smokeNo time to be celebrating the demise of the public option with the agreement reached by Senate dems. No time to be fighting over the abortion amendment; it’s all smoke and mirrors.  This is a pure case of not noticing the right hand holding a large sledgehammer while they are fervently waving a big fat carrot with the left hand hoping to keep the sheeples mesmerized.

Here’s the left hand:

Democrats reach deal on health bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Senate Democratic healthcare negotiators said they agreed on Tuesday to replace a government-run insurance option with a scaled-back non-profit plan and would seek cost estimates on the deal.

“We have a broad agreement,” Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid told reporters, refusing to provide details of the healthcare proposals to be sent to the Congressional Budget Office.

A team of 10 Senate Democrats — five liberals and five moderates — had worked for days to find a substitute to the government-run “public” insurance option included in the Senate healthcare bill after moderates voiced concerns about it.

The government-run plan has been one of the biggest hurdles for the healthcare overhaul, which is President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

Democratic Senate sources said the substitute would create a non-profit plan operated by private insurers but administered by the Office of Personnel Management, which supervises health coverage for federal workers.

One of the liberal negotiators, Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, said he had concerns about the direction of the talks on the public insurance option, which was designed to create more choice for consumers and competition for insurers.

“I do not support proposals that would replace the public option in the bill with a purely private approach,” Feingold said. “We need to have some competition for the insurance industry to keep rates down and save taxpayer dollars.”

The negotiators also sought cost estimates on an expansion of the Medicare health program for the elderly, which is now available at age 65, to Americans as young as 55 who could “buy-in” to the coverage, a Democratic source said.

That proposal, designed to create more affordable insurance options for older workers, had been pushed by liberal Democrats in exchange for dropping their support for the public option.

“I’ve got a smile on my face,” Democratic Senator John Rockefeller, who has been advocating the Medicare expansion since 2001, told reporters after the talks broke up.

I realize that these bastards can sleep at night because they really do believe in their agenda of turning Americans into either serfs or corpses for “our own good”.  Senator John Rockefeller being one of the biggest traitors to the Republic.

‘MORE COMPETITION’

“Insurance companies will certainly have more competition,” Reid said of the deal, which he said would be enough to bring the bill to final passage. “The American people will certainly have more choices.”

The Democrats met in Reid’s office late into Tuesday, their fourth consecutive day of negotiating, and afterward Reid said the deal could lead to final passage of the bill.

Democratic Senator Tom Carper said once the cost estimates were received from CBO “then we’ll take it up and decide what we can afford.”

That is a particularily scary statement, “…what we can afford.”  Scares the bejesus out of me considering we can no longer afford any of the policy initiatives being shoved through the legislative branch.  Here is your reminder.

The other potential hurdle to the healthcare overhaul was abortion, and the Senate on Tuesday rejected an attempt to tighten restrictions on abortion coverage — a vote that could threaten a crucial Democrat’s support for passage of the bill.

Democratic Senator Ben Nelson’s amendment to tighten the bill’s restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortions, identical to a provision approved by the House of Representatives last month, was killed on a 54-45 vote.

Without the abortion language, Nelson had threatened he would not back the final healthcare bill when it came to a vote. If he followed through, Democrats would be one vote short of the 60 they need to pass the measure.

But after his amendment failed, Nelson softened his stance slightly. “It makes it harder to be supportive. We’ll see what happens,” he told reporters.

Reid said he was willing to keep working with Nelson to add language to the bill that would resolve the concerns on both sides of the divisive issue.

“If in fact he doesn’t succeed here, we’ll try something else,” Reid said of Nelson before the vote. Nelson said he was not looking to negotiate a compromise.

The amendment would have blocked people who receive federal subsidies from buying insurance plans that cover abortions and prohibited a proposed government insurance plan from offering abortion coverage in most circumstances.

Abortion is the red herring in this game because it forces millions of conservatives and liberals to pay attention to what Harry Reid is doing; meanwhile, here is the sledgehammer in the right hand that relatively few see coming.

From Big Government, (and I did go over and read the bills – it’s in there.)

A White House Power Grab That Congress And America Doesn’t See

To achieve the goal of a universal, single-payer health system, the White House must secure the power it needs by amending the Social Security Act to transfer pivotal controls from Congress to the executive branch.  This transfer of power would ultimately give the President and the majority party, in this case the radical left Obama White House and Pelosi-Reid led progressive Democrats, the authority to frame and manipulate new policy, coverage options, and reimbursements, ultimately reshaping the future US health care system into a something unrecognizable in this country.

The deliberate setup for the White House power grab is built into the each of the health care bills and, if they fail, little-known twin bills called “MedPAC Reform of 2009” are waiting in the wings.  The bills, S.B. 1110 and H.R. 2718, craftily amend the Social Security Act and transfer the Medicare guideline and rule setting processes, from the legislative branch to the executive branch. These bills offer cover to one another in case one doesn’t pass the House or Senate, respectively.  Remember, Democrats need to gain executive branch authority by amending the Social Security Act over Medicare regulations and physician fee schedules to transform the health care system in a single-payer, socialized system. (emphasis mine)

More importantly, Medicare’s regulations and physician fee schedules are the keystone to developing payer systems and reimbursement models across the entire health care industry.  And where Medicare goes, insurers follow.

To underscore the far-reaching power, a bulk of the states already reference or utilize the Medicare guidelines and fee schedules in determining policy, coverage, and payment, which impacts certain state-specific plans, including, but not limited to, self-funded plans, automobile insurance payers, and state workers’ compensation funds and plans – affecting even Big Labor.   For the executive branch to have such authority over Medicare regulations with little oversight is alarming.  This raises further issues of the powerful impact these federal mandates could potentially have on the states in stripping them of their own management of their respective insurance industries.

Specifically, the language in the Reid bill intentionally places unlimited power directly in the hands of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, including the ability to designate covered services, or rationing.  The Pelosi bill creates a Health Choices Commission and its “commissioner” is empowered to make the same decisions.  More alarming, both will have to take direction from the White House–and its unconfirmed czars–due to their executive branch affiliation.

In retrospect, Obama’s pick of Sebelius as HHS Secretary is obvious.  Aside from being a governor, Sebelius is the former Kansas insurance commissioner and has the ability to identify the strongest and weakest links–navigating her way quite expeditiously throughout the health care system.  And she’ll never disavow one of her first career choices — executive director and chief lobbyist for the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association.  That explains the blatant omission of tort reform, in addition to the fact that the trial lawyers are the biggest Democrat donors.

Another disturbing Obama appointee is health care czar Nancy Ann DeParle, who remains unconfirmed, and was the administrator of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), now known as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  In short, she “owns” Medicare.  And if you put Sebelius and DeParle together in a room for a few hours, you’ll get a formula for a single-payer government-run health care system – with Obama’s wish list met.

These designed appointees make sense of the intentions at hand to frame a universal or single-payer health care system.  Everything in this administration makes sense when you look at the overall agenda.  Even the branding makes sense.  The urgency, caring for the uninsured, taking advantage of the uninsurable, proclaiming it’s paid for,  packaging it as deficit-neutral, and amplifying that people are ‘dying’ in the streets.

Go over, read the rest, and then send the link to your representative’s office right after you call their offices to let them know they are falling into a trap that puts even more power into the executive branch.  One little sneaky bill at a time, and the balance of the powers is being eroded to the point where congress is becoming irrelevant.  Dozens and dozens of czars and a “for show” congress equals one thing; dictatorship.

A pertinent section from GovTrack:

S.1110

(b) Establishment as Executive Agency- Section 1805 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395b-6) is amended–

(1) in the heading, by striking ‘ADVISORY’;

(2) in subsection (a)–

(A) by striking ‘Advisory’; and

(B) by striking ‘agency of Congress’ and inserting ‘independent establishment (as defined in section 104 of title 5, United States Code)’;

(3) in subsection (c)–

(A) in paragraph (1)–

(i) by striking ‘APPOINTMENT- The Commission’ and inserting ‘APPOINTMENT-

‘(A) IN GENERAL- The Commission’;

(ii) in subparagraph (A), as inserted by clause (i)–

(I) by striking ‘17’ and inserting ‘11’;

(II) by inserting ‘the Secretary and the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, who shall each serve as non-voting members of the Commission, and’ after ‘composed of’; and

(III) by striking ‘Comptroller General’ and inserting ‘President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate’; and (emphasis mine)

UPDATE IN THE IRRELEVANCY OF THE CONGRESS:

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