By RF Schatten
"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it" ~~~ WC Fields
The Republican Party appears to be quitting their everlasting battle with the Affordable Care Act! They're beginning to get embarrassed with Ted Cruz' exploits and all their own foolishness...and, with their constant Southward plunge in the Polls since gaining Majority in November, 2014.
392-37 That's bipartisan to me!! The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015. $214 Billion over 10 years, with $73 Billion of that cost offset, with spending cuts or new revenue; according to the Congressional Budget Office. Of the 37 No Votes, 33 were GOP and 4 Democrats. And, before we all hear from all those Conservative wannabee economic experts on the Net, remind them that 392 US Representatives of which the good size majority are Republicans...are the ones responsible for Voting "Yes" and passing the Bill! The very same Republicans they support. Are they all wrong? Did Obama put a gun to their heads and force them to do it? just don't be surprised to hear someone in the GOP, blame Obama!!
The facts are; everyone gets a little piece of the pie, what they all want...but not everything for everybody. That's Bi-partisanship! A $214 Billion 'fix' to the massive funding gap in Medicare and the reauthorization for extending the Children's Health Insurance Program for two more years! as well as other Community Health Services. It also sets long-term spending cuts. Everyone's happy!! so what's the problem going to be now?? This 'is' a dysfunctional Congress.
So what can ruin this whole show?
The Bill arrives in the Senate at a time when another Legislative agenda is booked for debate before recess. To pass this Bill before the March 31st deadline, the Senate will have to have a Unanimous Agreement to pass the bill at the end of the night, before taking off for another vacation... or wait till their mid-April return to formally debate it and then pass it. No problem, are the votes there to pass it when they return? Yes!!
But when you're dealing with dysfunction, you don't have to expect the unexpected. There 'are' assholes around, ready to screw the entire process...and they're not all Republicans. Asshole power exists in the Democratic Party and is just as strong as in the GOP, they're just not as visible. Most are not satisfied with what they're getting. Republican Jeff Sessions is not satisfied with the deal, and Ted Cruz, who just hates anything that involves Healthcare, as long as it's not his own Health, and craves for late night limelight of all those last minute 'before the deadline decisions, are both going to be there...just because! Expect Cruz to upstage everyone. Harry Reid and a few other Dems, also objects to parts of the Bill. The need to agree to pass it before leaving for their 2 weeks hiatus, primarily concerns the avoidance of cuts on Physician payments, which take effect after March 31st!
The other Bi-partisan effort going on right now, is the rest of both Parties' outrage for not having this Bill passed before collecting more frequent flyer miles. For the first time in many many moons, we have seen a spirit of bi-partisan effort with such good comradery! everyone's happy on both sides for doing what's right, after so many years of obstruction and non-cooperation. Things do seem to be working in Washington, whether it's the realism of Obamacare hitting the voters or whether it was just the right time, using the vote as a goodwill gesture of penance to the American public for their foreign policy debacle and embarrassing America!
It all comes down to 2 Party Leaders lost in their own little world. Whether Harry Reed stops his foolishness of preventing a unanimous vote because some technicality he doesn't like, when it's the best deal on the table for every party concerned and approved by both Barack Obama, the Democratic House Leadership, and the Republican House Leadership. Whether Reed can control and keep his Senators in line?...and whether Mitch McConnell even calls for the vote? or can he control Jeff Sessions? But most of all, can he harness in the Distinguished Wacko Bird from Texas on the subject of Medical Care during another long night deadline decision?
House Stuns Itself By Passing Bipartisan $214 Billion Medicare Package