Healthcare's long upper-chamber road ahead

The Hill's A.B. Stoddard sits down with pundits John Feehery and Chris Kofinis to discuss how the healthcare bill may play out in the Senate, and the three consider what Sarah Palin is planning a run for: president, or Oprah's Book Club?


The SAD Study

With all the reports coming out that recommend we scale back on life-saving medical exams there is one we might soon see from still another group of experts.

This one concerns depression. It concludes that diagnosis, medication and counseling won’t work anyway, so why bother trying? After all, the best we can expect from dealing with negative feelings are false positives.


Mammograms indicate defects of gov’t healthcare

The recent decision of the federal government to recommend that women abstain from annual mammograms illustrates well exactly how ObamaCare would force a deterioration in the quality of medical care, particularly for the elderly.

The panel evaluating the effectiveness of mammograms did not find that they don’t work or that they do not save lives. Rather, it found that the lives they save are not “worth” the cost of annual testing. This bureaucratic balancing of human life and financial cost lies at the core of the government-managed healthcare in the Obama bill.


Healthcare reform: The unanswered questions

The Hill's A.B. Stoddard answers viewer queries about some of the unanswered questions regarding healthcare reform and looks at how, in some districts, lobbyists are taking the place of congressmen.


Health reform on life support

Former President Bill Clinton hit up the weekly caucus lunch of Senate Democrats on Tuesday, imploring them to shelve enough differences to pass healthcare reform. "We're winning," he told them, which couldn't be further from the truth. 

As I listed in my column this week, obstacles to passage of healthcare reform continue to mount. Getting to 60 votes in the Senate appears not implausible but impossible at this point — yes, it can happen, but nobody knows how. 


Defeat ObamaCare in detail

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

Harry Reid can pass a bill in the Senate that has no public option or an easy opt-out, shallow subsidies for the uninsured, a low total cost, weak penalties for not having insurance, no coverage for abortion and no general tax increase (except for the premium and medical device taxes).

And Nancy Pelosi can pass a bill in the House (on final passage) that has a public option with no opt-out, steep subsidies for the uninsured, harsh penalties if they don’t buy insurance, a higher cost, full abortion coverage and a surcharge income-tax increase.

The question is: Can either one’s bill pass the other’s chamber?


Damned if they do, damned if they don’t

I was gone last weekend, so I wasn’t paying too much attention to the floor debate and amendment process that surrounded the healthcare bill.

That is why I was surprised when I saw Republicans (except for Rep. John Shadegg, Ariz.) vote for an amendment that made it easier for Democrats to pass their healthcare bill.

My understanding of the role of the minority is to be as unhelpful as possible, especially when the majority is passing legislation that not only offends the very principles of the minority, but will bankrupt the nation to boot.


Trusted groups AARP and Consumer Reports fight for healthcare

I've already praised Consumer Reports for standing up for Americans, taking on some really powerful and ruthless politicians.

Now the AARP has taken up the fight on behalf of us, adding its voice.

Consumer Reports and AARP are two of the most trusted organizations in the U.S., having earned that trust, and they continue to earn it.

I've been an AARP member for almost seven years, as the card shows. I'm hoping the expiration date on that card refers to my membership only ...


Government healthcare

We can all agree that healthcare reform is needed. As currently constituted, the healthcare system is full of perverse incentives that drive up costs and penalize those most in need by denying coverage for pre-existing conditions.

But the answer is not a government takeover of the healthcare system. This is precisely what the Obama administration’s healthcare proposal would accomplish. By forcing all Americans to buy health insurance while unfairly regulating private plans, the public option would drive private insurers from the market and eventually bring a government takeover of the healthcare system.


Historic vote on healthcare reform

Here we go again. It’s one of those good news, bad news days.

The bad news is how much Democrats in the House had to give up in order to pass healthcare reform legislation.

They had to settle for a weak public option. And they had to accept an amendment — dictated by the Catholic bishops! — that even further tightens existing restrictions on abortion funding. What country is this, when you first have to consult religious leaders before voting on legislation? Iran?

But let’s keep our eyes on the prize: The good news on healthcare far, far outweighs the bad.