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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-21-09 04:39 PM
Original message
Reconciliation a Trojan Horse for the Public Option?
We now have people like Tom Daschle and Michael Steele demanding we go though reconciliation.

Think Progress
Get it to the floor up or down, baby, Steele said as he pounded the desk. Put it on the table.

I don't think I need to convince you of Michael Steele's motivations, but people may not know who Tom Daschle has worked for since leaving office...the insurance industry. In fact a recent article states he "is once again working closely with lobbyists for UnitedHealth Group, the largest U.S. industry player."

Michael Scherer
Now it is one thing for Daschle to make this convoluted argument--that he can at once advocate the public option while taking money to help those leading the charge to defeat it. It is quite another for Daschle to be allowed on a show like Meet The Press to talk about the insurance industry without any disclosure of the fact that he now works as a strategist for the insurance industry.

The idea that reconciliation in the Senate will produce the desired public option relies on one simple idea. That there are 51 senators who would vote for it outright when it is proposed by itself. Alternatively, there could be 50 senators to vote for it and Joe Biden could be the tie breaker. However, so far 43 senators have committed to voting for the public option outright.

Chris Bowers
Despite near implications to the contrary, a public health insurance option is not dead yet. In fact, through the tens of thousands of emails you sent on the Stand with Dr. Dean campaign, HCAN, DFA and Open Left now have 43 Senators on record in favor of the public option, and 18 are either "maybes" or "unknowns."

Public Option Support Breakdown
Yes-43; Maybe-16; Unknown-2; No-2

So it is perfectly possible, when given the chance to vote against the public option more than 10 Democratic senators will do so. Even if more than 49 Democratic senators vote for the public option, the bill will only last 5 years before having to be reauthorized, unlike a bill passed through normal channels. Why is that so important? Because a public option will not start until some 4 or 5 years after the bill is passed, meaning that they may be able to strike it down before the public option even takes effect, or have the opportunity to do so when the plan is in its infancy before any possible issues with the program can be fixed. This would allow the right wing to attack any small problem in the beginning stages of the public option and blow them out of proportion (death panels anyone?).

Instead, if Democrats were to pass the bill though normal channels, we would be required to get 60 votes to end a filibuster. You may be asking, why is it you think a 60 vote requirement would be advantageous over a 50 vote requirement? Here is the kicker, do you believe the two no's and the 18 maybe's or unknown's (Democratic senators) will actually filibuster the entire health care bill just because it contains a public option? I think not. In fact, the two no votes only said they would vote against the public option. That does not mean that a) they will vote to filibuster the bill or b) they will vote against the entire health care bill because it contains a public option. No Democratic senators have made statements to suggest they severely oppose the public option enough to vote against the entire bill if it contains a public option, let alone filibuster it.

Therefore, I believe reconciliation is a dangerous path that could spell more trouble for the public option in the long run than trying to pass an overall bill containing the public option through normal channels.

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Teaser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-21-09 04:45 PM
Response to Original message
1. 46 votes for it so far, not 43
accuracy fail.
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Thrill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-21-09 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
2. Unbelievable that there are that many Democrats against a public option
And people actually think there is a chance in hell of getting Single Payer passed?
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Cant trust em Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-21-09 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Funny how that works. nt
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joeybee12 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-21-09 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. Interesting that it would only be valid for 5 years...
...kinda makes me wonder if the Senators are dicking us around...hey, wonder? I KNOW they are.
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