Catholic Bishops go on record against Senate version of health care bill

In their effort to clear up any confusion whatsoever about where they stand on the Senate version of ObamaCare, the nation's Catholic Bishops put out a statement this past weekend that they asked to have read aloud and/or posted in their parishes which set the record straight.

They are OPPOSSED to the bill.

From the statement:

As long-time advocates of health care reform, the U.S.
Catholic bishops continue to make the moral case that genuine health
care reform must protect the life, dignity, consciences and health of
all, especially the poor and vulnerable. Health care reform should
provide access to affordable and quality health care for all, and not
advance a pro-abortion agenda in our country. Genuine health care
reform is being blocked by those who insist on reversing widely
supported policies against federal funding of abortion and plans which
include abortion, not by those working simply to preserve these
longstanding protections.

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ObamaCare Update: 3-15-10

The latest from the world of ObamaCare...

House Dems want to pass ObamaCare without actually voting on it

Yes, believe it or not, it's come to this.  House Democratic leaders are working on a strategy which would allow the House to "pass" the Senate version of ObamaCare but avoid the unpleasant prospect of having to vote in favor of it on the record.  The trick would involve them voting instead for a "reconciliation" package (changes to the Senate bill) which, under the new rule adopted for this purpose, would pre-suppose passage of the underlying Senate bill which they just voted to "reconcile".

Just in case you're not keeping track at home, this makes at least three "unusual" changes to the normal legislative process that Democrats have employed to ram this bill through.  The first being not having a conference committee to iron out the differences between the House and Senate bills, (because that could then be filibustered by the no longer filibuster proof Senate); the second being to propose using reconciliation in the Senate as a way to "fix" the bill so the House would vote for it, (again, so as to avoid need more than just 51 senators), and the third now being the House trying to pass a bill they don't actually vote for.

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Will the Easter break be a repeat of August on ObamaCare?

As the clock ticks down on Obama's (latest) deadline for passage of his bid to take over 1/6th of our economy, many Democrats are worrying (and Republicans are hoping) that the vote won't happen before Congress leaves town next weekend for it's Easter break.  The recess will last longer than two weeks, and be the first time (other than Christmas) that they've had to spend an extended period of time back home in their districts since the August recess of last year.

Why does that worry them?  Because it was during last year's August recess that congressional town halls all across the country exploded with anger when constituents began to figure out what was in ObamaCare and started putting their representatives on the spot about it.  And given how razor thin the upcoming House vote on the Senate version of ObamaCare is likely to be, the last thing Obama and the Democrat leadership wants is for any of their wavering members to be "exposed" to the public again.

To make things worse, even while they're in the process of trying to rush a vote before everyone leaves town, no one has seen any legislative language for their proposed "reconciliation amendments", (ie. the "fixes" that are supposed to make wavering Democrats feel better about voting for it). 


If you haven't contacted your members of Congress yet, do so before it's too late.

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Pelosi says they must pass ObamaCare for people to know what's in it

Believe it or not, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in the course of promoting passage of the Senate version of ObamaCare, said that they need to pass the bill in order for people to really know what's in the bill.

Yes, really...

“You’ve heard about the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill, one or the other.  But I don’t know if you have heard that it is legislation for the future, not just about health care for America, but about a healthier America, where preventive care is not something that you have to pay a deductible for or out of pocket.  Prevention, prevention, prevention—it’s about diet, not diabetes. It’s going to be very, very exciting. 

“But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of the controversy."

We're not exactly sure why the bill would need to be "passed" in order for people to "find out what is in it".  Maybe because, once it's law, people can read it...since the US Code of Laws is actually a public document?

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Quote of the day: ObamaCare edition

Leave it to the always insightful Michael Barone to put things in perspective.  Case in point is his column today discussing how the Democrats have put themselves squarely in the middle of the mess they are currently in...and his take on the complaints that the reason why they can't get something done (despite their big majorities) is Republican opposition.

There's a reason it's hard to pass unpopular legislation on party-line votes. It's not the Senate rules. It's called democracy.

Exactly.  And, given the latest polls on the issue - and on the coming elections - you could take that one step further and say "public opinion".

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Public opinion, and other problems with ObamaCare

The biggest (political) problem with ObamaCare is that the public doesn't want it, as poll after poll after poll has demonstrated.  The latest comes from Rasmussen, which shows (ominously for Obama) that the more Congress and the public focuses on the issue, the more opposed they become to it. 

Currently, 53% of Americans are opposed to the pending Senate version of the bill, and only 42% support it.  Keep in mind that these numbers come AFTER Congress spent over a year working on the issue, Obama made dozens of speeches and town hall appearances, and after the highly covered health care "summit" meeting with Congress that Obama sponsored.  55% think Congress should scrap the whole thing and start from scratch.

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ObamaCare Arm-Twisting Going Into High Gear

Now that the Obama administration has decided to double-down on health care and demand passage of the Senate version of ObamaCare...and the White House has set a timeline of two weeks to get it done...it's safe to say that we're about to see some of the most severe arm twisting in political history. 

In fact, if you thought it looked bad the first time around, (when the House version passed by only 3 votes, and the Senate version passed that chamber by the bare minimum), you haven't seen anything yet.

Why is that?  Because the Democrats decided to forget about a conference committee, (the usual process of ironing out differences between House and Senate bills), and push the existing Senate bill through the House.  The problem is that it must be passed WITHOUT any amendments or changes whatsoever.  This is because, if it is changed, the Senate would have to approve it all over again...and this time there are 41 Republicans, (thanks to Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts), that can sustain a filibuster.

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Handy Dandy List of Swing Vote Representatives to Contact on ObamaCare

As we move into what should be the final (and most important) phase of the debate over ObamaCare, it's of course critical that members of Congress hear from as many of their constituents as possible.

And given Obama's speech outlining how he wants Congress to move forward, and Nancy Pelosi's recent statements, it looks like they intent to move forward with using the trick of the Senate budget reconciliation rule to pass this monstrosity.  This puts the near term focus on the House.

Below you'll find a list of the names and contact numbers for what appear to be the "swing votes" in the House on this issue.  If one of them is YOUR Representative it is VITAL that you contact them now and let them know how you feel.  If you would rather send them (or even all members of Congress) a fax, click here.

Contact them today...  Then pass it on!

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Reconciliation: The Tyranny of Reid’s Majority

People who are pushing for Pelosicare, Reidcare or Obamacare will say reconciliation is a good and moral practice. They will site "Great" presidents who have used it. Or will they? Nobody printed on the US dollar has used it. Nobody who face is on a mountain has used it. No these people who are so honored warned against the tyranny of the majority and set in place protections against it - The 2/3rds rule. Reconciliation has been used to remove spending. It has been used to introduce changes to legislation. It has never been used to make massive changes in Government. Our greatest leaders never used it - Why would they? They were leaders not dictators.

2/3rds can be a difficult number. It is required to change the constitution or remove a president. Reconciliation was created to allow the congress to act quicker on small maters of state to prevent a filibuster. A filibuster requires 2/3rds to end it - It can be used at anytime but it is rarely used.

Our leaders have decided that 2/3rds may not be required to change 1/6th of our economy and impose a federal requirement that people must purchase insurance.


Obama to introduce ObamaCare 2.0 Wednesday

It looks like the American public is going to have to endure (and oppose) at least one more version of ObamaCare before we can finally be done with it.

The White House announced that Obama would pitch the newest version of his "plan" tomorrow.  Essentially, it looks like that plan will be "part" of the existing plans, with the addition of a few ideas that they call "Republican" ideas.

Of course this goes on against the backdrop of talk by the Democrat leadership (and the White House) that they will now look to use the budget reconciliation process to pass the bill.  Which means they're going to attempt to get around a Republican filibuster by using a rule that was designed for the budget process...not legislation that can remake 1/6th of the US economy.

But you're not likely to hear Obama (and even few Democrats) use the word "reconciliation"...or any talk about using the special rule to pass his big program.  Instead, they're rephrasing the talking points to use the term "simple majority".  Of course, they're quick to overlook the fact that their proposal doesn't even come close to having a "simple majority" of support among the American people.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has taken the retooling of euphemisms to the next level, saying that "The bill can be bipartisan, even though the votes might not be bipartisan".

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