Dianne Feinstein: "I Don't Know If Obama Has The Votes (for Health Care) Right Now."

[media id=8753] (h/t Heather) With DINOs like DiFi, who needs to worry about Republicans? President Barack Obama may not have enough votes in the U.

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(h/t Heather)

With DINOs like DiFi, who needs to worry about Republicans?

President Barack Obama may not have enough votes in the U.S. Senate to pass his effort to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein said.

“I don’t know that he has the votes right now,” Feinstein said today on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “I think there’s a lot of concern in the Democratic caucus.” Controlling costs of the new system is a “difficult subject.”

So the very wealthy DiFi, who hasn't met an appropriation she wouldn't try to swing to her husband's company and ended up having to resign from the Military Construction Appropriations committee when this conflict came to light, and lucky recipient of free healthcare, courtesy of the U.S. Senate, doesn't think that the 59 (nay, 60, if Franken ever gets his seat) Democrats can actually pull it together to vote for the health care reform that a HUGE percentage of Americans want?

Pardon my French, Di, but WHY THE FRAK NOT???? Her answers don't make a lot of sense, frankly:

FEINSTEIN: Ergo, you have enormous problems in my state. California’s bigger than the populations of 21 states and the District of Columbia put together. We have an enormous health care industry, 350 hospitals. University of California alone has 34,000 health care workers, has health care worth $4 billion a year. So it’s complicated. Additionally, the state is in a state of financial catastrophe. I think that’s clear. So, if you change the Medicaid rate, for example, it has an impact on California between $1 billion and $5 billion a year. Now, how could I support that? Because it would take down the state.

Er...huh? Does the fact that these costs are offset by the savings to employers not come into play? How about the fact that by creating a public option, health care costs would be a lower percentage of the average income to individuals and companies? How about the greater costs we all absorb now to cover the uninsured and underinsured? This is not that complicated: COVERING EVERYONE WILL SAVE LIVES AND MONEY.

Then Feinstein becomes even more puzzling:

You also have enormous profit centers in the health care industry, in pharmaceuticals, in medical insurance. And I wonder about these profit centers. Because, unless you have some method to control these profits, premiums continue to rise in the private sector, as they have over the past eight years, substantially.

Therefore, controlling costs is a very major and difficult subject, as long as you have a large private-sector involvement. So this needs to be worked out.

The profits in health care are obscene. Look at what CEOs took home. Elizabeth Edwards famously said that $1 out every $700 spent in this country for health care went to pay the CEO of UnitedHealth. But here's where I'm flummoxed by this statement by Feinstein. If we have a public option that lowers the costs to consumers, doesn't the "free market" then naturally depress these profit centers in health care by forcing them to be competitive with the public option? Isn't that a good thing, Di?

The stakes are too high for these kind of nonsensical arguments from ridiculously privileged politicos ignoring the will of the people. Please consider donating to our Campaign for Health Care Choice to make your voice heard.

Transcripts below the fold

KING: Senator Feinstein, I see you nodding. I want you to come into the conversation to see if you agree with Senator Lugar, that it should be incremental. But first, I went out to the Cleveland Clinic this week. The CEO is very impressive, Toby Cosgrove. It’s a place where they give some of the best care in the world and they do it at a much lower cost than many places around the world. And he’s a big champion of reform, the CEO is, but he also worries about the cost. I’m going to liken it to the ketchup or mustard pack you get at that ball game. If you squeeze it too hard, it sprays out somewhere and you get unexpected results. He said he is worried. The president has said, as you know, and your state would be hard-hit by this, that the immediate savings should come from Medicare and Medicaid. That’s one of the ways to pay for it. Dr. Cosgrove says that might be fine, but if you do it too fast and you take too much out of the program, there will be huge negative results among them, he says could be this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DR. TOBY COSGROVE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CLEVELAND CLINIC: The first thing you still see happening is a deferment of all of the reinvestment in the infrastructure. Classic example of that what’s happened to the national health in England. They didn’t invest in any of their infrastructure for 50 years, and now a lot of the hospitals in England are 100 years older and way behind. So, you know, if you begin to take money out, it will make a difference. And it will hurt the system in some way.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: As a leading Democrat in the Congress, is your president trying to seize this political moment because he has the votes right now and the political capital in the first year in office? And might he as a result potentially do more harm than good if you try to do this all at once?

FEINSTEIN: Well to be candid with you, I don’t know that he has the votes right now. I think there’s a lot of concern in the Democratic caucus. Senator Lugar’s point about the economy, the trillions of dollars that have gone into buttressing the economy, now we’re going to be dealing with regulation of the financial sector. What all of the impact of this is not yet known.

FEINSTEIN: Ergo, you have enormous problems in my state. California’s bigger than the populations of 21 states and the District of Columbia put together. We have an enormous health care industry, 350 hospitals. University of California alone has 34,000 health care workers, has health care worth $4 billion a year.

So it’s complicated. Additionally, the state is in a state of financial catastrophe. I think that’s clear. So, if you change the Medicaid rate, for example, it has an impact on California between $1 billion and $5 billion a year.

Now, how could I support that?

Because it would take down the state.

You also have enormous profit centers in the health care industry, in pharmaceuticals, in medical insurance. And I wonder about these profit centers. Because, unless you have some method to control these profits, premiums continue to rise in the private sector, as they have over the past eight years, substantially.

Therefore, controlling costs is a very major and difficult subject, as long as you have a large private-sector involvement. So this needs to be worked out.

The issue of coverage, I think, you raised -- over $1 trillion to cover 16 million people. We have 6.6 million people without coverage and below the poverty line. So just to cover them becomes a huge, huge problem.

About Nicole Belle

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Mom, Wife, Media Critic/Political Analyst, Blogger, Austen Fanatic, Unapologetic Liberal NicoleBelle@crooksandliars.com

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