Calling Their BluffBy
You missed the most interesting amendment that Wiener offered. While I was watching the health-care markup (because Iâ€™m a policy nerd and I think that sort of thing is fun), Anthony Wiener offered an amendment to repeal Medicare. It was, by his own admission, intended as a political trap to force the Republican members to vote for single-payer health care. It was a hilarious debate to watch.
Wiener observed that a lot of Republicans had been warning direly about the dangers of socialized medicine and government interference in the health-care market, and so offered â€œthe amendment theyâ€™ve been waiting forâ€ to give them the opportunity to vote to end the scourge of single-payer health care in America. As a counterpart to the now-famous Republican flow chart of Obamacare, Wiener had a nice simple chart demonstrating how Medicare works (with just 3 boxes: patients, providers, government). There was also a poignant moment when everyone paused to honor, who actually voted for Medicare 44 years ago (and is now on crutches and looking rather feeble).
The Ranking Republican, health care bill). Wiener asked if the Republicans would support a public plan if it looked like Medicare, and Barton dodged the question. Later Barton hit on the semi-coherent response that Medicare only pays 80% of the cost of treatment, so the private insurance market has to pick up the slack to ensure that doctors and hospitals stay solvent. My understanding is that thatâ€™s completely false, but at least it sounds coherent.of Texas, made some nonsensical and indecipherable distinction about â€œgovernment-mandatedâ€ health care versus â€œgovernment-runâ€ health care, and said that Republicans support the Medicare because it is in the former category (if thatâ€™s true, they sure ought to be supporting the current House
The debate on Wienerâ€™s amendment got pretty heated, with Rep. Steve Buyer calling Wiener an â€œintellectual smart-assâ€ and Wiener calling all the Republicans hypocrites (with good reason, though). Initially, Chairman not amused by the amendment, since he was trying to keep the markup moving quickly in order to finish . By the end of the debate, though, Waxman was clearly enjoying it. In the end, despite Wienerâ€™s â€œdouble-dareâ€, all the Republicans voted no (how often do you see a unanimous â€œnoâ€ vote?), thus proving on the 44th anniversary of the signing of the Medicare Act that nobodyâ€™s going to mess with Medicare anytime soon.