Tag: health care legislation

Senate and House Pass Reconciliation Bill

Update: The House passed the bill with a 220-207 vote.

Here's the vote tally for the Senate passage today of the health care reconciliation bill. The vote was 56 to 43. Three Dems voted no, the two senators from Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

The Dems defeated more than 40 Republican amendments. It now goes back to the House for a vote on some procedural matters related to student loans, and could be passed by the House tonight:

The bill now heads to the House, where the Rules Committee could begin action within hours. Democratic aides said a final vote on the package could come in early evening, although if Republicans throw up procedural barriers, the vote could be delayed until later Thursday night.

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Senate Still Voting on Reconciliation at 1:00 am

It's 1:00 a.m., do you know where your Senator is? Voting in the Senate to table the GOP amendments to the Reconciliation health care bill.

Watching on C-Span, it seems like they are all there. The latest defeat: The Bunning amendment, which would have allowed seniors to opt-out of Medicare Part A. 97 voted, it was killed 61 to 36.

If you have insomnia tonight, you can follow along on C-Span, they could be going all night. An "aye" vote is to kill (table) the Amendment.

On to the next one. Chuck Grassley. It wants to delay some provision by 30 days. Republicans are so silly. Max Baucus says it's designed to send the whole bill back to the House. Here comes the vote, all 100 names will be read out loud again.

The New York Times has a late report here.

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Health Care Rules Switch May Be a Game Changer

So here's the new plan. It's seems very convoluted -- and like something you do in the dark of night hoping nobody figures it out.

The House will say it doesn't have to vote on the Senate bill because it's already been passed by one house. They will present a little "sidecar" of a reconciliation bill, and it all goes right Obama for signature and the obvious proud statement he'll make: he's passed the most important legislation of the last three decades.

What do we get? No public option, for one thing. [More...]

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New CBO Report on Health Care Legislation (Excise Tax )

As BTD has been writing this morning, the new CBO report (pdf) is out crunching numbers on the proposed health care legislation. For those interested in the effect of the excise tax on high-end, small-group insurance plans, here's my take on what it says (shorter verison: ditch your plan for one providing fewer benefits if you want to avoid higher premiums):

First, what the excise tax is:

Beginning in 2013, insurance policies with relatively high premiums would be subject to a 40 percent excise tax on the amount by which the premiums exceeded a specified threshold. That threshold would be set initially at $8,500 for single policies and $23,000 for family policies (with certain exceptions); after 2013, those amounts would be indexed to overall inflation plus 1 percentage point.

Next: the effects of the excise tax on high-premium insurance policies offered through employers: [More...]

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Republicans Say New Amendment to HCR Will Raise Medicare Drug Premiums

Republican Senator Charles Grassley today said a Democratic amendment to the health care reform bill that passed early this morning will raise prescription Medicare drug premiums.

How so?

As the prescription benefit is designed now, taxpayers cover three-fourths of the cost of the benefit, while Medicare recipients pay the remaining 25 percent.

The amendment would allow the new Medicare commission to recommend "reductions in federal premium subsidies" to the private insurance plans that deliver the prescription drug benefit. Grassley's office said the "premium subsidies" are taxpayers' share of the cost of the prescription plan. If those are reduced, the plans will make up the difference by raising premiums for seniors.


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Obama's Next Moves on Health Care

President Obama may make a major speech on the health care legislation next week. He's going to use the time between now and then to re-tool his strategy.

The Boston Globe reports that the Dems may force the bill through using a "reconciliation" maneuver it likens to a "nuclear option." But, since that option requires the bill be related to the budget, some portions may have to be dropped.Others say that is not the strategy the Dems will use.

And CNBC's Maria Bartiromo should stick to reporting on stocks. She doesn't even know that Medicare applies only to those age 65 and older. Check out the video where she berates 45 year old Rep. Anthony Weiner for not having it himself.

In a mocking tone, she pressed the congressman: "How come you don't use it [Medicare]? You don't have it. How come you don't have it?" Rep. Weiner, who turns 45 this week, tried to walk Bartiromo through it. "Because I'm not 65." But she was insistent. "Yeah... c'mon!" she exclaimed, laughing incredulously.


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