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  • Morning Bell: The Senate Begins Voting on Obamacare This Week

    After thousands of Americans attended hundreds of townhalls this summer, after the President of the United States delivered a rare speech to a Joint Session of Congress, after endless coverage of legislative markups in the relevant congressional committees, what if the Senate began actual floor votes on the health care overhaul and the drive-by media refused to cover it? Couldn’t happen? It already is.

    This week the Senate is set to vote on a measure that would approve spending for almost one quarter of Obamacare’s $1 trillion price tag. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) has introduced, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is moving to the floor, S. 1776 which, as we explained yesterday, raises Medicare provider reimbursement rates by $247 billion over the next ten years and $3 trillion over the next 75. Under current law, doctors nationwide are set to take a 21.5% pay cut for every Medicare patient they see starting in January 2010. Such a cut could lead many doctors to abandon Medicare patients, thus significantly undermining our entire health care system.

    Doctor’s reimbursement rates do need to be fixed. But such a fix should be part of comprehensive reform of our health care system. Instead, Reid and the White House are trying to pull a fast one on the American people, claiming “the Medicare doctors’ payment discrepancy is a budgetary problem” while “health insurance reform tackles a serious regulatory problem.” The Obama administration is trying to add $247 billion in deficit health care spending one week, and then turn around and claim their health care plan is deficit neutral the next. The trickery has come in for some heavy bi-partisan criticism. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said he thought the tactic is a “mistake”, and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) told Politico: “I am for the fix, but I don’t think we should blow the roof off the deficit — not at a time when we are already running record deficits.”

    Robert Bixby, Director of the nonpartisan, grassroots Concord Coalition clearly articulates why the Medicare reimbursement fix should be considered part of health care reform:

    Dealing with the ‘doc fix’ in a separate bill, outside of health care reform, would change the scoring of the bills but not the effect on the deficit. If policymakers believe that the current SGR [Sustainable Growth Rate] formula is unrealistic, they should replace it with a more appropriate policy and pay for the change in keeping with their pledge to reform health care in a deficit-neutral way. If paying for this SGR change means there would be fewer offsets on the table to pay for expanded coverage, then policymakers would be forced to appropriately weigh their priorities and make the necessary tough choices — either scale back other costs in the health reform package or find more ways to pay for the larger bill.

    The Tea Party movement that swept the nation this summer is already making life difficult for politicians that say they care about deficit spending but then support policies that undermine that goal. The Boston Tea Party of 1773 set the stage for the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Will the debate over S.1776 set the stage for something much larger and important?

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    40 Responses to Morning Bell: The Senate Begins Voting on Obamacare This Week

    1. Bill Tulsa, Oklah says:

      How is it that these politicians think they will survive the next election? Possibly the don't! It appears their job is to take over as much of our econony as they can before they are replaced. One thing for sure, they will be replaced if they continue with this health care vote. The American people will see to that!

    2. Corky says:

      I just cannot believe there is not a LEGAL way to stop the maddash to health care reform. WE, are over our heads in debt, thanks to the democrats and they want to SPEND, SPEND more! This is obamas way to try to get a second term….buy your way in.. HE'S A LIAR! He's told more lie's in the past 10 months than I have in 10 years!

      STAND AMERICANS and call your senators and congressmen and tell them TO STOP NOW!!!

    3. Jim@Redding,CA says:

      Why is everyone going crazy over health-

      care, cap & trade, national security, etc., etc.? When are sane people going to

      face the fact that, having been establish-

      ed "one nation under God", we have strayed

      so far from what our founding fathers be-

      gan that God has finally withdrawn His many blessings, and is now acting on His

      judgement upon this rebellious United

      States of America?

      In light of our many sins against God, I am only amazed that He hasn't hammered us

      much harder than He's begun to do… You

      ought to be wondering why there is no mention of the USA in any part of the Bible…

      In our national arrogance we've determined

      that we "don't need God's help and bless-

      ings". The sad fact is that now only He

      can set things right IF WE REPENT AS A

      NATION AND SEEK HIS FORGIVENESS.

    4. Bill Sr. Jacksonvill says:

      This is what Obama needs to hear from "thinking Americans".

      Yes, we were surprised by many of your actions and decisions since taking office when compared to the promises and rhetoric you found so essential for your election. However, it doesn’t cause any of us to wonder why your approval ratings and that of the socialist agenda prevalent in congress have hit all time lows. Therefore we suggest you listen to the growing protest of the average hard working Americans of every color, faith, and political persuasion demanding their values of common sense, smaller government, lower taxes, and real job growth in the private sector be made a priority in all your future executive decision and any legislation your cronies in congress desire to initiate.

    5. Art, Springfield, MO says:

      Senate Bill 1776, the initiative to kill the 21.5% reduction in Medicare payments to physicians is merely the latest effort to tackle this issue. It's been addressed thru deferrals for the last three Congressional sessions rather than any attempt to fix it. Another instance of Congress, and both the Bush and Obama administrations failing to act on an issue that should have been dealth with several years ago.

      Should it be part of so-called 'reform?' Of course it should! But since the issue is one of immediacy in terms of physician payments being reduced in less than 3 months versus a well thought out Healthcare Reform (not just insurance reform) plan that could take months to put together properly, Sen Stabenow's approach is reasonable.

    6. Cindy, Carrollton GA says:

      Yes they do want to take over as much as they can as fast as they can. If this passes, Americans that do not understand in a few months or even years will believe that the changes i health care are not so bad because the cahnages will not begin occurring until 2013, 2014 and 2019. Then the damage is done. Even if Americans vote them out in 2012, it will take a long time to undo the damage if it can even be undone.

    7. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      Just no way to stop it. We Will have to try and repeal it IF we can knock enough Career politicians out in 2010 to get them to react to the will of the people

    8. Dean-Texas/Alaska says:

      This "health care" issue is a ploy, a communist tactic to confuse the American people while our Economy, Constitution, Bill of Rights, is being systematically destroyed, compromised, set aside. We in real trouble folks.

    9. Joe says:

      "the drive-by media refused to cover it"

      Did you forget that you mentioned this in your lede? You're just going to drop that snarky comment in there and not explain it at all?

      Because if you're talking about the media not covering the Medicare physician payment fix, a quick google search finds 41 articles on the payment fix within the last week, including from the LA Times, the Washington Post, MSNBC, NPR, The Hill, Politico, et al.

      • Conn Carroll Conn Carroll says:

        The Post did do an editorial. But nothing in the news section. The LAT article was buried far inside the paper. The first floor vote on the biggest issue of the year could happen today and willl happen this week but it was not covered on the front page of any of the top ten major dailies.
        Considering all the front page attention the public option is getting, this issue has been purposefully ignored.

    10. Todd, Iraq says:

      Obamacare will pass in some form and his leftist cronies in government and in the media will praise him. The left will point their fingers at those of us on the RIGHT side and say we're to blame for all the bad things in this country. See they tried to stop health, I mean Obamacare but they failed and they're the reason America is in the position it's in. About this time it will be mid term time and they'll trot out the same old standard line we've heard from his White House time and time again and that is "we inherited this mess and we're trying to fix it." They will think this tactic can work yet again for them and the mid term will go their way. They think Americans aren't smart enough or at best they think we don't pay enough attention to current events and we've forgot about all the issues and problems he and his Dumbocrat cronies have cause and will leave his many successor(s) to clean up. These problems and many more to come will plague all of us for generations to come. Obama and all of his socialist pals aren't concerned with the welfare of this nation and I think we all know this. They are concerned with grabbing as much power while they can and hopefully control congress and the White House for years to come then who knows after that.

      Just A Point of View

    11. Bob R Geologist, Tuc says:

      It appears the Democrats prefer double-speak, obfuscation, and other devious measures in their dealings with the public. Could it be that their "truth" version would wilt and die at the first touch of sunlight?

    12. Carol, AZ says:

      Yes Tulsa, OK;

      If We are smarter than a 5th grader;

      As a nation, there would be NO Reed NV, No Pelosi CA, No second term with Obama.(whom I voted for),E -Verify will be passed ASAP,and no Obama care as written.

      We are certainly capable to Reform the existing med.system,

      If we are smarter than a 5th grader;

      All elected offices that support all Sanctuary Gov't should be voted OUT so we can enact "all Federal Laws" that are here, to protect our Civil Rights as the tax paying majority in America.

      Start by cutting off all federal support for all non-legals living here.

      Shut-down all "day labor" sites across the U.S.

      We may even take back our lousy school systems, our public housing, our inner cities over-run by gang,

      Reinvesting our Fed funding to help single moms with children that are here as citizens, Focusing on Infrastructure like bridges, roads, abandon houses and apt complexes, energy saving solar and wind power as an option for energy in areas that certainly can substain it ( remember those promises) and finally create an invest in the the job market where 400,000 pesons ea. wk are losing the security of a pay check.

      So it does not surprise me that NO press will be allowed to see or hear the last tweeking of the health care sessions.

      We can not imagine the pork barrel add-ons I'm certain, that will be added to pg 1503+ as this "Medicare monster on steriod" continues to grew.

    13. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      GOP – Kyle and Hatch – are

      BLOCKING A SENATE VOTE ON EXTENDING Unemployment benefits. More GOP Interference in IMPROVING AMERICA.

      NOT GOOD.

    14. Eddina Symns, Hutchi says:

      So Obamacare is actually up for vote, totally disregarding the American people who have strongly indicated they don't want it.

      Well, if the Senate passes it, they should

      consider it THEIR death knell.

      WE shall vote……….and vote them all OUT !

    15. Deanne Despain...Dec says:

      Heritage I am a simple 62 year old housewife that has written,called,screamed and contacted until I'm dizzy. I did not vote for this tyranny that has taken over our country. We can not keep talking we must unite and drive our SUV's, Compacts, big trucks, and Global Warming fraud cars down to Washington and sit—until Congress goes home. We need enough pink slips not to miss any who have contributed to this mess. We need "purified water" in our cars and enough good "dark chocolate" to stay a very long time. They are not listening and they are not stopping and we are loosing our Constitution and Bill of Rights and Rush Limbaugh needs some help. How do we get this accomplished? Do you have any ideas? I'm listening, reading, and preparing. I'm ready to go.

    16. Jim says:

      THE PROBLEM IS FOLKS……WE GOT him IN….

      he TOTALLY IGNORES US BECAUSE he CAN.. AND

      WE ARE IN 'BIG' TROUBLE.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    17. Dianne in Scottsdale says:

      What scares me is, if we don't band together and vote for one (legislator, Senator, etc.) from each district, we will do nothing more than split our vote as in Ross Perot. I know, I did that and we got Clinton and I sure don't want that to happen as the stakes, now, are much higher. The Republicans need to listen to us and echo our sentiments and I don't see or hear them formulating any great ideas! SOMEBODY WHO CARES FOR THIS COUNTRY NEEDS TO ORGANIZE US.

    18. Dianne in Scottsdale says:

      Jim in Redding, I totally agree with you! We need a day of fasting and prayer.

    19. Kay Bolden says:

      I have always voted but never been actively involved in the elections—2010 will be different–I am truely afraid that my Grandchildren will never know the freedoms I have enjoyed.The majority do not support Obamacare–congress does not seem to care–we must speak through the next elections.

    20. Pingback: Morning Bell: The Senate Begins Voting on Obamacare This Week : Conservative Nation

    21. Judith in Michigan says:

      Ah, Mr. Jarvis.

      It is amusing to see your "logic" at work.

      Wouldn't it improve America more if jobs were actually created to move citizens off of the dole, and promote self-sufficiency instead of increasing unemployment benefits?

      Very Good!

    22. Sandra, Texas says:

      Again, Congress and the President, continue to display their total disregard and disrespect for the American taxpayer. They have no intention of conducting business for the people; they are absorbed in their personal agenda. Vote them out.

    23. Mary, WI says:

      "Off with their heads!" screamed the Queen of Hearts.

      I am very sad for the United States of America and all the men and women that fought for our freedoms and the freedoms of so many other countries. All that pride is coming to a crashing halt thanks to the THUGS running/destroying this country.

      Is there no one to lead "We the People" out of this mess?!

    24. Wallyblu, Zion, IL says:

      In answer to Ken Jarvis. The GOP can't block any vote in congress, the Democrats have an unbockable majority.

    25. Bobbie Jay says:

      Stop thinking of the benefits you'll continue to get, Mr. Jarvis. Your benefits will be cut, not added to. Open your mind to all this will effect and come to know your president made no efforts to clean any mess before him. His efforts are clear to make matters WORSE. For government to capitalize on this government induced crisis! Rahm said himself, "never let a crisis go to waste." This was never a crisis, just an attention grabber that government built it up to look like a crisis.

      Ken Jarvis, how many years have you been a government dependent? I hope some day you will take on the true meaning of freedom and open your mind to the destruction and wrecklessness of this direct government take-over OF MONEY AND OUR LIVES!

    26. Ella Quinn N.C. says:

      I didnot vote for obama,nor would i ever.Fox news is a good t.v. channel to watch and stay on top of everything.Heritage is good for keeping up with news also.Watch sean hannity he tells it like it is.Oreily,is good also.I am ready to march in washington when the rest of you are.

    27. LA Girl says:

      Corky,

      I’ve investigator all and every legal possibility and contacted numerous legal organizations. I was told that presently there is no legal recourse. I had hoped that an injunction might stop the spending and was told no. They also told me they were just as upset the over spending, the Czars and radicals in this administration but they advise if we don’t like vote them out. Needless to say, I was agitated by that comment.

      Here is one of the organizations that responded to my request from the Landmark Legal Foundation.

      While we certainly share your frustration, it isn't constitutionally possible for a court to preempt Congress' authority to legislate on any matter. The sole power to craft and enact legislation rests with Congress under Article I of the U.S. Constitution. Once legislation is enacted, the courts may interpret it and determine its constitutionality, but no one, under our system of governance can prospectively tell Congress what it can or cannot enact.

      That does not mean, however, that members of Congress can't be influenced by popular sentiment. The recent experience with health care reform is a perfect example of popular will affecting congressional action.

      Thank you for your interest in Landmark Legal Foundation.

      Eric Christensen

      Vice President for Development and Communications

      Landmark Legal Foundation

    28. Mike from Illinois says:

      We need to send a message to washington and vote ALL the bad eggs out of office.

    29. Pingback: HC Reform Voting Begins - Taxpayer Soapbox

    30. Dorothy Gavin, Pas. says:

      I understand that most of this leftist agenda will be unretractable once it has been passed. I abhor those who not just voted for this "Transformer" but for our Senators and Congressmen who don't seem to care how he is tearing down and terrorizing this country. This is a President? He has thugs in the SEIU and ACORN going to peaceable gatherings and causing trouble. He sends them money. He swore he only met Blago from Chicago once and I have seen picture after picture of them enjoying their starts in Chicago. Rahm Emanuel, a thug, leads him. It is so frustrating to see America taken apart brick by brick and hearing others talk about a 3rd party take over. It won't happen. If everyone goes to a 3rd party we are lost. We need to get Republicans back in to once more get a "Two Pary System". Then we work on a 3rd party. Now all we have is a marxist agenda with no one with enough power to turn the tide. For now vote out every Dem and Rep who vote this agenda. Then we start anew. God Bless us everyone!

    31. Ken St Louis says:

      First, Our healthcare system isn't broken! Its the best available in the world! Could it be better? SURE! Is the federal government with a lying —hole in charge the people to do it? If course not, they can't do anything right, never have!Why are they so determined to do this? Only one reason, to gut our present system, install a new system that they can manipulate ( control who is eligible, and the costs ) I read that they want to look I doctors compensation rates, with no increases for years to come.Rirst Doctors will refuse Medicare patients, 2nd won't send their kids to Med schoool, and soon we won't have any doctors. Obuma hates productive hard working people, He's a lazy —hole, and always has been.

    32. Pingback: Morning Bell: A Whole New Health Care Ball Game | Conservative Principles Now

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    36. Sarah, Oklahoma says:

      I didn't vote for "the change" & now believe those who did are now realizing that this change is going to be a whole lot worse than menopause.

      OBAMA= One Big Awful Mistake America!

    37. Sarah, Oklahoma says:

      The healthcare overhaul will be a nightmare if passed & everyone who votes for it will be voted out of office. Because when a tire goes flat on your vehicle you don't overhaul the whole car you just change the tire. And we got a whole lot of flat tires in Washington.

    38. Pingback: Mr. Conservative » Our Senate Firmly Rejects ObamaCare

    39. Pingback: The Absurd Report » Buying Votes!

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