Today at 4:30PM eastern a blogger conference call was held by Representatives John Shadegg (R, AZ) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R, WA). The subject we spoke about was that of House Republican’s ideas and problems on healthcare reform issues in both the Senate and the House. The following are my notes of the call, any direct quotes are in quote marks but the rest is my summation of what was said.
The call opened with a welcome from Cathy McMorris Rodgers who introduced herself and Rep. Shadegg. Rodgers talked of the situation in the House and reminded us that 44 House Democrats said they’d vote no on the bill if it has public option and 57 said they’ll vote no if it doesn’t have the public option so the Democrats might not have the votes to pass H.B. 3200.
Shadegg reminded us that the CBO score on the Senate bill was made on 10 years of taxes being taken by the federal government but with only 7 years of coverage afforded, so it’s no wonder the bill sounds like it is paid for. Shadegg also warned of the political monkeying that is going on with the Baucus bill in the Senate. He mentioned that Harry Reid is down in the polls back home so he tried to slip through a sleight of hand way for four favored states to get special Medicaid provisions (including Nev., Oregon, Mich.) forcing the other 46 states to pick up the tab. This was Reid’s attempt to find success in his upcoming elections in Nevada.
Shadegg told us of a bunch of special deals that powerful Senators were able to get for their states. Shadegg called the House bill “Soviet style healthcare” and said that a powerful Senator might help get more for their own state voters than anyone else gets because its all about politics and not fair healthcare. The Reid example was one proof and another was New York Senator Schumer’s plan to get rid of the tax on the gold-plated healthcare plans in his state deferring them for his constituents when other states will not get that special deal. For certain Democrats in states where Democrats are up for election, Shadegg said, there are all sorts of special deals being made behind the scenes.
Other examples: Unions got a $5 billion deal to help them get special healthcare provisions. $1 billion goes to R & D work for Pharmaceuticals. Udall of Colorado also says that they are getting the same break that the people of Utah got.
Shadegg said that this bad healthcare bill will variously hit you depending on if you are “lucky enough to represented in Congress by the party of the president, or the party in control of Congress” or another powerful politician. It’s not about healthcare, it’s about politics.
Shadegg also warned that if they get this healthcare bill a flood of left-wing legislation (cap and trade, card check) will flood the country.
“Healthcare will cost more, not less,” Shadegg said, “only you can stop this.”
The call moved next into the questions segment of the call.
Clyde of PatriotRoom.com was first up: “Will my IRS tax information be used to determine what sort of healthcare I get?”
Shadegg: “There is language that says real-time access to personal information will be available to the government.” It’s possible that it will. Shadegg said that we should read the bill and decide for ourselves.
A fellow from RedCounty.com (I didn’t catch his name): Harry Reid’s amending the healthcare bill to another bill?
Rodgers: There is a rumor, but this place would grind to a halt with outrage by Republicans. “We could make the majority’s life difficult” if they try this in the House.
Shadegg: The technical question is if this is a tax bill or not. If it is the Senate can slip in the healthcare as an amendment and send it back to the House. But Pelosi has shut down “in ways that are shocking” our ability to affect the debate. They might not even allow a motion to recommit by Republicans because supposedly, if it’s a tax bill, there is never a recommit motion allowed.
This question was from another whose name I didn’t catch: Is there any way to stop Republican deserters in the House like Senator Snowe?
Rodgers: I don’t know of any Republicans in the House that are supporting this bill. We’ve stood unified so far. “You can be proud in the unified Republican opposition.”
Andrew Dogde of andrewiandodge.com: Are any House members going to fall into the trap of voting yes on healthcare to get noticed by Obama and the press as an ego stroking device? Again, any way to prevent deserters?
Rodgers: Some of the House Repubs that voted for the Stimulus went back home and got hammered and came back to warn Senate Repubs to be wary. They regretted their votes, though they won’t likely say so publicly. This should keep them from voting for this if the public keeps the pressure up.
Shadegg: There isn’t much that the leadership can do to punish any Republicans that vote their conscience. “If they understand it is a very dangerous vote, and if they understand that the public” is against it they will not do it. “This bill will destroy our healthcare system” in America. Many provisions will be written by a controlling government board that hasn’t even been created yet. “The US Senate looks at the House like the Canary in the mine, any bill that dies in the House won’t be taken up in the Senate…. Kill a bill in the House first” and it won’t reach the Senate. This is what we need to do and why we are having this call.
Gary Gross: I have several points: 1- This is a bill full of taxes, everyone will get hit, 2- no way healthcare spending will decrease, 3- unfunded Medicaid mandates will cause the states to raise taxes.
Both agreed on these points and Rodgers mentioned all the cuts made to Medicare.
Shadegg: “To the extent that this will result in a long-term reduction, the taxes go up and up and up. Those who are looking for a good summary on the taxes and costs of the Baucus bill see Sally Pipes piece in the New York Post for Oct.9.” “For the average American this isn’t about money it’s about their family’s healthcare.” They are going to lose much of what they have, doctors and plans, once this gets past.
And at that the call was closed.
So, to sum it all up, Shadegg is 100% right. If we don’t keep the pressure on, this socialist nightmare will make an even worse mess of our economy and even worse than that it will destroy the healthcare of most Americans. If you like you current plans, if you like your doctors and hospital service, YOU WILL LOSE IT if Obamacare is passed.