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Ray LaHood: The President's New Lackey

It's become apparent today that counting votes on ObamaCare has devolved into an exercise of herding cats. The Hill is heroically trying to compile a whip count:

House Democratic leaders don't have the votes to pass healthcare reform. At least not yet.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has expressed confidence that when push comes to shove, healthcare reform will pass Congress. But there will be plenty of pushing in the days ahead.

Pelosi is clearly down in the vote count. Thirty-four House Democrats are either firm no votes or leaning no, according to The Hill's whip list. Dozens more are undecided.

You can find the whip count here.

Today President Obama tried pulling out all of the stops by parading former Republican Congressman Ray LaHood (now President Obama's Secretary of Transportation) to flack for ObamaCare but, as JammieWearingFool wisely notes, LaHood would be on his way out of Congress if he supported ObamaCare as an incumbent Republican congressman. Irony, though, is not one of those things these Democrats readily grasp.

Why is it that all the attempts by this administration at the mere pretense of bipartisanship fall flat on their face? Could it be that there is no bipartisanship at work here but instead a preponderance of slight of hand combined with heaps of chutzpah to move ObamaCare through the House by means of dishonest devices (such as the Slaughter "deeming" debacle which BTW have a longer history of use in the Duma than the House of Representatives)?

Twenty three hundred people turned out in bad weather to protest ObamaCare legislative tactics in St. Louis today because of the subterfuge anticipated by Speaker Pelosi this week. I'm reminded of the hundreds of national news reporters camped out on the outskirts of Crawford, Texas to cover the antics of a clown named Cindy Sheehan who was exploiting the death of her son (a fallen warrior in the Iraq War) for brazen political gain and attention. Where were these same inquisitive reporters today when protestors in St. Louis stood against a subversion of the rules of our Congress? The answer is they were in the cloak rooms of House power brokers obsequiously asking "How can we help?" The head waiter seating them at their tables is a fellow familiar with the scene and easily spotted: just look for the name "LaHood" embroidered on his House waiter's coat. He's the guy humming "be my guest, be my guest..." while shoe shine boys wearing GM uniforms worked alongside Chrysler executives that took drink orders. This is what Congress has become in the new world of Pelosi Rules and the Obama Machine.

Correction: I mistakenly referenced the St. Louis rally of a few days ago when I should have linked the Minnesota rally today. Note to self: Don't post during college basketball tournament overtime.


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Comments (31)

LaHood is another RINO from... (Below threshold)
jim m:

LaHood is another RINO from Illinois. He is a big government political hack. He scored as low as most any democrat on ratings from fiscal conservative groups. He voted with the dems more often than he did with the GOP as a congressman.

To suggest that he is a mainstream republican or that he is conservative is a joke. Only a charlatan like Obama would try to pass LaHood off in such a manner.

Meanwhile, 2300 show up to protest Obama care in St Louis while Obama's astroturfed Coffee Party in St Louis managed 30.

Good stuff. I especially li... (Below threshold)
klrtz1:

Good stuff. I especially liked

Where were these same inquisitive reporters today when the very rules of Congress are being subverted? The answer is they were in the cloak rooms of House power brokers obsequiously asking "How can we help?"
I am reminded we wouldn't have a screw-up like Barack Obama for President if the news media in America had told the truth about him.
Where were these s... (Below threshold)
Stan:
Where were these same inquisitive reporters today when the very rules of Congress are being subverted? The answer is they were in the cloak rooms of House power brokers obsequiously asking "How can we help?"

They were in the cloak rooms getting their talking points for the upcoming week. We all know that the MSM is spoon fed every Monday morning the weekly talking points. I suppose they will be saying how the Queen Bee has the votes to pass the most hideous piece of legislation that has ever been in the halls of Congress.

It remains to be seen how m... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

It remains to be seen how much "Pelosi push" the public will stand for in the coming week. Nancy has a 'safe' district populated by guilt-ridden limo liberals in San Francisco. Not so the rest of the Democratic Caucus. How many will obligingly commit political suicide so that Nancy can remain on her throne?

So if the House "deems" the... (Below threshold)
Philip:

So if the House "deems" the Senate bill to "be passed" we all know that it is trickery - they never voted on the bill before them and so the President's signature means nothing. The problem of course is no one will do anything about it and a lawsuit, though certain, will take years.

But what if a Republican lead house in 2011 simply brings the Senate bill up for a vote? After all, it was never voted on. And then they proceed to vote it down. The President's signature is in error.

FOAD to each and every Demo... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

FOAD to each and every DemonRat that particpates in this RAPE of our Constitution!

Millions of us have VERY long memories.

This bill is not the goal. ... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

This bill is not the goal. It is only the beginning. It is the base upon which a wholesale takeover of health care will be built. Pay no attention to words to the contrary. The Obama administration is easily the most dishonest in the history of this country. If the takeover of health care is successful, then all US industries become fair game. We no longer live in a democracy. It is now tyranny.

Get ready for hyper inflati... (Below threshold)
TexBob:

Get ready for hyper inflation. Just watch Greece. I suggest ya'll get stocked up with canned goods, rice, beans, & ammo.

A lot can happen in just over 2 years left with this evil doer.

FUBO
For us by Obama....or something else...

And btw...this guy is WHO/W... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

And btw...this guy is WHO/WHAT?

Piglosi & Co. are about to drive a tractor-trailer through what's left of the Constitution...and THIS moron is waving the O'Nation flag???

If you think it's bad for D... (Below threshold)
Get Real:

If you think it's bad for Dems then just sit back and let it pass. We'll call your bluff.

This is a good bill and it won't be the issue the GOP wants it to be when it takes effect.

Look, the Democratic Party ... (Below threshold)
klrtz1:

Look, the Democratic Party has assigned a new liberal troll to Wizbang. Or maybe not a new troll but at least a new troll name.

Change we got. Now where's the hope?

I look forward to defending... (Below threshold)
Get Real:

I look forward to defending this bill.

Do you look forward to defending lies about "death panels" for seniors?

Do you look forward to repealing the right of parents to purchase insurance for their children with pre-existing conditions?

Do you look forward to stripping small businesses of their tax credits to purchase insurance for their employees?

I know which side I want to be on.

Do you look forwar... (Below threshold)
jim m:
Do you look forward to defending lies about "death panels" for seniors?

While there won't be anything called "Death Panels", there will be some decisions as to allocation of financial resources to pay for treatment. In common parlance that is called rationing. In Canada hey manage it by extended waiting periods before getting treatment. You can wait 6 months for and MRI. You can wait that long before getting chemotherapy. The wait itself is the difference between life and death for many. People actually die waiting for treatment. Canadian citizens have sued he government for abridging their constitutional rights to access to health care and WON. The "death panels" are for everyone.

Do you look forward to repealing the right of parents to purchase insurance for their children with pre-existing conditions?

Actually, I have this issue today. I get around it by doing something called holding a job. Perhaps if you got yourself a job you could have insurance rather than depending upon the government to take my money to pay to give it to you for free.

Do you look forward to stripping small businesses of their tax credits to purchase insurance for their employees?

Obama's tax credits for business do not compensate the employer for what it costs to hire them. Additionally, The current plan under consideration will make it so expensive for employers to carry private insurance for their employees that hey will have to choose between putting them on the government plan or going out of business.

I know which side I want to be on.

Clearly you desire to be on the side of destroying our democracy for a lie. Clearly you desire to be on the side of willful ignorance. Clearly you are on the side of destroying the worlds best health care industry (as measured by the only important criterion: survival and healthy outcomes) in favor of some twisted idea of social justice where everyone has to wait except for the politically connected.

Get real - If you want to e... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Get real - If you want to engage in defending Obamacare you will need o have a good grasp of facts and not just the talking points you get from the media.

In common par... (Below threshold)
Get Real:

In common parlance that is called rationing. In Canada hey manage it by extended waiting periods before getting treatment. You can wait 6 months for and MRI.

Nice try. Our system looks nothing like Canada's - except Medicare, which is popular and successful. Perhaps you would abolish Medicare? And the "rationing" you decry currently results in 1 in 6 Americans having no insurance right now. It is indefensible.

The current plan under consideration will make it so expensive for employers to carry private insurance for their employees that hey will have to choose between putting them on the government plan or going out of business.

Nonsense. Insurance costs already increase by double-digits every year without a tax break. The tax subsidy would decrease those expenses, not increase them.

Actually, I have this issue today. I get around it by doing something called holding a job.

Ha ha ha! No you don't. You have no right whatsoever to purchase insurance with a mere job. The health insurance industry has the final say on your purchasing rights. You have no "right" to purchase anything unless your insurer decides to take your money.

Again, I look forward to defending HCR based on the truth, not the old lies from the 90s. You can't just keep yelling "Socialist!" when it passes. When the American people experience the reality of HCR they will NOT want it repealed.

Mark my words.

Get real,I am quot... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Get real,

I am quoting real life occurances and real tat from the Canadian health care system.

The Quebec Supreme Court upheld the lawsuit of the citizen and in the opinion wrote that "Access to a waiting list is not access to health care".

Canadians have lower rates of survival for every kind of cancer that we have in the US. Half of those diagnosed with colon cancer are no longer considered treatable when the waiting period for treatment has expired. In other words if you are diagnosed and treatable it's a fifty fifty chance that you will still be treatable when the government gets around to allowing you to be treated.

Waiting times for MRI's are at 6 months in Toronto. The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto uses up it's budget for bone marrow transplants to treat children with leukemia within the first six months of the year. I know this from talking to both doctors AND patients. If your child cannot make the list this year you have to pray that they are still healthy enough to get treated next year and that they are high enough on the list to et treated. Assuming of course that hey are still alive.

Canadian government officials routinely come to the US for treatment as did the premier of Newfoundland recently for heart surgery. You see no waiting for government officials and no waiting in the US.

in the US 97% of men with prostate cancer survive. That means that somehow people without insurance are able to get treatment. That survival rate exceeds that of every nation on earth. In Britain the survival rate is 77% with universal health care. Please explain how we manage o take better care of our uninsured hat foreign nations with socialized medicine take care of their covered patients.

As to the tax break making it cheaper, the way the bill is written it will make it more cost effective for businesses to drop their own plans and to put their employees on the government plan.

I have insurance through my employer. It covers me and my whole family without pre-existing condition exclusions. Every company I have ever worked or had this. The worst case was 1 company where there was a 1 year exclusion and then everything was covered. You are woefully ignorant of how insurance works.

You are also woefully ignorant about how much the government is incapable of running health care.

You have also failed to examine what it means o control the growth in cost of health care. Health care is 18% of the US economy. If you control its growth you slow or stop the growth of 18% of the economy. You eliminate jobs, You eliminate raises. As a matter of fact most hospitals are already in damage control mode, freezing salaries, laying off workers and canceling improvements.

So good luck with getting the economy rolling again by shutting down hiring and growth in 18% of he economy permanently. Sounds great if you're a dumb ass.

Get Real,I'm waiti... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Get Real,

I'm waiting. I want you to explain how it is that we take better care of our people, with insurance or not, and get better outcomes on average for all people for cancer and cardiac conditions. Please explain why it is that we can do that and socialized medicine countries do worse.

Please explain how it is that we will be better by being more like these failed systems.

Oh Jim, where do I begin?</... (Below threshold)
Get Real:

Oh Jim, where do I begin?

For starters, your Canadian anecdotes are amusing but ultimately have no bearing whatsoever on HCR. Our neighbors to the north have better health care and complaining about their problems has nothing to do with the American system.

Your comments about pre-existing conditions are odd. Do you not realize that your insurer can raise your rates to the point that you will be forced out of the plan if you are diagnosed with an expensive illness? This happens all the time. Consumer protections are weak, and the insurance industry can run out the clock and wait for you to die while slow-walking your appeals. Be thankful for your health. If, God forbid, you are diagnosed with the Big C, you'll have a whole new understanding of your rights.

You seem to be under the impression that you already enjoy protections that won't exist until after Obama's Health Care Reform takes effect. This is funny because it shows that you actually support consumer protections contained in HCR, but you just don't realize that Obama is the one fighting to protect you.

And this:

You have also failed to examine what it means o control the growth in cost of health care. Health care is 18% of the US economy. If you control its growth you slow or stop the growth of 18% of the economy.

Um, what? You're suggesting that the increase in health care costs is a good thing and that it would be bad to control costs! This is a joke, right? Newsflash, Jim: 18% is WAY TOO MUCH to be spending on health care! We are getting ripped off. Do you not understand this?

I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's a good bill and people will support it even more when they see the positive changes it makes in their lives.

The truth is on my side.

I'm waiting. I wa... (Below threshold)
Get Real:
I'm waiting. I want you to explain how it is that we take better care of our people, with insurance or not, and get better outcomes on average for all people for cancer and cardiac conditions. Please explain why it is that we can do that and socialized medicine countries do worse.

Easy. We don't.

America has a life expectancy that ranks far below Canada, England, Sweden and France. We come in 49th place with a life expectancy of 78.11 years. Our cancer and cardiac patients are still dying sooner, and paying twice as much for a shorter life!

But don't take my word for it. My facts come directly from the CIA World Fact Book 2009 estimate based on data collected during the Bush presidency. So I guess you could accuse George W Bush and the CIA of being lying socialists or attempt to redefine "life expectancy". Or you could just accept the truth and stop trying to cherry pick anecdotal facts about foreign health care that fit your talking points.

Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2102rank.html?countryName=United%20States&countryCode=us®ionCode=na&rank=49#us

18% is WAY TOO MUCH to be s... (Below threshold)
jim m:

18% is WAY TOO MUCH to be spending on health care! We are getting ripped off. Do you not understand this?

No it isn't. Because that includes manufacturing jobs that produce MRI machines and x-ray equipment. That's manufacturing jobs that produce drugs and disposables. That's construction jobs that build hospitals and renovate space in health care institutions. That's IT jobs that help collect healthcare data.

That's research dollars that produce jobs in industry and academia. That's dollars that pay to take care of the elderly.

I'm sorry if you think that manufacturing is something misspent. I'm sorry that you think that research into new cures is misspent. I'm sorry that taking care of the elderly is misspent.

It is a fallacy that health care spending is not productive. We create services that people travel from foreign nations to take advantage of. We make machines, drugs, disposables and other things that are exported world wide. Health care is a growing vital part of our economy and only an ignorant fool who knows nothing but what the politicians feed him would think to say otherwise.

As to having my premiums raised, I get my insurance through my employer. Because I therefore belong to a risk pool, my addition to it is not as significant. The premiums are based on the total risk and cost associated with it. I am not purchasing on my own. Hence my previous comment about getting a job. You are not reading my comments and if you are your reading comprehension sucks.

No our cancer survival rate... (Below threshold)
jim m:

No our cancer survival rates are higher than anywhere else
http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/secondhandsmoke/2009/07/21/most-cancer-survival-rates-in-usa-better-than-europe-and-canada/

I can find more and better data if you want. It's not that hard.

Life expectancy is also a function of race. Like it or not African Americans don't live as long. They are affected by genetic diseases like sickle cell anemia and oter reasons that contribute to their shorter life expectancy as a group.

American is also the destination for many immigrants who have not had good health care as children and therefore may have more health problems growing up.

In general more homogeneous societies have higher life expectancies. Your citing that data is foolish and shows that you really don't understand health care.

Life expectancy is not heal... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Life expectancy is not health care. You can't tell the difference because you do not know the difference.

Outcomes are the measure of healthcare. Do people get better when they are sick. Do we cure cancer? Do we solve heir cardiac problems? Do we treat their diabetes?

The fact is that we do that very well thank you. We do it better than anywhere else.

The CIA may have convenient data on life expectancies by country, but that says zero about healthcare. Life expectancy takes into account a lot of factors separate from healthcare. There is genetics, societal issues such as diet and lifestyle. These are not health care.

But you aren't smart enough to see that difference. You spout off your talking points without ever thinking about the actual issue.

So we are back to your expl... (Below threshold)
jim m:

So we are back to your explaining why our health are OUTCOMES are better than in socialized medicine countries.

Talk to me about outcomes. Outcomes are the one indisputable measure of health care quality.

If socialized medicine is better why the worse outcomes?

Give me an argument as to why we should trade off outcomes for some social engineering goal that you espouse.

Because I therefo... (Below threshold)
Get Real:
Because I therefore belong to a risk pool, my addition to it is not as significant. The premiums are based on the total risk and cost associated with it. I am not purchasing on my own. Hence my previous comment about getting a job.
You just told me that right now you are wholly dependent upon your employer-based access to insurance. After HCR passes you can get the same care without exorbitant COBRA payments. You currently don't have the right to do this.

As for your belief that belonging to a larger risk pool insulates you from rising costs, this is simply not true. If you, or any of your dependents, or any of your co-workers or any of their dependents end up needing insanely expensive treatments, the costs will not be passed on to employees at other companies. Your employer will be pressured by your insurer to fire the sick employee. This pressure will be applied by raising rates on ALL employees at your company. They will make it hurt, and this is all perfectly legal. You have no protections until HCR passes.

But wait - you seem to think these costly treatments are a good thing because they boost the economy!

And at this point Jim, I will simply walk away and leave you to your own devices. I simply can't reason with you if you honestly believe your health insurance company is trying to help you and save the economy by raising your rates.

You are ridiculous.

Good-bye.

Larger risk pools do insula... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Larger risk pools do insulate against rising insurance costs because risk is shared across more individuals. That is how all insurance works. That is how auto and life insurance work. Go talk to your insurance agent. I have never seen an employer pressured to fire a worker by an insurance company. As a matter of fact the ADA specifically outlaws such things. You are ignorant of the law and how insurance works.

I only have to worry about COBRA if I lose my job. We could fix that issue without taking over health care.

I do think that we spend too much on health care, but not that all health care spending is wasted. There is a lot that goes to productive GDP. What the dems don't like is that it saps big unions and big government.

You are running away without addressing the issue of outcomes. You have no answer for why it is that we should sacrifice the best health care outcomes for your idea of social justice.

Oh, and I did not say that ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Oh, and I did not say that I thought that the insurance companies were going to save the economy by raising my rates.

I did say that Health care is not simply a drain on the economy that it provides real GDP and real jobs

I did say that we have better outcomes here and provided real data to back that up. You cited life expectancy, which is unrelated to health care and does not reflect quality of health care.

I did say that issues such as those surrounding pre-existing conditions could be resolved by getting health care through one's employer and if asked I would have added that we can do better for individual purchasers by allowing pooling of risk across state lines and by allowing for larger risk pools we could lower costs for individuals. You responded by demonstrating ignorance of how actuarial risk is calculated and shared.

I did say that COBRA was not a problem but I have said in the past at this site that COBRA being an issue for the unemployed could be solved by providing some sort of Medicare access for he unemployed.

Apparently you ran out of talking points. I have not run out of the desire to answer each and every one of your bogus talking points.

What the heck,<a h... (Below threshold)
jim m:

What the heck,

http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2009/08/5-yr-cancer-survival-rates-us-dominates.html

If anyone wants to explain why we should have the same health care as Europe be my guest.

I have patients whose ONLY ... (Below threshold)
epador:

I have patients whose ONLY motivator to work is that they want better health care coverage.

Others THINK (or want others to think) that they are disabled and can't work, which means they get free subsidies for rent, beer and cigarettes.

This kind of mishmash of a bill (either the Senate or House versions) won't fix but will exacerbate the problems above.

Get Real.

Get Real, you are everythin... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Get Real, you are everything but. To actually site Medicare as "successful" makes you look idiotic. There is billions of waste in that fraudulent system. How can you say it is successful? You are smoking an illegal substance.

Then of course, the mortality rate. We receive millions of illegal immigrants who come to this country in poor health or lack of pre natal care and we, the USA gets the "ding" for the statistic. If other countries had millions trying to sneak into their countries, it would even out, but only in the USA do people want to come. So, basically, you are an idiot. ww

jim - "Larger risk ... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jim - "Larger risk pools do insulate against rising insurance costs because risk is shared across more individuals. That is how all insurance works."

Wait, there's more to that story:

What if... the fat slobs among us, the drug addled that may get insurance under any HC plan, smokers etc that are "high risk" have their insurance cast pegged to their lifestyle?

You know like car insurance... you get tickets, and accidents, get caught drunk driving YOU pay - no one else pays - HIGHER rates.

At some level that "risk pool" is smaller for those that work hard and live a healthy life.

Marc - In Britain they have... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Marc - In Britain they have solved all that. If you smoke or are overweight they start denying you health care.

In the US we make you pay more. In the UK they deny you totally because you have no alternatives.




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