National Health Care reform narrowly passes 220-215

Rick Moran
Interesting reactions from left and right to the passage in the House of health care reform. Carl Hulse and Robert Pear of the New York Times:

Democrats were forced to make major concessions on insurance coverage for abortions to attract the final votes to secure passage, a wrenching compromise for the numerous abortion-rights advocates in their ranks.Many of them hope to make changes to the amendment during negotiations with the Senate, which will now become the main battleground in the health care fight as Democrats there ready their own bill for what is likely to be extensive floor debate.

Democrats say the House measure - paid for through new fees and taxes, along with cuts in Medicare - would extend coverage to 36 million people now without insurance while creating a government health insurance program. It would end insurance company practices like not covering pre-existing conditions or dropping people when they become ill.

Republicans condemned the vote and said they would oppose the measure as it proceeds on its legislative route. "This government takeover has got a long way to go before it gets to the president's desk, and I'll continue to fight it tooth and nail at every turn," said Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas. "Health care is too important to get it wrong."

On the House floor, Democrats exchanged high-fives and cheered wildly - and Republicans sat quietly - when the tally display showed the 218th and decisive vote, after the leadership spent countless hours in recent days wringing commitments out of House members.


A bill nobody has read, that contains nobody knows what, that no one has a clue of what kind of impact it will have on the current health care system, with a cost known only to God, has been passed with no formal hearings, extraordinarily limited debate, and in a totally partisan manner (minus one Republican who doesn't have a prayer in 2010). And the Democrats are celebrating?

That's the "reality" I would say to my friends in the reality based community. Can you argue with any of those points above? Only if you spin so hard you are in danger of flying off into orbit.

If we had a rational government, any one of those realities would have derailed health care reform long ago. But rationality has left the building, as has common sense, proportionality, wisdom, and that fine old conservative virtue, prudence.

National Health Care Reform represents a new way of governing; the blind, leading the deaf and dumb, toward an unknowable future - driving the engine of government at full speed, and without any brakes. Can't see that break in the tracks up ahead? Ooops! My bad. We'll pick up the pieces later.

Of course, this is only the first step. Something approximating the House bill is going to have to pass the senate - by no means a foregone conclusion, but made more likely by last night's vote. And the conference committee to reconcile the two versions while hanging on to enough votes in both houses for passage will be something akin to trying to put a round peg in a fractal hole.

But the momentum appears to favor getting something passed before the end of the year. If the House vote proved anything, it is that the Democrats are fully capable of coming up with solutions that will allow their huge majorities to win the day regardless of the issues. They have proven adept at papering over their differences, finessing the insoluble, and coming up with imaginative gimmicks to make national health care reform a reality.

Expect the same kind of gaming the system in the senate.






Interesting reactions from left and right to the passage in the House of health care reform. Carl Hulse and Robert Pear of the New York Times:

Democrats were forced to make major concessions on insurance coverage for abortions to attract the final votes to secure passage, a wrenching compromise for the numerous abortion-rights advocates in their ranks.

Many of them hope to make changes to the amendment during negotiations with the Senate, which will now become the main battleground in the health care fight as Democrats there ready their own bill for what is likely to be extensive floor debate.

Democrats say the House measure - paid for through new fees and taxes, along with cuts in Medicare - would extend coverage to 36 million people now without insurance while creating a government health insurance program. It would end insurance company practices like not covering pre-existing conditions or dropping people when they become ill.

Republicans condemned the vote and said they would oppose the measure as it proceeds on its legislative route. "This government takeover has got a long way to go before it gets to the president's desk, and I'll continue to fight it tooth and nail at every turn," said Representative Kevin Brady, Republican of Texas. "Health care is too important to get it wrong."

On the House floor, Democrats exchanged high-fives and cheered wildly - and Republicans sat quietly - when the tally display showed the 218th and decisive vote, after the leadership spent countless hours in recent days wringing commitments out of House members.


A bill nobody has read, that contains nobody knows what, that no one has a clue of what kind of impact it will have on the current health care system, with a cost known only to God, has been passed with no formal hearings, extraordinarily limited debate, and in a totally partisan manner (minus one Republican who doesn't have a prayer in 2010). And the Democrats are celebrating?

That's the "reality" I would say to my friends in the reality based community. Can you argue with any of those points above? Only if you spin so hard you are in danger of flying off into orbit.

If we had a rational government, any one of those realities would have derailed health care reform long ago. But rationality has left the building, as has common sense, proportionality, wisdom, and that fine old conservative virtue, prudence.

National Health Care Reform represents a new way of governing; the blind, leading the deaf and dumb, toward an unknowable future - driving the engine of government at full speed, and without any brakes. Can't see that break in the tracks up ahead? Ooops! My bad. We'll pick up the pieces later.

Of course, this is only the first step. Something approximating the House bill is going to have to pass the senate - by no means a foregone conclusion, but made more likely by last night's vote. And the conference committee to reconcile the two versions while hanging on to enough votes in both houses for passage will be something akin to trying to put a round peg in a fractal hole.

But the momentum appears to favor getting something passed before the end of the year. If the House vote proved anything, it is that the Democrats are fully capable of coming up with solutions that will allow their huge majorities to win the day regardless of the issues. They have proven adept at papering over their differences, finessing the insoluble, and coming up with imaginative gimmicks to make national health care reform a reality.

Expect the same kind of gaming the system in the senate.