Saturday, December 19, 2009

Last Call

Politico is saying Dem Rep. Bart Stupak is playing the Judas ace in the hole:  working with Senate Republicans to kill the bill.
An aide to Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) coordinated opposition to the Senate health bill’s abortion compromise this morning with the Republican Senate leadership, according to a chain of frantic emails obtained this morning by POLITICO.

Stupak, in an interview with POLITICO, called the Senate bill’s abortion position "unacceptable" – but disavowed his staffer’s collaboration with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“I never talked to McConnell about the health care bill,” said Stupak, adding that “I did not authorize the email [which] “was sent without my knowledge.”

Stupak said that he has discussed the Senate’s abortion position with Democratic senators Ben Nelson (Neb.) and Robert Casey (Penn.), who both hold conservative views on abortion.

Stupak's continued opposition to the Senate plan, despite those conversations and intense pressure from the White House, suggests that reconciling it with the House bill may prove politically challenging.
Lieberman and Nelson and Mary Landrieu got their 30 pieces of silver.  Now Bart Stupak and the Blue Dogs want their cut or else.

And these are the Democrats.  Apparently, since Democrats are really, really bad at being sneaky assholes, they're turning to the GOP for advice on this.

In Which Zandar Answers Your Burning Questions

John Cole laments on Republican complaints that health care spending will increase as a result of the Reid bill:
Spending in health care is going to increase no matter what happens. It is going to increase at a completely unsustainable rate if we do nothing. Which is why we’ve been talking about reforming health care for the last couple of decades, and precisely why we’ve been talking about it intently for the last two. It is why we have been talking about “getting health care costs under control” for years. It is why Republicans, for all my lifetime, have been screaming that Medicaid and Medicare are going to bankrupt us- that is, until a couple of weeks ago when in an act of sheer political cynicism, the RNC and the Republicans decided to guarantee unlimited and unchecked Medicare benefits forever.
It is almost like these Republicans are so damned stupid they have no idea what the hell we are even debating. How are they supposed to have a coherent response or be constructive participants if they can’t even figure out the debate?
Glad you asked.  The answer is simple:  the low-information voter counts exactly the same as the high-information one. Confusing the low-information voter is infinitely easier than logically trying to convince the high-information one.  Ignorance in politics is therefore far more worthwhile than intelligent debate.  Period.

Nelson On Board

His price:  a Medicaid bribe for Nebraskans.
Nelson has recently complained that the proposed expansion of Medicaid to those earning below 133% of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) would burden his state of Nebraska and suggested that states should be able to opt-in to the program.

Under the current merged legislation (the version unveiled on November 18th), the federal government fully finances care for the expanded population for two years and increases its matching funds (known as FMAP) thereafter. Page 98 of the managers amendment specifically identifies Nebraska for higher federal matching funds, fully funding its expansion for an additional year.
That supposedly gets us to 60 votes.

[UPDATE 11:10 AM]  As expected, Ben Nelson is now being pillaged by the Wingers as "Judas" and "Just another liberal".  What, did you think the Republicans were going to want you to keep your job, Ben?

What's the lesson here, I wonder.

StupidiNews, Weekend Edition!

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