The list of amendments for Rules Committee consideration is now published. Of 90 proposed amendments, one belongs to Democrats. The rest are nothing more than Republican stupid stalls.
The one Democratic amendment is Alan Grayson's proposal to allow Medicare buy-in for any age. I give it about a 5% chance of success. It's more likely that it was included here to meet his request for an up or down vote on the measure itself and foreclose the accusation that Stupak was getting more attention than positive suggestions.
Other amendments on the list are pure right wing hackery, designed to stall the process and allow them to spew more crap into the TV machine. Shining examples of Republican nasty:
- Joe Barton/Sam Johnson(R-TX) - Would require that all individuals under Medicaid have to demonstrate their identity and citizenship. (Me: Because all those poor folks are really just illegals slidin' over the border to suck up our medical resources. Yeah, right.)
- Joe Barton (R-TX) - Would repeal a provision providing Medicare coverage to certain individuals exposed to environmental health hazards. (Me: I believe this was intended to extend to Ground Zero first responders, which would be a truly nasty gesture on the part of these yahoos)
- Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has a series of 4 'self-destruct' amendments calling for the entire bill to turn to dust under certain circumstances. Hey Marsha, is there one of those for obnoxious Congresscritters too?
- Marsha Blackburn, redux: Would prohibit the Federal government from passing any law that would give it authority to ration health care for the American people. (Me: Don't insurance companies ration health care now? Why yes, they do.)
- Crazy Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has one in there to strike the student loan bill from the reconciliation act. I guess she hates education.
- One of the more bizarre amendments comes from Christopher Lee (R-NY) - Would create a 3 year / 5 state medical tribunal pilot program to be administered by the Secretary of HHS. Me: A tribunal? Wow, visions of white-cloaked men on a high dais come to mind.
None of these amendments are expected to pass, which will give Republicans the excuse to go running into the street, grab the nearest microphone and whine about how their ideas are never, ever used in Democrat bills. Let them whine. They had a chance to be serious and actually do something good for this country. Now they're just in the way of progress and need to step aside for our own good.
Well, all but Grayson. I harbor a secret utopian hope that they'll slip this little extra goodie into the reconciliation bill. It's actually quite well-crafted. But alas, I'm not sure it's Senate-proof. Yet.