From TALKING POINTS MEMO:
The Louisiana Democrats released a snarky little statement today, calling out Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who has introduced a health care amendment to the try to prevent states from providing drugs like Viagra to convicted sex offenders.
Said the Dems of Coburn: “Surely he would agree that anyone who has admitted or been found guilty of involvement with prostitution should not be covered either.”
Coburn’s amendment seeks to cut off federal funds to those on Medicaid who are “convicted sex offenders, child molesters, and rapists,” because sexual enhancement drugs are covered under the program.
We reported earlier that the Republican strategy to derail the reconciliation bill is to force Democrats to vote down politically juiced-up amendments so that they can paint Dems as sympathetic to sex offenders and fraudsters in November.
Perhaps the LA Dems had Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who has been known to dally with prostitutes in the past, on their minds when crafting that statement.
WASHINGTON, March 24 (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate is considering a package of changes to the healthcare overhaul signed into law by President Barack Obama.
The package was sought by the House of Representatives in exchange for passing the Senate version of the healthcare reform bill. Senate Democrats hope to pass it intact and send the revisions to Obama for his signature.
But Republicans are planning to force a series of potentially embarrassing votes for Democrats on a number of amendments in a marathon voting session that could take hours if not days.
None of the amendments is expected to pass, but if one is approved, the entire package would have to go back to the House for another vote.
Here are some of the Republican amendments being offered, and the senators who are proposing them:
*Senator Judd Gregg – to block the use of any savings from the Medicare health plan for the elderly to pay for new government spending in the health bill.
*Senator Mike Crapo – to ensure that families earning under $250,000 a year do not get hit with a tax increase.
*Senator Michael Enzi – to delete penalties for employers whose workers receive government subsidies to purchase health insurance.
*Senator John Barrasso – to ensure that premiums will not increase due to the healthcare reform.
*Senator Charles Grassley – would require the president and members of Congress purchase insurance through the exchange.
*Senator Lamar Alexander – a measure requiring a reduction in student loan interest rates.
*Senator George LeMieux – would force members of Congress to receive healthcare coverage through Medicaid.
*Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison – would allow states to opt out of the healthcare reform law.
*Senator Orrin Hatch – would block cuts to the Medicare Advantage program.
*Senator Susan Collins – would waive any employer penalties for new workers hired who had been previously unemployed.
*Senator John Thune – to strike from the bill a new insurance program that would help the elderly and disabled stay in their homes.
*Senator John Cornyn – to drop the 3.8 percent tax on investment income.
*Senator Orrin Hatch – to stop a medical device tax from applying to devices used for veterans’ care.
*Senator Mike Crapo – to stop the medical device tax from applying to cancer diagnosis equipment.
From The Star-Ledger (Editorial):
It is depressing to watch Sen. John McCain transform himself from the refreshingly independent voice he once was to the snarling partisan he has become.
[F]or most of his political career, he was among a handful of Republicans willing to reach across the aisle and find common-sense solutions.
Now, in the wake of the Democratic win on health reform, he is acting like a spoiled child, saying he will no longer work with Democrats and the White House on any issue. “There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year,” he said after the vote. “They have poisoned the well in what they’ve done and how they’ve done it.”
Really? What the Democrats did is enact a needed reform by majority vote. They are avoiding a filibuster in the Senate by using a process known as reconciliation, just as Republicans did when they enacted the Reagan and Bush tax cuts.
McCain is free to disagree. But in a democracy, you don’t always get your way, even when you throw a temper tantrum.