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Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege

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Author Topic: Health Care Is a Right, Not a Privilege  (Read 1271 times)
Lars Worthington III
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« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2009, 01:08:08 pm »

Take that liberals!
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Romney, Palin or Huckabee in 2016
Volitzer
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« Reply #46 on: June 25, 2009, 12:40:29 pm »

10 Reasons We Can't Have Health Care for Everyone!

1.  It is far too expensive to cover everyone. Besides, what kind of a country would we have if people no longer had to work to get health care? 

2.  It would impede upon the profits of health insurance companies.  Our health insurance companies make some of the finest profits in the world.  If there was a "public option" available to people, a government run system, these people would flock to it instead and these companies would lose money.  Take pride in the profits of insurance companies, people, these are American companies!  You should want to see them do well.

3.  If everyone could get health care, how would that make the wealthy feel?  Doesn't achieving a good living count for anything anymore? If everyone could get the same level of health care, what would be the point of being rich?

4.  Campaign contributions.  The health insurance companies have deposited some of the biggest campaign contributions of both Republican and Democrat politicians that these politicians have received.  Shouldn't they be entitled to something back for all that cash?

5.  Don't put the government between yourself and your doctor, only health insurance companies should be there!  There are paid medical directors in the best position to decide what should be covered or not and what you have to pay.  The big bloated government would simply make hospitals write down excessive medical bills, impinging on profits!  Yes, the government should not be between you and your doctor.

6.  Pharmaceutical profits.  A government takeover of the health insurance would impinge on pharmaceutical profits.  The government tries to "cure" diseases, while it is far more profitable to simply keep treating the symptoms.  We have to keep the profit in prescription drugs, or else more areas of the economy will continue to suffer!

7.  America is a debter society, not a creditor society!  Imagine what would happen if people didn't owe money on medical bills. They would be able to pay off their houses, buy more cars and do more shopping. The dollar would, no doubt, go sky high because everyone would have money!  And, again, this would also diminish the importance of the rich in our society.

8.  Many people are staying at jobs they dislike simply for the health insurance.  Give them affordable health insurance, and they would leave for other horizons, perhaps even start small businesses of their own.  This, again, would sooner or later impinge upon the profits of our large corporations and, once more the economy would suffer.

9.  A government insurance program would make America more like Europe!  All the countries of Europe have government health insurance, you don't want to be like France do you? We are Americans!

10. Rationing - currently, we have a system where those with great insurance coverage as well as the rich can get top tier health care.  What would our system look like if just anyone could get treatment for their afflictions?

No, no, no, we must not have government sponsored health care, my friends. America has the best, the brightest and the most profitable system of health care available in the world right now.  We have to keep it that way!

Are you serious ??    Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Please tell me you are a COINTELPRO hack ??

Healthcare costs are the burdensome tumor that keeps the American economy from flourishing.  Americans pay more for healthcare than any other industrialized nation yet we are way behind in life-expectancy.

We are simply not getting our money's worth.

That and the eugenicrats in government that put out all the fluoride, aspartame, estrogenoids plus all those harmful pHARMiceuticals that get approved by the FDA.

Puh-lease !!!!!!!    Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes
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Harconen
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« Reply #47 on: June 28, 2009, 04:25:25 pm »

@



                                   
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Ignis Natura Renovandum Integra
Nikkohl Gallant
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« Reply #48 on: July 01, 2009, 11:09:46 am »

Bernie Sanders Demands Dems Commit To Stopping Health Care Filibuster

Sam Stein stein@huffingtonpost.com |
HuffPost Reporting
One of the Senate's most vocal progressives is demanding that the Democratic Party commit to voting against filibustering health care legislation now that, with the impending arrival of Al Franken, the party has 60 caucusing members.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), called on the White House and Democratic leadership in Congress to ensure that party members agree unanimously to support cloture on legislation that would revamp the nation's health care system. Democratic senators on the fence, he added, could still oppose the bill. But at the very least they should be required to let the legislation come to an up-or-down vote.

"I think that with Al Franken coming on board, you have effectively 60 Democrats in the caucus, 58 and two Independents," Sanders said in an interview with the Huffington Post. "I think the strategy should be to say, it doesn't take 60 votes to pass a piece of legislation. It takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster. I think the strategy should be that every Democrat, no matter whether or not they ultimately end up voting for the final bill, is to say we are going to vote together to stop a Republican filibuster. And if somebody who votes for that ends up saying, 'I'm not gonna vote for this bill, it's too radical, blah, blah, blah, that's fine.'"

"I think the idea of going to conservative Republicans, who are essentially representing the insurance companies and the drug companies, and watering down this bill substantially, rather than demanding we get 60 votes to stop the filibuster, I think that is a very wrong political strategy," Sanders added.

Coming hours after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Franken the winner in a nearly eight-month recount process, Sanders' remarks reflect what will likely be a more aggressive political ethos from within the Democratic Party. Having a sixtieth caucusing member in the Senate gives the party the margin it needs to stave off a Republican filibuster, which seems all but certain should health care reform include a public option for insurance coverage. But the reality remains that the Democratic caucus is far from united. Corralling all of its members behind one piece of health care legislation -- especially the public option -- remains elusive.

Sanders' advice, which he hinted at in a separate interview with the Washington Post's Ezra Klein, is to simply take the parliamentary hurdles out of the process. The Party wouldn't have to worry about whip counts and could, in the end, get a more favorable final product, he believes.

"I think that politically that is something everybody can handle. You say, 'Look, I think there should be a vote. I'm gonna vote against it for A, B and C reasons. But I think the process has to move forward and it's unacceptable that Republicans keep trying to stop everything," said the Vermont Independent, who added that "The White House could play a very important part in this process"

"I think it would be great if we could have 100 senators voting for this, but what is important is the product that you get, not bipartisanship," Sanders went on. "So we should ask Republicans to support it. If they choose not to they do so at their own political risk. The focus should be on a strong bill trying to get Republican support rather than a weak bipartisan bill."


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Nikkohl Gallant
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« Reply #49 on: July 01, 2009, 11:11:26 am »



To this point, Senator Ben Nelson has hinted that he may oppose a public option for insurance coverage but has told constituents in Nebraska that he could very well support cloture despite opposing the bill itself. Other Democrats on the fence include Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan, of North Carolina, and Diane Feinstein of California.

As for the actual legislation itself, Sanders said he expected a strong public option to come out of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions final product, But he worried that it would be "watered down" in order to bring Republican lawmakers on board. The concern, as Sanders expressed it, was that key Democrats in the process -- namely Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. -- were structuring their efforts to recruit Republican support rather than the best policy. He ridiculed the so-called "Coalition of the Willing," a group of four Republicans and three Democrats, organized by Baucus to help craft his reform proposal.

"The people who are sitting around who may determine health reform in the Senate are a majority of Republicans," Sanders said, incredulously.

In its place, Sanders proposed a Coalition of Unwilling -- as in a group of lawmakers unwilling to sacrifice a progressive bill for the sake of bipartisanship.

"Something is very wrong," he said. "What Sen. Baucus said is that the strategy should be to reach out to Republicans. All of them, without exception oppose a public plan. So what you'll end up having is a very weak piece of legislation probably regressively funded. My strategy is different."

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Austin Heller
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« Reply #50 on: July 02, 2009, 11:12:41 am »


New HELP Bill Covers 97 Percent Of Americans, Costs $600 Billion

DAVID ESPO | July 1, 2009 09:49 PM EST |





President Barack Obama speaks about health care during a town hall meeting at the Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va., Wednesday, July 1, 2009. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — Democrats on a key Senate Committee outlined a revised and far less costly health care plan Wednesday night that includes a government-run insurance option and an annual fee on employers who do not offer coverage to their workers.
The plan carries a 10-year price tag of slightly over $600 billion, and would lead toward an estimated 97 percent of all Americans having coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd said in a letter to other members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The AP obtained a copy.
By contrast, an earlier, incomplete proposal carried a price tag of roughly $1 trillion and would have left millions uninsured, CBO analysts said in mid-June.
The letter indicated the cost and coverage improvements resulted from two changes. The first calls for a government-run health insurance option to compete with private coverage plans, an option that has drawn intense opposition from Republicans.
"We must not settle for legislation that merely gestures at reform," the two Democrats wrote. "We must deliver on the promise of true change."
Additionally, the revised proposal calls for a $750 annual fee on employers for each full-time worker not offered coverage through their job. The fee would be set at $375 for part-time workers. Companies with fewer than 25 employees would be exempt. The fee was forecast to generate $52 billion over 10 years, money the government would use to help provide subsidies to those who cannot afford insurance.
The same provision is also estimated to greatly reduce the number of workers whose employers would drop coverage, thus addressing a major concern noted by CBO when it reviewed the earlier proposals.
Kennedy, D-Mass., and Dodd, D-Conn., circulated their letter a few days before lawmakers return from their July 4 vacation, with the Health Committee one of several panels expected to take action on health care legislation that President Barack Obama has placed atop his domestic agenda.
Kennedy, the committee chairman, was diagnosed with a brain tumor more than a year ago and has been absent from the Senate for weeks, although he and his aides have been heavily involved in the deliberations on a health care bill. Dodd, the next senior Democrat on the committee, has presided at committee sessions and taken an increasingly public role.
With its government option, the proposal is unlikely to gain any bipartisan support in the committee.
Separately, Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee are at work trying to reach agreement on an alternative that calls for creation of nonprofit cooperatives to sell insurance in competition with private industry. Agreement has been elusive on that and other issues, and it is not clear whether a deal is possible before Democrats opt for a more partisan approach.
In their letter, Kennedy and Dodd said the Congressional Budget Office "has carefully reviewed our complete bill, and we are pleased to report that CBO has scored it at $611.4 billion over 10 years, with the new coverage provisions scored at $597 billion. ...The completed bill virtually eliminates the dropping of currently covered employees from employer-sponsored health plans.
"In addition, our bill, combined with the work being done by our colleagues in the Finance Committee, will dramatically reduce the number of uninsured _ fully 97 percent of Americans will have coverage, a major achievement."
Three committees in the House have been at work for weeks on a plan expected to come to a vote by the end of July.


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Austin Heller
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« Reply #51 on: July 02, 2009, 11:14:44 am »

Jason Rosenbaum
Activist living in Washington, DC; works for Health Care for America Now
Posted: July 2, 2009 11:46 AM
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All 13 Democrats are voting for new HELP health care bill
The HELP Committee has released their final version of a health care bill, including a public health insurance option and a provision for shared responsibility:
Democrats on a key Senate Committee outlined a revised and far less costly health care plan Wednesday night that includes a government-run insurance option and an annual fee on employers who do not offer coverage to their workers.The plan carries a 10-year price tag of slightly over $600 billion, and would lead toward an estimated 97 percent of all Americans having coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd said in a letter to other members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The AP obtained a copy.

By contrast, an earlier, incomplete proposal carried a price tag of roughly $1 trillion and would have left millions uninsured, CBO analysts said in mid-June.

You got that cost number right - $611 billion. If you'll remember, the last version of the HELP bill - without a public option or shared responsibility - came in at $1 trillion. Clearly, these changes saved money. (And remember when John Boehner, Republican leader in the House, said the public option would cost over $1 trillion? He's dead wrong.)

On the conference call announcing the measure, Senators Dodd, Brown, and Whitehouse said that all 13 HELP Democrats would be voting for this bill. That's right, every single one.
Richard Kirsch, Health Care for America Now's national campaign director, had this to say:
The HELP Committee's bill will give Americans all across this country what they want - a choice of a strong public health insurance option that will provide lower costs and keep the insurance companies honest. The public health insurance option included in the HELP bill will be available on day one, giving Americans a new alternative to the private insurance industry. It will also encourage the delivery of better health care at a lower cost. The public health insurance option, combined with other key sections of the HELP Committee legislation, makes this bill a good prescription for health care reform. More specifically, the bill invests enough resources to make good, affordable health care available to middle-class families and includes strict rules to stop insurance company abuses.

We urge the Senate Finance Committee and the full Senate to follow Senator Kennedy and his fellow Democrats' lead in giving everyone a choice of keeping their current health insurance coverage or selecting a new public health insurance option. That public health insurance option would be a real alternative to the private insurance companies that have failed to make health care affordable while regularly delaying and denying needed care.

I concur. The HELP Committee is standing up today and doing the right thing for the American people, and indeed, doing something they deeply support. Finance should follow suit.

(also posted at the NOW blog)
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Austin Heller
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« Reply #52 on: July 02, 2009, 11:14:54 am »

New Budget Estimate Of Public Plan Proves It Lowers Cost And Covers More Americans

A couple of weeks ago, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a preliminary score of the health care legislation under consideration in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. The bill was estimated to cost $1 trillion over 10 years, while reducing the number of uninsured by “only” one-third. As many informed bloggers noted at the time, the cost estimate was incomplete because the legislation that the CBO reviewed did not contain language about a public health insurance plan or an employer mandate.
Nevertheless, Republicans seized on the opportunity to engage in merciless political attacks, citing the incomplete CBO score as proof that health care reform is not worth doing:
John McCain: “[The CBO estimate] should be a wake up call for all of us to scrap the current bill and start over in a true bipartisan fashion.”
John Boehner: “[T]he public option would cost over $1 trillion, and would cause 23 million Americans to lose their private health care coverage.”
Lindsey Graham: “The CBO estimates were a death blow to a government run health care plan.”
The HELP Committee has since added language for a public plan option to its legislation, as well as an employer mandate provision. The AP reports the new results:
The plan carries a 10-year price tag of slightly over $600 billion, and would lead toward an estimated 97 percent of all Americans having coverage, according to the Congressional Budget Office, Sens. Edward M. Kennedy and Chris Dodd said in a letter to other members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. [...]
The [employer mandate] provision is also estimated to greatly reduce the number of workers whose employers would drop coverage, thus addressing a major concern noted by CBO when it reviewed the earlier proposals.
In other words, the addition of the public plan dramatically reduced the overall cost of the bill and ensured coverage of almost all Americans. So what excuses will McCain, Boehner, Graham, and other Republicans offer now? Their attacks were not only found to be baseless, but their concerns about the costs and coverage have also been addressed.
UpdateThe incoming president of the American Medical Association, Dr. J. James Rohack, said his organization now supports a public plan, after initially indicating its opposition. The AMA supports an “American model” that includes both “a private system and a public system, working together,” he said.
UpdateRead CBO's letter here. Jonathan Cohn explains why the final cost of the bill will likely be somewhere between $1-1.3 trillion.
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Austin Heller
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« Reply #53 on: July 02, 2009, 04:38:34 pm »


AMA open to government-funded health insurance option
http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/07/01/AMA.health.care.reform/index.html?eref=rss_politics
(CNN) -- The new president of the American Medical Association, which represents the interests of the nation's doctors, said Wednesday the group is open to a government-funded health insurance option for people without coverage.
Dr. J. James Rohack told CNN the AMA supports an "American model" that includes both "a private system and a public system, working together."
In May, the AMA told a Senate committee it did not support a government-sponsored public health insurance option.
"The AMA does not believe that creating a public health insurance option ... is the best way to expand health insurance coverage and lower costs across the health care system," the organization wrote, explaining that a public insurance plan could lead to "an explosion of costs that would need to be absorbed by taxpayers."
Rohack, who recently became AMA president, suggested Wednesday that the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program available to Congress members and other federal employees could be expanded as a public option. That would avoid having to create a new program from scratch, he said.
"If it's good enough for Congress, why shouldn't it be good enough for individuals who don't have health insurance provided by their employers?" Rohack said.
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Denielle
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« Reply #54 on: July 06, 2009, 03:23:33 pm »

Sam Stein
stein@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting

Schumer: With Franken Seated No Need To Compromise On Public Option


First Posted: 07- 6-09 11:55 AM | Updated: 07- 6-09 12:23 PM



One of the leading Senate Democrats in the health care reform battle said that the seating of Al Franken has given the party the purpose and direction it needs to ensure that a public option for insurance coverage remains in any bill.
"If you did a consensus within the Democratic Party, you would find the level-playing-field public option to be the answer," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "And now that we have 60 votes, it seems to me like we don't have to turn it inside out for something we don't like."
In an interview with the Huffington Post conducted over the July 4 weekend, Schumer offered a detailed and frank assessment of the political landscape of the current health care debate. Predicting that the final bill will include a public plan, he painted the Republican Party as rigid to a fault when it comes to negotiations.
"This is where we are going to end up," he said of a health care overhaul that included a public plan. "And I think, it would be much better for the Senate Finance Committee if we did it in the committee... I think the Senate HELP committee compromised already, because you have a lot of members on the HELP committee who would've liked [the public option] to be much closer to Medicare. The idea seems to be catching everybody's imagination, and sense of fairness. And the only holdouts are sort of ideologues on the Republican side of this saying no government involvement whatsoever."
At this juncture, Schumer added, there were potentially nonnegotiable divides between the proposals offered by the few moderate Republicans and the sentiments of the vast majority of the Democratic Party. This included the notion of having a public option with triggers, which because it would require that certain economic conditions be met before the government plan became operational, is seen as a possible compromise approach.
"My bottom-line criteria is that it has to be strong, national, and available to everyone on day one, to keep the insurance companies honest and I'm not sure we can get there," Schumer said. "I've been talking to [Sen.] Olympia [Snowe] about this," he added, referring to the trigger option's main proponent in the Senate, "but I'm not sure we can bridge that gap."
Similarly critical remarks were offered for the idea of replacing a public plan with health care co-ops, which Schumer described as insufficient and unpractical.
"[Sen. Chuck] Grassley hasn't closed the door, but it seems in general that his model of co-op is little co-ops popping up like they do in farm country," he said. "And the model that we are saying we need is they have to be strong, national and available everywhere from the first day. And I think we are very far apart on this."
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Denielle
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« Reply #55 on: July 06, 2009, 03:23:48 pm »

"So I don't think the co-op way can work," Schumer added. "So let's go back and do what we should be doing: a public option."
Over the past few months, Schumer has taken a leading role in charting the Democratic Party's approach to the health care debate. He has often pushed the envelope further than any of his colleagues, drawing lines in the sand on a public option and eagerly calling out the GOP, when the modus operandi among most Democrats has been to pursue bipartisanship. In public, the progressive community has praised his leadership. In private, they've wished that the Obama White House would adopt a similarly aggressive posture.
"The White House has stuck with me on a public option and they consulted with me early on and so far so good," said Schumer, when asked if the president had been too passive in his approach to health care. "On public option, I think Obama's stayed pretty strong. And I think the idea of him coming in when needed is important. And the main function he's been having is not taking any specific provision but saying 'get it done, get it done, get it done.' That's [Chief of Staff] Rahm [Emanuel]'s mantra. And that's helpful."
The next few weeks, as Schumer noted, could be the most critical yet in the process of crafting a health care bill. The Finance and HELP committee will begin seeing how and where their two bills can be combined. At the same time, lobbying efforts are expected to be stepped up on the Hill, with the targets likely to be Democrats already skeptical of the public plan.
That said, the past week included two key breakthroughs for progressives hoping to lead the reform process. The first was the Congressional Budget Office scoring the HELP committee's proposal at a relatively slim $600 billion. Though Schumer noted that the figure could rise with amendments, he added, "what the CBO is saying, if you're a fiscal conservative you ought to be for a public option because it saves money."
The other advance was the seating of Al Franken as Senator of Minnesota, which, theoretically, should give the Democratic Party the voting margin it needs to withstand a Republican filibuster.
"I think Democrats, now that we have 60, it's an opportunity but it's a greater responsibility," said Schumer. "And unity among ourselves is very important."
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Whitney
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« Reply #56 on: July 15, 2009, 01:38:58 pm »

Top Obama Aides: We Could Pass Health Care Reform Without GOP
Obama Open To Partisan Vote On Health Care Overhaul




First Posted: 07-15-09 09:11 AM | Updated: 07-15-09 09:19 AM
Bloomberg:
President Barack Obama may rely only on Democrats to push health-care legislation through the U.S. Congress if Republican opposition doesn't yield soon, two of the president's top advisers said.
"Ultimately, this is not about a process, it's about results," David Axelrod, Obama's senior political strategist, said during an interview in his White House office. "If we're going to get this thing done, obviously time is a-wasting."
Read the whole story: Bloomberg
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Kris Conover
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« Reply #57 on: July 20, 2009, 11:22:27 am »

Nancy Pelosi: Make millionaires pay for health care
Tags:Health Care, Health Care Reform, Taxes, Nancy Pelosi Back to top  Listen Print Comment Email Recommend  Subscribe By MIKE ALLEN | 7/20/09 4:07 AM EDT Text Size- + reset
 


Nancy Pelosi opens up about her plans for health care.
Photo: Michael Schwartz
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POLITICO 44Trying to sell a historic health bill to a balky caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told POLITICO in an interview that she wants to soften a proposed surcharge on the wealthy so that it applies only to families that make $1 million or more.


The change could help mollify the conservative Democrats who expect to have a tough time selling the package back home. Their support is the single biggest key to meeting the speaker’s goal of having health care reform pass the House by the August recess.


The bill now moving through the House would raise taxes for individuals with annual adjusted gross incomes of $280,000, or families that make $350,000 or more.


“I’d like it to go higher than it is,” Pelosi said Friday.


The speaker would like the trigger raised to $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for families, “so it’s a millionaire’s tax,” she said. “When someone hears, ‘2,’ they think, ‘Oh, I could be there,’ because they don’t know the $280,000 is for one person.


“It sounds like you’re in the neighborhood. So I just want to remove all doubt. You hear ‘$500,000 a year,’ you think, ‘My God, that’s not me.’”


Pelosi also told POLITICO she will push to “drain” more savings from the medical industry — hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and health insurers — than they have given up under current health-reform agreements with the Senate and White House.


Asked whether she believes the industry players will wind up contributing more to the package, Pelosi replied: “I don’t know. I know they can, to the extent that the special interests are willing to cooperate. ... They could do much better. ... Frankly, I think all the money [to pay for health reform] could be drained from the system, if they were willing to do that.”


The speaker said she will try to wring more concessions, setting up a potential battle with health care players who torpedoed President Bill Clinton’s health-reform efforts but have been eager participants in the negotiations this time around.


Pelosi said she is open to other changes — that she is taking an “agnostic” approach to getting a bill, rather than working from a “theology” of reform: “You have to just judge it for: Does it lower costs, improve quality?”


Pelosi now faces more pressure than she ever has in her career — obligated to repeatedly deliver tough votes for an ambitious and popular president, but anxious to minimize the midterm election losses that traditionally befall the party holding the White House.


The speaker professed bemusement at the persistent question she gets about whether it was better to be speaker with a Republican president or a Democratic president.


“Oh, please!” she replied. “Why do people ask that question? Do you have any idea? Like night and day. When people ask it, I think: Would you think that it would be easier to have a Republican president who doesn’t share your values? No, no, no.


“Nothing is easy. It’s challenging to get the job done and live up to the expectations and the hopes of the American people, as the president has taken them all to a new height. ... But ... it’s like having a 1,000-ton anvil lifted off your shoulders.


“People would ask, ‘Now, you’re not going to be the No. 1.’ And I say, ‘This is what I’ve hoped, prayed, dreamed and worked for.’ And it absolutely goes beyond my expectations of what it could be.”

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0709/25144.html
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« Reply #58 on: July 20, 2009, 11:23:20 am »

Some House members are concerned that they’re being asked to take a tough vote that may be for nothing if the Senate doesn’t follow through. Some Pelosi advisers had considered keeping the House in session into August so that leaders could be sure the Senate was going to vote before House members take the risk themselves.


But Pelosi is plunging ahead. “We’re just staying on our own course, and we hope that the Senate will stay on a parallel course, to have this done by [early August]. Whatever it is, we will be ready. ... As I always say, we’re going forward when we’re ready. And I’m sure we’ll be ready.”


Pelosi said she has felt a certain “serenity” ever since she became speaker and says she’s “ready for all of this.” Ticking off the year’s remarkable agenda, she praised the stamina of her members, chairs and leaders, calling the Democratic team a “partnership.”


“I have the confidence when I go down a path that we are going down that path together,” she said. “It is a heavy lift, sometimes. But it one based on respect for the members. So we’ll take the time, have the conversations, do what needs to be done. ... It’s such a tremendous honor to be speaker of the House. To be able to serve with Barack Obama is really a joy. He’s a great leader ... with a vision, a strategic approach to it and the eloquence to take it to the American people.”


Pelosi said White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, a former chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee who has tight relationships throughout the House, is “doing an excellent job.”


“He’s great, and I knew he would be,” she said. “The only thing is, I certainly would still like to have him here. There’s no question about that. But I’m so proud of him. I take some level of pride in his success, having appointed him to the DCCC, only in his second term, and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee.”


POLITICO spoke with Pelosi on Friday afternoon in her suite of offices on the West Front of the Capitol, overlooking the National Mall. She spoke proudly of that morning’s two committee votes on health care, starting in the wee hours with the Ways and Means Committee and continuing after breakfast with the Education and Labor Committee.


“It’s such a big day for us,” she said. “I don’t’ think anybody would have ever thought that would be happening on schedule, the way it is. So it’s pretty exciting. It’s historic.”


Her challenge now is to keep making history, against ever harsher odds. Despite the onus on her to turn President Barack Obama’s promises into legislation, Pelosi is relishing the pinnacle of a lifetime in and around politics.


Now, she’s arguably the second most powerful person in government, yet obliged to court fickle members, vote by vote. Some friends said the nail-biter vote for Obama’s climate-change plan was the most difficult thing she’d ever done. But she said health care would probably be “the most exciting.”


“Every single person in America is an expert on his or her health care,” she said. “The differences among members are regional, they’re generational, they’re ethnic — concerns that are really not necessarily political, partisan. We want this to work for the country. So we have to listen to everybody.
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« Reply #59 on: July 20, 2009, 04:32:44 pm »

GOP TRYING TO TORPEDO HEALTH REFORM
Kristol: "This Is The Week" To "Go For The Kill"... Steele: Health Care Is Obama's Waterloo... Obama Hits Back
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"Religion is What Keeps the Poor from Murdering the Rich" -- Napoleon Bonaparte
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