Archive for November 22nd, 2009

This failed in the Senate, primarily because it is totally unfunded.  The cost of the bill is estimated at $200 Billion or so to reverse the “Sustainable Growth” of Medicare which was established in the 1997 Deficit Redution Act.  Here is an article with more detail from the New York Times.

There’s been some debate as to whether or not this amount should be included in the total cost of Health Care Reform.  I’m undecided on this point.  However, I think the larger point is that this reinforces the point that the Federal Government is totally inept (Democrats and Republicans) in managing the cost of entitlements.  The fact that the government is “Banking” on their ability to rein in $500 Billion in Medicare Spending over 10 years makes me wonder if they’ll have the backbone to make the tough calls or simply add cost overruns to the deficit in future years. . .

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The Senate needed all 58 Democrats and 2 Independents to pass Cloture and get the Health Care Bill to the floor of the Senate.  A couple of days ago, there were two Democratic Senators who hadn’t made up their minds.  Senator Landrieu of Louisana was brought on board with a $100 million gift to her home state.  ABC’s blog reports on the “$100 Million Vote” from Senator Landrieu!  Now that I consider it, $100 million is small potatoes when you’re looking at a $1 Trillion Bill (that’s only 0.01% or one ten-thousandth of the total spend!)  She probably could have gotten more in my mind!?!

Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas was also waivering until the last minute.  She eventually voted “Yea”, but indicated that she would not vote for Cloture the next time around if there is a Public Option in the Bill.  Independent Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut has said the same thing.

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