"This bill is a monstrosity," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "This is not renaming the post office. Make no mistake -- this bill will reshape our nation and our lives." - WaPo, Deal on health bill is reachedAnd who didn't see this coming?
Unless the GOP yields, the bill is expected to pass in a final Senate vote at 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Negotiations to merge the bill with the House version would begin early next month.So it's still not - quite - a done deal, but it might as well be. They are going to shove this power-grab down our throats.
Many liberals, however, were bitterly disappointed with the bargains Reid struck to win support from moderates in his caucus, any member of which could seek alterations in exchange for his or her support. Democratic leaders dropped a government insurance option and the idea of expanding Medicare to younger Americans. Reid also omitted language that would have eliminated the federal antitrust exemption for health insurers -- another nonstarter for Nelson.Like this is going to be the final version of the bill, and it will never, ever be modified by lawmakers in the future?
Congressional budget analysts reported Saturday that the revised package would not worsen the nation's fiscal situation, as GOP critics have warned. The analysts said the updated Senate bill would spend $871 billion over the next decade to extend coverage to more than 31 million Americans by dramatically expanding Medicaid, and by offering federal subsidies to those who lack affordable coverage through employers.If you believe any of that, I have the title to this bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to talk to you about. "Spending reductions" on Medicare? On what planet? Oh no, there are powerful constituencies who are loath to see their particular ox gored. Cost-cutting and deficit reduction my aching ass.
Those costs would be more than covered by nearly $400 billion in new taxes over the next decade and by nearly $500 billion in spending reductions, primarily cuts to Medicare, the federal health program for people 65 and older. All told, the package would reduce federal budget deficits by $132 billion by 2019, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Over the long term, the analysts predicted, the package could reduce budget deficits even more sharply, slicing as much as $1.3 trillion from projected deficits between 2019 and 2029. That would represent a significant improvement in long-run savings compared with the bill approved by the House and a measure previously crafted by Reid.
And it will never, ever be repealed. Once seized, governments do not yield power easily.