Morning Bell: A Whole New Health Care Ball Game

Health care bill may have problems in the Senate.


You have to read all the way to page A-25 in today’s New York Times to learn about it, but the Senate took its first floor vote on Obamacare yesterday and the White House lost. Big. The NYT reports: “Democrats lost a big test vote on health care legislation on Wednesday as the Senate blocked action on a bill to increase Medicare payments to doctors at a cost of $247 billion over 10 years. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, needed 60 votes to proceed. He won only 47. And he could not blame Republicans. A dozen Democrats and one independent crossed party lines and voted with Republicans on the 53 to 47 roll call.”

As we reported on Monday and Tuesday, yesterday’s “doc fix” vote was part of a White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel strategy to smooth passage of President Barack Obama’s $1 trillion-plus health care overhaul by transferring a quarter of its cost into a separate, and completely unpaid for, bill. This transparently dishonest shell game was too much for honest Democratic Senators like Evan Bayh (D-IN), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Russ Feingold (D-WI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Wyden told the NYT: “On the eve of a historic debate on health care, it’s essential to show a commitment to real reform,” which includes fiscal responsibility.

Heritage Foundation

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