Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Health Care Reform: Almost There?

Rachel Maddow announces the results [video - 6:13] of The Filibuster Challenge, renaming the filibuster to 'The Tarantino,' because it kills bills.

From the transcript for The Rachel Maddow Show of February 22, 2010:

Health care home stretch:

Democrats cannot wait until the filibuster is dead to move forward on health reform. They have to move health reform in a way that just gets around the problem.

And that’s what the White House started to do today: President Obama introducing his proposal to move health reform forward. It consists of minor tweaks to the Senate version of the bill that are specifically designed to allow Democrats to bypass the Republican filibuster and pass health reform with a simple majority vote in the Senate.

And here’s the funny thing about President Obama’s proposal. On the front page at Politico.com today, it was the screaming headline, “The Obama Plan.” And it had this picture of a giant stack of paper next to the president.

I have no idea what is in that stack of paper, but I can tell you tonight, it is not the health reform proposal that President Obama released today — unless it’s like 1,000 copies of that proposal. Because if you want to see what President Obama introduced today, it's this.

It’s 11 pages. That’s it. Eleven pages that consist of minor tweaks of what’s already been passed by the Senate.

It’s not starting over as Politico.com might have you believe. It’s finishing up. And this is important in terms of understanding where we are in this process.

This is what already passed the House. This guy, this one.

This one passed the House, right? Two thousand and sixteen pages. It passed way back in November.
By a 220 - 215 vote, the House of Representatives has passed H.R.3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

This is what‘s already passed the Senate, about 2,409 pages.

This passed on Christmas Eve.
By a 60 - 39 vote, the Senate passed H.R. 3590, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as Amended

These have already passed their respective chambers of Congress — House, Senate. And the way it works, as we all know from “Schoolhouse Rock” is that if two different versions pass two different houses, they have to be merged and then that merged version has to get passed again.

But because of the Tarantino, because Republicans filibuster everything, because Republicans are filibustering health reform, Democrats have to come up with something that reconciles these two bills that can avoid that Republican filibuster. And this is what does that.

This is the view of the White House. This is what the president thinks could be done. This is what remains to be done according to the White House. It’s 11 pages.
The President’s Proposal.

This is not a new proposal. It doesn’t replace everything that’s been done. So feel free to ignore Politico.com on this or any other issue. Their front page all day has been visually misinforming you on what they call “The Obama Plan.” Nothing that looks like that can also look like this, unless it‘s printed really, really big.

Republicans have thought that they killed health reform but they didn’t. It’s passed the House. It’s passed the Senate. And now, it’s very much alive. There are only 11 pages to go.

We’re almost done.


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