The secret Obamacare negotiations have come to an end in Day 13th and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced today that the insiders have a deal. Senators Reid, Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag and Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius have all been meeting in secret since Wednesday, October 14th. Below is a video of the announcement and we, the American people, do not have much information about what is in the secret deal to pass Obamacare other than what Senator Reid told us today:
“I feel good about the consensus that was reached within our Caucus and with The White House,” Reid said. This “consensus” did not include members who are against the idea of government controlled health care nor the American people. More Reid:
“We spent countless hours over the past few days in consultation with Senators who have shown a genuine desire to reform the health care system.”
According to Glenn Thrush at Politico, Senator Reid “spoke with virtually every member of his 60-member caucus this weekend, currently has between 56 and 57 votes for a proposal to create a national insurance plan but allow states to opt out of it, according to Democratic aides.” This indicates that there is a long way to go before this bill gets the requisite 60 votes for final passage of a bill in the Senate.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said today of the proposal:
“While final details of this bill are still unknown, here’s what we do know: It will be a thousand-page, trillion-dollar bill that raises premiums, raises taxes and slashes Medicare for our seniors to create new government spending programs. That’s not reform. So, wholly aside from the debate over whether the government gets into the insurance business, the core of the proposal is a bill that the American public clearly does not like, and doesn’t support.”
The bottom line is that conservative members of Congress and the American people have yet to be provided any information about the content of the secret deal that Senator Reid wants to get passed and signed into law “this year.”
The WSJ reported two details of the plan. One source told the Journal that “employers with more than 50 workers wouldn’t be required to provide health insurance, but they would face fines of up to $750 per employee if even part of their work force received a government subsidy to buy health insurance.” Also, “the bill is expected to expand health coverage to tens of millions of Americans by giving low- and middle-income Americans subsidies to offset the cost of insurance, and expanding the Medicaid federal-state insurance program to cover a broader swath of the poor. Most people would be required to buy insurance or pay a fine, though exceptions would be made for those deemed unable to afford it.” We are getting this information from leaks and controlled media vetting of the bill. Sources tell The Heritage Foundation that this bill may be on the Senate floor as early as next week.
These negotiations are not transparent and the President promised the American people, “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table” with everybody involved and those that can’t make it would be able to see “the negotiations televised on C-SPAN.” Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) has submitted bipartisan legislation to force open the secret health care negotiations going on in the Senate and the House. “Democracy thrives best when the people are fully involved and engaged,” said Buchanan on the floor of the House. “I have introduced a resolution demanding that the critical decisions made on the sweeping health care reform bill now before Congress be conducted under the watchful eye of the American people.”
Yet again, the American people have been cut out of the process of democracy. Liberal elites would have you believe that the American people are not worthy of participating in the secret negotiations on comprehensive health care reform. Hopefully, tomorrow the American people and opposition Members of Congress will be provided the legislation in preparation for a potential debate on Obamacare in the Senate as early as next week.