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Pelosi Talks Health Care

January 21, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] speaking to reporters today, via TPM DC:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just told reporters that she does not believe she has enough votes in the House to pass the Senate health care reform bill as-is — at least not yet.

“I don’t see the votes for it at this time,” Pelosi said. “The members have been very clear in our caucus about the fact that they didn’t like it before it had the Nebraska provision and some of the other provisions that are unpalatable to them.”

“In every meeting that we have had, there would be nothing to give me any thought that that bill could pass right now the way that it is,” she said. “There isn’t a market right now for proceeding with the full bill unless some big changes are made.”

While she didn’t say the option was dead — “Everything is on the table,” she said — she outlined two very different options for passing a bill.

“There’s a recognition that there’s a foundation in that bill that’s important. So one way or another those areas of agreement that we have will have to be advanced, whether it’s by passing the Senate bill with any changes that can be made, or just taking [pieces of it],” Pelosi said.

“We have to get a bill passed — we know that. That’s a predicate that we all subscribe to.”

Contrary to some other interpretations, I don’t really think there’s a lot here. The most significant take away is probably that health care isn’t going to be finished in the next few days like it could have been if House Dems were willing to support the Senate bill. Sounds to me like Pelosi is working on rounding up the votes in the House to either pass the Senate bill as it is and leave it, or, more likely, to pass the Senate bill as it is and then pass a separate package of fixes using the budget reconciliation process. We already know that that approach has been gaining support in Congress over the past few days.

Finding a package of fixes to the Senate bill that can both strike the right balance to win 218 House votes and be eligible for budget reconciliation is not an easy task. It’s no real surprise that it’s not all figured out yet.

What’s your read?

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  • Slugger 01/21/2010 11:54am

    TO House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. How many times does the AMERICAN PEOPLE have to SAY NO to YOU and OBAMACARE.WE don’t like having Crap shoved down OUR Throat.ALL of YOU are Guilty of at least one of these.The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

  • BenjaWiz 01/21/2010 5:53pm

    Exactly there not getting it most American’s don’t have a clue what’s in this bill and I believe most of us don’t want a bill that cost Trillions more to add to our debt.

  • GDCal 01/21/2010 8:16pm

    The real out-of-control costs will come if we do nothing about our current, broken, expensive, health care system. No other country spends so much on health care and yet offers so little in the way of regular, preventive care for the middle class. If you are poor you can find help through state programs. If you are wealthy you never need to worry about health care, as you simply buy what you need. If you are in your 50s and middle class, try finding a health care plan that you can afford to cover you and your family. The health care bill we have now is a watered down version of reform, that is ‘better than nothing’. Hopefully something can be passed, and we can improve upon the system in years to come.

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    redduke 01/22/2010 5:47am

    The best point you made is preventive care; of which there was none in the current bill. Our system is not broken; yes expensive but it is also the best system on the planet. It has the lowest infant mortality, best chance of recovery from Cancer and etc. than any other system.

    The only good that is in the current bill is eliminating pre-existing conditions. But you know that group plans already cannot deny due to pre-existing conditions. So the answer for being in your 50’s and middle class is to join a group plan. That is, get a job that offers it.

    I’d also like to see the supporters of “increased competition.” stand by that and eliminate the restriction in selling health care insurance across state lines. After all isn’t the Federal Government supposed to be regulating interstate commerce to prevent restrictive laws, not implementing them.

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  • spender 01/22/2010 4:35am
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    + -1

    As long as they’re talking about using budget reconciliation to add in all the things they want after the main bill is passed, they should forget about the various types of public options out there and just let everyone under 65 pay a monthly premium to buy into Medicare.

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    redduke 01/22/2010 5:55am

    Expanding any Government program is a mistake. Medicare is already in trouble, especially after part D, as is every other Government health care plan in the world. Germany is trying to get out from theirs, Switzerland is looking at limiting their plan, France has closed down hospitals and is trying to implement co-pays, the UK is limiting services.

    The 10 Million Americans who are truly caught in the middle between health care insurance or rent should get temporary help through subsidized premiums with a reward system for cost-containment. This would be paid for by an aggressive and effective anti-fraud program to convict Medicare and Medicaid Fraud.

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    spender 01/22/2010 5:28pm

    I would say that Medicare is in trouble because it is designed to cover only the sickest portion of the population. If it were to be opened up (at a price) to young, mostly healthy people, their premiums would make up the difference in costs the program is incurring from doing procedures on the elderly. That’s how insurance pools work; this would just be a non-profit pool that helps out a worthy government program.

    Also, the push for abandoning the state medical system in Europe isn’t coming from the people. It’s coming from business. The people living under these systems like them. If business is pushing MPs towards reducing coverage, that shouldn’t be a knock against the system.

  • ddmacpp 01/22/2010 5:56am

    For the Democrats to give up on healthcare reform now would be a big mistake. I would surely be angry and most likely leave the Democratic party. Too much time and political capital has been spent to not recoup some of it. Even the health insurance industry wanted this bill to pass as it would force them to take positions that in the long run will be there undoing if not correct (for example the elimination of pre-existing conditions for all, inability to take insurance away if get sick). The quicker this is finalized the better for the democrats and they need to decide what to do about it as Republicans will not participate in any sort of of meaningful reform (and probably not any reform at all as it favors them politically). I predict once a bill is passed people will get behind it as they understand the positive implications of it.

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