Senate Democrats won a crucial test vote on President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, putting them on track for passage before Christmas of the historic legislation to remake the nation’s medical system and cover 30 million uninsured.

All 58 Democrats and the Senate’s two independents held together early Monday against unanimous Republican opposition, providing the exact 60-40 margin needed to shut down a threatened GOP filibuster.

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  1. #1 The Science Pundit
    December 21, 2009

    …against unanimous Republican opposition, providing the exact 60-40 margin needed to shut down a threatened GOP filibuster.

    I think the first minute of this clip sums up the Republican position quite well.

  2. #2 Lou FCD
    December 21, 2009

    eh, at this point the bill’s been neutered, from what I’ve been able to follow. (The semester just ended, so forgive me if it’s been repaired and I’ve not heard.)

    I’m not even sure if I’d bother to support the bill anymore, given that.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    December 21, 2009

    Lou: I think I would support the bill with the assumption that the five or six really important things that are not in there can be added later with reconciliation (and who knows, may be conference committee). Also, the bill is going to interface with states. States like Minnesota already have a public option (sort of). After a year or two of comparisons and tweakings, much of what was originally proposed will be law.

    But, if the bill is crashed now, the way the psychology of this thing works, health care insurance reform will be put aside for another 15 years. Not that that is logical, but just as Satan’s greatest evil is to convince us he does not exist, the Insurance Industry’s greatest evil is to convince us that we can only try to reform it every 15 years.

  4. #4 Lou FCD
    December 21, 2009

    Thanks, Greg. I’m trying to catch up on the world now, and that at least makes me feel a little better.

  5. #5 NewEnglandBob
    December 21, 2009

    I was on the fence but now support the current bill.

    I wonder why the senators from Maine, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, are sticking with the dark, evil side.

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    December 21, 2009

    Good. As long as you understand that this would be a totally false sense of feeling better.

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    December 21, 2009

    NEB: Somehow, the Pine Pulp industry benefits from the satus quo inre health care insurance.

  8. #8 aratina cage
    December 21, 2009

    I don’t think we should pass this bill before passing the Equal Rights Amendment, or maybe someone has removed the anti-abortion restrictions the “reform” imposes?

  9. #9 Lou FCD
    December 21, 2009

    Got it, completely.

  10. #10 The Science Pundit
    December 21, 2009

    I don’t know if you’ve seen Nate Silver’s latest column, but check out the first paragraph.

    I’m sorry, but debating the kill-billers on the policy merits of their position has become a bit like debating the global warming denialists. The denalists operate by picking and choosing which evidence they cite and what arguments they respond to. Sometimes, they raise fairly good points or expose legitimately sloppy work on behalf of “consensus” scientists. Sometimes, they are being contrarian for contrarianism’s sake. And sometimes, they’re just throwing a bunch of sh*t at the wall and seeing what sticks, hoping that the underlying truth or lack thereof is lost in the fog of debate.

    Ouch!!!

  11. #11 Greg Laden
    December 21, 2009

    OK, imma gonna let Nate finish, but first I gotta say that on that election thing? I predictged the outcome by state with pefect accuracy and Nate and his crew did not.

  12. #12 jolly
    December 21, 2009

    Are they going to force me to buy insurance from those A-hole thieves that run insurance companies? I can barely live now and I live simply. Running a micro business (a small business seems to be one larger than 100 employees), it is hard enough to pay 15% SS tax, that I’ll probably never see. This is going to be a HUGE tax on me with nothing to gain as far as I can see. Obama turns out to be a lying scumbag like the rest of them -he never wanted the public option, he gave away the store before he even began. Joe Lieberman and Bob Nelson are Republicans -no worse insult. I’ve tried buying health insurance about 3 times over the years and each time it tripled within a few months. Scumbags!

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    December 21, 2009

    Jolly, don’t worry, everything will be fine after the bill is passed and implemented. Especially for small businesses.

  14. #14 aratina cage
    December 21, 2009

    Everything won’t be fine, Greg. Women’s reproductive rights will take a blow (link 1, link 2) under this reform and LGBT families will not be recognized at all. And it lacks the public option a la Lieberman. It doesn’t go far enough. At least Franken continues to come through for us: http://thinkprogress.org/2009/12/21/obama-franken/

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    December 21, 2009

    aratina: I was being cyincal about it all being all right.

    But I’m not being totally cynical about voting for it being better than voting against it, but I’m very very close to the margin on that one.

    Vote for it and then increase rather than decreas the effort to make the next set of changes. SOme of which, by the way, could come through court decisions.

  16. #16 jolly
    December 21, 2009

    That’s Ben Nelson. I grew up in Northern MN and all male Nelsons were Bob but that was long ago. Why do you think things will be fine after they pass this bill? They aren’t going to force me to pay taxes to a giant corporation?

  17. #17 The Science Pundit
    December 21, 2009

    Why do you think things will be fine after they pass this bill?

    @jolly

    When did Greg say that? I don’t remember it. In fact, I can’t really think of too many pass-the-bill-ers (which I consider myself among, although I’m more “on that side of the fence”) who think that that’s the case. Our (at least my) argument is that if you don’t pass the bill, it will be unmitigated disaster for Obama, the Democrats, and the chance of passing any kind of health reform for at least a decade (when thousands of people will die due to our current system).

  18. #18 aratina cage
    December 22, 2009

    aratina: I was being cyincal about it all being all right.

    D’OH! One of these days I won’t misread you, I swear.

    But I’m not being totally cynical about voting for it being better than voting against it, but I’m very very close to the margin on that one.

    Vote for it and then increase rather than decreas the effort to make the next set of changes. SOme of which, by the way, could come through court decisions.

    Ya. I know what you mean. I’ve been disappointed by the Democrats is all because I was so psyched up after the election (“You gotta give ‘em hope”). The Democrats have failed to live up to what I would think are reasonable expectations by sidestepping the Left and the people.

  19. #19 davem
    December 22, 2009

    It’s interesting to read about the opposition to Britain’s NHS back in 1948 -it sounds familiar to your problems today. Replace Republican with ‘Conservative/Tory’, and you get the picture.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/the-birth-of-the-nhs-856091.html