View Full Version : U.S. Issues House vote on healh care may come next week..same old bill

03-12-2010, 02:36 PM
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her members Friday to brace themselves for a climactic health care vote as early as next week, warning them to clear their schedules for next weekend and promising to stay in session until the landmark vote, people present said afterwards.

President Barack Obama has postponed an overseas trip until March 21, and Pelosi said, "I am delighted the president will be here for the passage of the bill. It is going to be historic.”

Members and staff don't think Pelosi has the 216 votes she needs to pass reform at this point, but most believe she's close. A vote next week sets up the prospect that Congress could pass a sweeping health reform proposal championed by Obama that has been in the works for more than a year — though the Senate would still have to take up a series of fixes through a procedural process called reconciliation.

House leaders reassured members that two of the most controversial deals — the so-called Cornhusker Kickback and more Medicare Advantage money for Florida — would be stripped out of the reconciliation bill.

But it appeared that the “Louisiana Purchase” — $300 million in additional Medicaid money for the state — and a $100 million hospital grant program requested by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) will remain in the legislation, sources said.

In addition, it looks like House Democrats won't have to vote directly on a Senate bill they really don't like. The speaker hasn't made a final decision, but she told her rank-and-file during the meeting that the plan now is to craft the legislation in such a way that it would "deem" the Senate bill passed once the House approves the package of fixes.

That means they would vote on the rule and the so-called reconciliation package, which would make changes to the Senate bill and only requires 51 votes to pass the Upper Chamber. In addition, the package of changes would also include a student lending bill that was paired with health care through reconciliation process, leaders said Friday.

All of this could change if the speaker faces major resistance from her members, but it would mean Democrats won't be forced to cast a vote specifically in favor of the Senate bill.

Obama was originally scheduled to leave March 18 for a trip to Indonesia and Australia, and the White House had pressed House Democrats to wrap up their work by then. When the House resisted, Obama changed his departure date to Sunday, March 21.

Pelosi reminded her members, as she frequently does, that she wants to make the whole process as quick and politically painless as possible, a person present said.

Otherwise, Democrats aren't expected to allow amendments on the final package, leaders told their colleagues Friday, as is typical on down-to-the-wire votes.

Once the bill is passed, the Senate bill will go to the president for his signature, and the Senate will take up the package of changes, the speaker told her members on Friday.

Party leaders didn't unveil specific dollar figures for the final bill, but they told members to expect more information, possibly over the weekend. House leaders say a Congressional Budget Office score could come at any time.

Also, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Friday that Democratic leaders are not discussing a third way to placate Democratic opponents of abortion in an effort to win their votes on the final bill.

Outside the closed-door Democratic caucus meeting, he brushed aside concerns that Democrats cannot pass a bill without the votes of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and his cohort.

“We have not discussed a third way,” Hoyer told reporters. “I’ve talked to Mr. Stupak, but I made it clear I wasn’t negotiating. It is clear that that matter cannot be dealt with per se in the reconciliation bill. We’ll have to deal with it pretty much as is it at this point in time.”

He suggested that some pro-life Democrats may support the health care bill with the current language.

“We don’t want to go without their votes, but we do want to forge ahead,” Hoyer added. “As you know, Mr. Stupak has made it very, very clear that he’s very strongly in favor of achieving health care reform in this Congress. And I think that a lot of his colleagues feel the same way.”

Hoyer said Democrats “are hopeful that we’ll get the majority, and we believe we’ll get the majority.”

“Look, we’re in caucus now and we’re discussing a process to move forward on,” he said. “And I think that things look positive, and we’re going to keep working at it. We don’t have CBO final numbers yet, but my expectation is that the committee will be meeting on Monday to do a reconciliation bill.”


03-12-2010, 02:39 PM
So, we still get:

fed funded abortion
the Louisiana Purchase
Chris Dodd's hospital buyoff

and a "promise" the Senate will "fix" the bill after it passes.....LMAO

and it lookes like we added a Student Lending bill in the process

Seems the only thing that changed was the Cornhusker kickback.