My Prediction: Health Care Reform Will Pass Through Reconciliation

…and the reason?  Because Congress is full of public “servants” all too ready to prostitute their votes for a little bacon.  We’ve already seen what kind of cowardly horse-trading went down to get the votes of Ben Nelson, Mary Landrieu, and other “principled” leaders in the Senate – we can expect more of the same in the House.  They’ll get their votes, because there will be more than enough bidders at the horse of pork.

There is no honor in public service anymore, and very little fun in covering politics. Consider today’s headlines: the governor of New York, already under investigation for abusing his power in influencing a government investigation, now using his position to score freebee tickets to the World Series; Charlie Rangel, stepping aside ‘temporarily’ amid a swirl of allegations including corporate freeloading in the Carribbean, use of offical stationary for private benefit, non-disclosure of half a million dollars in assets, hiding rental income, etc., etc.;  the collusion of top Democrats in hiding now-disgraced soon-to-be-ex-rep Massa’s sexual harassment of a male colleague; a grand jury ready to indict John Edwards for misusing campaign funds to reward his mistress…these are the headlines of a single day, and while it may be a worse single day than normal, there is nothing remotely shocking about any of these stories.  Nor is the fact that these are all Democrats that surprising – the headlines could easily be about Republicans.  Vice knows no party boundaries.

Politics sits at the nexus of power and influence, and its resulting seed is personal enrichment.   Public service?  You must be joking…let’s get one thing straight – whether the bill is good policy or bad policy is quite irrelevant.  What matters is what kind of deals get struck in the back room.  You can take THAT to the bank…

UPDATE 9:43 p.m.:  The brothel is open for business already…undecided on health care?  How about a federal judgeship for your brother?…

7 comments to My Prediction: Health Care Reform Will Pass Through Reconciliation

  • Bob from Ohio

    Cheer up. They haven’t passed it yet. The House has to pass the Senate bill “as is” first. Not going to happen. The small pro-life Dem group will block it.

    And this guarantees Matheson as a no vote. If he votes yes, he loses in November and his brother gets blocked by the GOP (and their slave Ben Nelson).

  • Fargus

    Health care already passed both chambers. What will pass through reconciliation isn’t the bill, but the changes to it. A small but important distinction that I thought you’d have the integrity to make, Mark.

  • Fargus, what “missing” integrity would I restore by saying that two vastly dissimilar bills passed two distinct chambers? The only reason this bill has a prayer is that the Senate and Obama are promising to “fix” the bill that they are asking House members to hold their nose and pass. There is no pretense that the bill being voted on is the one that will win final passage – and if it is, you’ll have a hell of a lot of pissed off House Dems!…

    It’s an end run around the filibuster, it’s not a ‘reconciliation’ at all…

  • Let’s break it down even further – what you want me to have the “integrity” to do is pretend that the House and Senate will sit down in committee and hash out a new compromise bill that will then be voted on by both chambers. In other words, you want me to pretend this is a normal legislative manuever. It most assuredly is not, whether Republicans have used the tactic in the past or not (and they have). What the House is voting on is, as Bob points out, the Senate bill “as is”…it is not a compromise bill at all, as you would normally expect would have to pass one chamber and then the next. Instead, knowing the Senate can’t get a compromise bill forward, the Dem strategy requires the House to take an emormous leap of faith and pass a bill that it would never pass under normal circumstances in the belief that it will not, in fact, be adopted into law as is (although it certainly COULD be, the minute the House passes it – all it would require is Obama’s signature)…

  • I really don’t think it’s going to pass in the House, and not just because of the Stupak Democrats. The House essentially has to vote for the Senate bill with a pinky-swear that all their objections will be fixed in Senate reconciliation – and some things (abortion language) CAN’T be fixed in reconciliation. Plus, I think Congresspersons like their jobs more than they like pork.

  • Kitty C

    the Dem strategy requires the House to take an emormous leap of faith and pass a bill that it would never pass under normal circumstances in the belief that it will not, in fact, be adopted into law as is

    Can you imagine the angry House when obama signs the bill and proclaims ‘DONE’. We are going to have a revolution. ha.

  • Fargus

    Mark, that bill would certainly be signed into law, and then a package of fixes passed via reconciliation would also be signed into law. I don’t understand what’s so confusing about the concept.

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