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simple question on health care reform: are there even 51 votes for public option?

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:38 PM
Original message
simple question on health care reform: are there even 51 votes for public option?
A lot of us have clamored for reconciliation to get around the GOP threat of a filibuster that would be aided by a handful of corrupt Democrats, but my sad question is are there enough progressives in the Senate to pass a public through reconciliation?

Or are so many corrupt that they couldn't muster even 51 votes? (or 50 plus Biden)?
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. Didnt 54 Senators commit to the PO a few months back?
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Sebastian Doyle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Sounds about right.
Though I don't have a link to that exact number.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. then why didn't THEY push for reconciliation instead of a lame bill that could get 60 votes?
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Maybe the Democratic Senate photo is a clue?

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. they're the chickens that let the corporate fox in the henhouse.
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Reconciliation has certain problems
Anything passed through reconciliation has to be germaine to the budget. A public option could probably pass, but the insurance regulations could not, nor could the insurance exchanges.

Also, anything that is ruled not directly related to the budget violates the "Byrd Rule," which then needs 60 votes to be waived. And if it's not deficit neutral, the whole thing expires in 10 years.

Now, Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer have argued we should have gone through reconciliation anyway and that we could probably have gotten the bill passed. Tom Harkin and Russ Feingold, however, have said that they didn't believe in reconciliation because they didn't think you'd get a good bill out of it. You'd get some pieces, and maybe a weak public option, but nothing else.

Also, the committee in charge of preparing a reconciliation bill would be Kent Conrad's, and he's hardly a progressive champion. Plus, he opposed the public option - he said he wouldn't filibuster or vote against a bill with one, but he didn't favor that component.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. they could have split it into two bills
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Possibly
That's what Chuck Schumer was advocating. The concern is that you can't exactly do that in a vacuum - you think Lieberman, for example, is going to happily go along with that strategy? It's very possible that you'd lose 60 votes for the non-reconciliation bill even if it was more conservative, precisely because it would be obvious just one part of the package, and blocking it would be necessary to prevent passage of the second bill.

So that would have been the risk. But you're right that I think they should have gone that route, maybe by passing a smaller, reconciliation-only bill with a public option this year and then later going back and doing the bigger, non-controversial insurance regulations through the regular process.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. that would have been a double edged sword--if insurance regulation didn't go through...
it would have made some kind of public option look even more attractive to consumers who would still be getting an unlubricated screwing from the insurance companies.
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Yes public option first. This would lessen opposition to a mandate.
I hate the mandate but I find it unacceptable without a public option.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. They're using the 60 vote bullshit to hide their allegiance to their corporate masters!
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