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Thread: Senate Defeats Reid on "Doc Fix"

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    Senate Defeats Reid on "Doc Fix"

    1. Wow!

    2. Twenty four hours after dangling it, the Senate dealt Leader Reid and the administration a deadly defeat on the deliberation of the doctor deal that would have bought off the bone setters at a budget busting bottom line of a quarter tril NOT accounted to health care, NOT paid for, doled instead against the GENERAL FUND, and thus adding deleteriously to the deficit.

    3. Senate leadership just last week conceived this cynical scheme to slice off a $247B SOP to surgeons in a STAND ALONE provision that would have certified that sawbones NOT see their salaries cut 40% as scheduled in Baucus and HELP and whatever meld ultimately emerges from behind the Leader's locked door.

    4. The Baucus bill, in order to satisfy CBO, called for crippling cuts to the compensation forked out to caregivers.

    5. Surgeons sighed, their support was central to reform's success.

    6. So Reid and Rahm arrived at this backdoor buyoff, the "doctor fix," a stand alone legislation to allot oodles of largesse DE-LINKED from Baucus/Dodd and whatever will be their spawn.

    7. The "fix" failed on the floor TODAY, 47 to 53.

    8. THIRTEEN democrats sided with Olympia Snowe and a solid GOP contingent to fling this fatal fillip in the forlorn face of Reid and his fellow firebrands.

    9. Kent Conrad, Evan Bayh, Russ Feingold, Claire McCaskill, Joe Lieberman, Ron Wyden, Byron Dorgan, Robert Byrd, Jon Tester, Jim Combat Boots Webb, Mark Warner, Herb Kohl and Bill Nelson comprised the unlucky---for Reid---13.

    10. Indicatively, included among the hawk-like nonconformists are prominent progressives, mainstream moderates AND conspicuous conservatives.

    11. Worrisomely, both Commonwealthers, Warner and Webb, wended their ways towards Snowe and her wingnut crew.

    12. Significantly, surgeons, specialists and housemen signal their instransigence.

    13. It looks now like healers must needs be aligned alongside Fox, insurers and the Chamber of Commerce as illustrious headliners of leadership's ENEMIES LIST.

    14. And, most crucially, the commanding coalition contains clear, distinct, unmistakable CRACKS critical to the creation of any combination requisite to carry Obamacare to conclusion.

    15. Health care is stone cold, the patient passed this pm in upper parliament.

    16. The bereaved bailiff blamed "Republican dominated Washington."

    17. Republican dominated---LOL!

    18. Baucus/HELP must now uncover a quarter tril to cull the docs, else earn the enduring enmity of the Aesculapius crowd.

    19. The Senate will now surrender on the president's signature issue---SOON.

    20. If he can't get 50 for a part, how's he ever gonna get 60 for the whole?

    21. All you'll see from here on is going thru motions.

    22. Sad.

    The Senate soundly defeated a $250 billion extension to the Medicare physician payment program Wednesday, marking a potentially inauspicious start for Democratic leaders to the formal floor debate on the larger health care overhaul.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) — normally a master vote-counter — was unable to muster even a simple majority for the “doc fix” bill: The legislation was defeated, 47 to 53. A clearly nervous Reid paced the chamber’s well just prior to the vote and afterward looked to blame the defeat on GOP Senators, arguing it was a result of “activities and actions by the Republican-dominated Washington.

    The outcome — and particularly Reid’s inability to secure at least 51 votes — could prove to be an ominous beginning for Democrats on the health care debate.

    Indeed, Republicans quickly seized on the doc fix vote to show that Reid lacks support for the broader Democratic reform agenda.

    “In the Senate’s first vote on health care spending this year, a bipartisan majority rejected the Democrat leadership's attempt to add another quarter trillion dollars to the national credit card without any plan to pay for it,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said after the tally. “With a record deficit and a ballooning national debt, the American people are saying enough is enough. Today's vote shows that this message is finally starting to get through to Congress. Hopefully it's a sign of things to come in the health care debate ahead.”

    In the end, 12 Democrats and one Independent joined all 40 Republicans in voting against the bill. Among those in the Democratic Conference voting no were: Sens. Byron Dorgan (N.D.), Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) Jon Tester (Mont.), Jim Webb (Va.), Mark Warner (Va.), Ron Wyden (Ore.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Russ Feingold (Wis.) Bill Nelson (Fla.), Evan Bayh (Ind.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.). The primary argument among opponents of the measure is that it should contain offsets.

    The vote could have been even worse had Reid, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and lead bill sponsor Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) not lobbied a number of Democratic holdouts, including Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.), who ultimately voted with Democratic leaders. Lincoln, who could face difficult re-election next year, appeared to be particularly pained by the vote and waited almost until the end to cast her vote.

    The bill would have protected doctors from scheduled cuts in Medicare over the next decade. Several Senators are looking for an alternative plan that would ensure the payments continue but that they are paid for.
    Senate Hands Reid a Defeat on ‘Doc Fix’ - Roll Call


    The Prof
    Last edited by The Prof; 10-21-09 at 10:05 PM.

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    Re: Senate Defeats Reid on "Doc Fix"

    *crickets*
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: Senate Defeats Reid on "Doc Fix"

    If you listen to and believed Obama, Pelosi, and Reid you'd give up and let the I don't really care about your Health Plan go through with out a whimper, but the truth got out and the people are saying no to Socialism. Reid is in trouble for reelection and he pissed off the Major paper in Nevada and they declared war on him. You have to wonder how he ever go elected to anything when you look at his home town of 586 people in the last election and is know locally as a speed trap and nothing more.
    When you look at all the lies Reid, Obama, and Pelosi have been caught in it's amazing they still come out in public. I think the phony Doctors at the White House was the topper. I predicted they were fakes and it turned out some were SEIU members in white coats Obama had past out. Next thing you know Glenn Beck had a bunch of doctors on and did the same thing as a joke but made Obama, Reid, and Pelosi look bad by letting the Doctors express their opinions in their own words about why Obama care is wrong for them and for us.

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    Re: Senate Defeats Reid on "Doc Fix"

    Unfortunately, this victory for fiscal discipline is temporary. Given past precedent with these very limited Medicare budget restraints, Congress will almost certainly vote to ignore them yet again.

    Fiscal discipline is not painless. It does entail some degree of sacrifice, though the $24 billion for this year is a miniscule sacrifice (less than 0.7% of FY 2009 spending). Arguments that some have made that the tiny spending reduction is "painful" and would precipitate dire consequences are far off the mark. No matter the comparison--against the size of the economy, budget, or health sector--the spending reduction would be very small.

    IMO, the prudent thing would be to follow through with the very modest Medicare spending restraints, small as they are. Such a move would provide the first credible signal of a desire to reassert fiscal discipline. Failing that, if Congress wishes to work around them, Congress should find appropriate offsets to make the change budget neutral.
    Last edited by donsutherland1; 10-22-09 at 07:03 PM.

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    Re: Senate Defeats Reid on "Doc Fix"

    Quote Originally Posted by donsutherland1 View Post
    Unfortunately, this victory for fiscal discipline is temporary. Given past precedent with these very limited Medicare budget restraints, Congress will almost certainly vote to ignore them yet again.

    Fiscal discipline is not painless. It does entail some degree of sacrifice, though the $24 billion for this year is a miniscule sacrifice (less than 0.7% of FY 2009 spending). Arguments that some have made that the tiny spending reduction is "painful" and would precipitate dire consequences are far off the mark. No matter the comparison--against the size of the economy, budget, or health sector--the spending reduction would be very small.

    IMO, the prudent thing would be to follow through with the very modest Medicare spending restraints, small as they are. Such a move would provide the first credible signal of a desire to reassert fiscal discipline. Failing that, if Congress wishes to work around them, Congress should find appropriate offsets to make the change budget neutral.
    in my opinion, you are looking at the littlest part of this huge story

    and conrad, bayh, feingold, mccaskill, lieberman, wyden, dorgan, byrd, tester, nelson, kohl and both senators from virginia disagree with your comments about the "miniscule" sum

    let alone parliament's most powerful personage, ms olympia

    the larger points are, i feel:

    1. doctors are not on board

    2. health care can't carry without the lab coats

    3. the baucus/dodd merge must now try to summon some quarter tril to offset the reductions to doctors' pay of 40% currently conceived in both finance and HELP, certain to scandalize CBO

    4. the party, most pointedly, is split---if reid can't get 50 for a part of the piece, it appears impossible to put together 60 for the complete package

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    Re: Senate Defeats Reid on "Doc Fix"

    Quote Originally Posted by The Prof View Post
    in my opinion, you are looking at the littlest part of this huge story

    and conrad, bayh, feingold, mccaskill, lieberman, wyden, dorgan, byrd, tester, nelson, kohl and both senators from virginia disagree with your comments about the "miniscule" sum...
    I'm speaking strictly from the point of fiscal discipline. I am well aware that the politics involved is at odds with fiscal discipline. Moreover, I expect that politics will ultimately trump fiscal discipline and noted that Congress will almost certainly vote to ignore the modest Medicare spending restraint yet again.

    From a longer-term perspective, that's not an encouraging development. If politics is permitted to take precedence over fiscal discipline when small amounts are involved, prospects for the kind of far more difficult decisions required to address the nation's long-term entitlements imbalances are bleak.

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