March 21, 2010

Steny Hoyer won't say they've got the votes, only — nervously — that they "will" have the votes.

"We're going to get those 216 votes because we believe that they understand... that American... s... want health care reform...." He had trouble getting that "s" onto "American" — as if he were haunted by the fear that the support among the people had dwindled to one.


Anonymous said...

Or maybe he paused to make sure his speaking was grammatically correct? Better to do that IMHO than to sound like an idiot.

Why go on a Sunday morning talk show if you have nothing to say... especially if you just intend to be evasive?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

My grandfather (1890-1976), a fervent libertarian who spent 28 years of his very long legal career as a judge, told me (in relation to marijuana laws, back in the late '60s) that "The problem with bad laws is that they soon engender disrespect for the law."

He lived long enough to see its fruition amongst myriad Baby Boomers.

Were he alive today he would say much the same of the current health-takeover debacle. I would be completely unsurprised if today's rising generation evinces much the same response to nearly anything coming out of DC from here forward.

reader_iam said...

C-SPAN host just stated that MSNBC is reporting that Rep. Bart Stupak has moved into the "yes" column. Roll Call reporter, the current guest, called that likely "Game, set an match."

rhhardin said...

If nobody at all wants it, it can go back to plural.

Anonymous said...

They don't even see it coming. They have no idea that we really want them to do this ... that it seals their fate ... that it ends them.

What a fucking bunch of morons.

X said...

Bart Hall your grandfather was a wise man. Marijuana isn't a gateway drug so much as marijuana laws are a gateway crime.

As for now, I think they picked the wrong time to get people in the mood for civil disobedience.

Roger J. said...

I think we are watching political kabuki theater. Make the vote happen during Sunday evening prime time and all of that.

Narrow victory that I suspect will be a pyhrric victory come November. They could have improved their timing a bit by not doing during NCAA tourney, but that is probably a question of tone-deafness.

It appears the real march madness
is in DC. Can the republicans capitalize on this? Given their leadership I am guessing not.

Anonymous said...

@Bart Hall-

Don't worry. Soon we will have mandatory drug testing as a requirement for participation in the mandatory health insurance scheme. The LAW will be right there, demanding that you pee into that cup. Respect that, motherfucker!

Skyler said...

How bad can this bill be that the democrats are citing Nixon, whom they believe to be only slightly better than Hitler, as a fellow supporter.

AllenS said...

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

"Don't worry. Soon we will have mandatory drug testing as a requirement for participation in the mandatory health insurance scheme."

I'm retired, but the company that I worked with, starting about in the mid-90's made every new employee pee in the cup.

Bob W. said...

Everyone is reporting that Stupak is now a yes, so I imagine they have the votes at this point; by the way, Ann, Ana Marie Cox is criticizing your "ethnic slurs at the protest" post from earlier, FWIW.

Brian Doyle said...

Could I just get a clarification on something, Ann? Is your position that John Lewis and Barney Frank didn't have racist/homophobic epithets directed at them by Tea Party Patriots? Or do you grant that it happened, but think such abuse is part and parcel of protesting controversial legislation?

Peter Hoh said...

No morning post about the three big upsets yesterday? C'mon, a 1, 2, and a 3 seed all fell. And that Ali Farokhmanesh three pointer -- with 30 seconds on the play clock and 34 to go in the game? Awesome.

Unknown said...

Ann said...

He had trouble getting that "s" onto "American" — as if he were haunted by the fear that the support among the people had dwindled to one.

By George, I think he's got it.

Roger J. said...

I think we are watching political kabuki theater. Make the vote happen during Sunday evening prime time and all of that.

I don't think the American Idol crowd will be hanging by their set to watch Pelosi Galore do her famous bend-over-backwards dominatrix dance.

AllenS said...


I watched the Gophers lose and the Badgers win. I watched some of the other games and they were pretty good. Badgers play again today at 1:50. My beer is outside in the cool shade.


Lem said...

Remember folks, even if it passes today, this slow motion wreck is by no means over.

nina said...

I'm just curious (truly I am), do people here (commenters hurling insults at Democrats, Obama, liberals, etc etc) hate the idea of Medicare and Social Security, or just Health Care Reform (and Democrats, Obama, liberals, etc etc)?

I assume that their (your?) preference is for things to stay as they are, with private insurance providing coverage to some. And government providing subsidies in the form of tax breaks, but not in the area of health coverage. Am I right?

Having read hundreds and hundreds of comments here in the past weeks, however, I still am not clear if the position here is to hate all that comes out of government (and therefore also Medicare, SocSec, etc.), or just what comes out of this particular government?

I have to admit, I'm confused on this. It could be that I've been reading too much of the same kind of comment, denouncing Health Care Reform in general ("big government sucks!"), and not enough of detail as to what else is enraging out there (Medicare? Soc Sec? expensive health care?) and what (if anything) should be done about it.

Unknown said...

America, meaning the government, wants health care reform. Americans do not want this kind of reform.

Fred4Pres said...

A long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How that that Cowboy used to make us smile.
But the GOP ignored ol’ Ron’s stance
And McCain never had a chance
And a “good man” took over for a while.

But the march voting made me shiver
With every new post Hamsher delivered.
Bad news on the doorstep;
I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about Stupak’s slide,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the country died…

Unknown said...

Doyle does anyone really care about made up slurs? As to spitting- what is wrong with using the tactics the left designed against them. Wait until e start throwing the shoes?

Gee, you and Alpha are like broken records. what, the paid talking points did not come in this morning for you?

AllenS said...


I'm old enough to collect Social Security. I'm also aware that Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare is on an unsustainable path. Adding any more programs is something that I don't want to happen. I feel terrible that future generations will be burdened with this debt. I didn't like Bush's spending, and I damned sure don't like what the Democratic House, Senate and Presidency is doing. While I speak only for myself, I'll be that more comenters than me thinks this way.

AllenS said...

And I'll add one more thing, Nina. While I care, I also don't care. It's something that I won't have to pay for. If the majority thinks that this is a good idea, so be it. Again, I won't be paying for it.

Chip Ahoy said...

The other thing that strikes me silly is the false choice between this healthcare package and doing nothing. How can anyone say that sincerely with a straight face? By lying to one's self, I suppose. Do I always ask then answer my own questions? Why, yes, as a matter of fact I do.

Automatic_Wing said...

I'm just curious (truly I am), do people here (commenters hurling insults at Democrats, Obama, liberals, etc etc) hate the idea of Medicare and Social Security, or just Health Care Reform (and Democrats, Obama, liberals, etc etc)?

My concern is that eventually the government will run out of other people's money.

What then, Nina?

Brian Doyle said...

My concern is that eventually the government will run out of other people's money.

What then, Nina?

Way to avoid the question!

Automatic_Wing said...

Ha, Doyle, you're as dense as ever. Sure, a country as wealthy as ours can afford a certain level of of entitlement spending. Maybe we can pay those big bills that Soc Sec and Medicare are going to generate in a few years. But adding another huge entitlement on top of the ones we already have (for good or ill) is a very bad idea.

Understand now?

Chip Ahoy said...

Now that I know how to make a pop-up meerkat stick his fingers in his ears I think I'll make one of Louise Slaughter asking Paul Ryan about Republican plans for healthcare reform then lift her hands to her ears while simultaneously sticking out her tongue like a lizard. The thing that vitiates and invalidates that idea is that nobody would find it the slightest bit amusing.

Incidentally, I learned by calling my GP's office about their conflicting invoice that said, "no secondary insurance on file" and "second insurance payment ___," that they were so tickled by the angry monkey pop-up they keep it on the front counter so everybody coming in can to play with it.

Chip Ahoy said...

edit error, scratch that last "to"

Roger J. said...

Count me in with Allen S, Nina--I dont have to pay for this thing--the rest of you rubes under 60 are going to be saddled with it.


Calypso Facto said...


Curious that you've only noticed the epithets hurled AT supporters and not the ones hurled BY supporters...

Be that as it may, like in any disparate (and at this point, desperate) group, there are many reasons for opposition here. From the unconstitutional mandate crowd, to the enumerated powers people, to the free-marketers, to the (IMO) majority who have seen Federal sprawl grow out of budget and out of control in every previous undertaking (Medicare, SocSec) and are truly scared that this will bankrupt us individually and collectively. Is there any reason to think this new Federal entitlement will somehow be different? The benefits are already being oversold and the costs gamed and downplayed.

No one (I hope) will take up your straw man argument that the status quo is perfect. There are LOTS of alternate proposals that we could discuss the merits of. But we argue vehemently AGAINST this bill because it's the monstrosity at hand that's about to become law.

chickelit said...

I'm just curious (truly I am), do people here (commenters hurling insults at Democrats, Obama, liberals, etc etc) hate the idea of Medicare and Social Security, or just Health Care Reform (and Democrats, Obama, liberals, etc etc)?

You seem earnest enough Nina. So I'll answer that I'm opposed to HCR because it threatens to eliminate a choice I made a few years ago: Link, not specifically for any reasons which you raise.

Now you tell me: What gives YOU or your favorite elected representatives the right to threaten or remove that choice? I thought your ilk were all into expanding people's rights and choices?

Please do tell.

I'll be waiting.

Deborah M. said...

My concern - one of them - is that this program will grow out of control in the same that Social Security has. That program is no longer, and has not been for a very long time, what it started out to be. It is not just about retirement insurance. Social Security also extends benefits to children and spouses of retired and disabled wage earners - including children born out of wedlock and their mothers, divorced wives (as long as they were married to the Wage earner at least 20 years or maybe10, I forget - whether they've laid eyes on him/her since). It is extraordinarily complex and unwieldy and is a good example of a (perhaps, debatable) well-intended program becoming a political tool. Maybe some of these entitlements have changed since I worked therd.

HT said...

Well, as much as we wanted to say, "Thank God for Scott Brown," I don't think this is gonna pass. That's just my feeling.

madawaskan said...

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said Sunday morning that he is close to striking a deal with the Obama administration on abortion provisions.

"We are close to getting something done," Stupak said in an interview with MSNBC.

Stupak said he engaged in talks late into Saturday night.

The possible deal would focus on an executive order that would specify there would be no public funding for abortions in the healthcare bill.

"We're close but we're not there yet," Stupak said.

Democratic leaders said Sunday they have the votes on healthcare reform, but Stupak said until there is a deal struck, they don't have the 216 votes they need.

Stupak said "there were eight of us" in the negotiating room, all of them no votes.

Stupak said Saturday that there were "at least six" of his original dozen that were going to oppose the health bill. He said that he was "going to think about" what would need to be included in an executive order to convince him that no federal dollars would go toward funding abortion. Further, Stupak said that he had not talked to the White House about such an executive order.

* Abortion foe Kaptur says she'll vote yes

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) confirmed Stupak's whip count of at least six holdouts.

In an interview with The Hill, Kaptur said that an executive order "could be helpful, depending on what's in it."

But, not having talked with the White House about such an action, she said, "I don't really know how real that is."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told reporters Saturday that he was "hopeful" that an executive order, under discussion by leaders on abortion, will persuade a majority of "pro-life" Democrats to vote for the bill.


How does an Executive Order fix all this?

By Executive Order Obama can override whatever is in the bill?

Why isn't that being debated-really it's that easy?

Titus said...

David Gregory, buddies with Liz Cheney.

Fucking liberal media.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Let's cut to the chase. The essence of this argument, reduced to my own life is this -- In my early 60s I can still pass the Army physical for active duty, as could my wife. We carry a catastrophic medical policy that in spite of my wife's history of cancer costs us comfortably under $2000 per year.

Democrats in Washington believe that is wrong, and are attempting to do the following to us:

a) Part C of Medicare disappears immediately, so we lose our high-deductible coverage and Medical Savings Accounts.

b) Through the guaranteed-issue aspects of this bill our new, and vastly higher, premiums will be expected to "share the burden"

c) Require our business to provide medical insurance to employees(or pay a big fine), even though our wage structure was developped to include an amount allowing employees to buy their own catastrophic coverage. We will cut wages proportionally, and if employees don't like it, we'll let 'em go.

Let's be even more blunt. Where in the Constitution does it say that we should be required to pay (through higher premiums, to be "fair") for ...

1) Pelosi's queer poet in Frisco who gets himself HIV

2) The Black Trash walrus in Philly who slurps her pop all day long and develops diabetes at age 28

3) The White Trash idiot in Arkansas who cops oral cancer after fifteen years of dipping chaw

4) The Extreme Skier in Colorado who hits a tree at 60 mph

5) The street guy in Lawrence, Kansas, who needs a new liver after drinking too much rubbing alcohol

6) Or, for that matter, Bill Clinton's heart problems because he cain't stay awaiy from the greaseburgers.

Fundamental principle here ... I am not responsible, financially or otherwise, for the medical consequences of other peoples' miserably stupid lifestyle decisions.

That Democrats wish me to be, and are attempting to force me to be, responsible in such a fashion is merely more evidence that their primary electoral constituency includes an awful lot of unhealthy, unproductive, socially irresponsible people making poor lifestyle choices and expecting others to cover it all for them.

Deborah M. said...

How does an Executive Order fix all this?

By Executive Order Obama can override whatever is in the bill?

Why isn't that being debated-really it's that easy?

"Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool". Paul Begala. The New York Times, July 5, 1998, referring to executive orders.

madawaskan said...


Well why doesn't that get used all the time then?

Meanwhile Kathryn Jean Lopez just posted a youtube video of Wasserman on FOX and the Republicans are saying that it is evidence that the Executive Order is bogus-or words to that effect-I don't have sound at this site and I am trying to find it via phone so I don't know what the content of it is.

Lem said...

There is announcement from Stupack on C-SPAN.ORG

Xmas said...

Stupak is folding based on a presidential memo. The Pro-life Dems are going to vote for the bill.

madawaskan said...

Here is a direct link to that video at youtube the title of which is-

Democrat Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz Admits Executive Order Can't Change Law


Lem said...

Stupak is folding based on a presidential memo..

Once the bill becomes law Obama cannot undo it via executive order.

madawaskan said...

Thanks Lem I'm listening to it right now on Cspan radio.

HT said...

Reassessing now...(I could do without the Oscar acceptance speeches.)

madawaskan said...

The has the compete text of the Supposed Executive Order fix.

Link to Complete Text of Executive Order on Abortion Restrictions

AlphaLiberal said...

Vote count is at 220.

Looking good for the millions of American both with and without health care insurance.

Republicans continue to fight on the wrong side of history and basic humanity.

mesquito said...

Until today, I thought I had a sort of handle on American government. Now the President amends bills during debate?

Kirby Olson said...

Looting doesn't really help the business climate, even if it's done by Congress. I think what is needed is more jobs. To have healthcare, but an increasingly degraded business climate, means that people will have healthcare, as they jump out of their corporate windows. Small comfort!

AlphaLiberal said...

It is curious that the feminist Ann Althouse has had no comment on the split between the bishops and the nuns over this bill. Or those who say the nuns should be ignored.

It's a subject area ripe for commentary.

Anonymous said...

Hehe... It seems that this beast is going to pass based on a deal for a Presidential executive order. Isn't that the same thing as a "signing statement"-- the type of thing that Bush used to use to stamp his interpretation onto what Congress passed?

Oh the irony is just too much! I'm lovin' it!

I wonder if tomorrow the Republicans will think that maybe – back in 2000-2006 when they commanded a full legislative majority – they should have done something to lower the numbers of uninsured. Maybe something along the lines of what John Mackey proposed in his WSJ piece...

But they didn't. Republicans did NOTHING. Instead, they spend the last part of the 90s impeaching Clinton and then complaining about him, and they spent the 2000s kowtowing to their biggest contributors. What did Republicans offer for health care during their time in the majority? Nothing. Nothing. NOTHING!

And so today the choices are (1) the ObamaCare plan or (2) nothing. It shouldn't have been this way, but it is the way it is. And people will soon accept it as part of American life, and they will generally think well of Obama for getting it through. It will be a huge accomplishment, a huge plus for his reelection prospects and for the prospects of Congressional Democrats.

Bring on the signing statement! Maybe Obama can say something stupid in a Texas accent while he's signing away...

mesquito said...

What is Alpha Liberal going to do with the all the loot after the three thousand percent cut in his premiums?

chickelit said...

I'm still waiting Nina.

Anonymous said...

Stupack flips.

Death march begins.

Lem said...

We have assurances..

Stupack was Duped.

Unknown said...

its going to pass !

so what are the right-wing-nuts going to do now ? nothing too crazy i hope. go ahead and vent. get it out. just keep it non-offensive. stick to the issues.

Grames said...

Stupak was not duped, he is the duper. He has duped all the pro-lifers who support his campaigns. HaHa!

Yes, let there be CLARITY! Oh wise Althouse, she has forseen this era of truth telling.

DinobotPrime said...

Alpha Liberal

You sure about that, because those who worked in health care, at the hospital units, ERs, laboratories,Nursing homes and clinics will tell you different. America lacks hospitals and hospital beds, have a severe shortage of nurses, MDs , therapists and techs. There are more people living the health care industry than those coming in. Cutting edge treatments are not coming as fast as people thought they might be. New medicines and new medical devices are held up by the FDA so much so that if a company managed to get their medicine and device approved, they had already lost millions of dollars and that translate to a very expensive hospital bill for the patients.

Medicare and Medicaid pays the doctors and hospitals less than market price and late at that. Rejects more treatments and medicines than private insurance with the exception of Aetna. It is one of the reasons why many private as well as some government American hospitals have filed for bankruptcy .

So tell me, Alpha Liberal, what can that highly touted bill of yours help the American people and health care?? Because from where I stand as a floor nurse, the only people who will benefit are the politicians and their cronies and families. Not you, not me and especially not the poor and uninsured.

Lem said... what are the right-wing-nuts going to do now ?

The same thing they been doing for ever.. continue to subsidise an ever increasing socialist government.

AlphaLiberal said...

ha ha. This is a great post revisiting all the Republican fearmongering of gloom and doom back over Clinton's budget, back in 1993. They were dismally wrong as the 1990s saw economic progress for the American people and the right wing economic theories discredited.

History is about to repeat itself.

Anonymous said...

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." - Alexis de Tocqueville

AlphaLiberal said...

David Frum is a Republican who did not drink the Kool Aid:

"if HCR prevails, Republicans need an accountability moment. Jim DeMint/ Rush / Beck etc. [l]ed us to Waterloo all right . Ours."

Calypso Facto said...

Re: Danielle

So the public majority that opposed this bill is now composed of "right-wing-nuts?"

But hey, at least after you're done calling names we can stick to the issues...

Typical hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

How perfectly symbolic to have Jesse Jackson Jr. presiding over the house as republicans file their objections.

AllenS said...


Thanks for stopping by and asking some challenging questions. Now, go back to lurking.

nina said...

I'm not lurking, I'm working. I'll get back here when my lectures feel well written, by which time you'll have moved on. Btw I truly appreciated responses that were thoughtful and on point. (posted by phone)

chickelit said...

I'm not lurking, I'm working. I'll get back here when my lectures feel well written, by which time you'll have moved on

Nope! I bookmarked this post. I'll await your response!

nina said...

El Pollo,

I took the time to try to find what it is that you were asking, but could not find it. Your link put me into another lengthy Ann comments section.

I personally have not engaged in this debate in public and I CHOOSE not to do so. But commenters here have done so and that is why I asked them to answer my very basic questions.

I will continue to read occasionally. I have to say, mostly when I tune in here, I pick up a lot of nasty mud slinging. I'm not much into that. It's rather offputting to me, actually. But that's just my own preferences. I certainly understand that people get angry over all sorts of issues.

Sorry I could not respond to whatever it is that you were asking. Perhaps we'll address these issues in future Ann posts, if I again pop in with some needed clarifications.

Again, thank you for your various answers.

chickelit said...

Nina-please don't walk away so easily. That link took you directly to this:

For example, people have talked about "catastrophic-only" coverage making sense as a bottom-of-the-line health package, but such a package would not qualify as a "qualified health benefits plan" so anyone who bought such a plan as their only insurance would be slammed with a tax under Section 401 -- this doesn't directly outlaw that kind of variation in health care plans, but it will tend to be a pretty big disincentive against creative healthcare insurance plans -- the market at the moment is not exactly good on this score, but that's not an excuse to make things worse. This legislative top-down approach to controlling the health insurance market is fundamentally misguided.

Reason number two why I strongly oppose this tinkering with healthcare. Congress is basically telling me: you were wrong to move to high deductable insurance, we're going to punish you for it.

F*ck the author of this bill and the horse he rode in on.

Here is my question above restated specifically:

What gives YOU or your favorite elected representatives the right to threaten or remove the choice of high deductible insurance? I thought your ilk were all into expanding people's rights and choices?

Don't be evasive Nina!