Is health care dividing the left?
Of course we all know about the war raging between conservatives and leftists over health care reform. But recently we’ve been hearing about new battles from within the Democrat Party in congress. Both houses are having some major issues, and if this keeps up, those coveted 60 votes in the senate and 218 in the house may be a bit short. But I wouldn’t bet all my money on that horse…or donkey just yet. Those Democrats are tricky, but apparently a few in congress are willing to stand up and challenge their leaders.
The first problem the senate Democrats have is trying to get their plans right, some are looking for an “opt-out” version of the health care bill, so states won’t have to deal with a public plan. While others are only willing to vote on a bill with a full fledged public option. Senator Burris (D-IL) is one such democrat. He is unwilling to budge on his stance that a public option is the only option. He stated earlier this week that the “opt-out” version falls short of what is truly needed for real health care reform. Stating on CSPAN: “opt-out provision represents a “watered-down public option” and a “weakening position” that will allow insurance companies to get around the tough rules of a nationally run plan.” Burris doesn’t seem to be too big of a threat, yet. Reid hasn’t called him personally and Obama hasn’t invited him to the White House for a stern talking to.
If that wasn’t enough for Senator Harry Reid to deal with, he has to deal with Joe Lieberman (I-CONN). He said that he would support a Republican filibuster of Reid’s health care bill. Lieberman said, “We’re trying to do too much at once. To put this government-created insurance company on top of everything else is just asking for trouble for the taxpayers, for the premium payers and for the national debt. I don’t think we need it now.” Lieberman caucuses with the Democrats, but is against any bill that contains a public option, even one that contains an “opt-out” saying that, “it still creates a whole new government entitlement program for which the taxpayers will be on the line.” Lieberman has even said he told Reid that he’d vote against cloture. So, good luck with that one Harry!
Then we have the issues in the House. Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI) is bumping heads with Speaker Nancy Pelosi to get the provisions taken out of the house health care bill that allow money to go toward paying for abortions. He’s said that he wants a vote on the house floor to take the language out, and if he doesn’t get it, he and 39 other representatives will vote “no” on the motion to bring the bill to the floor. Stupak is holding firm in his stance, yet hopes to reach an agreement with Democrat leadership. He said, “”I’m comfortable with where I’m at. This is who I am. It’s reflective of my district. If it costs me my seat, so be it.” I don’t know many Democrats who are so willing to put their seat on the line for the sake of standing up for their beliefs, I have to admit, I’m impressed.
Pelosi has a lot on her plate. Especially given that Nancy Pelosi cannot get a consensus bill out of committee to save her soul. Apparently the issue with that is the liberals want to be the ones to set the fees paid to doctors, hospitals and other providers treating patients with government plans but the moderates want there to be some negotiations to take place with the providers. There are also issues with dealing with the abortion language and insurance for illegal immigrants.
Its going to be tough for the Democrats to overcome their differences before taking on the Republicans in what will be one of the biggest legislative battles this year, or next year, you know, whenever they get this thing done. To be honest with you all, I hope they never get their heads out of their asses when it comes to health care, because nothing good can come of another government entitlement program. NOTHING.