Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Even Keith Olbermann Thinks This Bill Sucks

On his MSNBC program Countdown, host Keith Olbermann delivered a special comment about the compromise healthcare reform bill. Olbermann said, “The Senate bill with mandate must be defeated, if not in the Senate then in the House.” If the bill passes, Olbermann called on his viewers to not buy insurance.
Here is the video:

Olbermann described the compromise bill as, “Seeking the least common denominator, Sen. Reid has found it, especially the least part. This is not health. This is not care. This is certainly not reform…The men of the current moment have lost to the mice of history. They must now not make the defeat worse by passing a hollow shell of a bill just for the sake of a big stage signing ceremony.”
He discusses the people who made this defeat possible, Chuck Grassley, Ben Nelson, Jim DeMint, and Max Baucus. Some of his harshest words were saved for Sen. Joe Lieberman and President Obama. On Lieberman Olbermann said, “He has been bought and sold by the insurance lobby. He has become a senatorial prostitute.”


  1. If ever the people of the United States rise up and fight over passage of Obamacare, Harry Reid must be remembered as the man who sacrificed the dignity of his office for a few pieces of silver. The rules of fair play that have kept the basic integrity of the Republic alive have died with Harry Reid. Reid has slipped in a provision into the health care legislation prohibiting future Congresses from changing any regulations imposed on Americans by the Independent Medicare [note: originally referred to as "medical"] Advisory Boards, which are commonly called the “Death Panels.”

    It was Reid leading the Democrats who ignored 200 years of Senate precedents to rule that Senator Sanders could withdraw his amendment while it was being read.

    It was Reid leading the Democrats who has determined again and again over the past few days that hundreds of years of accumulated Senate parliamentary rulings have no bearing on the health care vote.

    On December 21, 2009, however, Harry Reid sold out the Republic in toto.

    Upon examination of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment to the health care legislation, Senators discovered section 3403. That section changes the rules of the United States Senate.

    To change the rules of the United States Senate, there must be sixty-seven votes.

    Section 3403 of Senator Harry Reid’s amendment requires that “it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment, or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection.” The good news is that this only applies to one section of the Obamacare legislation. The bad news is that it applies to regulations imposed on doctors and patients by the Independent Medicare Advisory Boards a/k/a the Death Panels.

    Section 3403 of Senator Reid’s legislation also states, “Notwithstanding rule XV of the Standing Rules of the Senate, a committee amendment described in subparagraph (A) may include matter not within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Finance if that matter is relevant to a proposal contained in the bill submitted under subsection (c)(3).” In short, it sets up a rule to ignore another Senate rule.

    Senator Jim DeMint confronted the Democrats over Reid’s language. In the past, the Senate Parliamentarian has repeatedly determined that any legislation that also changes the internal standing rules of the Senate must have a two-thirds vote to pass because to change Senate rules, a two-thirds vote is required. Today, the Senate President, acting on the advice of the Senate Parliamentarian, ruled that these rules changes are actually just procedural changes and, despite what the actual words of the legislation say, are not rules changes. Therefore, a two-thirds vote is not needed in contravention to longstanding Senate precedent.

    How is that constitutional? It is just like the filibuster. Only 51 votes are needed to pass the amendments, but internally, the Senate is deciding that it will not consider certain business. The Supreme Court is quite clear that it won’t meddle with the internal operations of the House and Senate. To get around the prohibition on considering amendments to that particular subsection of the health care legislation, the Senate must get two-thirds of the Senate to agree to waive the rule. In other words, it will take a super-majority of the people the citizens of our Republican elected to overrule a regulation imposed by a group of faceless bureaucrats and bean counters.

    Here is the transcript of the exchange between Jim DeMint and the Senate President:

  2. DEMINT: But, Mr. President, as the chair has confirmed, Rule 22, paragraph 2, of the standing rules of the Senate, states that on a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules, the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the senators present and voting. Let me go to the bill before us, because buried deep within the over 2,000 pages of this bill, we find a rather substantial change to the standing rules of the Senate. It is section 3403 and it begins on page 1,000 of the Reid substitute. . . . These provisions not only amend certain rules, they waive certain rules and create entirely new rules out of whole cloth.”

    The Senate President disagreed and said it was a change in procedure, not a change in rules, therefore the Senate precedent that a two-thirds vote is required to change the rules of the Senate does not apply.

    Senator DeMint responded:

    DEMINT: and so the language you see in this bill that specifically refers to a change in a rule is not a rule change, it’s a procedure change?

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER: that is correct.

    DEMINT: then i guess our rules mean nothing, do they, if they can re define them. thank you. and i do yield back.

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER: the senate stands adjourned until 7:00 a.m. tomorrow.

    That’s right. When confronted with the facts, the Senate Democrats ran for cover. The Senate Democrats are ignoring the constitution, the law, and their own rules to pass Obamacare.

    To quote the Declaration of Indepedence:

    When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is one of those causes. When the men and women who run this nation, which is supposedly a nation of laws not men, choose to ignore the laws and bribe the men, the people cannot be blamed for wanting to dissolve political bands connecting them to that government.

  3. Dean is right: 'Kill the bill'
    Star Parker - Syndicated Columnist - 12/21/2009 7:05:00 AM When, earlier thisyear, the new Obama administration set healthcare reform into motion, word was that they carefully studied the tactical failures of Hillarycare, with resolution to avoid the same mistakes.

    Ironically, but not surprisingly, they have repeated them all.

    That's not to say that the door has shut on Obamacare. Something still may pass. But the victory will be pyrrhic. The bills stink. Polling uniformly shows the public, for good reason, doesn't want them. And Democrats will pay a political price if they force their irresponsible concoction on the nation.

    What was supposedly the clever insight of the Obama team was to let Congress take ownership of healthcare reform. Rather than piecing it together behind closed doors in the White House, as did Hillary Clinton, let the folks who will have to pass it put their necks on the line.

    But the elementary point overlooked was that it doesn't matter behind whose closed doors politicians hijack one-sixth of the American economy. I'm not going to do any better designing a space shuttle whether I do it in my kitchen or in my den. It's not my job and I don't know how to do it.

    Yet, with a special brand of hubris, seasoned with a perverse sense of what making history means, a handful of Democrat power brokers have spent a good part of this year designing how hundreds of millions of Americans will, one by one, spend a few trillion dollars annually on healthcare. And they've done this with practically no genuine public debate and discussion.

    So how could the product not be garbage?

    Even as I write, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tries to put together 60 votes for passage of his bill, most senators have no idea what's in it.

    Times are so strange that I find myself actually agreeing with former Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean, who has urged that the Senate bill be killed. Dean writes in the Washington Post "...as it stands, this bill would do more harm than good to the future of America."

    He correctly identifies one key reason why the legislation is a dismal failure. It does nothing to increase competition in insurance markets.

    But, like his liberal friends, Dean's strange idea of competition is creating a government plan to compete with private insurance companies. This makes as much sense as taxpayers creating a new government car company to make GM more efficient.

    More competition among health insurers is critical. It's competition that drives down prices and creates new efficiencies.

    But the way to do this is by deregulating this highly regulated market. Break down state regulatory fiefdoms that prohibit residents from buying from out-of-state companies.

    And get government out of the business of defining what insurance is. It only causes insurance to reflect what insurance lobbyists want rather than consumers.

    The healthcare reform bills we have now do exactly the opposite. All existing regulations are left in place, and vast, sweeping new ones are layered on top of them.

    Now, in a wave of particular brilliance, our legislators have created a mandate to force every consumer to buy the government-defined products from these barely competitive insurance companies. The inevitable result will be to hurt consumers even more and subsidize the insurance companies.

    The stock market tells the story. Since the healthcare reform process began with the White House summit on March 5, the overall stock market has risen an impressive 54 percent. However, stocks of major health insurers have soared more: CIGNA, up 157 percent. UnitedHealth Group, up 88 percent. Wellpoint, up 84 percent. Aetna, up 65 percent.

    It's time to stop this charade and begin a new, open process aimed to reforming healthcare that will actually serve American consumers.

  4. Idiots like BRUCE equate health CARE with health INSURANCE. These idiots decry private insurance, and yet have no qualms about government-run insurance. I say do away with insurance except for catastrophic. Doctors and hospitals list their prices openly. People used to save up for the birth of their child, after all they know 8-9 months in advance! OR hospitals used to (and actually STILL do, as we found out recently) offer interest-free payback plans.

    But the Hypocrat way, the no-imagination-way, is using your car insurance to pay for the gas and oil changes, while the gas station and oil change place don't show the prices. After all, your insurance is picking up the cost! What do you care if the gas company is charging $100/gallon when all you have to pay is a "co-pay" of $5?!?!

    THIS is the HYPOCRAT LIEberal mentality! And then they go after the insurance companies for their high premiums!??! Hospitals charging $50 for two aspirin, but that's a model that you want to preserve?!?! WTF?!

    And to further the example, our government steps in and says they will force you to pay into "Gascare", all your working life, so that when you turn 65 you can have whatever gas and oil-change you like, "no charge". They tell the gas station they will only pay them $50/gallon. Hmmmm.... where is the insurance company going to pick up the additional $50/gallon?!? Yep, from their regular customers.

    Hey BRUCE, if health INSURANCE is such a scam, why do you have it?!

  5. These F**KING rule-changing Hypocrats WILL rue the day that they started changing these rules! They are going to be wiped out in the next two elections, and then I DO NOT want to hear them CRYING about anything the Republicans do.

  6. Daily Presidential Tracking Poll
    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 25% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-three percent (46%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21 That’s the lowest Approval Index rating yet recorded for this President.

    Fifty-three percent (53%) of men Strongly Disapprove along with 39% of women. Most African-American voters (58%) Strongly Approve while most white voters (53%) Strongly Disapprove.

    Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans Strongly Disapprove as do 52% of unaffiliated voters. Forty-seven percent (47%) of Democrats Strongly Approve.

    For the second straight days, the update shows the highest level of Strong Disapproval yet recorded for this President. That negative rating had never topped 42% before yesterday. However, it has risen dramatically since the Senate found 60 votes to move forward with the proposed health care reform legislation. Most voters (55%) oppose the health care legislation and senior citizens are even more likely than younger voters to dislike the plan.

  7. This bill must be pretty bad if Keith hates it. He is one of the talking heads for the Democratic party. Does anyone know if my UAW health insurance gets taxed or not with this bill?

  8. U.A.W. health insurance? Is it thru a company or the union?

  9. One of the big 3 pay for it. Will my income tax go up or not because of this bill?

  10. Yep and when it kicks in in 4 years there will be another monthly fee on top of that.

  11. If one really thinks the issues through Union leaders, who have been lobbying Congress heavily in recent days, are right it is a bad idea to tax insurance companies for the "Cadillac" health insurance they sell which the Senate Health Care Reform bill is planning to do. Union leaders correctly state that these taxes in large part will be passed on to the beneficiaries of these insurance plans which are often ordinary workers and it will be passed on in the form of higher premiums or lower or no wage increases over future years and in many cases it will force employers to reduce benefits in health insurance plans which workers though the years have sacrificed to obtain, sacrificed in the form of accepting lower or no wage increases.

    What is really telling about this whole issue in union's favor is the characterization of these health insurance plans that are involved. Proponents and advocates for this tax and even the media, probably not intentionally, mischaracterize these health insurance plans. They call these plans "cadillac", "gold plated", "lavish", "premium", etc. plans implying to ordinary members of the public that the beneficiary of these plans are getting medical benefits that are not necessary. This wording is sort of implying recipients of these plans are getting like free plastic surgergy or any type of plasticsurgery coverage. What these plans are in actuality are probably just plans that have an actuarial coverage on benefits of like 80% to 90% as opposed to common health insurance plans that have actuarial coverage of like 60% to 70%. By actuarial coverage it is meant that if a person goes into the hospital and the bill from the hospital is say $50,000.00 the amount of actuarial coverage refers to the percent of the bill a person's insurance company will pay. From a public policy standpoint from a good society standpoint it should be elected leaders ultimate goal to get all Americans where economically feasible plans with high actuarial coverage. In truth, probably the vast majority of health insurance plans the Senate is trying to eliminate with the provisions in this reform bill are actually plans which good Senators would be trying to create. I think the media has a lot of work to do to clarify this issue for the American people, because it sure seems like the American people are being duped here!

    The Senate is planning to use this tax on these high coverage plans to pay for the cost of this reform legislation which really doesn't make much sense because the goal of the tax, pursuant to Senate advocates, is to push insurance issuers to scale back these insurance plans to cut the benefits so that the enrollees who would otherwise be in these high coverage plans will use less health care because they are in scaled back plans - it is the Senate's goal here to cut back on overall health care spending in America. Experts estimate that to a large degree the Senate will achieve its goal in so far as getting insurance issuers to scale back their plans so they are not subject to the tax which begs the question how does the Senate intend to pay for the legislation long-term if its revenue generating mechanism is made long-term dramatically less effective.

    Nevertheless, the Senate is on to something which could be a good revenue generator on this topic of high coverage plans. High coverage plans obviously cost much more that medium coverage plans in terms of insurance premium costs. Now most Americans don't have high coverage plans because of the premium costs. There are a significant segment of Americans that have these high coverage plans who are also very high income Americans, the media refers to some of these Americans as "fat cat executives".

  12. Well, not so quick Christopher. Check out this article. Union groups are getting their exemptions, and guess who is going to pay for that??!?

    No free lunch, really
    Regardless of your views on government involvement in health care, perhaps we can all agree that once politicians get into the act anything is possible including the wartering down of key provisions of pending legislation. Consider the all important 40% excise tax on high cost health plans. Already, the groups exempt from the tax are growing the latest union to be exempt is the longshoreman. Miners, some fisherman, electrical lineman and even the 17 states with the highest health costs get a deal on this one.

    So, you have to ask yourself if this provision is so important in controling health care costs, how can we have all these exceptions and still reach the revenue and cost control goals?

    Of course, the answer is you can’t but then again this tax achieving it’s stated goal was never a reality any more that the assumption that lowering the value of health benefits by employers to avoid the tax would translate to higher wages.

    For those of us who shall we say have reservations about the ability of Congress to keep it’s hands off the final legislation for more than a month, this deal and others contained in the legislation give a good indication of what is to come and it is not higher quality, affordable health care.

    State legislatures have been adding to the health care cost problem for decades with special interest benefit mandates and other restrictions and rules. Is there any reason to believe Congress will be different (although perhaps more stealth)?

    Americans should be concerned what is lurking behing secret doors number 1,2 or 3.

    You have to give Congress credit though, nobody will ever know what this all costs or how much they are truly paying for “reform.”

  13. The Senate bill relies heavily on a new excise tax on high cost health plans: a 40 percent tax on plan exceeding $8,500 for an individual and $23,000 for a family. The AFL-CIO and SEIU both call this a tax on working families. The Senate bill also includes a new premium tax on all insurers and the CBO confirms that the cost of this tax will be passed on to all Americans with private insurance. The House bill depends on a heavy new income tax targeted at top-earning taxpayers and small businesses. The 5.4 percent tax on individuals with incomes above $500,000, and on families with incomes above $1 million, is structured in a way that over time more and more Americans will be hit by this tax and small business owners would be particularly affected.

    The Heritage Foundation

  14. Don't forget all the sweetheart deals some of the states got for selling their souls for their vote. This bill is so filled with deals for states,unions,big business and all kinds of special interests. We the people are the ones getting screwed because of all these special deals. It's BS that we have to pay for other states to get these sweetheart deals. How is this fair? it is a 2700 page bill. And how much don't we know about with this POS bill?

  15. New Rape Method

    A new way to abduct a female very scary

    This is very scary!


    Please pass on to all your girlfriends,
    wives, etc.
    Just to be on the safe side. Please be aware and
    pass it on to anyone you think this will help.

    Sunday afternoon around 5 PM I headed into the Target in
    Philadelphia , Pa. where crime is VERY RARE and mos tly it is with bikes being stolen!!
    It was still light outside and I parked fairly close to the entrance.
    As I got out of my car and began walking towards Target, an older lady shouted to me
    from the passenger seat of a car about 30 feet away from me.

    "Ma'am you must help me, help me please, help me
    Ma'am!" I looked at her in the eyes and started to walk towards her when
    all of a sudden I remembered an email my Mom had sent me a week or two ago
    about rapists and abductions using elderly people to lure women in.

    I paused, memorized the license plate and immediately headed into Target to get a manager to come help this lady, just in case something was up.
    While the woman manager headed out there, I kept a close watch just
    because I was curious what was wrong with the lady and wanted to be sure
    nothing happened.

    As the Target lady walked up towards the car and got very close to the old woman in
    order to help her, the back door of the car flies open and a large man
    with a stocking cap on, jumps out and sticks a gun to the
    lady's stomach as he shoves her into the back of the car.

    I yelled out "call 911" several times and just as I was saying
    that, a policeman who happened to be on the other side of the parking
    lot! And who, luckily had seen the entire thing happen, raced
    over to the car.

    He was able to stop the car and arrest the male as
    well as the old lady, who was involved in the scheme..
    By God's grace everyone was all right, including myself, although
    I think we were both shaken up.

    Like many of you, I would not in a million years have left an elderly person who was yelling
    for help if it weren't for the e-mail I had read last week. So, I wanted
    to pass this along so you all can be aware and remember that you really
    can't trust anyone these days.

    You just never know when something like this could happen. I would have never dreamed it to
    happen to me especially on a Sunday afternoon at a Target in a safe area!

    It definitely was not a coincidence that my Mom sent
    that email just a few days before this all happened. Please,
    be careful and always be aware of your surroundings.

    Just because you individually don't go over to help someone
    doesn't mean you have to leave them in trouble, but don't go ALONE, you
    really don't know what might be going on.

    This was checked with
    Snopes.comhttp://snopescom/ - this is true
    and they also use children to lure the victim !!

    Please pass on to all your girlfriends,
    wives, etc.
    Just to be on the safe side. Please be aware and
    pass it on to anyone you think this will help.

  16. Great blog Chris. Thanks for letting me post this here. You are a great American.

  17. No problem Beth and thank you for posting.

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Please keep it clean and nice. Thank you for taking the time to post you thought. It means a lot to me that you do this.