Theodore's World: Obama ~ If GOP Filibusters, We’ll Pass Health Reform Via Reconciliation

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February 23, 2010

Obama ~ If GOP Filibusters, We’ll Pass Health Reform Via Reconciliation

White House: If GOP Filibusters, We’ll Pass Health Reform Via Reconciliation

In the course of unveiling Obama’s new health reform proposal on a conference call with reporters this morning, White House advisers made it clearer than ever before: If the GOP filibusters health reform, Dems will move forward on their own and pass it via reconciliation.

The assertion, which is likely to spark an angry response from GOP leaders, ups the stakes in advance of the summit by essentially daring Republicans to try to block reform.

“The President expects and believes the American people deserve an up or down vote on health reform,” White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer said on the call.

Pfeiffer said no decision had been made how to proceed, pending the outcome of the summit. But he added that Obama’s proposal is designed to have “maximum flexibility to ensure that we can get an up or down vote if the opposition decides to take the extraordinary step of filibustering health reform.”

Translation: If the GOP doesn’t cooperate with us in any meaningful sense, we’re moving forward on our own.

Also on the call, White House advisers detailed Obama’s new proposal, which was just posted on the White House web site, and discussed the ways it seeks a compromise between the Senate and House proposals. Among the details:

* As expected, the plan has no public option — but this does not preclude a reconciliation vote on the public option later.

* The proposal boosts the threshold for the “Cadillac” tax on the most expensive health plans from $23,000 for a family plan to $27,500. That’s actually a better deal than some labor officials were expecting, though some House Dems will still be angry that the tax is being included at all.

* The proposal also preserves the Senate bill’s state-based exchanges, and does not have a national exchange, as the House bill did.

* However, House Dems will be cheered by the fact that Obama’s compromise closes the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” coverage gap.

* Also, the bill nixes Ben Nelson’s Nebraska deal and boosts Federal financing for Medicaid expansion in all states.

* And finally, as expected, Obama’s proposal creates a Federal panel to monitor and block exorbitant rate hikes and other unfair practices by the insurance industry.

One final note: On the call, Pfeiffer was careful to note that the proposal is not the product of an agreement between the House and Senate, but rather is “the President’s bill.” This is meant to preclude GOP efforts to cast the proposal as the product of a backroom deal. The lines are drawn.

Update: Eric Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring emails a response:

The Obama plan costs a trillion dollars, puts government in control of personal health decisions, and allows the government to set prices in the private market. That mirrors the Pelosi/Reid plans that have already been soundly rejected by the bipartisan majority of Americans.

Wild Thing's comment.......

This is the most blantant “against the will of the people” governing ever seen in our country’s history. That communist, America hating, liar in the white house sounds more like a Communist Dictator every time he opens his mouth.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at February 23, 2010 08:50 AM


"Also, the bill nixes Ben Nelson’s Nebraska deal" might still be able to save your seat...

Posted by: Curmudgeon at February 23, 2010 11:01 AM

Remember the French Revolution, it's time!!!

Posted by: Jack at February 23, 2010 12:02 PM

Ben Nelson... no integrity, dumb AND screwed-over by his Demo-rat buddies. Priceless!

Posted by: Anonymous at February 23, 2010 10:46 PM

Curmudgeon, haha yes listen up Ben.

Jack, it is getting worse each day.

Annonymous, yes I had to laugh when I saw the part about Ben in the thing.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 23, 2010 11:08 PM

Anything with Obamas' name on it will flounder like a ship withe hole in it. the man is no leader.

Posted by: David Dutra at February 24, 2010 07:42 PM