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NYT Crows: House Passes Obama-Care

From the New York Times:

House Approves Health Overhaul, Sending Landmark Bill to Obama

By ROBERT PEAR and DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

March 21, 2010

WASHINGTON — House Democrats approved a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s health system on Sunday, voting over unanimous Republican opposition to provide medical coverage to tens of millions of uninsured Americans after an epic political battle that could define the differences between the parties for years.

With the 219-to-212 vote, the House gave final approval to legislation passed by the Senate on Christmas Eve. Thirty-four Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the bill. The vote sent the measure to President Obama, whose yearlong push for the legislation has been the centerpiece of his agenda and a test of his political power.

After approving the bill, the House adopted a package of changes to it by a vote of 220 to 211. That package — agreed to in negotiations among House and Senate Democrats and the White House — now goes to the Senate for action as soon as this week. It would be the final step in a bitter legislative fight that has highlighted the nation’s deep partisan and ideological divisions.

On a sun-splashed day outside the Capitol, protesters, urged on by House Republicans, chanted “Kill the bill” and waved yellow flags declaring “Don’t Tread on Me.” They carried signs saying “Doctors, Not Dictators.”

Inside, Democrats hailed the votes as a historic advance in social justice, comparable to the establishment of Medicare and Social Security. They said the bill would also put pressure on rising health care costs and rein in federal budget deficits.

“This is the Civil Rights Act of the 21st century,” said Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democrat in the House.

Mr. Obama celebrated the House action in remarks at the White House.

“We pushed back on the undue influence of special interests,” Mr. Obama said. “We didn’t give in to mistrust or to cynicism or to fear. Instead, we proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things.”

“This isn’t radical reform,” he added, “but it is major reform.”

After a year of combat and weeks of legislative brinksmanship, House Democrats and the White House clinched their victory only hours before the voting started on Sunday. They agreed to a deal with opponents of abortion rights within their party to reiterate in an executive order that federal money provided by the bill could not be used for abortions, securing for Democrats the final handful of votes they needed to assure passage.

Winding up the debate, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “After a year of debate and hearing the calls of millions of Americans, we have come to this historic moment. Today we have the opportunity to complete the great unfinished business of our society and pass health insurance reform for all Americans that is a right and not a privilege.”

The House Republican leader, Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, said lawmakers were defying the wishes of their constituents. “The American people are angry,” Mr. Boehner said. “This body moves forward against their will. Shame on us.”

Republicans said the plan would saddle the nation with unaffordable levels of debt, leave states with expensive new obligations, weaken Medicare and give the government a huge new role in the health care system.

The debate on the legislation set up a bitter midterm campaign season, with Republicans promising an effort to repeal the legislation, challenge its constitutionality or block its provisions in the states.

Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin, denounced the bill as “a fiscal Frankenstein.” Representative Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Republican of Florida, called it “a decisive step in the weakening of the United States.” Representative Virginia Foxx, Republican of North Carolina, said it was “one of the most offensive pieces of social engineering legislation in the history of the United States.”

But Representative Marcy Kaptur, Democrat of Ohio, said the bill heralded “a new day in America.” Representative Doris Matsui, Democrat of California, said it would “improve the quality of life for millions of American families.”

The health care bill would require most Americans to have health insurance, would add 16 million people to the Medicaid rolls and would subsidize private coverage for low- and middle-income people, at a cost to the government of $938 billion over 10 years, the Congressional Budget Office said.

The bill would require many employers to offer coverage to employees or pay a penalty. Each state would set up a marketplace, or exchange, where consumers without such coverage could shop for insurance meeting federal standards.

The budget office estimates that the bill would provide coverage to 32 million uninsured people, but still leave 23 million uninsured in 2019. One-third of those remaining uninsured would be illegal immigrants.

The new costs, according to the budget office, would be more than offset by savings in Medicare and by new taxes and fees, including a tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans and a tax on the investment income of the most affluent Americans.

Cost estimates by the budget office, showing that the bill would reduce federal budget deficits by $143 billion in the next 10 years, persuaded some fiscally conservative Democrats to vote for the bill.

Democrats said Americans would embrace the bill when they saw its benefits, including some provisions that take effect later this year.

Health insurers, for example, could not deny coverage to children with medical problems or suddenly drop coverage for people who become ill. Insurers must allow children to stay on their parents’ policies until they turn 26. Small businesses could obtain tax credits to help them buy insurance.

The Democratic effort to secure the 216 votes needed for passage of the legislation came together only after last-minute negotiations involving the White House, the House leadership and a group of Democratic opponents of abortion rights, led by Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan. On Sunday afternoon, members of the group announced that they would support the legislation after Mr. Obama promised to issue an executive order to “ensure that federal funds are not used for abortion services.”

Mr. Stupak described the order as a significant guarantee that would “protect the sanctity of life in health care reform.” But supporters of abortion rights — and some opponents — said the order merely reaffirmed what was in the bill.

The vote to pass the Senate version of the bill means that it will become the law of the land as soon as Mr. Obama signs it, regardless of when — or even whether — the Senate acts on the package of changes the House also passed.

The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, has promised to take up the package of changes in short order, and he has said he has the votes to pass it. The Senate will consider it under a parliamentary maneuver that will allow the Democrats to pass it with a simple majority, averting the threat of a Republican filibuster.

Indeed, Senate Republicans were quickly faced with a need to recalibrate their message from one aimed at stopping the legislation to one focused on winning back a sufficient number of seats in Congress to repeal it.

Mr. Obama, in his remarks shortly before midnight in the East Room, urged the Senate to complete the final pieces of the legislation. “Some have predicted another siege of parliamentary maneuvering in order to delay it,” he said. “I hope that’s not the case.”

He continued, “It’s time to bring this debate to a close and begin the hard work of implementing this reform properly on behalf of the American people.”

Mr. Obama watched the roll call with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. in the Roosevelt Room in the White House.

The House galleries were full, and the floor was unusually crowded, for the historic debate on health care.

Working together, Mr. Obama and Ms. Pelosi revived the legislation when it appeared dead after Democrats lost their 60th vote in the Senate and with it their ability to shut off Republican filibusters.

Republicans said they would use the outcome to bludgeon Democrats in this year’s Congressional elections. The White House is planning an intensive effort to convince people of the bill’s benefits. But if Democrats suffer substantial losses in November, Mr. Obama could be stymied on other issues.

The campaign for a health care overhaul began as a way to help the uninsured. But it gained momentum when middle-class families with health insurance flooded Congress with their grievances. They complained of soaring premiums. They said their insurance had been canceled when they got sick.

“It’s not just the uninsured,” said Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts. “We also have to worry about people with insurance who find, for crazy reasons, that they are somehow going to be denied coverage.”

In the end, groups like the United States Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business tried to stop the bill, saying it would increase the cost of doing business. But other groups, including the American Medical Association and AARP, backed it, as did the pharmaceutical industry.

Lawmakers agreed that Sunday’s debate was historic, but they were poles apart in assessing the legislation.

Representative Rodney Alexander, Republican of Louisiana, said, “You cannot expect to expand coverage to millions of individuals and to curb costs at the same time.”

Republicans said the picture painted by the budget office was too rosy, because the new taxes and fees would start immediately, while the major costs would not show up for four years.

Moreover, Republicans said Democrats would pay a price for defying public opinion on the bill.

“Are you so arrogant that you know what’s best for the American people?” Representative Paul Broun, Republican of Georgia, asked the Democrats. “Are you so ignorant to be oblivious to the wishes of the American people?”

Lawmakers spoke with deep conviction in explaining their votes.

“Health care is not only a civil right, it’s a moral issue,” said Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, Democrat of Rhode Island, who invoked the memory of his father, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat and a lifelong champion of health care for all.

After the legislation passed, Mr. Obama sought to place the day in perspective.

“In the end what this day represents is another stone firmly laid in the foundation of the American dream,” the president said. “Tonight, we answered the call of history as so many generations of Americans have before us. When faced with crisis, we did not shrink from our challenges. We overcame them. We did not avoid our responsibilities, we embraced it. We did not fear our future, we shaped it.”

We thought that the crowing of the New York Times should be preserved for history in its entirety.

When our healthcare system is in shambles and our economy like that of Greece, maybe we will look back and remember who forced all of this upon us.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, March 22nd, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

29 Responses to “NYT Crows: House Passes Obama-Care”

  1. artboyusa

    Well, that was pretty stomach emptying, wasn’t it? Let’s take a look into our crystal ball and see how this will all pan out a few years down the road…

    “Next!”

    Cold black rain battered on the iron roof of the Barack Hussein Obama Community Health Center; it streamed down the broken windows and puddled on the concrete floor. From the frozen gaggle of wheezing, sneezing, coughing and bleeding supplicants that filled the holding pen one white haired individual; shuffled forward. “Hold on” he choked. “I’m coming…”

    “Who are you –Sam and Dave?” snapped the Administrator. “Let’s go! Chop chop!”

    “Sorry sir” mumbled the dotard. “Sorry…hard to walk…leg hurts”.

    “Yeah, yeah; we all got problems. Name? Number?”

    “Citizen, John Q. ObamaCare Access Number 17031955/JQ/2008 (B)”.

    “Sorry. You’re not on my database, mister. I got no records for you”.

    “Um, maybe I forgot… a number…sorry, sir. Let me just check my bar code arm tattoo”. John Q Citizen began to fumble with his cuffs.

    “No time for that, coffin stuffer. Go to the back of the line, please. And try to supply accurate information in the future. Next!”

    “But my leg really hurts…”

    “I bet it does. Smells bad too. Back of the line. Next!”

    “But…”

    “Don’t make me call Security. Next!”

    As Mr Citizen reluctantly retired his place was taken by another, eager for treatment.

    “Name? Number?”

    “Doe. Jane Doe. ObamaCare Access Number 14011960/ JD/2012 (S)”.

    “Let’s just pull up your records…whoa! That ain’t good! Nuh uh”.

    “What? Oh my God! What does it say? Tell me!”

    “Sorry; no can do. Confidential”.

    “But those are my records! I have a right…”

    “Confidential, I said, goddammit. Don’t make me call Security. Okay; I can make you an appointment for next month to make an appointment to see somebody…”

    “A doctor?”

    “I said ‘somebody’, I didn’t say ‘doctor’. Are you deaf or something?”

    “What? A little I think. But mostly it’s when I cough, there’s blood all the time…”

    “Oh yuck! Gross! Just don’t do it on me, okay? I can book you in for 7.30 am on the 27th”.

    “Of March?”

    “January”.

    “That’s a long ways away. I’m scared; I think it might be cancer. There’s a history in my family…”

    “Hey, I didn’t ask for your life story. January 27 – take it or leave it”.

    “I’ll take it, I guess”.

    “Fine. Now we’re getting somewhere. Take this form, complete both sides in black ink, using capitol letters, and take it to that room over there”.

    “What happens then?”

    “You complete another form and you go to another room”.

    “And then?”

    “Are you complaining? Huh? You better not be!” growled the Administrator. “You should be grateful that President Obama liberated you from the tyranny of personal choice. Actually, looking at your records and seeing how much you’ve, um, got wrong with you and considering the cost of treatment…maybe I can fast track you after all”.

    “To a doctor? That would be wonderful! Oh, thank you so much!”

    “Get up! Quit licking my hand! Stop crying! And I didn’t say ‘doctor’, either. I meant fast track you to a special program just for expensive and incurable, I mean extra special, people like you”.

    “Extra special? What kind of program?”

    “Did you ever see the movie ‘Soylent Green’? No? Well, then it will all be a new experience for you…”

    Back in the holding pen one pain wracked American muttered under his breath:”This is unbelievable, inhuman. How can they treat people like this? What did we pay our taxes for?”

    Glancing out the broken window at the gleaming, cloud scraping tower of the Frank Gehry designed Administration Building, with its busy open plan offices teeming with administrators, junior managers, middle managers, senior managers and tax inspectors, he saw the answer to his question.

    • jobeth

      Ironic, your story is.

      Lets switch to real life in the UK

      Father in law, began having TIAs (mini strokes). My sister in law called the NHS (National Health Service). They gave him an appointment for several weeks away. (In the old America it would have been immediate)

      He was seen…sent home…no treatment other than a “umm” and a “tsk tsk”

      Repeat a few weeks later…same “treatment”

      Dad has the big one…the massive stroke…taken in and all treatment was refused him…except….except a continual IV of plain saline…NO nourishment and Dad couldn’t swallow well. He was refused anything like a feeding tube…or any kind of therapy. His mind was quick and he had a sense of humor and told us he wanted to live. Too bad old man…you are 85 and you aren’t worth the money it would take to treat you. Oh and that shrapnel in your ankle that has festered since you defended the UK in WWII doesn’t help either.

      To add to it. His daughter and her family moved. When you do that in the UK…you are reassigned a new doctor. YOU get no choice. You liked your old doctor in your old neighborhood….5 miles away…too bad…Here’s your new doctor.

      Since no one in his right mind would go into medicine with this set up what kind of doctor will you get? He doesn’t have to produce good care because he knows with a doctor shortage and the government mandating patients to his office…wheres the incentive to give good care.

      But even a good doctor would have been locked into my Father in law’s treatment plan. Rules you know.

  2. AcornsRNutz

    I wish someone in the entertainment media had the testicular fortitude and the brain capacity to make satirical work like that instead of shoving the commnist agenda into everything they touch. Maybe then the idiots in this country who are lent all of their ideals and beliefs from hollywood would be demanding this be stopped instead of dancing in the streets. I am for once at a loss for words about anything political. I can’t type or think of anything profound, witty, or pertinent. I suppose I know now what Knights and serfs knew in medieval times. There is no point in talking about what the king does or why, as you have no say in it anyway.

    I can say that in this last year we went from “unpopular policies” being evil to legislation by proclamation (against the will of the majority of the country) being considered the most benevolent thing a leader of this country ever did.

    • jobeth

      ” I can’t type or think of anything profound, witty, or pertinent.”

      You’re still in shock. If you are like me you will walk around shaking your head for a while….a long while.

      Try to take names and remember them well for November.

    • artboyusa

      Satirical? Ironic? Not at all, its straightforward realism and very much informed by my experiences with the NHS during 20 years in the UK…

      Friend has a funny feeling in her windpipe? That’s only heartburn says the NHS doc -oops its esophagal cancer after all. Sorry you’re dead. Wife has a breast lump? You’re under 40 so you’re Priority Two and you’ll have to wait for that mammagram, unless your husband rings up and shouts at the doc, in which case you’re Priority One. You’re jacknifed in agony from kidney stones? Sorry, your doctor’s not registered here anymore. You’ll have to go to the other side of town and when you get there the place will be closed all day for staff training. These things actually happened and now you can experience them for yourselves in the USA…good luck with that.

  3. jobeth

    I for one am going to ROTFL the first time some whining lefty realizes he is going to get shafted in the health care realm!

    Nothing will please me more when I see some old ex hippie who tries to get his health issues taken care of “for free” and then he realizes they aren’t going to treat him…Rationing everything for the young and taxable.

    And he had to wait weeks for an appointment for the same time as 50 other people just to learn he won’t be treated

    Yep…looking forward to that.

    I keep remembering a quote…umm…something about chickens…and roosting….ummm, wait a minute…it will come to me….

    • mr_bill

      That’s just it, jobeth, these people aren’t going to understand what Congress has done until it gets stamped on their foreheads by a government appointed medical administrator. Frankly, I’m betting this thing doesn’t make it 10 years before its at least $5 trillion in the red, and I can hear it now: Healthcare Reform Reform.

  4. AcornsRNutz

    Chickens roosting…Hmm. Now that one is ironic. Glenn BEck caught on to something I have been saying for a long time. These clowns are creating an environment for themselves that they are wholly unprepared to survive in. I say as conservatives we need to support these idiots as much as possible. Once they ruin everything and have to rely on themseleves they will fail to do so, become non entities, and the only folks remaining will be us, the ones who can and will fix the mess. Might as well stop setting back fires and jsut let her burn. The soil that is left after it goes out will be that much more fertile.

    • TerryAnne

      While they are creating an environment that looks – to us – like they cannot survive in…the ones that “matter”, will.

      Hitler pretty much knew that he had created a system that didn’t work, but he kept right on pressing through it and hiring those who were crazy enough to fully believe and enact it.

      I’m convinced that George Soros is the puppet master of dear leader. He will survive this outcome. Because he has the ready funds to throw around, think about how much damage he could do (as in, who and what he can continue to fund) as things get worse. He’s our Nero and Oboy is the fiddle that is being played while Rome is burning.

      Most of those who voted yes for this scam will never have to rely on themselves, as we all know. When the country goes bankrupt, they’ll be long gone, with most likely fleeing with the security of their offshore bank accounts. When confronted on the fact they’re likely getting voted out in November, most of them have been very nonchalant. Which means: they don’t care. There’s something fishy about that, if you ask me.

      Thankfully, by the will of us Americans, the road to our demise is going to be short. However, the battle is going to be ugly and very long. But we will prosper and we will restore this republic to its supreme position.

    • Right of the People

      TerryAnne,

      You raise a valid point, something is wrong. A politician not afraid of being voted out? In what universe has that ever happened?

      My mind races forward to all kinds of sinister things that could happen including martial law if the Dems lose their majority this November. It wouldn’t happen immediately but there would be an “incident”, most likely of the terrorist variety that would trigger it.

      I truly don’t look forward to living in the third world because that’s what this country is going to become if we don’t stop this ass clown.

    • AcornsRNutz

      I am inclined to agree on the pronounced odor coming from the fact that re-election concerns are conspicuously absent from these guys’ agenda. I won’t put too fine a point on it, but I have been saying for months now, don’t put your eggs in the midterm/2012 basket just yet. I suspect an unwastable crisis will arise and we will see it “deemed” that an election will not be required. Sound unlikely in America? Not anymore.

    • proreason

      They plan to rig the 2010 election and all future elections, until they are in a position to make them like elections in the 3rd world.

      Firstly with amnesty.

      Secondly, with voter fraud.

      Thirdly, through the courts.

    • JohnMG

      Kinda like Venezuela, pro?

  5. jobeth

    Fred Thompson said something a minute ago on Cavuto referring to the Anger of Americans.

    Cavuto suggested that anger is a hard thing to maintain, discussing how the lessening anger may not produce the hoped for results at the polls in November.

    Thompson’s answer was it was not going away…because it isn’t a flash anger. Americans are “seething.”

    He has hit it right on. We ARE seething. Our anger can flash up and go down from time to time, however the slow burn is going to continue…because O’Balmy keeps banking that fire with his antics.

    More and more I can see what some fear is coming….just like in 1776 we may see more than just placards and shouts. O”Balmy continues to step it up…and so will true freedom loving Americans.

    It won’t happen if he backs off…but he won’t. Neither will the true Americans.
    If he thought we would all go back to sleep if he, as Thompson said “give us stuff” he’s wrong.

    God help us because we are now getting more used to the idea of what it is going to take to keep our freedom. It’s always been fought overseas for most of us alive today. Get used to our new future and keep your eyes open to know what’s coming.

    Now for the Lurkers. in the peanut gallary…..NO…no one is calling for violence. Only the leftest operate like that. See history…and all the violence of the 60s and other “race” war issues. See history… and all the union violence when their demands are made and not capitulated to.

    But lefty lurkers….don’t ever think this country is full of sheep who will gladly lay down their arms if you give us “stuff”. We want freedom…and autonomy…something we have fought for and protected for hundreds of years and vow to continue to do in the future.

    • proreason

      “We ARE seething”

      Absolutely.

      And if it fades for a moment, all we have to do is turn the TV on, where the magic negro will be doing his latest splainin about how we should hate this business or that business and about how we are such cowards or bitter or clinging or not doing our fair share or makin “profits” or not being sympathetic towards criminals and thugs.

      The seething ain’t going away.

    • jobeth

      Right Pro…as long as we have O’Balmy and his minions banking that fire with their antics it will only get hotter and hotter till….

      Look out if it breaks out into real flame…and it will if we can’t thwart him first.

  6. MinnesotaRush

    And in synch with that “seething”, let’s not forget the words of our Founders (specifically, Thomas Jefferson) when he admonished, “Whensoever the General Government assumes undelegated powers, its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no force” –Thomas Jefferson”.

  7. Reality Bytes

    My congress passes a reconciliation bill that specifies changes to the senate bill.

    Then they pass the senate bill.

    Next the senate must pass the reconciliation bill sent from the house.

    And then the president signs..WHAT?! What does the president sign? Two bills or one.

    signed “Smarter than a 5th grader.”

  8. TwilightZoned

    Finally, the perfect picture of princess p…the braying jackass she is.

  9. canary

    vp Joe Biden drops F bomb during signing of health bill.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2yBRucRe7c

    The WH has responded that Biden told the truth.

    And mister Joe Biden seems to have a habit of doing this in front of audiences.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....&NR=1

    First B. Clinton’s behavior in front of our youth, and now Joe Biden making the F word okay. No doubt the WH is being trashed as it was under B. Clinton.




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