Friday, September 25, 2009

Big C-Span Day on Health Care - Liveblogging

I don't know if I'll be able to sit through the entirety of the mind numbing experiment that is the Republican opposition to any health care bill, even one that favors what the GOP wants, but today is a big day for the Senate Finance Committee Health Care Bill Markup, or as I like to call it, The "How Many More Pages Can I Use To Wipe My Ass?" Baucus Bill.

Senators Chuck Schumer and Jay Rockefeller are introducing amendments to include a public option in the Baucus bill today. So I'm hoping that whatever induced coma I fall into while watching the debate, I'll be startled awake to some fireworks similar yesterday's little tiff between Baucus and Senator John "I'll Crap My Cage If You Don't Let Me Repeat Things Ad Nauseum As A Delay Tactic" Kyl.

Although I'm not holding my breath, when some of these morons speak, I sometimes hope to see something like this.

The Caning of Senator Charles Sumner

You can stream the proceedings here.

UPDATE: Since I've neglected my blog over the last couple of days, and since this session is only supposed to last until 12:30pm, I thought I'd do a little live blogging.


10am - Senator Ensign explaining his "Transparency in Czars" amendment. What that has to do with health care, I don't know. Awaiting for the bitchslap forthwith.

10:04am - Baucus: "The problem I have is that the job title of 'Czar' does not exist." BOOM!

Ensign: "This is about a balance of power. These Czars have broad powers." No, they don't, Senator. They are advisors, just like Karl Rove was an advisor. He had no actual "power" to do anything. Maybe Ensign's just wondering if he can be Extramarital Affairs Czar?

10:11am - Rockefeller: "If you want to create that 'Czar' that's in your mind, and put them through a Senate confirmation process, then you will in effect give them power. Currently, they are facilitators available to all of us. I don't think you want to do that."

10:16am - Baucus: Paraphrasing "Currently, there are holds on every health care nominee. The administration complains that they can't get work done with all the holds on these confirmations. How are they going to get anything done if we have to confirm everyone?"

10:22am - Roll call vote on Transparency in Czars Amendment: 13 - 11 against. Down the line party vote. ...Surprise.

10:24am - John Kerry speaking against higher health care premiums on customers based on age by a 4 to 1 margin. Yep, if you are older and therefore maybe need more medical attention, you get to pay four times as much than a healthy young person. Kerry's trying to get it down to no more than double the premiums and states true health reform wouldn't discriminate based on age.

10:37am - "The Young Immortals" and "The Young Invincibles" are how they describe young Americans to whom they'd like to make health care affordable. I now have a superhero group in my head. Would they be required to wear costumes as proof of coverage?

10:49am - Now they are comparing what insurance companies would charge if older customers weren't charged more than double than younger people. Isn't this a moot point if a public option were in place?

10:51am - John Kyl is appalled at the amount of regulation we are shoving down the poor insurance companies' throats when it comes to the prices they are dictating. That's the point, moron! Where's that cane?

10:58am - Kyl is still up in arms about a possible doubling of premiums for those who are mandated to get health care. Guess he doesn't realize that 2 to 1 is better than the current 8 to 1 or in some cases 28 to 1 ratio.

11am - John Kerry wants to meld this into the HELP bill later on and therefore withdraws the amendment.

11:03am - Baucus: "I'm committed to get a CBO score after all amendments have been adopted." I wonder if they'll get done before they have to go on the campaign trail?

11:06am - Baucus is afraid that John Cornyn's amendment to require every amendment to have a CBO score during the process will cause incredible delay. Is Cornyn on crack? He's saying since we have until 2013 before this gets in place anyway, why not use that time? Jebus, John! Let the process work itself out and then get a final score at the end. If we have to wait 2 or 3 days per amendment on 564 amendments for the CBO to score, let alone the redundacy that I'm sure will occur on multiple amendments, it would take about 4½ years without a day off. GET THE CANE!

11:17am - DINO Kent Conrad backs up Baucus as he calls Cornyn's amendment ridiculous.

11:20am - Roll Call vote on Cornyn Amendment C-23: 12-11 against. DINO Blanche Lincoln voted aye.

11:24am - At this point, I don't know how they'll get to the public option amendments. Did they get pushed off until Tuesday? I do need to take a break to walk the dog. That's not a euphemism. Be back later.

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