Medicare, Basic Health provisions included. Cantwell pledges to further strengthen legislation in floor debate ---Health care reform legislation introduced today by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) includes major initiatives on coverage, quality and cost control authored by Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA).AP: "Senate Dems frustrated with sway held by moderates":
A Democratic senator says moderates in his party shouldn't be allowed to dictate the terms of the health care debate and that the final bill should include a government-run option for Americans lacking insurance."Nate Silver: We Shouldn't Be Celebrating Just Yet on Healthcare Reform" (Susie Madrak-Crooks&Liars):
That view, by Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio, suggests the difficulty facing Democratic leaders in coming weeks as they try to rally support for legislation that would extend health care coverage to roughly 31 million people who lack it.
The Senate agreed on Saturday to begin debate. Three moderate Democrats and Connecticut independent Joe Lieberman have threatened to vote against the final bill and leave Democrats shy of the 60 votes needed to break a Republican filibuster.
Brown appeared Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
Nate Silver on why we shouldn't celebrate just yet:"Harry Reid, and What Happened to the Public Option" (Robert Reich):Yeah, it's going to be ugly by the time they get done dealing away any real hope of competition for the insurance companies. I'm not optimistic about the short-term results here and I have to keep muttering to myself that this will be good for our children and grandchildren - probably.
Needless to say, it would have been very, very bad news for the Democrats if the motion to proceed to debate on their health care plan had failed tonight. But I'm not sure how newsworthy this really is. The potential hold-outs, like Lincoln and Ben Nelson, are going to have much greater leverage later on, when the bill nears its second major procedural hurdle: the cloture motion to proceed to the final vote.
And there's some bad news for Democrats too: Lincoln has joined Senators Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman in making a fairly explicit threat to filibuster a bill that contains a public option. Mary Landrieu, on the other hand, sounds a little bit more open to compromise. But this impromptu Gang of 3 -- Lincoln, Nelson, Lieberman -- could be a tough one for progressives to penetrate.
First there was Medicare for all 300 million of us. But that was a non-starter because private insurers and Big Pharma wouldn't hear of it, and Republicans and "centrists" thought it was too much like what they have up in Canada -- which, by the way, cost Canadians only 10 percent of their GDP and covers every Canadian. (Our current system of private for-profit insurers costs 16 percent of GDP and leaves out 45 million people.)Howie P.S.: I know it's a long post, but it's a 1000 pages (plus) bill.
I'm still not giving up. I want every Senator who's not in the pocket of the private insurers or Big Pharma to introduce and vote for a "Ted Kennedy Medicare for All" amendment to whatever bill Reid takes to the floor. And if this fails, a "Ted Kennedy Real Public Option for All" amendment. Let every Senate Democratic who doesn't have the guts to vote for either of them be known and counted.