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10 Terrible Things Republicans Will Try to Do If They Take Over in November

Think things are bad now? Take a look at what could happen if Republicans retake Congress in November.
September 20, 2010 |

Democrats are in trouble come November. If current polling is any indication, Republicans have a good chance of reclaiming a majority in the House of Representatives and perhaps even the Senate (though the Senate is a less likely prospect). That’s not because people are wildly excited about Republicans. In fact, a recent poll shows that registered voters rate the GOP’s performance as worse than the Democrats’. But the enthusiasm gap between the parties gives the GOP an advantage; a nine-point advantage among likely voters, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Perhaps Americans should know what’s really at stake if this batch of Republicans takes over Congress in November. Here are 10 terrible things the GOP might do:

1) Shut down government to stop health care bill. “All the Republican Congress needs to say in January is, ‘We won’t fund it,” said former Speaker of the House and likely 2012 presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich, speaking about the GOP leadership’s intent to shut down the government to stop health care reform from being enacted. He should know. He did it before, back in 1995 when the Republicans reclaimed Congress during the Clinton administration. The GOP’s government shutdown was disastrous for millions of Americans.

Since Republicans can’t directly repeal the bill — President Obama would veto such an action — they may cut funding in order to hold up its implementation, forcing a stand-off with Democrats that could lead to government shutdown. Gingrich isn’t the only one sounding this threat. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said, “The endgame is a fight over funding.” Rep. Mike Pence called rolling back health reform a “mainstream GOP position.

Meanwhile, in an interview with TPM, Donna Shalala, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration, discussed the consequences of government shutdown. Services would be stopped: “Social Security checks, Medicare reimbursements…welfare checks to the state, Medicaid checks to the state.” Federal employees would be furloughed. It would “stop all new enrollees into the [Social Security] system,” Shalala said. She continued, “It bounces through: it’s grocery stores, it’s farms [...] It bounces through when people don’t have money at that scale.” Shalala also pointed out that the economy is in far worse shape today than it was during the Clinton years, so the impact of government shutdown would likely be worse than in the 1990s.

2) Attempt to privatize Social Security. Back in 2005, former President George W. Bush tried to privatize Social Security by creating independent spending accounts, similar to 401Ks. He failed. But unlike Republicans today, Bush did not have the advantage of Tea-Party backed ultraconservative Republicans, some of whom honestly believe the only role of the federal government is to fight wars and protect our borders. Among the GOP’s up and comers is Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the ranking Republican member of the House Budget Committee. He wants to create personal spending retirement accounts invested in the stock market, which sounds a lot like the current 401K system: You know, the one that lost nearly 40 percent of its value during the financial crisis.

MORE HERE

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Health Care Bill PASSES

HuffPost- First Posted: 03-21-10 10:59 PM   |   Updated: 03-22-10 09:12 AM

With additional reporting by Sam Stein.

After more than a year of virulent debate, Democrats marched through a throng of jeering protesters, whose slurs recalled a Washington of the 1960s — when the party forced civil rights legislation and Medicare through a fiercely divided Congress. Against unified Republican opposition, they built on that foundation Sunday with the passage of a health care reform bill that extends coverage to 32 million Americans and tightly regulates the insurance industry.

“It is with great humility and with great pride that we tonight will make history for our country and progress for the American people,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) before the vote to a standing ovation on one side of the aisle and silence on the other. “Just think–we will be joining those who established Social Security, Medicare, and now tonight, health care for all Americans.”

Democrats passed two pieces of legislation. The first, a comprehensive reform package passed at the end of December by the Senate, now goes to President Obama for his signature, passing the House 219-212. The second piece, passed through the reconciliation process by a 220-211, makes fixes to that measure and now heads to the Senate for a final vote.

Watch yesterday’s health care debate condensed into 10 minutes:

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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As soon as health care passes, the American people will see immediate benefits. The legislation will:

  • Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new plans;
  • Provide immediate access to insurance for uninsured Americans who are uninsured because of a pre-existing condition through a temporary high-risk pool;
  • Prohibit dropping people from coverage when they get sick in all individual plans;
  • Lower seniors’ prescription drug prices by beginning to close the donut hole;
  • Offer tax credits to small businesses to purchase coverage;
  • Eliminate lifetime limits and restrictive annual limits on benefits in all plans;
  • Require plans to cover an enrollee’s dependent children until age 26;
  • Require new plans to cover preventive services and immunizations without cost-sharing;
  • Ensure consumers have access to an effective internal and external appeals process to appeal new insurance plan decisions;
  • Require premium rebates to enrollees from insurers with high administrative expenditures and require public disclosure of the percent of premiums applied to overhead costs.

By enacting these provisions right away, and others over time, we will be able to lower costs for everyone and give all Americans and small businesses more control over their health care choices.

Crossposted on the House Democrat’s blog.

SOURCE

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The chairman of the Democratic caucus in the House said Sunday his party has the 216 votes needed to pass President Barack Obama’s historic health care bill.

Other House Democrats were not as optimistic heading into a rare Sunday session to vote on one of the most significant legislative initiatives in decades: overhauling the nation’s health care system to provide coverage to millions of people.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Connecticut Rep. John Larson said, “We have the votes now – as we speak.” However, no one else in the Democratic House leadership was ready to declare victory.

With Obama’s emotional appeal from Saturday ringing in their ears, House Democratic leaders prepared for three showdown votes: on a “rule” to establish debate guidelines; on a package of changes to a Senate-passed bill, including deletion of special Medicaid benefits for Nebraska; and on the Senate bill itself, the focus of intense national debate for months.

Democrats need 216 votes to pass each one. With all 178 Republicans and at least two dozen Democrats vowing to vote no, the legislation’s fate lies in the hands of about 20 Democrats who remained uncommitted late Saturday.

MORE HERE

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New Health Care Poll Shows Only FOUR PERCENT Of Americans Don’t Want Any Reform

CHARLES BABINGTON | 03/ 9/10 06:41 PM | AP

WASHINGTON � Americans and their lawmakers are dramatically out of sync on health care, with large majorities of people looking for bipartisan cooperation that’s nowhere in sight.

A new Associated Press-GfK Poll finds a widespread hunger for improvements to the health care system, which suggests President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies have a political opening to push their plan. Half of all Americans say health care should be changed a lot or “a great deal,” and only 4 percent say it shouldn’t be changed at all.

But they don’t like the way the debate is playing out in Washington, where GOP lawmakers unanimously oppose the Obama-backed legislation and Democrats are struggling to pass it by themselves with narrow House and Senate majorities.

More than four in five Americans say it’s important that any health care plan have support from both parties. And 68 percent say the president and congressional Democrats should keep trying to cut a deal with Republicans rather than pass a bill with no GOP support.

Leaders of both parties in Congress say that’s not how it’s going to work out. After a year of off-and-on negotiations, Republicans adamantly oppose Obama’s plans. The White House and Democratic leaders say it’s now-or-never for a health care overhaul, which would cover an additional 30 million Americans, require almost everyone to buy health insurance and impose new restrictions on insurance companies.

MORE HERE

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Crooks and Liars
By Heather Monday Dec 21, 2009 10:00am

From The New York Times–Health Bill Passes Key Test in the Senate With 60 Votes:

After a long day of acid, partisan debate, Senate Democrats held ranks early Monday in a dead-of-night procedural vote that proved they had locked in the decisive margin needed to pass a far-reaching overhaul of the nation’s health care system.

The roll was called shortly after 1 a.m., with Washington still snowbound after a weekend blizzard, and the Senate voted on party lines to cut off a Republican filibuster of a package of changes to the health care bill by the majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada.

The vote was 60 to 40 — a tally that is expected to be repeated four times as further procedural hurdles are cleared in the days ahead, and then once more in a dramatic, if predictable, finale tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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Dean: I won’t “vigorously” support Obama’s re-election

Raw Story- By Sahil Kapur
Thursday, December 17th, 2009 — 9:20 am

WASHINGTON — Escalating his opposition to what remains of the health care legislation, former Gov. Howard Dean has taken more swipes at President Obama, after a contentious back-and-forth that led to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs publicly sniping at him on Wednesday.

Dean, who outspokenly championed the public option and also supported the Medicare buy-in, said Thursday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he won’t “vigorously” support Obama’s re-election in 2012.

“I’m going to support President Obama when he runs for re-election,” Dean, also a former DNC Chair, said. “Not vigorously.  I’m going to vote for him.”

Although Dean hasn’t withdrawn his support for Obama, he is a leading voice in the progressive community, and his dialed-down support of the Obama presidency as a result of this health care bill is likely to represent and ultimately fuel the sentiments among the president’s core constituency.

The show’s host, Joe Scarborough, pointed to this possibility. “‘Not vigorously!,” said Scarborough. “Boy, I can almost feel the confetti falling on my head here,” probably referring to the delight among Republicans.

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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Howard Dean: Kill the Senate Bill

Crooks & Liars

By Heather Wednesday Dec 16, 2009 8:00am

Howard Dean reiterates what he said in an earlier interview today–Howard Dean: “Kill the Senate Bill”:

In a blow to the bill grinding through the Senate, Howard Dean bluntly called for the bill to be killed in a pre-recorded interview set to air later this afternoon, denouncing it as “the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate,” the reporter who conducted the interview tells me.

Dean said the removal of the Medicare buy-in made the bill not worth supporting, and urged Dem leaders to start over with the process of reconciliation in the interview, which is set to air at 5:50 PM today on Vermont Public Radio, political reporter Bob Kinzel confirms to me.

The gauntlet from Dean — whose voice on health care is well respsected among liberals — will energize those on the left who are mobilizing against the bill, and make it tougher for liberals to embrace the emerging proposal. In an excerpt Kinzel gave me, Dean says:

“This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.”

WATCH THE VIDEO & MORE HERE

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The Republican Way: Keeping Everything The Way It Is

Huffington Post- Alec Baldwin

Posted: November 24, 2009 12:10 PM

Didn’t you know, all along, that the goal of U.S. policy in Iraq was about accessing oil?

Not oil as in those production levels at the onset of the Bush era incursion in March, 2003. But newer, stronger, American-style production levels. American oil companies had been forbidden from exploring and developing new oil fields since the nationalization of Iraq’s reserves in 1972 and those American oil companies have long contended that Iraqi estimates of their potential reserves are grossly underestimated, by perhaps as much as a couple of hundred billion barrels.

Likewise, didn’t you know all along that Republican opposition to current health care reform is about maintaining the unconscionable monopoly that insurance companies have in the American economy. Why? For the same reason Bush went to war in Iraq, spent money we didn’t have, pushed the country into financial ruin and did more to threaten our long term national security than any modern president. The GOP needs contributions. I would never contend that the GOP is alone in this practice. When an administration awards contracts to some supporter, they anticipate more support. But no group, in the history of this country, has ever done this to such an extent. Remember, I am always careful to separate the leadership of any party from its rank and file. So when I level such a charge against “Republicans”, I am referring to their leadership on Capitol Hill. But, I think it’s safe to say now that the war in Iraq was started to provide U.S. oil companies with the opportunity to develop new oil fields there in return for the massive campaign contributions those oil companies will make to the Republicans in 2010 and, especially, 2012 in their effort to unseat President Obama.

The same is true for the health care industry, and insurance companies in particular. They don’t want reform. The current system works quite well for them. If an excess of Americans die due to insufficient health care, so what. Republican leaders argue that health care reform will lead to a big, fat, incompetent bureaucracy that will gobble up billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars and provide little accountability. But wait. Isn’t the Pentagon a big, fat, incompetent bureaucracy that gobbles up…? Well, you get it.

MORE HERE

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