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Republicans are making repeal of the Health Care Bill their Number 1 Priority in the House…

“They got everything else in the entire bureaucracy that they need to control our healthcare system … with the signing of this bill. … That’s why repealing this bill has to be our No. 1 priority.”

– Republican Minority Leader John Boehner on a live radio show announcing his intention.

Repubs are pulling this out on the week that the first b$250.00 Medicare supplement checks are going out to seniors. Tim Kaine, head of the Democratic National Committee is daring the Repubs to make this destructive repeal move the focus of their fall campaign to win back Congress and has challenged Boehner and Company to reveal the things they’d take away from Americans and give back to Insurance Companies.

Today the DNC will release this television ad:

Back in March, he President made it clear that Democrats wanted Repubs to use health care repeal in their campaign:

“Now that we passed it, they’re already promising to repeal it. They’re actually going to run on a platform of repeal this November. And my attitude is, ‘Go for it.'”

“If they wanna have that fight, we can have it,” he went on. “Because I don’t believe the American people are gonna put the insurance industry back in the driver’s seat. We’ve already been there, we’re not going back. This country’s moving forward.”

Looks like Boehner is walking right into it. One would hope.

(thanks to TPM for staying on top of all this.)

A Quote for the Day – All the stalls in getting the Health Care Bill through reflects on Republicans…

…and as we look forward to upcoming issues and elections:

“The ace we have in our pocket is the Republican party. The Republicans have concluded that their success lies in our failure. The American people are smart. They smell a rat. They know there was nothing about trying to get a better bill.”

– VP Joe Biden being interviewed on Fox.

According to The National Review…

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EXCLUSIVE: Dems ‘Almost Certain’ to Bypass Conference

Now that both the House and Senate have passed health care reform bills, all Democrats have to do is work out a compromise between the two versions. And it appears they’re not about to let the Republicans gum up the works again.

According to a pair of senior Capitol Hill staffers, one from each chamber, House and Senate Democrats are “almost certain” to negotiate informally rather than convene a formal conference committee. Doing so would allow Democrats to avoid a series of procedural steps–not least among them, a series of special motions in the Senate, each requiring a vote with full debate–that Republicans could use to stall deliberations, just as they did in November and December.

One reason Democrats expect Republicans to keep trying procedural delays is that the Republicans have signaled their intent to do so.

“I think the Republicans have made our decision for us,” the Senate staffer says. “It’s time for a little ping-pong.”

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In ping-ponging, the chambers send legislation back and forth to one another until they finally have an agreed-upon version of the bill. But even ping-ponging can take different forms and some people use the term generically to refer to any informal negotiations.

Senate Clears Final Hurdle to Vote on Health Care Bill

This clip from the NY Times:
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The Senate trudged Wednesday toward passage of sweeping health legislation after disposing of Republican claims that it would be unconstitutional to require Americans to have health insurance, as the bill does.
The Senate was poised to take a final vote on the legislation, President Obama’s top priority, on Thursday morning.
Republicans could not crack the 60-member Democratic caucus, which hung together Wednesday to advance the legislation in the face of solid Republican opposition.

The bill cleared a last procedural hurdle on Wednesday when the Senate voted 60 to 39 to wind up debate on the measure, which would extend coverage to more than 30 million uninsured Americans. Sixty was the precise number needed to limit debate.

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a Republican effort to require disclosure of all items inserted in the bill for the benefit of specific states and entities.
The Senate also rejected a constitutional point of order against the bill by Senator John Ensign.
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Tomorrow’s vote is scheduled for 7:00 AM… Be There or Be Square!

From Talking Points Memo: Reid Assures Snowe That Public Option, Medicare Buy-In Are Dead

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It wasn’t much in doubt, but Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) confirmed to reporters tonight that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid assured her all of the contentious aspects of the public option compromise–particularly the Medicare buy-in provision–have been dropped.

The two met this afternoon so that Reid could gauge the likelihood that she’ll ultimately vote with the Democrats, at least to push the bill past a filibuster.

He assured you that the Medicare buy-in and the public option are out, I asked?

“Correct,” she said.
Snowe insists, as she did earlier today, that there may not be enough time between now and the end of this week for her to understand the bill well enough to support it, as it enters the Senate holds a series of supermajority votes needed to finish the bill by Christmas.
With three unknowns–Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Roland Burris (D-IL), and Russel Feingold (D-WI)–on the left, and a wavering Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) on the right, Reid still has a lot of ground to cover.
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So… does this mean Reid is counting on Snowe? Will this become (ho ho ho) “bi-partisan” again?

We will know soon enough.

Al Franken Takes On Thune and the Republicans on Health Care Bill…

This is the Al Franken that I am glad to see in the Senate:

And I know that Al HAS read the Bill!

I’m not sure Reid has it covered with Lieberman…

…but here’s part of an article from The Hill where Reid says Holy Joe won’t block final vote on Health Care Bill.

Do you believe it? Naah, me either.

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Reid reassures left Lieberman on board

Sen. Joe Lieberman has reached a private understanding with Majority
Leader Harry Reid that he will not block a final vote on healthcare
reform, according to two sources briefed on the matter.

The unpredictable Democrat-turned-Independent last week publicly stated he would join Republicans in filibustering the Democratic legislation after Reid (D-Nev.) announced he had included a government-run health insurance plan in the bill.

But sources said Reid’s staff is telling liberal interest groups that Lieberman (Conn.) has assured Reid he will vote with Democrats in the necessary procedural vote to end debate, perhaps with intentions to change the bill.

“Lieberman keeps assuring Reid that he’s OK,” said one source. “But he’s one of those characters — you never know with Joe.

When reporters later asked Reid whether he could trust Lieberman in the 111th Congress, Reid said: “The answer is yes, I trust Sen. Joe Lieberman.”
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Of course, I hope I’m wrong.

A note I received from…

…after I signed their petition. I pass it on to you. Ted Kennedy should be remembered by a major, public-option Health Care Bill. I pass this on to my readers:

I just signed this petition to honor Ted Kennedy, which will be delivered to senators on Monday:

“Ted Kennedy was a courageous champion for health care reform his entire life. In his honor, name the reform bill that passed Kennedy’s health committee ‘The Kennedy Bill’ — then pass it, and nothing less, through the Senate.”

Kennedy’s bill includes a public health insurance option, and it would be an honor to Kennedy’s memory if it passed the Senate. Will you sign the petition? You can sign here.