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January 24, 2010

Indulging Bart Stupak is literally not an option

Digby writes:

Yes. And I'm guessing [whether House and Senate Dems can pull together and pass a health care reform bill through budget reconciliation] depends upon whether or not pro-choice women (and men) in both houses are going to have the heinous Bart Stupak amendment forced down their throats as part of the reconciliation "fix." I can't see any way that Stupak and his boys will capitulate otherwise and unless they do, this will not pass the House.

What do you suppose the odds are of that happening?

I'd say the odds are bad. Senate rules wouldn't allow the Stup-ification of the health care bill through budget reconciliation.

Compared to the Stupak Amendment to the House health care bill, the Senate bill would impose fewer restrictions on participating private insurers as to what kind of abortion coverage they can offer.

Now that the Democrats have lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, the best hope for passing health care reform is to have the House pass the Senate's bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already made it clear that that can't happen unless the Senate first makes some changes. In order to avoid a filibuster, those changes would have to be approved through budget reconciliation, where they can be passed by a simple majority.

The thing is, you can't just pass any old legislation through budget reconciliation. As the name suggests, only items that mainly affect the budget can be passed that way, i.e., they must "principally affect federal revenues." It would be procedurally straightforward to use reconciliation replace the excise tax on "Cadillac plans" with an income tax on high earners. By the same token, since a strong public option would reduce the deficit, the Senate parliamentarian might deign to let the Senate add a public option through reconciliation.

The Stupak Amendment isn't like that. At its rotten core, the Stupak Amendment is about preventing private insurance companies from selling abortion coverage to private citizens who pay for it with their own money. It has no impact on the budget, or taxes, or the deficit. So, there's no way to buy off Stupak and his cronies through budget reconciliation. Pelosi's going to have to get those votes somewhere else.


Creating a public option is a budget item. Money would have to be spent to create a public option.

Whether the long-term effect on the budget deficit of a public option is to lower it, raise it, or neither, it still takes money to create it.

A LINE IN THE SAND - From jacksmith - WorkingClass

My Fellow Americans and People Of The World

A strong Government-run MEDICARE like Public Option is STILL! CRITICAL!

We have had a long hard struggle to find out what would be the BEST! that this congress and the Whitehouse could do to fix our highly dangerous, poor quality, most costly, and MOST! disgraceful healthcare delivery system in the world. It is clear that congress can do much more for the American people than what is proposed so far.

It is clear that congress can pass a strong GOVERNMENT-run public option CHOICE. Available to everyone on day one. Expand Medicare and not levy any new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. LET THIS BE YOUR LINE IN THE SAND!

Lastly, there can be NO! INDIVIDUAL MANDATES without a strong Government-run MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. Or the American people WILL! and SHOULD! revolt with an all out CIVIL WAR against congress and this Government.

House and Senate progressives and the tri-caucuses should aggressively push for the inclusion of a strong Public Option, Medicare expansion, and no new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. If the obstructionist kill meaningful healthcare reform, then you should kill this bill. Because it will be far worse than the healthcare disaster we have now. It's failure will be on the obstructionist heads. And they will be punished and replaced.


What is proposed in the Senate bill is the worst case scenario for health-care reform. It would shift trillions of taxpayer, public and private dollars into the hands of the private insurance industry (The single most costly, deadly and dangerous product sold in America). And it would compel by law millions of Americans to financially support this oxymoronic criminal enterprise. You cant have a individual MANDATE WITHOUT A STRONG PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE!

You will have NO! realistic way of controlling cost and quality. Cost will continue soaring through the roof bleeding the American people dry, and KILLing our economy. And our quality of healthcare will continue to decline below our current ranking of "WORST! quality of healthcare delivery in the developed World".

From the very start, the American people have been crystal clear about what they wanted. They wanted a humane single payer system like the rest of the developed world has (HR676). Or at least a humane strong GOVERNMENT-run public option CHOICE!! This is what the American people gave the democrats control of the house, control of the senate, and control of the Whitehouse to do.

Those of you that can, should prepare now to remove every member of congress that fails to support YOUR healthcare reform with a strong Public Option, Medicare expansion, and no new taxes on workers healthcare benefits and plans. Run against them in teams if you have to. But take them out. And replace them with a strong single payer or PRO PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE candidate.

Now! is the time to bring maximum pressure on your members of congress. Contact your representatives and spread the word.

The Public Option


I have to tell you now that the H1N1 virus is a man-made WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION! and TERROR! It is a WEAPONIZED version of a flu virus. It has swept the planet infecting millions. And causing a global pandemic that has killed tens of thousands, and injured millions.

The H1N1 virus is the product of the DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! It was released in the U.S. in Texas in early January of last year, but not recognized until around April 2009 in California. The reason I know this is because when it came to America, it came to see me FIRST! How sweet...

This was around the time the MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX! assaulted the Whitehouse with all their devils deals to cripple and weaken YOUR! healthcare reform. Especially your right to have a single payer system like HR676 (Medicare For All) which most of you wanted.

They don't even want you to have your HUGE!!! compromise position of a strong government-run MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. To compete with their DISGRACEFUL, GREED DRIVEN, MURDEROUS, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PRODUCT (The single most costly, deadly and dangerous product sold in America).

They also wanted to take away your rights to have your government meet it's responsibility to use it's full power to regulate, negotiate, and control drug cost, healthcare cost and quality. Something every other civilized country in the developed World has done for it's people. Their Greed! moral degeneracy and lack of patriotism knows no bounds.

Many of you will remember that before we knew about H1N1. I posted a open message to the President and Congress warning them to be vigilant about their health, and cautious about any medical advice they received. As I said then "they will not hesitate to try and hurt you".

The U.S. and the World have been under a BIOLOGICAL TERROR ATTACK! for over a year now. It is CRITICAL that We The People Of The United States take away control of our healthcare system from the GREED DRIVEN MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX!

For our own National security, and the security of the world.

A Strong, government-run, MEDICARE like Public Option CHOICE. Available to everyone on day one, with the full unfettered power of the federal government to regulate, negotiate, and control cost and quality. Would be the most workable way to deal with this global crisis at this time. Including patent suspensions as needed for national security or the greater good.

As an American I invite the peoples of the World to help us fix our healthcare crisis. And bring pressure on our government to meet it's responsibility to protect global security by controlling, and removing the corrupting influence of GREED and the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT motivations from healthcare in the U.S. and around the World.

I call on the governments of the World and the global intelligence community to track down these MASS MURDERERS, and bring them to justice. CONNECT THE DOTS! And be vigilant that they don't slip in another viral strain on you under the cloak of H1N1 sequestration.

Further, the proposed patent protection on biologic's must be stripped from the US bill. And greatly shorten/restricted, or abolished completely. This is a grave danger to humanity and global security.

I think President Obama is doing the best he can at playing the disastrous deck of cards he inherited from the previous administration. And I think he is doing an excellent job. But the wolves and devils of the medical industrial complex! are trying to exploit, and take advantage of his good heart, and desperate desire to help suffering Americans. But we must be strong and insist that healthcare reform be done right for the American people. Or everyone loose's.

This is all I can say in a message post. I'll try to find a way to tell you more later.

God Bless You My Fellow Human Beings

jacksmith - Working Class

p.s. The so-called nominal H1N1 virus is designed in such a way as to make it more lethal to children and young adults. The medical community must be more vigilant of secondary bacterial infections in the young caused by H1N1. And remember, a viral infection is also a transfer of genetic code to you. Think about it, and be vigilant. :-(

In case you can't handle the tl;dr, here's the money quote from Jacksmith's comment:

I have to tell you now that the H1N1 virus is a man-made WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION! and TERROR! It is a WEAPONIZED version of a flu virus. It has swept the planet infecting millions. And causing a global pandemic that has killed tens of thousands, and injured millions.


Even on Democratic Underground the conspiracy theories are more plausible.

All things considered, I think that a health care bill that expanded Medicaid and access to health insurance, even at the expense of destroying abortion coverage, would be better than the current situation, overall and in terms of reproductive health care. As long as the Hyde Amendment is in place, the poorest women are going to be left out to dry in terms of abortion anyway. But I suspect that our high abortion rate owes a lot to poor access to health care services in general for a lot of lower income women, who would probably like to be on birth control pills if they could a) get a prescription and b) get a package every month. In order for that to happen, hey would need both insurance and the ability to get to a doctor. Health care reform addresses the former; I really wish they would think about what we need for the latter to happen.

Because the reproductive rights movement abandoned the fight against the Hyde Amendment, this sort of thing was inevitable. And maybe it would be if the movement actually rallied around and lobbied against the Hyde Amendment, but if we don't even try, then this is what we get.

Anyway, I know Stupak won't vote for the Senate bill, but are we sure his entire anti-choice coalition won't break up? Pelosi probably could convince more than a few of them that the "shame the slut" Senate abortion amendment is punitive enough towards sexually active women.

Jack Smith, you're welcome to comment--but please stop spamming.

Stupak's coalition has already shrunk from the height of its powers last fall. I wouldn't be surprised if he continues to lose reps.

Sadly, I'll second A. Marcotte. And I say sadly because I can't believe after all these years we're still fighting the same fucking battles with the same ghastly, "conservative" zombie armies.

Jacksmith- Dude, seriously, H1N1 a weaponized influenza virus? I don't know where to start, but you might start with a basic epidemiology text.

If you support the Bart Stupak coalition against pro-abortion health care plans, please consider joining this Facebook group:

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