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The healthcare reform bill’s true name: The American Womens’ Catholic Conversion Bill

It’s worse than we thought.  Stateofdisbelief unpacks it for us on the Conscience Rule.

In the Chairman’s recent amendment (read: bribe for Nelson’s vote) here is what it says:

(A) IN GENERAL.–Nothing in this Act shall be construed to have any effect on Federal laws regarding– ‘(i) conscience protection; ‘(ii) willingness or refusal to provide abortion; and ‘(iii) discrimination on the basis of the willingness or refusal to provide, pay for, cover, or refer for abortion or to provide or participate in training to provide abortion.

The current status of the conscience rules themselves are that in March of 2009 HHS posted a proposed rule change to withdraw all of the Bush changes.  Comments were due in April 09 (30 day period) but to date, no action is showing on the docket.  It’s as if they just put out the proposal and then dropped it.  Here is the register link.  You can click on the docket # to get the actions taken on the proposal.  http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=090000648090229f

Didja get that?  The Bush Conscience Rule is still in effect and Reid’s manager’s amendment keeps it safe.

That’s right.  At any point in time when you feel you might like to exercise your own conscience regarding birth control and other health care related to reproduction, a Catholic or religious fundamentalist can override your decision and substitute their own consciences.  And there won’t be a bloody thing you can do about it.

You will become an automatic Catholic or fundamentalist convert right there on the spot.

Obama did NOTHING to remove the Bush Conscience Rule.  In fact, he’s probably hoping no one would notice that he is appeasing the evangelicals and Catholics while eliminating the rights of other believers and non-believers to follow their own consciences.

And this is OK for Kirsten Gillibrand, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, Barbara Mikulski and others?  THAT is what they are voting for: involuntary conversion of American women to fundamentalist religious doctrine.

I haven’t heard these senators calling on Obama to rescind the Bush Conscience Rule right this very minute, have you?

Meanwhile, Protestants apparently only have the right to consult their own consciences in places ike Old Europe:

179 Responses

  1. Add’l info:

    The current law ( 45 CFR Part 88 ) remains as proposed and implemented by the Bush Administration 12/08

    A link to the proposed change can be found above in RD’s post

    • Fuckers.
      They really are the most craven politicians I have ever seen. Worse than the Bushies. Do you think for one moment that rescinding the conscience rule is going to lose them even one vote in upcoming elections?
      They’re cowards and idiots.

      • Google it.

        • Jeezis, I guess they don’t care about what’s going to happen when Amanda Marcotte types wake up and smell the Pampers.

          • Doctor daughter’s just started practicing ob/gyn and she already has a slew of stories where she’s had to do things because both residents and nurses walk out of procedures. One was putting in an IUD and another was removing the permanents of a botched abortion that would’ve gone septic and killed the patient. The last one was done by a resident. How can you take the hippocratic oath and walk away on a woman that will die from sepsis if you don’t do a procedure on dead tissue?

          • I’m not sure who they consulted.

          • I once brought a friend to the hospital in the middle of the night for a “removing the remains” procedure. she lost a *lot* of blood and it was just incredibly painful. I’m not the nurse type and my knees go weak as i write this, recalling what she went through.

            It heaps insult to injury, to say the least, that a woman has no legal recourse against a doctor who botches the procedure, or rights to humane treatment.

      • Craven or just hate women that much?
        I find it funny that they will allow a nurse bail for religious reasons but throw him or her in prison for patient abandonment if they go out on strike.

  2. Physicians for a National Health Plan came out today in opposition to the HCR bill. They had been trying to be reasonable, see if the bill could do some good, but finally today said it needs to be scrapped.

    http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/12/22/pro-single-payer-physicians-call-for-defeat-of-senate-health-bill/

    Some paint the Senate bill as a flawed first step to reform that will be improved over time, citing historical examples such as Social Security. But where Social Security established the nidus of a public institution that grew over time, the Senate bill proscribes any such new public institution. Instead, it channels vast new resources – including funds diverted from Medicare – into the very private insurers who caused today’s health care crisis. Social Security’s first step was not a mandate that payroll taxes which fund pensions be turned over to Goldman Sachs!

    You GO, doctors! Tell it like it is!

    They also touched on the choice issue:

    While the fortification of private insurers is the most malignant aspect of the bill, several other provisions threaten harm to vulnerable patients, including:

    * The bill’s anti-abortion provisions would restrict reproductive choice, compromising the health of women and adolescent girls.

    • Finally some good news. I’m just shaking with rage. What really topped it off for me is that this morning I heard on NPR that Martha Coakley has wimped out on the abortion language and said she would vote for the bill if elected.

      I tweeted her several times, telling her I feel betrayed and will never vote for her again. I’m just sick about it.

      • I just don’t understand. She took a brave stand on principle in the primary when it could have hurt her with WFN, now she goes out of her way to try and associate herself with a grossly unpopular bill with no upside for her? What is it with the Dems, they’re all this amazing combination of useless, craven, arrogant, and politically stupid.

        • Well, since it is Tuesday, I’d say “they” got to her.

        • She wants to get elected to the Senate. Not surprising.

          • Yeah, but this helps her with no one.

          • And if she thinks they’ll be nice to her when she gets there if she falls on her sword, I’d advise her to ask Hill, look at the history of the Democratic Party, and try to remember whether she’s scheduled gender reassignment surgery before the swearing in.

          • It helps her with the party establishment. She should have just stayed quiet, but she was probably under pressure to say something.

          • I don’t think it was a smart move and you’re absolutely right, Ser, it will not help her once she gets there… but she needs the Democratic machine to get elected right now. I really wish she would have said nothing, that would have spoken volumes.

          • She’ll probably still win, but oy, this was so stupid. Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that I’d like to be represented by a woman for once in my damn life, I wouldn’t vote for her either. And I can’t blame anyone who won’t. She had a little grassroots type energy going, and now the wind’s out of those sails, all that goodwill is gone, and she looks like a pandering fool who changes her position from day to day. Every single person who donated because she took a stand now feels betrayed.

          • She won the nomination by defying the Democratic machine. I can’t imagine why she would need them to win the election in January. Who is going to beat her, pray tell? This is Massachusetts. The Republican has no chance in hell.

          • The Republican doesn’t have a chance… but if Coakley had gone against Obama at this juncture on this, I think it could get ugly for her. Look at all the other supposed liberals in Congress all wimping out.

            They are all afraid of being tagged as the one to ruin O’s presidency, imho.

          • As always, Wonk, you make absolutely superb points. In fairness, yes, I can see that it’s kind of unrealistic to expect a freshman Senator to rush in like Mr. Smith after all her colleagues have taken a dive and cast the deciding vote as her first act and be declared Publuc Enemy #1. Yeah, it’s in America’s interest to do it, but it would take a great deal of courage and she’d be completely crucified. I don’t have to like it, and the whole situation sucks and we need someone to stand up, but yeah, since you put it that way.

        • I don’t understand it either. I think a lot of people in MA admired her for her stand. I think she made a huge mistake and I told her so.

          • I think it will probably depress turnout. Granted, it’ll be hard to depress turnout enough for Brown to win, but it’s absolutely ridiculous to take a stand, use it to gain traction, and then immediately yell April fool. Punching your supporters in the gut–It’s the Democratic Way.

      • Just called and left a message at her HQ (617) 241-0200

        I’m not letting anyone of these people off the hook.

  3. I hope some female pharmacists use this conscience rule to deny men Viagra.
    Their reasoning could be that if men aren’t having sex, there will be no pregnancies and hence no abortions. Yeah, it’s a stretch, but I’d like to see it done anyway.

    • Brilliant. Cialis and whatever that other stuff is too plus any and all penile enhancement medical apparatus.

    • I am with you WMCB!

      And what about grocers refusing to sell meat to anyone if the grocer happens to be vegetarian. Surely selling meat would be abhorrent to them and they should not be force to do it. They should get other jobs, you say? But they have a right to be grocers.

      And should salespeople in Victoria Secret not get fired if they refuse to sell thongs? How about refusing to sell video games if the store clerk thinks they melt the brains of children? Shouldn’t the clerk’s job be protected if selling the games violates his conscience? What about refusing to sell some DVD’s that are violent or X-rated? A clerk should not have to sell such things if they offend her conscience, right?

      How about refusing to sell soda and candied breakfast foods? After all, fructose increases levels of diabetes in this country. How about refusing enhanced fertilization techniques for any parents who already have two children? How about refusing to repair an SUV if it gets bad gas mileage?

      Let’s get this conscience thing going by all means. Only when all are inconvenienced will we be able to bring back some sanity here.

      djmm

  4. This is unbelievable.

    • The Republicans are moving in for the kill. After this bill passes, the Democrats can never again say with a straight face that they are the party of reproductive freedom.

      • I understand that Carly Fiorina, who plans to run against Boxer next year, is pro-choice.

        • Carly probably means it and would fight for it. She doesn’t seem like anyone’s sycophant to me.

          • Well I am voting for her whatever her stance. i voted Boxer and Feinstein and what did that get me? crickets and a sorehead

        • Oh no she isn’t. From a WSJ interview on Nov 27:

          “I will not run away from [conservative] values,” Ms. Fiorina says, noting that she has signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge against higher taxes and voted for Proposition 8 last year, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. On abortion, Ms. Fiorina says she is “proudly pro-life” and a strong opponent of taxpayer funding of abortions.

          http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703499404574558302616877092.html

          *****A

          • Well, the democrats are also strong opponents of taxpayer funding of abortions. The democratic women in Congress are not fighting for our reproductive rights.

      • They can never say they are the pary of health care either. And they can never say they are the party of Medicare or helping workers. They might as well be Republicans.

    • 👿

      • I want Roe overturned! I want the young girls who swooned over Obama to find out what it was like to be young and vulnerable in 1965!

        • Me too. And I want them all in a panic when they can’t find a pharmacist who will fill their BCP’s.

          Maybe then the swooning gyrating “we are so much sexier and cooler than those old hags” Obama gurls will get the stomach to fight.

        • Same here.

          They just don’t get it. I remember a few years ago when I was talking to some young women about the Supreme Court, the Hyde Amendment ,and the fact that reproductive rights were under siege. I asked them what they would do if Roe is overturned and they had an unwanted pregnancy.

          Without hesitation one of the young women said she would just go to Planned Parenthood and get it taken care of. The other three girls nodded in agreement. I gasped and said you are missing the point – that will no longer be an option. Then they told me that I was wrong – that their productive rights could not be taken away under any circumstances.

          I walked away thinking – what a group of idiots. They were so smug and thought I was just old and fear mongering.

          I knew then that these changes would come because the younger women (including a lot of those in their 50s) just don’t get it.

      • They can roe roe roe their boat right on out of here as far as I’m concerned. No more.

  5. I’m surprised at the lack of concern with this issue. Amazed actually. This is part of the reason I objected to Obama last year. He actively courted evangelicals while people like Jane Hamsher were on TV panicking women to vote for the Democrat because he was going to preserve Roe.
    There’s that damn ruling again. Our entire right to equality and to be free of biological destiny hinges on that one stupid ruling.

    • I think you’re right that you would be better off without Roe and have the straight up fight. That’s a fight the pro-choice side can win if we just stick together.

      • I agree. Let ’em get rid of Roe. Go ahead. It was a weak foundation anyway. And then let’s have this fight once and for all, no-holds barred. We either have a right to our own bodies or not. Call the bluff. Force all the mealy-mouthed “pro-choice” Dems to sh*t or get off the damn pot.

        DECIDE, fuckers, and stop jerking us around.

        • Yeah, but if Roe gets overturned, unless Congress passes a federal law legalizing abortion–pauses for laughter–then it goes back to the states, and instead of having a distraction every election, we’ll have 50 separate distractions in each individual state every election. It’ll never go away. If they do pass a federal law, they’ll be able to hold us hostage forever–as long as we keep abortion legal, we’ll be able to do whatever else we want and you’ll be too scared to vote against us and take the chance of repealing the law.

    • Same here. After I read what Obama said about abortion in “The Audacity of Hope,” I knew he would never support women on any issue.

    • I’m with you RD. I think Roe was a break through for its time but it never settled the argument. I think our real solution is to place the means of controlling reproductive rights directly in the hands of women. If women control the solution, they solve the problem.

      So would you just go out there and develop that med, over-the-counter style. Or develop a plant that we can grow in our back yards.

      • Pennyroyal was used historically but I don’t know whether it could be used safely or at what stages.

        Women chewed cotton seed in the first half of the 20th Century to prevent pregnancy, but I don’t know if it worked.

        djmm

        • Penyroyal can cause uncontrolled hemorrhage.

          Black cohosh was used for centuries by Native American women to help speed up and ease labor. If use early in a pregnancy, it can result in abortion/miscarriage.

      • you can induce miscarriage with high levels of birth control pills, that’s why they want to kill access to birth control pills too, they know that if they’re available you can use them for that

  6. Thank you for writing about this – I’m not shocked, but am furious to the extent that I’m speechless. I appreciate your coverage of this more that I can say…

  7. Slightly OT: Obama’s presidential approval index in the Rasmussen tracking poll is -21!

  8. Yep, I caught this about the conscience rules on Saturday. See #6. I hate these people.

    • I despise and revile these people!!

    • Another thing not being talked about by those who say it’s “no worse than the curent Hyde restrictions ” is the fact that states are given the power to OUTLAW abortion riders in their states. How is this not worse?

  9. This is from Glenn Greenwald’s post today on the “exploding” rise in health care stocks:

    according an Indianapolis Star article from June, Evan Bayh’s wife, Susan, “owns from $500,001 to $1 million in employee stock in WellPoint, the Indianapolis-based insurance giant on whose board she sits.” That would mean that the value of her personal holdings in that one health insurance company alone, in the last six weeks alone (since Lieberman and her husband began meancing the public option), would have increased by a value of between $125,000 and $250,000.

    As part of the bonanza of health care industry board positions she magically received since her husband became a Senator, Susan Bayh is given a quarter-million dollars each year in stocks and stock options from Wellpoint. That’s just a microcosm for considering how well Obama’s so-called “special interests” have done as a result of this health care bill.

    • The theft of the wealth of ordinary americans to congress and congressional interests just isn’t even subtle any more. It’s outrageous!

      • I know! I can’t get over how they are now stealing from us right out in the open and expecting us to believe it’s for our own good.

      • Glenn has been firing away lately. I’m waiting for the call from the WH, and a sudden toning down of his rhetoric. They’ll lean on him – watch. Rahm will get a call from the Big Donors, and be told to reign that Greenwald guy in or else.

        Did you see the video where the WH was texting Joe and Mika while they were on the air?? I shit you not. What has happened to my country?

        • I heard about it.

        • Well I guess when Senators and congress critters are openly bribed for their votes in public session of the House and Senate and the bribes proudly announced, we should not be surprised that the WH is texting MSNBC on camera with instructions on what to say and not say.

        • Add that to the list of truly disturbing events of late.

  10. On my drive into the office I heard Repubs were on the floor discussing the provisions in the bill that prevent future amendments or new bills from changing certain sections of the bill, ie: making them permanent and unalterable via any method. They are saying that this constitutes an instant change to Senate rules, which have a specific means of being instituted. DeMint is calling this the effort of a tyrannical majority. Oddly, I agree with him on that.

    I suspect there is much more to this bill than we know right now.

    I’ll check out PNHP again. So far I wasn’t impressed with their activism on this. The California Medical Association also came out against the bill just recently.

    • That’s frightening…..regardless of one’s support/disapproval of any law.
      I got this link from RCP: http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2009/12/reid_bill_declares_future_cong_1.asp

      • It’s a sad, sad day in Mudville when we have to look to the Republicans to be our watchdogs.

        • One thing the primaries taught me, is: there are no impartial, fair “referees” in this game. Rules and bylaws? Fuggettaboutit.

    • The link to the entire exchange with DeMint is posted on Redstate. It is not a complete denial of change, it just requires a 2/3 majority to change (of the senate AND the house). CA is still reeling under the bad effects of a 2/3 rule for passing a budget—guaranteed gridlock. That was foisted on us by the Repubs and perhaps it is karma for it to bite them in the ass in the US Senate but at least they are recognizing that it is a death panel for the American public.

      • I’m no expert on congressional rules/bylaws….it’s a confusing process to me. So I wonder: is it highly unusual to include a rules change – defining how the process works – within the content of a bill? I’d assume so.

      • Jangles, I don’t think that’s correct. DeMint is saying that in the past a 2/3 vote was needed on any legislation that included a Senate rules change (which needs 2/3). But this bill includes rules changes, and so would need 2/3 voting to invoke cloture. He calls this a protection against tyranny. The Dem chair (Jeff Merkely, OR) denied him, by saying that the notations regarding Senate rules were only Senate procedures. (I must say, that part of the exchange reminded me of the primary when the obots were screaming “the rules, the rules!” one minute, and “what rules?” the next.

        This is scary.

    • Yes, I heard that they built in a provision that forbids any tampering with this bill once it is on the books.

      But I also heard an constitutional expert say that if that’s so it’s unconstitutional – you can’t bind the hands of the Congress

      • If there are unconstitutional clauses in the bill (and this sounds like it may be) then that would be good grounds for fighting the bill or dismissing it, I hope.

  11. President B0 just sent me an email entitled: Where we stand.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. What a joker.

    • i dont get e-mails from them anymore i sent them back to them
      PUMA PUMA PUMA PUMA . & or i sent the link to JSND back to them . . ya think they got the hint???

  12. what ever happend to separation of chrurch & state

  13. He came into power riding the misogyny horse all the way – from primaries to GE. And I saw no sign whatsoever he didn’t enjoy the ride.

  14. Right now I’m thankful for three things: that I’m emigrating, I’m past childbearing age and that I don’t have a daughter. I know, how hideously selfish of me. *shrug* You can lead Obama Girl to reason but you can’t make her think.

  15. edgeoforever, not only him, but his dorky fanboi supporters who finally had a good excuse to kick Mom in the teeth. They all need thirty years of therapy.

  16. I heard Harkin who has always been one of my favorite liberals in the Senate tell the radio audience that they would go back and get a public option later. Bulls freaking sh*t. If they can not do it now they will never do it.
    what we need to do is start a email bomb to all senators and congress people.
    Does anyone have a list of emails? If we can’t stop them at least we can make them miserable.

  17. I just love the way Senate Republicans are invoking JFK’s “Profiles in Courage” to attempt to guilt-trip Democrats.

  18. Oh great. Now Max Baucus, recipient of millions from health care lobbying, is lecturing the Repubs about invoking JFK and Ted Kennedy on the Senate floor.

  19. Mr. Misogyny, Ben Nelson is up.

  20. Sen DeMint has forced a vote on a Constitutional Point of Order for tomorrow. link

    Forcing every American to purchase a product is absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution and the freedoms our Founding Fathers hoped to protect,” said Senator DeMint. “This is not at all like car insurance, you can choose not to drive but Americans will have no choice whether to buy government-approved insurance. This is nothing more than a bailout and takeover of insurance companies. We’re forcing Americans to buy insurance under penalty of law and then Washington bureaucrats will then dictate what these companies can sell to Americans. This is not liberty, it is tyranny of good intentions by elites in Washington who think they can plan our lives better than we can.

    I can find no disagreement with this at all.

    • That’s absolutely right, IMO. If it were single payer, supported by tax dollars, that would be one thing. But they are trying to force us with the threat of prison to buy something from a private monopy.

      • It’s pure craziness.

      • Oh hell yeah, real single payer is 100% different from this monstrosity.

      • There is a HUGE difference between this and govt-provided services for which we are taxed. That’s why the “incremental change, we’ll fix it later like we did Medicare and SS” argument doesn’t hold water. Those were government programs, not a deal wit a private company.

        If we had enacted SS as a law that had forced people to invest in private mutual funds, where would we be today?

  21. It Could Still Go Down

    It’s Bill Kristol but he’s no dummie when it comes to this sort of thing. In this case, I hope he’s right cause this thing needs to be killed with a stake through it’s heart.

    • I’ve been praying like a soldier in a fox hole that this bill will be killed. I’ve been so sick that The Great Democratic Experiment has come to this. I think the young female Obots should be taught a lesson–whew! thank god Sarah Palin didn’t win or she’d repeal Roe!!– but it makes my heart weep to think of just one woman dying from a back alley abortion because she was denied her RIGHT to care by this bunch of sub-human bloodsuckers.

      I’ve emailed my two female Senators, but what good can that do? I’m just a voting citizen. As WMCB rightly points out, it will take ONE senator of very great courage to put a halt to this abomination. That one senator will most likely be skewered and grilled by the DNC, insurance companies, powers-that-be, etc. It will be political seppuku. But perhaps one courageous individual can stand up for our rights. I keep praying, just ONE…

      • We’re in that foxhole together. You would think that out of 60, there would be ONE. I can’t imagine who now though.

      • I wish there was something we could do that was shocking to get these people’s attention. Maybe have one of those protests where people pour fake blood over them and lay on the ground demonstrating the women who will die because they don’t have the money to get an abortion.

        It’s time to rip these people a new asshole for voting for this bill against the will of the people and the will of their constituents. Who the hell do they think they are to ignore 62% of the population to give Obama his ‘baby’?

  22. Bob Casey, Mr. “pro-life” DINO. Are there any pro-choice Democrats left?

  23. Found this link through Tennessee Guerrilla Women blog. Jane apparently goes on FOX. (takin it to the enemy network) Says “kill the bill”, KOS attacks, Jane defends…..
    http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/12/22/why-i-went-on-fox-and-friends/

    • Jane is slitting her own throat by trying to appeal to elements of the right. It’s a big no-no. You need to believe in something and not yield or you’ll end up just like Obama.
      We haven’t changed our spots and don’t need to.

      • I disagree. Yes, there are going to be people on the right who will ridicule her(the left too apparently) but the only way to get people to listen to your perspective and recognize that even though it may not be entirely like theirs that there are commonalities, is to start a dialogue. Jane is doing that. One of my very right wing neighbors and I have discussions where we disagree vehemently but because of these conversations he is aware that there are liberals out there that care just as deeply about the direction this country goes as he does. We BOTH at a point where are position is one term and then you go bye bye before you get entrenched.(He actually voted for the Dem candidate for delegate last cycle)

        • Nope. Sorry. I think we’ve all been down that road too many times in the past several decades. We keep deluding ourselves into believing that if we just keep talking to them, they’ll eventually come to see us as people and appreciate us as citizens. I think history shows that’s bullshit. When it comes time to vote, the right reacts viscerally. They vote with their guts. There are studies and books on the subject.
          The only answer to this conundrum is to be as well organized, disciplined and visible as the right is.
          You can’t be diplomatic with 500 lb gorillas. They won’t respect that.

          • You’re absolutely correct if we are looking to make real allies out of the right wing. That just will not happen.

            But if what we desire is to temporarily align for a specific purpose, like killing the health care bill it could well be doable. Both sides would recognize for what it was, strictly a marriage of convenience with a divorce in the works.

            There are no such things as permanent alliances between groups in any case, there are only common interests and interests change over time.

          • I do believe there are certain basic issues where alliances are possible. Bruce Fein, a Republican, was one of the strongest proponents of impeaching Bush and still speaks out strongly about limiting executive powers. Usurious rates on credit cards, even when you have good credit? I can imagine Repub voters feel as strongly about this as we do. There are other issues, and while they may be limited, I do believe they’re out there. I think those are the people Hillary appealed to–the common sense crowd, regardless of party affiliation.

          • grayslady, we certainly have common interest in the health care debacle. the individual mandate, being taxed for the benefit of Aetna etc are only two. I’m just as certain that they also don’t like usurous interest or the bailout of the still unregulated financial sector.

          • If it’s to kill the bill I say go for it. Numbers are power and even if the right opposes the bill for a different reason we can worry about that when we have real reform sitting in front of us.

          • I think you are painting with a broad brush and that’s a mistake. I live in the heart of red America and was fairly successfull at converting people with my arguments. Did I convince everyone? No. However you don’t need to convince everyone just enough folk need to be disgusted enough to give you a majority.

            This cycle will likely go to the Pubs but it will have nothing to do with Hamsher having a dialogue with the right, that SHE feels just as angry and stepped on by the government as they do.

  24. I heard today that one of the Dems switched over to a Repub – we need a couple more who can’t stomach being a Dem these days.

    • hmmm…60 senators.

    • Here’s Max Baucus’s baby (from The Missoulian):

      “The little town of Libby, Mont., isn’t mentioned by name in the Senate’s mammoth health care bill, but its 2,900 citizens are big winners in the legislation, thanks to the influence of Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont.

      “After pushing for years for help for residents, many of whom suffer from asbestos-related illnesses from a now-closed mineral mining operation, Baucus inserted language in a package of last-minute amendments that grants them access to Medicare benefits.”

      Hey, Max, I know the people of Libby suffered from the W.R. Grace vermiculite mine, but all Americans deserve Medicare! (I lived in Libby in the early ‘80s.)

    • Nelson is such a mensch.

      Though he defended the exemption as a “fair deal,” he said he never asked for the full federal funding that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ended up granting his state. Nelson said he instead asked that states be allowed to refuse an expansion of Medicaid.

      What a compassionate guy!

  25. Great. Potus and DNC head yucking it up on radio like adoloscents. Not a good feeling.

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/obama-calls-in-to-local-radio-show-as-barry-from-d-c/

    • Nice, huh? Apparently he has nothing better to do.

    • He is so out there. Calling to congratulate another of his anti-choice flunkies about “your great service” when they’ve just sold the American people to the insurance companies and are working to deny women the fundamental ability to make private, considered decisions about pregnancy and parenthood.

      What a jerk. Must to great to be a president with a dick, or should I say a dick with a presidency?

      SOD, I hate them all, too.

    • Surpised he didn’t jump on Air Force One with some cheeseburgers and do the show with him.

  26. This group of 17,000 Physicians is strongly in favor of single payer but has been trying to find the Pony in Obama-care, today they finally gave up:

    “Pro-single-payer physicians call for defeat of Senate health bill
    Posted by Mark Almberg on Tuesday, Dec 22, 2009

    Legislation ‘would bring more harm than good,’ group says

    For Immediate Release

    Dec. 22, 2009”

    http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/12/22/pro-single-payer-physicians-call-for-defeat-of-senate-health-bill/

    The letter is not long but it outlines what a disaster that this legislation will be for the American people…I recommend reading it.

  27. Pro-single-payer physicians call for defeat of Senate health bill
    Posted by Mark Almberg on Tuesday, Dec 22, 2009

    Legislation ‘would bring more harm than good,’ group says

    For Immediate Release

    Dec. 22, 2009″
    **********
    I suspect that the vast majority of the members of this group supported Obama in the Primary and have been looking for the Pony in the pile of shit of Obama-care..today they finally gave up…the letter is not long but out-lines what a disaster this legislation is for this country.

    http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/12/22/pro-single-payer-physicians-call-for-defeat-of-senate-health-bill/

  28. WHO wins under Obama’s HR Bill? The Lobbyists! Hemmm…

  29. This is a K-Street bill with a C-Street power play.

    • Word.

      That’s exactly what it is. K-street collects from the insurance companies, C-street moves one step closer to the Supply-Side Jesus theocracy that’s their real objective.

      C-street is directly behind the “Islamification” and “Commie-commie” shriekblogers whose real job is to distract bigots, libertarian capitalists and other useful idiots while the totalitarian Dominionists move in from the right. They’re also directly involved in the “kill the gays” legislation being presented to the Ugandan Parliament.

  30. Potus on American Urban Radio Networks discussing state of black America.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/april-d-ryan/interview-with-president_b_400142.html

    I think if you look at the polling, in terms of the attitudes of the African American community, there’s overwhelming support for what we’ve tried to do. And, so, is there grumbling? Of course there’s grumbling, because we just went through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

    • “We just went through”? We’re still in it! Or haven’t you noticed. Oh. No, you hadn’t.

  31. Bullcrap! Do you puma’s ever get tired.
    This amendment WILL be removed during the conference.
    This bill is a great start. We have cut the insurance giants down to size. They will not be able to make big profits off of the care services they offer anymore.
    We will come back next year and the year after and improve on it. Sarah Palin will never be President. Hillary will never be President. You lost, get over it.

    • Funny, how winning the popular vote is called losing.

    • You haven’t done shit! Well maybe bend over for Obama.

    • Why don’t you expand this. What provision cuts the insurance giants down to size? What provision or provisions prevent them from making big profits off of care services they offer anymore? What scenario will result in the conference committee removal of a concept that for all intents and purposes passed both chambers when the conference draft will need to pass both chambers again? A little dose of reality might be more convincing.

      • That was funny. I’m betting the House winds up playing second fiddle in a one fiddle orchestra during conference. I sense massive caving on the way.

        • I like the way he says “we” cut them down to size, like he had something to do with it. I’ll bet my UID is lower than his by about 100,000.

          • I’m glad I never posted there. It always seemed just too big or something. I really liked TL though, then J went O-nutz and I got banned 😉

            You guys have done a great job here. Built a nice community.

    • Let me guess… Obama’s playing strategical chess right? These amendments are just for ‘show’ and now Obama’s going to fight for you behind the scenes? Gee, you obots are all too predictable. Do you ever get tired of telling yourself that Obama will work for you only to be slapped in the face with his lies?

    • Guess who really won the healthcare debate:

      After Senate Democrats cleared the way for a vote on health reform legislation, the stocks of Cigna, United Health and Wellpoint rallied to 52-week highs. To be sure, the mini-bubble that’s been in the stock market the last several months has helped push up the entire Dow. But the moneyed interests figured out earlier than most that any final “reform” bill would be a gift to this particular sector. They turned out to be prescient and rightly celebrated after the Senate dropped the provision for a government-run insurance plan while putting in place a mandate requiring health insurance for about 30 million Americans now without coverage.

      After watching this farce play out, I came across this apercu from Bill Baker, a publicist who I know from back east.

      “Around the turn of the millennium, the average monthly insurance premium for a family of four was about about the same price as a VCR. Now, VCRs are extinct and health insurance costs about the same as a fifth story studio walk-up in Manhattan.”

      Which helps explain why it’s Fat City for an industry that’s mastered the Washington game better than most.

    • Who let the two-year old out of his pen?

    • Pumas? Sarah Palin? I think you’re in the wrong place.

      • hey, hey, hey, it’s Kosby Kid with today’s white house talking point … don’t you just love it now that cartoons shows have to have a serious message ?

    • Chris, your mother probably still loves you, despite your stupidity. Maybe she hopes you’ll be better one day.

      That’s why she won’t tell you this. I’ll do it for you:Chris, you’re an intellectual and moral idiot. Don’t ever take a philosophy or math class; don’t go into law or science. You’re not good at drawing conclusions from a set of information.

      Chris, you don’t “cut the insurance giants down to size” by mandating that every citizen who does’t have employer-paid insuranc buy policies from them. You don’t “cut the insurance giants down to size” by driving up their stock and giving them a huge fourth-quarter windfall.

      No, Chris. It’s your hero BO who’s been cut down to size. And he wasn’t very big to begin with.

  32. Oh, great. Just read that Reid let Orin Hatch slide $250 million for abstinence education into the bill.

    This just gets worse and worse.

    • And, Hatch isn’t even gonna vote for this. So you do the math.

      • We should form a lobbying group. Many of us didn’t vote for him, so we’re in that key demo where he should be ready to give us everything we ask for.

    • Anybody see the irony? Abstinence education AND Viagra is covered by your health care plan!

    • I am so not surprised. I will bet now there are many worse things than we know of in the bills.

    • Studies have already shown that abstinence education is a complete waste of money. Does nothing to reduce numbers of teen pregnancies. Yup–every incumbent out. These people are truly burning through all our tax dollars for no benefits in return.

      • Frankly it’s just money to hand out to religious folks … it’s a backdoor way to bribe supporters

        • Quit dissing it. If I lose my job, I’m going into the abstinence education business. There’s at least a $250 M market to be captured.

          • Are you going to consult for the “ring ceremonies” where fathers give their daughters abstinence rings? If Freud were alive today, he would love those!

          • When I first read about those ring ceremonies and saw some pictures, as well, I thought I was going to vomit.

          • I’m thinking curriculum development could be a challenge for someone in the reality-based community.

          • The business opportunities could be cool. Special anatomically incorrect dolls for class demos etc.

            Wonder if Neil Bush already has this market captured?

          • This is where our acquaintance with Obama supporters serves us well. When in doubt, always fall back on puppies, rainbows, and magic unicorns.

        • He needs the support of Orrin Hatch?

          Oh wait, Obama doesn’t need to worry about separation of church and state. After all, he’s king.

  33. War Room
    Tuesday, Dec 22, 2009 15:40 EST
    Obama: “I didn’t campaign on the public option”
    Responding to criticism from the left, the president makes a dubious claim about his record
    By Alex Koppelman
    http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/12/22/obama_public/

  34. From FDL: Mexico City has legalized same sex marriage.

    • More from FDL:

      If you thought the health care bill was fun, wait until the Senate gets to the climate bill. Actually, the next heavy lift will be financial reform, where reportedly, Republicans on the Banking Committee are rewriting Chris Dodd’s bill. Considering their acumen on the financial markets, that should lead most everyone to put their money under the mattress.

      http://news.firedoglake.com/2009/12/22/the-roundup-43/

    • Amazing. In a strong Catholic country, same sex marriage is legalized. The U.S. is very puritanical. Unbelievable.

      • Interestingly enough, New England (home of the Puritans) leads the country in states with legalized gay marriage. Happily, I live in one of them. Unhappily, I have no one to whom to propose. 😦

        • Well, I live in the supposed bastion of liberalism, CA, who voted down gay marriage. Good for New England, home of the Puritans. LOL!

      • Spain has also legalized same-sex marriage.

        Mexico is a bit of a paradox. It’s a strongly Catholic country, yes, but it’s also strongly anti-clerical. Until the 1980’s Mexican priests and nuns coudn’t wear cassocks, collars or habits in public. The restrictions go back to the Church’s supporting Maximilian in the 1860’s and the fact that a fair number of Benito Juarez’s supporters, and Juarez himself, were Masons.

  35. Here is what Democrats are going to say. “Women have the same rights to the same health care as men” and that will be true. We will likely wind up with the same right to have free Viagra, penile implants and all the prostate cancer treatment and screening any man could want. Of course there will be no reproductive freedom, you will pay for all birth control, and screening for female cancers likely won’t be covered and what about child birth? Young women will wind up needing the permission of the government and the male leaders of someone elses religion to make their reproductive choices.

    Of course they could use the same logic on gay rights and say all gays currently have the same marriage rights as straights and that is the right to marry anyone of the opposite sex they choose. So hey! nothing to worry about right, they are already equal. But no, Democrats would never do that to a group like gay men only to women 52% of the population.

  36. Joan Walsh supports the bill. She defends the fauxgressives in this long can’t-we-just-all-get-along piece, throws off a couple of sterile comments about Hillary supporters, doesn’t spend much time on the substance and merits of the bill itself.

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/joan_walsh/politics/2009/12/22/progressives_and_health_care_reform

    I do believe that the lefties who bought or sold the idea that Obama was the only true progressive in ’08 bear a special burden for the current disillusionment among Democrats. Obama mostly campaigned as a centrist Democrat; it was exciting (and a valid reason to prefer him) to have our first African-American nominee, but it wasn’t the coming of social democracy in the U.S. I think people who sold Obama that way will be helping to dig progressives out of a ditch for years to come. It would have been great if both leading Democrats had to fight for progressive votes, but a lot of leading progressives bullied Clinton supporters and bowed to Obama prematurely.

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