Nebraska

UPDATED: Obama Embraces GOP Ideas, Urges Dems to Move Forward
March 02, 2010

Obama Rejects a 'Skinny' Health Care Plan

The Inkblot Test
March 01, 2010

An article that ran in Politico on Friday provided a Rorschach test for those of us following the health care reform debate. The story was about reform’s prospects following President Obama’s bipartisan meeting. And it dwelt, at length, with the situation in the House. In order to enact reform, as you probably know, the House will have to pass the Senate bill as written, as well as pass amendments that the Senate can consider through the budget reconciliation process.

Do You See a House Majority in that Inkblot?
February 28, 2010

An article that ran in Politico on Friday provided a Rorschach test for those of us following the health care reform debate. The story was about reform’s prospects following President Obama’s bipartisan meeting. And it dwelt, at length, with the situation in the House. In order to enact reform, as you probably know, the House will have to pass the Senate bill as written, as well as pass amendments that the Senate can consider through the budget reconciliation process.

Ben Nelson, At It Again?
February 26, 2010

Ben Nelson may be making trouble again. According to The Hill, the Democratic senator from Nebraska told a local radio station, KLIN, he's not sure Congress can still pass health care reform: I don't know if we can get a comprehensive bill through. Honestly, I just don't know. ... We may be forced to doing healthcare--to use my analogy--by making a pie a piece at a time, which is typically not the preferred way to handle legislation. But this is so big, and has so many moving parts and has so many supporters and detractors, that maybe that's the only thing you can do.

A Quick Reconciliation Thought
February 26, 2010

Republicans continue to accuse Democrats of "ramming" or "jamming" health care reform through Congress by using the budget reconciliation process. Put aside all the familiar rejoinders--that Republicans used it all the time to pass their bills, that the reconciliation process merely allows a majority to pass a law, etc.

What's Coming in the Obama Proposal
February 22, 2010

When the administration proposes a final vision for health care reform, in advance of Thursday's bipartisan meeting, it will propose giving the federal government more authority to block exorbitant premium increases, at least for people buying coverage on their own (rather than through an employer). The proposal, first reported in the New York Times and then described in more detail by a senior administration official, has the potential to help protect consumers from precisely the sort of increases Anthem Blue Cross of California has proposed for some of beneficiaries.

A Brief Reconciliation Primer
February 20, 2010

The health care debate is quickly going to focus on whether its passage entails some immoral act of partisan hardball or merely a common legislative procedure. Unfortunately, it seems that very few people understand the details of it well enough to form an opinion, and this includes reporters who cover it. Senate Republicans collected quotes from 18 Senate Democrats expressing skepticism about using budget reconciliation to pass health care reform.

Hearts and Minds
February 18, 2010

WASHINGTON--If you want to be honest, face these facts: At this moment, President Obama is losing, Democrats are losing, and liberals are losing. Who's winning? Republicans, conservatives, the practitioners of obstruction, and the Tea Party. The two immediate causes for this state of affairs are a single election result in Massachusetts, and the way the United States Senate operates. What's not responsible is the supposed failure of Obama and the Democrats to govern as "moderates." Pause to consider where we would be if a Democrat had won January's Massachusetts Senate race.

A Long, Strange Post On Somebody You've Never Heard Of
February 17, 2010

Yesterday, Republicans emailed around an article in The Hill, claiming that budget reconciliation is "not suited" for healthcare reform. This excites Republicans because reconciliation is the Democrats' most plausible avenue to passing health care reform. Now that the Republicans can filibuster bills in the Senate, the Democrats' game plan is to pass the Senate bill through the House, and use the budget reconciliation process, which can't be filibustered, to enact changes to the Senate bill that the House demands.

Obama's Health Care Panel
February 08, 2010

As I said before, President Obama's bipartisan health care panel, which he unveiled yesterday, serves two basic purposes. The first is to expose the GOP as lacking any feasible solutions to the problems of access and cost control. The second is to help answer the "backroom deal" perception. An example of this perception comes from Politico: Perhaps more interesting was the discussion about whether Dems should try to pass reform using reconciliation.

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