Are There 50 Votes For A Trigger In the Senate?

Russ Feingold's appearance this morning on Face The Nation raises an interesting question for President Obama, who appears to be arguing for Snowe's trigger. Feingold signalled his opposition to the trigger and said it would be enough of a basis for voting No on a health care reform bill:

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Obama is reported to have said to Harry Reid that he hopes Reid knows what he is doing. Forget the bad policy, on the politics and the vote counting, does Obama know what he is doing? Pelosi will have a very difficult task to pass triggers in the House and Senators Feingold, Burris and Rockefeller look like No votes on the trigger. 30 Senators are strongly for a robust public option. How many of these will vote No on a trigger? Are there 50 votes for a trigger in the Senate? Does Obama know what he is doing?

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    Do any of them know what they are doing? (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 03:59:30 PM EST

    Businesses would not be required to provide health insurance under legislation being readied for Senate debate, but large firms would owe significant penalties if any worker needed government subsidies to buy coverage on their own, according to Democratic officials familiar with talks on the bill.

    For firms with more than 50 employees, the fee could be as high as $750 multiplied by the total size of the work force if only a few workers needed federal aid, these officials said. That is a more stringent penalty than in a bill that recently cleared the Senate Finance Committee, which said companies should face penalties on a per-employee basis.

     [Italics added.]

    I simply (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:08:13 PM EST
    can't believe that Obama is clueless enough to try to pass this off on Reid. Obama somehow thinks he's going to escape responsbility for this disaster? Obama WILL take the heat for this bad policy whether he does anything or not.

    Somebody wake me up when Obama figures out how to lead. It's looking like I can sleep for years.

    Feingold (none / 0) (#66)
    by norris morris on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 10:56:04 PM EST
    Feingold is totally correct. A bad bill that means nothing [Triggers] should not pass.

    Obama is thirsting for a bill as he needs it to pass for political clout.  His obsession with Snowe is revolting as is his entire corporate position on everything to do with healthcare and the drug monopoly.

    Obama's waited in the wings and when he does dither a response it's a highly compromised one and one that idiotically emphasizes Snowe's position?

    We must be wary of what is going down and get answers that make sense or this is sellout that Obama will use as a feather in his political cap. Having believed in him and voted for him, this healthcare debacle has left me wondering what universe Obama is operating from after all of his promises?

    Feingold has always been a stalwart defender of progressive honest legislation. He sees Triggers for what they are.  Nothing. Rubbish.

    Let's see what happens, but a bad bill is worse than what we have and we'll be stuck with it. It's easier to go back to the table and fight for a good bill.


    Here's to dreaming about enthusiastic (5.00 / 7) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:18:01 PM EST
    votes for greatly celebrated triggers and the certainty of "surgical" airstrikes.  They both sound positively divine if you aren't the people actually having to live with the collateral damage.

    Absolutely, and (5.00 / 8) (#9)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:34:10 PM EST
    One of the best comments Feingold made was that we need to make fundamental changes NOW without giving the insurance industry time to figure out how to work around and convince congress to delay implementation. 2013 as a start point for whatever they decide is strictly political.

    I say if the insurance company is given prep time, it should only be so they can figure out how to change their business plans to being responsive to the needs of their customers as NOT FOR PROFIT organizations, and who operate under an administrative fee for services rather than whatever they can manage to take and keep for the benefit of the executives.


    Absolutely You're Absolutely Right (none / 0) (#67)
    by norris morris on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 10:59:37 PM EST
    And so is Feingold. Fighting hard for a decent bill now is key and we should exert every means to do so NOW and support$$ en masse efforts.

    "does Obama know what he is doing?" (5.00 / 9) (#21)
    by my opinion on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 05:12:25 PM EST
    Yes. He is giving his investors and backers the return on their investment.

    No mystery.... (5.00 / 15) (#22)
    by NYShooter on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 05:15:00 PM EST
    He wasn't thinking about "the people" with his bank bailout, and he isn't thinking about "the people" with HCR.

    Oh, and Michelle wasn't paid $300,000 to provide better care either.

    And still ringing in my ears; the starry eyed, Mooney brigade our "Community Organizer" organized: "Hillary will say and do ANYTHING to get elected."

    Hillary (none / 0) (#68)
    by norris morris on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 11:02:01 PM EST
    She said Obama's bill would leave out millions of people and be highly compromised.

    Her history with healthcare foresaw how tough it would be and when she said [on the stump] that Obama had not the experience or guts for it, she was right.


    That heading made me think of (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 05:28:27 PM EST

    Are There 50 Votes For A Trigger In the Senate?

    NOW I know (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Emma on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 05:31:49 PM EST
    who I'm going to vote for in 2012!!  Thanks!

    I think he's running in 2020 . . . . (none / 0) (#29)
    by nycstray on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:13:28 PM EST
    If we're talking about Feingold... (none / 0) (#43)
    by NealB on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:06:10 PM EST
    ...I doubt he'll ever run for President. I wish he would; it would be a good race with Feingold in it. I'd like to see him win.

    But why do you think a Republican will win in 2016? If Obama survives (and I think he will, in spite of himself--he's a good-looking figurehead and the Universe loves him unconditionally) his reelection in 2012, odds favor another Democrat winning in 2016. Biden's not going to be invincible; Feingold could take a crack at it when Obama's over.

    Getting ahead of ourselves a little.


    I was talking about [the] Trigger ;) (none / 0) (#46)
    by nycstray on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:15:54 PM EST
    We're talking about ponies :) (none / 0) (#47)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:16:38 PM EST
    Indeed! (none / 0) (#41)
    by Lora on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:56:14 PM EST
    I've liked Russ Feingold for quite a while and I like him even more now.

    And he had some very intelligent things to say on Afghanistan as well.

    Go Russ Feingold!  Don't make us wait any longer!


    It would be nice if for once (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 05:42:38 PM EST
    the Progressive members of the Senate played hard ball. If they are ever going to be relevant, this is the time to take a stand. I would like to hear them saying No public option, no vote even for cloture.

    While I doubt this will happen, it is what I would like to see. No bill is  better than BaucusCare.

    What would make Obama do a 180? (5.00 / 7) (#33)
    by NYShooter on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:28:59 PM EST
    A credible "Draft Feingold for '12" grass roots committee.

    Slogan: "Isn't it about time we had a Democrat for President?"

    Add Bernie Sanders and, hopefully Al Franken... (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by NealB on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:57:07 PM EST
    ...to the number of Senators that would kill a triggered bill rather than pass the piece of crap that will remain if the bill has an individual mandate but no real public option.

    Obama and the idiots he appointed to run his White House clearly have no idea what they're doing.

    Rather than put all his eggs in the only (5.00 / 5) (#48)
    by Anne on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:29:32 PM EST
    basket that makes sense for the people and which would likely send him numbers shooting skyward - like one that has in it real reform that expands access to health care, makes it more affordable not just for those who have been left out in the cold for years, but for those who have been struggling just to pay premiums, imposes real regulation on the industry that begins from Day One, and provides a public option that anyone could enroll in - Obama is now searching for any legislation that can help him avoid the humiliation of a defeat that will set the stage for every other issue that comes after this one.

    Obama does not give a rat's hind end about the policy - he cares only about the politics, and on this issue, that's what's going to be his Achilles heel.

    He only cares about the politics on (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 06:32:54 AM EST
    EVERY issue.  Our lives are his to spend as he would politically choose to spend them.

    We had "Bubble Boy Bush" (5.00 / 7) (#57)
    by NYShooter on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 09:11:52 PM EST
    And now, Obama....

    It seams the White House has a hypnotic effect on its inhabitants, and Obama appears firmly in its grip. How could the three political geniuses, Obama, Axlerod, and Emanuel so completely misread the rapidly growing rage building in the country? FISA, the wars, and civil liberties were just warm-ups; and then the greatest, and most treacherous theft of middle class wealth our country has ever seen. Now, after the banking debacle, if he thinks he can throw a screw ball under the chins of the American people with this insulting, Collins/Baucus-"health insurance"-Dreck, he's been growing something in that backyard garden besides bean sprouts.

    Now, and I never thought it would be possible, we might have a choice between the intolerable status quo, and something far worse. The bill Obama apparently wants will make things worse for so many people that it may just blow the lid off our here-to-fore puzzling domestic apathy.  

    Paulsen, Geithner, and Summers engineered the near total destruction of our society as we knew it; Passing ObamaCare would put the last nail in the coffin.

    So, yes; this is a fight for our soul. Nothing IS better than what they're trying to shovel onto us. Obama must be shown we still have a pulse. It's time we taught him how to make a little "attitudinal adjustment."

    I would venture (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 03:58:04 PM EST
    that we should try to make sure there are not.

    If Michelle Obama is correct, (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:25:19 PM EST
    "Barack's plan" has two must-have elements:  (1) no bar to obtaining insurance based on pre-existing conditions and (2) no maximum cap on amount insurance will pay out.  

    She also says Barack wants affordable health care for all, but no specifics.

    Michelle Obama on HCR

    Interesting (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:28:19 PM EST
    competition is no longer a must.

    Did she mention cost? (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by andgarden on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:34:37 PM EST
    By which I mean, cost to the insured? Because as a political matter, that's the most important thing.

    Keeping in mind, of course, (5.00 / 4) (#26)
    by oldpro on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 05:38:25 PM EST
    for whom she used to work.

    What was her job again?


    She mentioned controlling patient's (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:42:38 PM EST
    "out-of-pocket" costs.  No specifics.

    Maybe she will be more specific (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:45:34 PM EST
    during upcoming Jay Leno appearance.  See TL sidebar.

    Oh c'mon already! She's talking to a group of (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by steviez314 on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:06:48 PM EST
    cancer survivors for goodness sake.

    As the spouse of a wonderful woman who is currently undergoing cancer treatment, for us, the issue isn't competition as to cost  but worrying that the next envelope from the insurance company doesn't cancel us entirely for some ridiculous reason.

    This parsing of every word of every comment or speech by eveyone, leaked or not, now extends to Michelle Obama, I see.

    Oh well, whatever generates the echo in the chamber here, I guess.


    MO is herself an echo . . . (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by nycstray on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:15:24 PM EST
    Hey, it's an actual sourced quote! (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Fabian on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:25:08 PM EST
    Which is better than we get from the White House most of the time.  Almost all of the time.

    My sincerest sympathies for what (5.00 / 6) (#35)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:42:31 PM EST
    your wife and millions of other people in this country are enduring with life-threatening illness. Stress is a huge enemy in these battles, and your waiting for that envelope from your insurance company is a giant contributor to stress.

    A dear friend of mine is dealing with a cancer battle, as well. She and her husband have a beautiful 22 month old son.

    We deserve more than patronizing words from MO, and we should not be giving her a "break" simply because she's talking to a group of cancer survivors, for goodness sake.


    Don;t send her out then (5.00 / 5) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:55:37 PM EST
    Let's not pretend that talk was not a political action.



    The event was to mark Breast Cancer Awareness (3.50 / 2) (#44)
    by steviez314 on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:08:07 PM EST
    Month and highlighted the difficulties that cancer survivors have maintaining insurance coverage.

    But hey, everything is politics to you.  Jill Biden also spoke.  Have we parsed her words too?


    Look (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:12:05 PM EST
    You can have the First Lady go to that even and make innocuous non-political statements.

    She did not. She discussed the issue of the day in detail.

    You want to pretend that it wasn't, be my guest. I won't act a fool.


    To Steviez314 (none / 0) (#32)
    by christinep on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:28:23 PM EST
    Thank you for the reminder, Steviez314. Living with inescapable daily life/death and cancer reminds me of the difference between perfect philosophy and the guts of reality. You fight with every fiber in you. You strive and pull beyond the appreciation of the academic. Thank you, again.

    Considering that many people have (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:31:22 PM EST
    already experienced a 30% increase in premiums very recently, and that the economy is not going to get better in a very long time, this seems to me to be little more than an invitation for the whole system to implode.  But what do I know?  My only question is, if everything just blows to high heaven can we have single payer then?

    She could really make some difference (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:33:22 PM EST
    at this point I think if she came out for "robust public option."  But since she hasn't, I kind of think that indicates Pres. Obama isn't fixated on it either.

    You really think there is even a (5.00 / 5) (#12)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:36:21 PM EST
    slim chance the first lady would come out and support something the POTUS doesn't want? I think she had to dig hard to find something she could say that sounded like he was considering the people.

    Nope. But a gal can dream. (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:41:07 PM EST
    Yes, I know she worked for Univ. of Chicago medical center and her job was to try and persuade uninsured patients to go to community clinic instead of to U of C Medical Center.  But still.  Let's try for a legacy here.

    I almost wish she would have said nothing (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:40:26 PM EST
    Now I feel like I'm being treated as if I'm some sort of stupidly starstruck child.  I don't really care who agrees that how I'm getting screwed over is a good thing. It doesn't make it any more okay with me, and I don't care who you are or who you are married to.

    She worked for for-profit hospitals (5.00 / 7) (#19)
    by Cream City on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:53:45 PM EST
    and that's enough for me to know that I would not listen to her anymore than I would to anyone else who made a career of profiting from health care.

    IMHO she did say nothing (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 05:33:30 PM EST
    Wasn't she on Leno this last week saying her husband's only flaw was not letting her win at tennis more often?

    What happens if it all fails.... (none / 0) (#20)
    by christinep on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:55:41 PM EST
    I suspect that about the last thing that would happen if it all failed (no bill or stalemate) would be any possibility of single payer.  Failure to get a decent bill would seem to lead to failure for us Dems in 2010, to put it crassly. Stalemate would lead to more negativity by everyone and ridicule from Republicans. Americans tend to throw out "do nothing" officeholders when that brand holds.  The ole' savvy Congressman Dingell recently predicted electoral defeat for the Democrats should we fail to produce in this area.  It goes without saying that a Republican administration would continue that nothingness. So, maybe we should all relook at methods for genuine, incremental forward movement espoused by the late Saul Alinsky. That would be quite instructive in many ways.

    That's minor (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:36:15 PM EST
    health insurance reform, having nothing to do with actual health care reform.  It also has absolutely no impact on all those rising health care and health insurance costs he sez absolutely have to be restrained or the country's economy will go to he** in a handbasket.

    Somebody should make him listen to his own speeches.


    I do not understand why a honcho from (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by oculus on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:47:24 PM EST
    CalPERS is not sitting at the right hand of the Pres. and another at the right hand of the Speaker and another at the right hand of Sen. Majority Leader.  CalPERS already knows how to do this stuff and does it quite well.  But is anyone asking?  

    Such low standards (none / 0) (#65)
    by sj on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 10:12:43 AM EST
    "Barack's plan" has two must-have elements:  (1) no bar to obtaining insurance based on pre-existing conditions and (2) no maximum cap on amount insurance will pay out.

    Alternate Universe (none / 0) (#17)
    by mmc9431 on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 04:46:42 PM EST
    Obama and his staff are convinced that he's got the Democrat's in his pocket. He doesn't have to worry about their votes.

    His concern since the primary ended was to pander to the Republican's and the Republican's that don't want to admit to being Republican's now (independants).

    I hope that a smack down on HCR will wake them up to the fact that it's time to put his own party's interests to the front. If he succeeds in his trigger option, the Democratic Party platform may as well be scrapped.

    May not be 50 votes (none / 0) (#34)
    by domer5000 on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:38:50 PM EST
    for anything at this point, the way things are going.  But in ensuring the status quo for another generation, we will all be able to say we stood on principle

    Sounds like you are in favor of (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:50:01 PM EST
    "a bad bill is better than none".

    2010 - democrats lose majority because they gave us a republican health insurance bill. Obama learned nothing about how to create genuine bipartisanship. Lucky us.


    I would prefer single payer (none / 0) (#49)
    by domer5000 on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:31:08 PM EST
    After that, a robust public option

    After that, some form of the public option

    And yes, if that is not politically possible, something that prevents the cancellation of policies, prevents denial based on pre-existing conditions, and covers millions that arent covered today.  If that is a "bad" bill, then yes I am for it.  

    And if you think that a complete failure to enact any HCR will be politically good for Dems, well then there you go.


    And what about the mandate? (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by nycstray on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:34:26 PM EST
    Seems to me they should be able to put some regulation in place without scr*wing the people.

    Don't see anything about affordability (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by MO Blue on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 08:29:24 PM EST
    in your comment. The ever increasing rise in the cost of premiums and accompanied reduction of coverage may not be a problem for you.

    Legislation that mandates insurance coverage a person can not afford to purchase or use will not help people who need health care.

    Bad legislation, once implemented, will not be politically good for Dems.


    Can folks like this wait? (none / 0) (#56)
    by domer5000 on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 08:37:46 PM EST
    They're going to wait even if (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by Anne on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 09:17:10 PM EST
    legislation is passed - we all are; nothing happens until 2013.

    What happens in the meantime?  Good question.  

    One might ask why, if this is such a crisis, we can afford to wait at least another 3+ years.


    What happens in the meantime (5.00 / 3) (#60)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 09:46:44 PM EST
    is the same thing that's happening while credit card companies have this incredible grace period before restrictions are placed against them.

    Private insurance will be given 3+ years to find their work-arounds, raise premiums as high as they can, rewrite policy coverages to limit what they absolutely MUST pay, and get themselves properly protected so none of this will actually harm their fat profits.


    They will not only have to wait until (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by MO Blue on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 09:41:00 PM EST
    after 2013, there is nothing in the current legislation that will prevent the insurance industry from denying any one of them the treatment that their doctor wants them to have even with insurance.  Having high cost insurance does not ensure that a cancer patient will receive appropriate treatment even if they don't cancel the policy. That is true now and it will be true as long as it is more profitable for the insurance industry to deny certain treatments.

    Using cancer patients to justify passing bad legislation does not work with me as I fall into that category myself and I see the insurance industry denying patients the care their doctors want on a fairly regular basis.


    Your concern is noted (none / 0) (#61)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 09:54:50 PM EST
    If the bill that gets through is completely out of touch for people because it is designed to appease the big campaign contributors, I'd say folks like that, and all other folks can wait for something better.

    If we have to wait until 2013, we can just as easily wait until 2016 when we have a chance to elect a democratic president.


    Oh Boy (none / 0) (#63)
    by domer5000 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 09:49:00 AM EST
    Maybe Hillary will finally get the job she was so unjustly deprived of through the democratic process

    You need to speak only for yourself (none / 0) (#51)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:38:32 PM EST
    and let others speak for themselves. I did not say any of those things you are trying to pretend I did.

    You indicated that a bill (none / 0) (#52)
    by domer5000 on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 07:46:28 PM EST
    that did not include single payer could lead to big losses next fall.  In fact, the failure to adopt a bill would be the real worst case scenario for last year

    Based on the legislation as currently (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by Anne on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 08:02:58 PM EST
    structured, I see this as a damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don't situation: they can weaken what is already relatively ineffective legislation, which the people are not going to be especially thankful for, they can fail to pass anything, which the people also will not reward them for - either way, not much political good will result.

    And whatever they pass, once the people find out how long it will be before the actual plan goes into effect, and how long it will take to get it fully operational, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people.

    A price will be paid.


    I guess that Congress cant get it done (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by domer5000 on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 08:04:07 PM EST
    Congress will pay the price

    Congress will pay the price (none / 0) (#64)
    by sj on Mon Oct 26, 2009 at 10:07:31 AM EST
    Obama will pay the price.

    We will pay the price.

    The insurance companies will be the payees.


    Worse than the status quo (none / 0) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:54:28 PM EST
    seems to be your principle.

    There will be 50 votes (none / 0) (#36)
    by BDB on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:49:00 PM EST
    And they'll get Feingold, et als, votes on cloture.  Feingold might have the spine to vote against Obama, but most of the other Dems will fall in line, IMO.  These are not folks with great big spines.

    Guess they'll have no one to blame (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sun Oct 25, 2009 at 06:51:38 PM EST
    but themselves when their opponents have great big wins in 2010 and 2012, and they find themselves having to live with the legislation they passed.