Category Archives: Senate Finance Committee

Rethugs, I hope this gives you some cloture…I mean, closure

From POLITICS DAILY:

With no votes to spare, Democratic senators moved health care reform past its first major hurdle Saturday night, with a party-line, 60-to-39 vote to begin consideration of the 2,000-plus page bill that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled this week.

…snip…

The bill that senators will begin debating after Thanksgiving combines proposals passed by the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Committee Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), and is designed to make health insurance more accessible and affordable. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill would expand coverage to 94 percent of Americans at a cost of $848 billion over the next 10 years.


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(Shnooks and ninnies, from the top:  Chinless Mitch McConnell, Kit So-Not-James Bond, Orrin Down-The Hatch, Richard Who? Burr, Mean Mike Enzi,  Chuck Yer-Ass-Is Grassley, Captain Underpants, Limpy Snowe, Diaper David Vitter)
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Do Your Magic, Harry

From The Washington Post:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) announced Monday that he will seek to bring a health-care bill to the Senate floor that includes a government insurance plan, a major reversal from just two weeks ago, when Reid was leaning against the idea.

He also called for the bill to include a version of the so-called public option with an clause that would allow states to decide by 2014 not to participate in the government plan.

“The best way to move forward is a public option with the opt-out provision for states,” Reid told reporters, adding that he “clearly” believes that such a bill would have “the support of my caucus.”


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Original comic book Olympia Snowe is holding
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The Pro-Stupid Agenda

From THINK PROGRESS:

Today on her radio program, Laura Ingraham interviewed guest Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and asked her about the ideological direction of the Republican Party. The pair discussed recent statements made by retired GOP Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist (TN) and Bob Dole (KS) in support of some type of comprehensive health reform.

Dole has called for Republicans to become engaged in the process, stating “we’ve got to do something” to solve the current crisis. Frist has endorsed the Senate Finance health reform bill, and has called out “people on the extreme” in his own party for falsely labeling President Obama’s health reform as “socialized medicine.” Clearly incensed by these comments, Ingraham and Bachmann traded barbs trashing the former Republican leaders for daring to veer away from a “pro-freedom agenda”:


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If Olympia Had Been a Man, Max Baucus Would Be a Snowe Blower

From Ezra Klein at The Washington Post:

The list of senators charged with merging the Finance and HELP bills into the legislation that will actually come to a vote on the Senate floor is vanishingly small, and every participant is there for a reason. Harry Reid will preside. Max Baucus, chairman of the Finance Committee, will be one of the chief negotiators. Chris Dodd, who led the HELP Committee’s health-care efforts, will be the other. And that’s about it. Oh, except for one other person:

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid, said that Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, the lone Republican on the Finance Committee to vote in favor of the bill, would be invited to future sessions. And Mr. Manley said the Democratic leader was prepared to go to substantial lengths to keep Ms. Snowe’s support.

“He is prepared to do what he can to keep her on board while putting together a bill that can get the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster,” Mr. Manley said.

Democrats really want this bill to be bipartisan — to the point that they’re giving the Republican a space in the negotiations equivalent to the chairmen of the two relevant committees.


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Betsy and the Bubbleheads

From TALKING POINTS MEMO:

In a heated and sometimes vitriolic debate Monday night, Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) repeatedly called out former Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey for lying about health care reform. He said debating her was like “debating a pyromaniac in a straw man factory,” prompting intense and immediate reaction from the audience.

“Debate like a man!” hollered one bespectacled, middle-aged man. Another quieted the ensuing shouts with, “This is his speaking time, not yours!”

Weiner and McCaughey arguably represent the furthest ends of the health care reform spectrum. Weiner is a progressive Congressman who wants a single-payer, government run health care system. McCaughey, who recently posited that reform may lead to government-mandated euthanasia, helped kill the Clintons’ health care plan in the 90s.


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Betsy Bubblegum and some of her gal pals: Michele Batshit Bachmann, Virginia Gummint’ll Kill Ya Foxx, Ginny Drop Dead Brown-Waite, and Princess Sarah Death Panel Palin
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The Baucus Caucus

From The Washington Post:

Two amendments considered, and defeated, Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee both aimed to get to the same place — creating a government-sponsored alternative to private insurance — but by different routes.

The first, sponsored by Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), proposed a program that would piggyback on Medicare for the first two years as it got underway.


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(Clockwise from left corner:  Blanche Walmart Lincoln, Kent Co-op Conrad, Max Blue Cross Baucus, Tom Carping Carper, and Bill Lost In Space Nelson)

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‘Roid Rage

Hey kids! Remember the Singing Senators? They broke up after Trent Lott pulled a Sarah Palin resigned, and Larry Craig tapped his Buster Browns in the wrong men’s room. Well, according to me my anonymous sources, a few of the musical Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee have formed a new group! They’re called Pink ‘Roids. No, not these kinds of roids, the kind you need this stuff for. I’m guessing they picked that name, because they’re always so red and irritated and angry. Anyway, they have a new video out! They really rock!

pinkfloydcornynensignhatchgrassleyb

(back row, left to right: John Cornyn (R-Easter Island [see below]), John Romeo Ensign, Orrin Down The Hatch, Chuck Your Ass Is Grassley. front row: Jim ZZZZZ Bunning)

To the tune of Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd)”:

We don’t need no legislation
Break Obama: that’s our goal
We love each campaign donation
Listen as we bitch and moan
Hey! Congress! Leave Cigna alone!
All in all, we’re gonna just continue to stall.
Overall it’s just another game of beanball.

♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫

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Insurance Companies Get the MAXimum Bang for Their Buck

From THINK PROGRESS:

Earlier this morning Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-MT) unveiled his committee’s health care bill, which has no public option and mandates that everyone buy insurance. While Baucus has failed to garner support from any congressional Republicans and has outraged progressives, there has been one very positive response to his proposal.

Following Baucus’ announcement, HealthNet shares increased by 3%, United Health Group Inc shares rose by 2.7%, Humana Inc. grew by 2.6%, Wellpoint stock gained 1.7% and Aetna Inc rose 1.6%


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