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House Dems’ Cram Class On Health Bill

It looks like the Democrats have been shamed into getting at least a passing familiarity with the Obama-Care bill before they face their constituents during their August recess.

From an approving Washington Post:

House Democrats Gather for Health Care 101

By Joel Achenbach
Tuesday, July 28, 2009

They held the tutorial in the Capitol basement starting at 4 in the afternoon Monday. For the first two and a half hours, about 180 members of Congress had to do something for which they typically have limited affinity: Remain speechless. Sit still in a little folding chair. Listen to staffers.

They couldn’t even ask questions, but they could jot them down, for discussion later in the evening.

They were all House Democrats, boning up on the historic and controversial health-care reform legislation that’s gradually emerging from their chamber. The rough draft of the bill ("America’s Affordable Health Choices Act") runs more than 1,000 pages, with amendments yet to come. Last week the Democrats decided that they needed to know more about the legislation before they go back to their constituents for the August recess. Hence the teach-in, an unusual basement seminar that lasted five hours with one break for procedural votes on the House floor.

Staffers led the members through the bill section by section — from Division A, Title I, Subtitle A, Section 101 all the way through Division C, Title V, Subtitle D, Section 2531.

"No one’s going to say we haven’t read the bill," said Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, a Maryland Democrat, as he took a break from the closed-door gathering.

"Have you ever seen members sit for two hours? There’s been 120 of them that have been in there throughout," said Rep. John B. Larson of Connecticut, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, as he headed toward the House floor midway through the session.

"Having people sit there like a graduate class in a great university — without being able to interrupt a professor — very unusual," said Michigan Rep. Dale E. Kildee, who has spent 33 years in Congress.

Some members had a printout of the entire bill. Others used a 34-page cheat sheet. Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (Ohio) took page after page of notes on a legal pad. To make matters somewhat easier for members, the packet of information handed out at the door included a glossary of health-care terms, including:



Adverse Selection


Comparative Effectiveness

Cost Shifting

Dual Eligibles

The glossary spelled out such abbreviations as COBRA and DSH and EPSDT and ERISA and FEHBP and FMAP and FPL and HIPAA.

The question-and-answer session started about 7 p.m. and lasted two hours. Participants described the questions as being all over the map, reflecting differing levels of familiarity with the contents of the bill. Members of the committees with jurisdiction over the bill have already had a chance to get granular on the details of the legislation, but some of their colleagues on other committees are still trying to get up to speed.

Rep. Christopher S. Murphy of Connecticut said that although this is a very complex piece of legislation, it is not too complex. There’s no way to reform the health-care system with a few simple strokes, he said.

"This is a complicated problem, with a complicated solution," Murphy said. "If you’re going to fix it, it’s not going to come in four pages. The last Harry Potter book was 700 pages."

So now they are experts having spent all of four hours boning up.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 28th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

25 Responses to “House Dems’ Cram Class On Health Bill”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    I wonder what “Ethics” charges these “staffers” were holding over these congressmen heads to make them “shut up” and “sit still” for 4 l-o-n-g hours?

    A 34 page cheat sheet compared to 1100 pages of still untapped legislature?
    Did someone already say “Bulshiite”?

    All this stuff is in their lingo and nobody wants the headache of doing their elected job. Let us just run some boobs in to explain the acronyms. (and it takes 4 friggin’ hours)


    • jobeth says:


      ….what you said!!! I totally agree!!!!

    • bill says:

      two thumbs up …

      Cliffnotes version:Abort the unborn, euthanize the old, save money, save planet earth, give money saved to Democrat voters.

      What you want details?

  2. Yarddog1 says:

    You are cordially invited to attend a Healthcare Reform seminar at 4:00PM held appropriately in the Capitol basement and entitled:

    “How to Successfully Misrepresent, Lie with a Straight Face, Hoodwink Your Constituents, Feed them S–t and Tell Them it’s Caviar and Piss in Their Ear and Tell them it’s Raining while Discussing the Obamacare Health Care Initiative”

  3. proreason says:

    “If you’re going to fix it, it’s not going to come in four pages. The last Harry Potter book was 700 pages.”


    The original Constitution was 4618 words. The 27 amendments are about 3200 words. At 600 words per page (40 lines with 15 words per line), less than 15 pages.

    That was good enough to create the greatest country in the world.

    Prior to Obamy becoming the boy king.

  4. pdsand says:

    This is the current version of the bill. After it gets thrown out and completely re-done, I’m sure we will be able to safely say at that point that no one has read the bill.

  5. Rusty Shackleford says:

    MY Healthcare Reform Bill

    Article 1) Leave it the f*** alone.

    There, see how easy that is?

    Less than one page. Heck….put it on a 3×5 card if you have to. Even make it wallet-size so you can carry it around.

    There’s even room for a tentative article 2) Kill all the lawyers.

    Still just a skoshe shorter than that laid out by the hippies.

  6. GetBackJack says:

    Wonder if they saw this stuff as they’re speed reading with their lawyers …

    Pg 22 of the HC Bill MANDATES the Government will audit books of ALL EMPLOYERS that self insure!!

    Pg 30 Sec 123 of HC bill – THERE WILL BE A GOVT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get

    Pg 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill – YOUR HEALTHCARE IS RATIONED!!!

    Pg 42 of HC Bill – The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You have no choice!

    PG 50 Section 152 in HC bill – HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

    Pg 58HC Bill – Government will have real-time access to individuals’ finances & a National ID Health card will be issued!

    Pg 59 HC Bill lines 21-24 Government will have direct access to your bank accounts for electronic funds transfer

    PG 65 Sec 164 is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in Unions & community orgs (ACORN).

    Pg 72 Lines 8-14 Government is creating a Health Care Exchange to bring private Health Care plans under Government control.

    PG 84 Sec 203 HC bill – Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange

    PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specs for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Government will ration your Healthcare!

    PG 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill – Government mandates linguistic services. Example – Translation for illegal aliens

    Pg 95 HC Bill Lines 8-18 The Government will use groups i.e., ACORN & Americorps to sign up individuals for Government HC plan

    PG 85 Line 7 HC Bill – Specs of Benefit Levels for Plans. #AARP members – Your Health care WILL BE RATIONED.

    -PG 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill – Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice

    pg 124 lines 24-25 HC No company can sue Government on price fixing. No “judicial review” against Government Monopoly

    pg 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill – Doctors/ #AMA – The Government will tell YOU what u can make.

    Pg 145 Line 15-17 An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE

    Pg 126 Lines 22-25 Employers MUST pay for HC for part time employees AND their families.

    Pg 149 Lines 16-24 ANY Employer with payroll 400k & above who does not provide public option will pay 8% tax on all payroll

    pg 150 Lines 9-13 Any business with payroll between 251k & 400k who doesn’t provide public option pays 2-6% tax on all payroll

    Pg 167 Lines 18-23 ANY individual who doesn’t have acceptable HC according to Government will be taxed 2.5% of income

    Pg 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill Any NONRESIDENT Alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay)

    Pg 195 HC Bill -officers & employees of HC Admin (GOVT) will have access to ALL Americans financial/personal records

    PG 203 Line 14-15 HC – “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” (Yes, it says that)

    Pg 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors, low income, poor affected

    Pg 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill – Doctors, doesn’t matter what specialty you have, you’ll all be paid the same

    PG 253 Line 10-18 Government sets value of Dr’s time, professional judgement, etc. Literally value of humans.

    PG 265 Sec 1131 Government mandates & controls productivity for private HC industries

    PG 268 Sec 1141 Fed Government regulates rental & purchase of power driven wheelchairs

    PG 272 SEC. 1145. TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!

    Page 280 Sec 1151 The Government will penalize hospitals for what Government deems preventable readmissions.

    Pg 298 Lines 9-11 Drs, treat a patient during initial admission that results in a readmission – Government will penalize you.

    Pg 317 L 13-20 PROHIBITION on ownership/investment – Government tells Drs. what/how much they can own.

    Pg 317-318 lines 21-25,1-3 PROHIBITION on expansion- Government will be mandating hospitals they cannot expand

    pg 321 2-13 Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input required. Can u say ACORN?!!

    Pg335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339 – Government mandates establishment of outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing

    Pg 341 Lines 3-9 Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Adv Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing people in to Government plan

    Pg 354 Sec 1177 – Government will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people! Think about people in the Special Olympics to understand what this means.

    Pg 379 Sec 1191 Government creates more bureaucracy – Tele-health Advisory Committee. Can u say HC by phone?
    PG 425 Lines 4-12 Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consult. End of life counseling for senior citizens.

    Pg 425 Lines 17-19 Government will instruct & consult regarding living wills, durable powers of atty. Mandatory!

    PG 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3 Government provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you along in death

    PG 427 Lines 15-24 Government mandates program orders for end of life. The Government will have a say in how your life ends

    Pg 429 Lines 1-9 an “adv. care planning consult” will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates

    PG 429 Lines 10-12 “Adv. care consultation” may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOV

    Pg 429 Lines 13-25 – The Government will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.

    PG 430 Lines 11-15 The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life

    Pg 469 – Community Based Home Medical Services=Non-profit orgs. Hello, ACORN Medical Services here!!?

    Page 472 Lines 14-17 PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORG. 1. monthly payment 2. a community-based org. Like ACORN?

    PG 489 Sec 1308 The Government will cover Marriage & Family therapy. Which means they will insert Government in to your marriage

    Pg 494-498 Government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those services

    … and so on.

    Hat Tip to You Know Who in Texas, manning the wireless, the Mojo Wire and thumb in the political dike. Simultaneously. You go girl.

    • proreason says:

      holy shit

    • Liberals Demise says:

      (over the public loud speakers)

      “Attention all peons of the American Federation……….
      ……Attention all peons of the American Federation……….
      ………We Assume Control, We Assume Control, We Assume Control.”

    • beautyofreason says:

      Nightmare. Nightmare. And nightmare.

      Good luck attracting new doctors – whose pay will be regulated by the government. If it’s anything like Britain they will not even be able to choose their area of study.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      To put it in the most simple terms, this is not a bill, it is a manifesto. It is fascist doctrine in a palatable form that people will actually read and actually believe it is about health care.

      It is not.

      It is about freedom. It is about taking your and my freedom and shoving it aside to give assholes like Pelosi, Frank, Rangel, Holder, and the whole hee-haw gang of elites free-reign to make more and more policy changes to add on to this piece of legislative garbage so that they can live above it all and play tiddly-winks with our lives. Lives which they care nothing about.

      This is also about “social justice” as they see it. And it has nothing to do with the justice they speak of, when they refer to how mean whitey has been for over 200 years. No, it has to do with a more tangible social justice that they can relate to. That being the injustices (as they see it) for being forced to get Harvard educations on the public’s dime, for getting preferential treatment everywhere they went and for everyone talking very carefully when they were in the room.

      Wake up America. Some of you are and that’s a good start. But more people need to realize what’s going on here. It’s a full frontal assault. Not only are they exhibiting out and out and unchallenged socialism in the takeover of carmakers and banks, but they are also playing the sublime game of backdooring control of our lives with this “bill”. I have never read or heard of a bill that has so many hardline rules, regulations, prohibitions, etc in it. Even gun control legislation isn’t this restrictive, not that they wouldn’t want it to be.

      And, don’t think that any kind of gun control couldn’t be inserted in this thing as some sort of “hazardous use of materials” BS.

      They are completely without scruples on this. So they had a “sit-down” with the architects of this legal toilet paper. You know, I train very proficient pilots on a rather complex airliner and the course for those who have never flown it before is 11 days long. Eleven very busy, no real down-time days. They are inundated not only with new terms but new procedures and systems. And, as I said, they are very proficient as aviators from the start. And the manuals have some couple of hundred pages of information. At the end, they have to pass an oral exam which they have to get an 80%….and often get close to 100 if not actually 100%.

      So how, I’m asking, can a 4 hour period of over 1,000 pages of complexity can be considered thorough and comprehensive? Obviously, it cannot.

      To the idiot Ruppersberger who said, ” “No one’s going to say we haven’t read the bill,” I’ll say this: “OK, smartass, tell me what it said so I can understand it. And, I have some questions; Very direct, yes/no answers are the only ones permitted”

      I doubt any single rank-and-file democrat who wants to keep his “good thing” going in DC will say anything negative about it.

      And that’s the problem with which we are faced. These mobsters have got to go.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Good catch of the demoRATS placing a anti-gun bill in the midst of this “Seizure of Basic Liberty” Anti-American Manifesto.
      Sweet Jesus!!

    • Petronius says:

      This is not a health care bill. It is a death bill.

  7. David says:

    Almost 5 pages per minute… sure they read it. Next up for sale, a bridge someplace…

  8. proreason says:

    I’m wondering if this over-the-top-facist monstrosity bill isn’t a stalking horse.

    It’s so outrageaous, so beyond the pale, so extreme in every respect….even I can hardly believe the libwits are this nutty.

    I’m worried that it is like a massive artillery barage that they are using to soften us up.

    And the next move is something we will accept because it will seem like sweet relief..

    Except that it too will destroy the country, rob us of our freedoms, and permanently ensconse the facists on their thrones.

    • pdsand says:

      They’ve already done that with the stimulus, pass a bill so large and ridiculous that any amount of spending seems normal. I mean look at the *sidebar* conversation about the costs of this bill. Before the stimulus it would have been sheer lunacy to talk about this much money. Now it’s barely a mention about details of “our estimates, your estimates” of a TRILLION dollars give or take a few hundred billion. After healthcare either passes or fails, it won’t be that ridiculous any more to talk about completely re-ordering whole segments of our society. It’ll just be a mundane debate on the merits and the finer points. Which of course is what they want.

  9. GetBackJack says:

    Dear Pro – I think that, too.

    But what if they throw up their hands and give up rather than cut the fat off the bacon before they pan fry us?

    That … seems altogether too likely at this juncture. If it passes, we’re screwed. If they cut all sorts of gimmes out, we’re still screwed.

    I GUARANTEE this … I will rot under a bridge before I see a government doctor.

  10. proreason says:

    Nancy Pelosi, the third sidekick of Dumb and Dumber…..”Dumber than Dumber”…..proclaims that Universal Health Scare will cap the cost but not the benefits.


    Yep. She really said it

    I think she believes it. The details would have been way over her head, so she took Waxman’s word for it.

    • beautyofreason says:

      I made a crappy analogy to see if I understand the problems of socialized health care. (forgive the made-up numbers – I am mathematically illiterate, though not such a moron as Pelosi):

      Four men – A, B, C, and D go to a doctor in a country with socialized health care. The government has a budget of $4000 for the care of these men. Man A has a brain tumor and requires $2500 for the full surgery and chemotherapy. Man B has a hernia in his abdomen that will cost $1000 to repair via surgery. Men C and D are healthy and have $250 for each of them. Yet those numbers are decreased due to a backlog of patients taking advantage of a “free service” to get everything from acne prescriptions to birth control. Unexpectedly, Man C gets hit by a bus.

      The government has to cut costs somewhere. So they start by capping doctor fees and increasing their patient loads. Doctors respond by leaving the business, not accepting patients beyond a fixed number (this happens in Canada!) or charging more for procedures uncovered by the health care plan. It takes months to find a general care physician or to see a specialist. Man A’s cancer hits stage 2 during the wait.

      The government has a fixed amount of money, so it turns to rationing to cut costs. Is it worth paying for surgery and chemotherapy to increase the life of a cancer patient A for a few years? How about six months? If he’s older, is it more acceptable to let him die or to deny treatment than if he is a young man still paying into the system? Six months may be worth it to the patient but not the government. What if a new technology would offer him a higher survival rate but costs twice as much (ex. the “cyber knife”)? And what about Man B with the hernia? Some men have terrible pain, but others go without surgery for years. So why would the government finance an operation that is not of immediate need, if they can get away with not doing? Send the patient home with pain killers.

      I don’t trust the government to have ultimate control over matters of life and death. My money, my body, my life – right? At least with insurance, people can choose their own plan. Not so with socialized health care.

    • proreason says:

      “At least with insurance, people can choose their own plan. Not so with socialized health care.”

      And you have the ability to change physicians (I tried to do that for my wife’s workman’s comp claim and had to call my state senator to get it done).

      And you have the ability to go outside the plan and pay cash. Perhaps that would require a major sacrifice or perhaps relatives or friends would have to help….but it happens all the time.

      And you have the ability to challenge Insurance Plan rulings, and in some cases, to plea to an employer if the plan is employer funded.

      And you have the ability to request different treatment plans from your doctor.

      And and and.

      There is no way with government run health care that you will have these freedoms. All decisions for government run programs of any nature are etched in the law. Want something different? No problem. Get the law changed.

  11. wirenut says:

    4 Hours of indoctrination and high speed ignore, equals this is the best for you and me. Funny what happens when you don’t have to live under the laws that you pass , It’s a good thang for “you and me”. Take your bureaucratic death sentence like a good “subject” and stop whining. In my Father’s day, he killed those that set up death camps. Today, somebody elected one.
    The very young(unborn) and the(aged) will be, the most selectable. Next will be those of us that just don’t seem to fit in. Are you productive for the State? Untrainable? Resistive? Obamacare has a cure.

  12. Yarddog1 says:

    I’m sorry to post again on this subject, but with all us “Baby Boomers” (a huge population) reaching the age where we will have restricted access or be denied health care under this proposed monstrosity, these “rocket scientists” must not understand that we can be very powerful by virtue of our sheer numbers. Additionally, most of us fought wars, have overcome adversities all our lives and are certainly not used to, nor willig to be pushed around much more. A lot of us are simply fed up and not willing to let all that we have struggled for all our lives disappear because a group of thug, socialist elitists desire power.

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