Tag Archives: capitol

Public Option “Bait-and-switch?”

Democrats Close In On Public-Plan Alternative

U.S. Senate Democrats appear to closer to reaching agreement on an alternative to a government-run health-insurance plan in health-care overhaul legislation, even as they dealt with disagreement within their party on abortion.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D., Mich.) told reporters Monday that Democrats are “rapidly coming to a conclusion” on language within the bill, including a public-plan alternative. Stabenow, like many other liberal Democrats, has stated she would prefer the bill contain a public plan but said that “the critical issue is not what we call something” but instead “the end result.”

“The words ‘public option’ do not determine whether the bill is successful,” Stabenow said. “If we can do the same thing through another mechanism and get broader support, I’m willing to look at that.”

source: WSJ

Nelson: There’s Support For New Medicare Option

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) is perhaps the Democrat most reluctant to sign on to major health care legislation. Cautioning that he and the rest of the group of 10 senators negotiating a public option compromise have plenty of work left to do, he says that the newest option–allowing some under 65 to buy insurance through Medicare–has some traction.
source:

US expects to recover most bank rescue money: report
WASHINGTON — The US Treasury Department expects to recover all but 42 billion dollars of the 370 billion it has lent to troubled US companies since the financial crisis began last year, The New York Times reported.

Citing a new yet unpublished Treasury report, the newspaper said the new assessment of the 700-billion-dollar bailout program was provided by two Treasury officials on Sunday ahead of a report to Congress on Monday

source:

NATO to pledge forces for Afghan war BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO’s military commander urged countries to provide more instructors to train Afghanistan’s security forces, as national representatives met Monday to pledge additional troops to join the 30,000 reinforcements committed by President Barack Obama.

source:

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Strange Scene: 10 Arrested As Tea Partiers Heckle Police

U.S. Capitol, Tea-party rally

U.S. Capitol, Tea-party rally

TPM/Christina Bellantoni—U.S. Capitol Police arrested 10 people this afternoon after the Capitol Hill Tea Party crowd stormed Congressional office buildings.

Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, public information office for the Capitol Police, told TPMDC the arrests happened in the Cannon House building as tea partiers attempted to protest Speaker Nancy Pelosi about health care.

They were charged with unlawful entry (entering a Congressional office and refusing to leave when told to do so) and/or disorderly conduct (yelling in the hallway outside an office) at Room 235 in the Cannon House Office Building.

Room 235 is Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office for district business, not where she conducts her duties as Speaker. That’s handled at an office in the Capitol building.

bachmannteaparty1TPMDC happened upon a crowd that formed around two police vans as the protesters were prepared for “transporting,” according to one officer there.

Without those official details, protesters in the crowd watching the arrests were furious. They shouted “Let them go!” and one man yelled at the police that “Martin Luther King” was being dishonored and shouted “Letter from Birmingham Jail!”

One woman told officers they were “shameful.”

This is America, this is not the Soviet Union,” one woman said.

Like a bad game of telephone, the crowd spread rumors without anyone having witnessed exactly what happened.

Several people said the group had been arrested for praying. Others said the group was arrested for ripping up pages from the nearly 2,000-page health care bill.

To show support for them, members of the crowd started ripping up their pages from the bill, which rally organizers had handed out for the purpose of reading them to members of Congress.

blank
More @ tpmlogosmall talking points memo

Unruly Crowd Sings God Bless America as Capitol Police Arrest Tea Partiers for Unlawful Entry

Here’s a video recorded by TPM’s Christina Bellantoni, of the Capitol Hill Tea Party crowd singing “God Bless America” in protest of the arrests of several of their compatriots, who were charged with illegally entering or disrupting the office that handles Speaker Nancy’s Pelosi’s duties as a Representative from California:

The Storming Of Capitol Hill

Photos by Christina Bellantoni and Jeff Malet

The 12 Most Offensive Signs From Bachmann’s Tea Party

1 Comment

Filed under Politics, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Washington, DC

President Obama’s Saturday Youtube Address 10/17/09

white house gov logo
WhiteHouse.gov—In his weekly address, President Barack Obama praised the progress that has been made on health insurance reform, and spoke out against those who defend the status quo in order to score political points and protect their profits. With reform the closest it has ever been to becoming law, the insurance companies are rolling out deceptive ads, paying for misleading studies, and flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists. Now, Washington needs to serve the American people, not the special interests.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
October 17, 2009

Over the better part of the past year, a great debate has taken place in Washington and across America, about how to reform our health care system to provide security for people with insurance, coverage for those without insurance, and lower costs for everyone. From the halls of Congress to the homes of ordinary Americans, this debate has helped us to forge consensus and find common ground. That’s a good thing. That’s what America is all about.

Now, as the debate draws to a close, we can point to a broad and growing coalition of doctors and nurses, workers and businesses, hospitals and even drug companies – folks who represent different parties and perspectives, including leading Democrats and many leading Republicans – who recognize the urgency of action. Just this week, the Senate Finance Committee approved a reform proposal that has both Democratic and Republican support. For the first time ever, all five committees in Congress responsible for health reform have passed a version of legislation. As I speak to you today, we are closer to reforming the health care system than we have ever been in history.

But this is not the time to pat ourselves on the back. This is not the time to grow complacent. There are still significant details and disagreements to be worked out in the coming weeks. And there are still those who would try to kill reform at any cost. The history is clear: for decades rising health care costs have unleashed havoc on families, businesses, and the economy. And for decades, whenever we have tried to reform the system, the insurance companies have done everything in their considerable power to stop us.

We know that this inaction has carried a terrible toll. In the past decade, premiums have doubled. Over the past few years, total out of pocket costs for people with insurance rose by a third. And we know that if we do not reform the system, this will only be a preview of coming attractions. A new report for the Business Roundtable – a non-partisan group that represents the CEOs of major companies – found that without significant reform, health care costs for these employers and their employees will well more than double again over the next decade. The cost per person for health insurance will rise by almost $18,000. That’s a huge amount of money. That’s going to mean lower salaries and higher unemployment, lower profits and higher rolls of uninsured. It is no exaggeration to say, that unless we act, these costs will devastate the US economy.

This is the unsustainable path we’re on, and it’s the path the insurers want to keep us on. In fact, the insurance industry is rolling out the big guns and breaking open their massive war chest – to marshal their forces for one last fight to save the status quo. They’re filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads. They’re flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists and campaign contributions. And they’re funding studies designed to mislead the American people.

Of course, like clockwork, we’ve seen folks on cable television who know better, waving these industry-funded studies in the air. We’ve seen industry insiders – and their apologists – citing these studies as proof of claims that just aren’t true. They’ll claim that premiums will go up under reform; but they know that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office found that reforms will lower premiums in a new insurance exchange while offering consumer protections that will limit out-of-pocket costs and prevent discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. They’ll claim that you’ll have to pay more out of pocket; but they know that this is based on a study that willfully ignores whole sections of the bill, including tax credits and cost savings that will greatly benefit middle class families. Even the authors of one of these studies have now admitted publicly that the insurance companies actually asked them to do an incomplete job.

It’s smoke and mirrors. It’s bogus. And it’s all too familiar. Every time we get close to passing reform, the insurance companies produce these phony studies as a prescription and say, “Take one of these, and call us in a decade.” Well, not this time. The fact is, the insurance industry is making this last-ditch effort to stop reform even as costs continue to rise and our health care dollars continue to be poured into their profits, bonuses, and administrative costs that do nothing to make us healthy – that often actually go toward figuring out how to avoid covering people. And they’re earning these profits and bonuses while enjoying a privileged exception from our anti-trust laws, a matter that Congress is rightfully reviewing.

Now, I welcome a good debate. I welcome the chance to defend our proposals and to test our ideas in the fires of this democracy. But what I will not abide are those who would bend the truth – or break it – to score political points and stop our progress as a country. And what we all must oppose are the same old cynical Washington games that have been played for decades even as our problems have grown and our challenges have mounted.

Last November, the American people went to the polls in historic numbers and demanded change. They wanted a change in our policies; but they also sought a change in our politics: a politics that too often has fallen prey to the lobbyists and the special interests; that has fostered division and sustained the status quo. Passing health insurance reform is a great test of this proposition. Yes, it will make a profound and positive difference in the lives of the American people. But it also now represents something more: whether or not we as a nation are capable of tackling our toughest challenges, if we can serve the national interest despite the unrelenting efforts of the special interests; if we can still do big things in America.

I believe we can. I believe we will. And I urge every member of Congress to stand against the power plays and political ploys – and to stand up on behalf the American people who sent us to Washington to do their business.

Leave a comment

Filed under Democrats, Economy, Jobs, Lobbyist, Media and Entertainment, Politics, Pres. Barack Obama, Uncategorized, Video/YouTube, Weekly YouTube Address, Women's Issues

Man with Shotgun Arrested Near Capitol During Obama’s Speech

NBC—A man was arrested Wednesday night for having a shotgun near the U.S. Capitol at the time of President Barack Obama’s speech to Congress, according to Capitol Police.

The incident happened in the 300 block of First Street SE at about 8 p.m. — just as the president had started his health care reform speech on Capitol Hill.

Joshua Bowman, 28, of Falls Church, Va., admitted to having a shotgun and ammunition in the trunk of his car after officers saw a gun case during a search, police said. Police said Bowman tried to enter a street that was barricaded from the public, which led to the search of his vehicle.

Bowman was arrested and charged with an unregistered firearm and ammunition.

He is expected to be arraigned Thursday in D.C. Superior Court.

From The Hill: While the arrest was made by Capitol Police officers, the department was working in conjunction with U.S. Secret Service on Wednesday night as members of the White House and nearly the full body of Congress attended Obama’s speech.

***44D Update: A shotgun, rifle and 500 rounds of ammunition were found in Bowman’s trunk, said Erica Stanley, a spokeswoman for the District of Columbia mayor’s office.

2 Comments

Filed under News, Politics, Terrorism