Democrat in that Senate race, Ned Lamont.

  4. Posted November 29, 2009 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    A new Harvard study suggests that approximately 45,000 Americans die prematurely each year because the do not have insurance.

  5. Masterson
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Good thing the study was from Harvard and not the University of East Anglia.

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