Health Care Update: Important Information!

Policy Patriots -

What have you accomplished?

Because of your efforts against ObamaCare all the Republican Senators stayed the course. About two dozen of them were potential votes for something like the Reid bill.

Where are we now?

The Senate and House bills have to be reconciled and then go back for a vote in the Senate and House. Right now, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are talking with each other about how to reconcile the differences between the two bills. We are hearing that there may not be a formal conference committee, because of all the procedural hurdles to appoint conferees, including likely Republican opposition and various time-consuming matters pertaining to congressional rules and procedures.

There could be some sort of "informal" conference committee, bypassing congressional rules, where a few Senate and House Democrats literally write a new bill (taking pieces from each of the House and Senate passed bills). Both chambers of Congress would have to approve the new bill. By and far the quickest way to the President's desk is for the House of Representatives to simply pass the Senate-passed bill. That would avoid a conference committee altogether. But there is a lot of push - back from House liberals (including Reps. Rangel, Waxman, Miller, and so forth).

Your cost for the Senate bill - lots of Christmas gifts under their tree!

Here is what the Obama Administration gave away to get the bill passed - this is your money and it was not listed as part of the cost of the Senate bill! And, we thought those Senators were standing up for what they believed in. Here is what they got!

This is adapted from a Dana Milbank column in The Washington Post:

The Louisiana Purchase: $100 million in extra Medicaid money for the Bayou State, requested by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.).

The Cornhusker Kickback: $100 million in extra Medicaid money, this time for Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).

Omaha Prime Cuts: Nebraska's Nelson won a "carve out" provision that would reduce fees for Mutual of Omaha and other Nebraska insurers.

Con: $100 million meant for a medical center in Connecticut for Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)

Gator Aid: Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Flo.) secured a grandfather clause will allow Floridians to preserve their pricey Medicare Advantage program from cuts imposed in the other states.

Handout Montana: Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) secured Medicare coverage for anybody exposed to asbestos - as long as they worked in a mine in Libby, Montana.

Iowa Pork: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) won more Medicare money for low-volume hospitals of the sort commonly found in Iowa.

Dakota Payoff: Sens. Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad, both North Dakota Democrats, will enjoy a provision bringing higher Medicare payments to hospitals and doctors in "frontier counties" of states such as - let's see here - North Dakota!

Hawaii Aloha: Hawaii, with two Democratic Senators, will get richer payments to hospitals that treat many uninsured people.

Wolverine Bonanza: Michigan, home of two other Democrats, will earn higher Medicare payments and some reduced fees for Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

What socialism means in Vermont: Sen. Bernie Sanders is getting larger Medicaid payments for his state (neighboring Massachusetts will get some, too).

Learn more details by visiting this site: Republican Study Committee (RSC)

Next Step!

Write your Senators and House members. They are counting the number of letters, so you are making a difference. So far, they have received over 440,000 letters from our Policy Patriots, and over 9,500 calls. Remember, 2010 is an election year and one third of the Senate and the full House is up for re-election. The message is: you work for me! Go to the Action Army now! Let them know they work for you with your letter. http://www.actionarmy.org

Do not try to call this week!

Many of you have tried to call and the Senate telephones are not being answered. Apparently, they do not want to hear from us, so let's wait until next week when the staffers are back in the offices.

The NCPA maintains a wealth of educational and resource material including better alternatives to government-run health care:

John Goodman's Health Care Plan:
http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/health_plan112007.pdf

Health Care Solutions:
http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/Health_Care_Solutions_072909.pdf

Five Steps to a Better Health Care System:
http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/Five_Steps_to_a_Better_Health_Care_System_Web.pdf

Dr. John Goodman's Blog - Current, up-to date information on the debate:
www.john-goodman-blog.com

Heartland Institute's Health Care Solutions:
http://www.chcchoices.org

Thank you again for your support and for fighting against government-run health care. This is a fight worth fighting and we will win one way or another!

Jeanette Nordstrom
National Center for Policy Analysis
www.ncpa.org


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