And You Thought Nixon Was A Crook

As you may have heard by now, the Senate voted in favor of cloture, and to send their version of health care reform to the Senate floor for debate. The vote for cloture was 60-39.

Before you panic too much, please remember that the bill must still pass the a final vote in the Senate, then, if it does, it must be reconciled in conference with the House version that passed and then the final bill must then pass another vote of the House as well as a cloture vote and final passage within the Senate.

The fight is far from over, but let’s look at the vote which took place this evening. In order to invoke cloture, sixty Senators must for it. As you see above the vote was just 60. To tell the truth, I was shocked. I thought for sure at least one Democrat would defect, or at the very least, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) would.

Sen. Lieberman has stated, more than once, that he would support a filibuster of the bill if it contained a public option. The bill tonight contained that option, so I was very upset with Mr. Lieberman. I still am. He made it clear, or at least made it seem that way, in many media outlets that he would not vote the way he did tonight, yet his communication with his constituents tells a completely different story.

Some have asked about my remarks regarding votes on health care reform on the Senate floor. When the bill comes to the Senate floor, I am planning to vote to allow debate to begin on the bill, which in this instance will require 60 votes. I very much look forward to debating the various aspects of this critical legislation and voting on proposed amendments. If, however, when the subsequent motion to limit debate time on the bill is voted on, with a 60-vote requirement for that motion to succeed, I will not vote in favor of that motion if the bill at that time includes a public option, for the reasons stated above.

It seems he was straight up with his constituents, which is good, but he sure misled the remainder of the American people, didn’t he?

A few Democrats had indicated that they would not support the bill if it contained a public option as well, and every single one of them toed the party line. I don’t know why any Senator would vote to begin debate, let alone vote to support this bill, when a vast majority of Americans do not want this bill to pass.

The approval rating for this bill is far below that of President Obama, which just happens to have dropped below 50% this week also.

It’s just a shame that Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Ben Nelson (D-FL) and every other Democrat in the Senate put their loyalty to Harry Reid over their loyalty to their constituents tonight. That action alone speaks volumes.

With the success of this cloture vote, Harry Reid accomplished two tasks. He showed the people of Nevada (which is my home state) how much he listens to and appreciates their opinions, and he showed the rest of the United States that he is better at bribing, and coercing his party members in the Senate than Nancy Pelosi is with her members in the House.

Two Thousand Seventy Four Pages

Scary Harry Reid released the brand new Senate health care reform bill. I’ve added it to the source document list to the left, and I will begin reading it sometime tomorrow. According to early reports, the bill will cost $849 billion over 10 years, and will reduce the deficit by $127 billion over that same 10 years.

$127 billion dollars sounds like an awful lot, except it’s not. Not really. The federal deficit for October 2009 alone, was $176 billion. Think about it. The Senate version of health care reform will reduce the deficit by $1.058 billion per month for 10 years. If we have more months like October 2009, the deficit will still rise by more than $174 billion every month.

The next time you hear someone brag about this bill “reducing the deficit” just slap them in the face with the facts and watch the blood drain from their face.

The Senate health care bill is being introduced as an amendment, in the form of a substitution, for House Resolution 3590. HR 3590 had absolutely nothing to do with health care before this substitution.

Early reports indicate that this substitute HR3590 contains a 40% excise tax on health care plans which are in excess of $8,500, an additional 0.5% Medicare tax on wages in excess of $106,800, and additional fees for manufacturers of certain drugs and medical devices. The bill also raises taxes by $370 billion over 10 years, and it doesn’t stop there. The Senate health care reform bill allows for taxpayer-funded abortions through the public health insurance plan and the health insurance “exchange”.

In short, the Senate bill will raise premiums, raise taxes, and cut benefits. You can read the Congressional Budget Office score of the bill (PDF), for more information on the costs of this version of health care reform but remember one thing. The bill they scored for this report (HR 3590) will not be the same bill (therefore their score of the bill will no longer be valid) once it passes. It is sure to “evolve” before any final vote comes to the Senate floor.

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I will begin my review of the substitute to HR3590 tomorrow evening. Until then, get reading. Don’t make me do it alone.