Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 8, 2009

EXPECT TO HEAR ABOUT THE GOP PLAN AGAIN.... Back in April, House Republicans unveiled a alternative budget proposal, principally authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). It was comically awful, and when it came time to vote, 38 House Republicans -- about a fifth of the GOP caucus -- sided with Democrats is rejecting it. There was no great mystery -- these 38 Republicans considered their own party's budget plan so extreme, they didn't want to have to defend it when running for re-election.

It was curious, then, to see Republicans back their party's health care plan in such large numbers.

The House defeated a GOP alternative healthcare plan tonight, 258-176.

Rep. Tim Johnson (R-Ill.) was the only Republican to vote against the GOP bill. A united Democratic caucus voted no. (One Democrat did not vote.)

Here's the roll call on the vote on the GOP plan. There are 177 House Republicans, and 176 of them voted for it.

For all the talk about vulnerable Democrats having to defend their support for reform, let's not overlook the fact that GOP incumbents are likely to hear more about their vote supporting their version of reform again. After all, the Republican plan was pretty ridiculous -- the GOP alternative did nothing for the uninsured, nothing for those with pre-existing conditions, and nothing for those worried about losing coverage when it's needed most. It was an entirely partisan plan, written in secret, which ignored the majority's ideas altogether. The GOP proposal sought to create a system that "works better for people who don't need health care services, and much worse for people who actually are sick or who become sick in the future. It's basically a health un-insurance policy."

And as we learned yesterday, the plan included provisions that "mirror the suggestions put forth by the lobbying entity of the private insurance industry way back in December 2008."

Expect this vote to come up quite a bit next year.

Steve Benen 9:15 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (15)

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Really Steve, the meme in the wingnut community is Obamacare/Socialism bad, Boehnercare/Liberty good, no matter how totally worthless their bill was.

Can you swing independents on this? Can you get the Obama voters out?

Posted by: Lance on November 8, 2009 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

If the Repubco bill was literally to the letter, "Take two aspirin and call your doctor in the morning in all instances", it still would have gotten 176 votes.

Just look at the way they were mindlessly objecting, stalling and attempting to thwart the process. A solid Dem win on this topic is simply unacceptable. For all of their idiotic behavior, they are fully aware of what they are doing and it has everything to do with trying to destroy the creation of productive legislation for the people.

Posted by: burro on November 8, 2009 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK
Can you swing independents on this? Can you get the Obama voters out?

Ask Creigh Deeds.

Merely being a (barely) not-Republican will not motivate a single voter to turn out on Election Day. The Democratic Party STILL doesn't get this and thus is once again in the process of committing suicide. This time, I think I'm just going to sit back and say "good riddance".

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on November 8, 2009 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

If the Republican bill was so bad, then why did the dems' favorite RINO, Representative Cao, vote for the bill?

Posted by: Al on November 8, 2009 at 9:50 AM | PERMALINK

The Republicans are principally interested in the freedom of large corporations and the very wealthy, and to hell with the rest of us. Small business, my ass. If we did universal care right (which we won't, but we can hope that the public option grows in just the way that the R's fear) there would be no paperwork for small business, all their employees would have health insurance, and it just would not be an issue. Last two small companies I worked for, health insurance was an issue, and one of them, we had a guy leave the company because of health insurance issues.

Posted by: dr2chase on November 8, 2009 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

I think the bill is godawful. The Senate version will be worse.

I don't know what it's gonna take for this country to wake up to the thorough corruption of all the branches of government, especially the legislative. Congress is overrun with vermin- the republicans are the rats and the democrats are the mice.

Posted by: becca on November 8, 2009 at 10:15 AM | PERMALINK

Rome spent hundreds of years lurching from one hideous pit of corruption and political catastrophe to the next. Bush would have actually been a more successful leader than a good many Roman emperors (this is in no way a compliment to Bush), and the current crop of Republiscum are largely less incompetent and venal than any standard crop of Roman senators, albeit not for want of trying. This is likely to be the standard human condition. However, we should be able to do much better if we apply ourselves a bit.

Posted by: N.Wells on November 8, 2009 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Yes N.Wells the comparisons are an indication that we seem to be following the same venal path as the R0omans.

Posted by: Gandalf on November 8, 2009 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

Due to chronic short-term memory, my fear is that next year the public will have moved on from healthcare reform, but still be pissed about high unemployment.

Posted by: Alex Kirby on November 8, 2009 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Tim Johnson is my rep (unfortunately), and I have no idea what he is doing. His policy statements blast the Dem plan, but he votes against the Repub plan too? I guess he thinks no plan at all is best. He was the only republican to vote against warrantless wiretapping, but other than that he's a standard repub. (Maybe he's still pissed at the repub leadership about FutureGen.) It's not like he has to treat liberals well to get reelected- his district is safely conservative and he won 60% to 40% in his last two campaigns. He likes to talk like a moderate but he never votes that way, other than on wiretapping.

Posted by: Tim H on November 8, 2009 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Tim I would suggest that voting yes on wire tapping is a liberal position.

Posted by: EC Sedgwick on November 8, 2009 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

The message for Dems should be: the GOP does not want HCR, period. Their bill actually strengthens the status quo. So the choice is whether you are for or against HCR.

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