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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Health Care Reform: The "Slaughter" Solution Slaughters Transparency

It's called the "Slaughter rule," not because it will kill anyone, but after Louise Slaughter, who chairs the House Rules Committee. It's a sleight of hand under which the House will vote on some fixes to the Senate bill, and then deem the bill passed.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi tells bloggers it will provide political cover to worried Democratic Congressmen, who are reluctant to support the measure publicly.

Isn't that courageous?

It may also be unconstitutional. Right wing blogger Amy Ridenour points to a 1998 Supreme Court decision, ruling both Houses must pass the exact same text. But left wing Media Matters, in it's latest moral equivalence argument, notes the "rule in question is an accepted part of House procedure, and Congress repeatedly used the rule under GOP leadership." Hmm. Ridenour concedes Republicans have used "self-executing rules" to:
a) consider a law prohibiting smoking on airline flights under two hours;
b) place a voluntary employment verification program (vis-a-vis immigration status) into an amendment under consideration in the House;
c) incorporate into legislation a ban on the use of statistical sampling in the 2000 Census until a court ruled on its constitutionality;
d) incorporate four bipartisan amendments into an IRS reform bill;
e) drop from an intelligence authorization bill a provision allowing the CIA to offer a particular early retirement program;
f) to adopt a manager's amendment, H.Res. 75, to an immigration bill in 2005.
Not quite the same thing as major health insurance legislation affecting 1/7th of our economy, is it?

Is this the vaunted transparency that candidate Obama promised? Didn't Obama the President just ask for a "straight, up-or-down vote" on reform? How ironic that this is being considered during Sunshine week. As noted in The Detroit News, "Voters deserve a government that is transparent and plays by clearly established rules. Using gimmickry and last-minute rule changes to get bills passed hardly meets that test."


Anonymous said...

After health care do I get my new kitchen?

Allentown Democrat Voter

Anonymous said...

ADV, can I have a deck with a built in grille, call it an 'outside kitchen' and have it paid for too?

Anonymous said...

I'm just happy all of my bills are going to be paid for me. Although I admit I thought that was supposed to happen by now. Hmmm.

A Typical Obama Supporter

Anonymous said...


You must be really happy with your health insurance. What company do you have for health insurance? I want to switch!

Anonymous said...

Obama and his whackjob gimmecrat supporters have succeeded at one thing:

Showing the world that are actually worse than even the opposition's most vile demonizations of them.

You've been had.

Looking To Escape said...

Sometimes the right wing broadcasters will take a trip down memory lane and play all the sound bites of Nancy Pelosi saying she'd lead the cleanest most honorable Congress ever.
If the Republicans ever get control of the House again and the Democrats complain, the Republicans can always respond with "Remember the Healthcare bill?"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for explaining this a little more.
I wonder how the Valley will vote
in the fall?
Thanks again.

ironpigpen said...

I'll be taking today off, BO.

Try not to attribute any anonymous comments to me.

Slaughter --- you can't make this stuff up; truth is stranger than fiction.

Happy Healthcare Debate!

Anonymous said...

Most agree the current system sucks. Most also agree the proposed solution sucks worse. If the bill wasn't such a turd, they wouldn't have to use tricks to pass it. Let's start over.

Anonymous said...

Go Obama! This is why you were voted in.

Same As It Ever Was said...

Democrats: "Let's spend a trillion dollars to give healthcare to those crushed under the heel of the corporate masters."

Republicans: "No - that won't make the rich richer. Let's spend a trillion dollars to enrich our corporate masters with Star Wars military contracts for a missile shield that will never work."

Same as it ever was.

Anonymous said...

It takes b*lls to take on a powerful industry like health insurance. Obama's got `em. Republicans don't.

Anonymous said...

Obama's in bed with the insurance industry here. They're going to get 30 million new customers under threat of significant fines. If they had balls, they wouldn't be running from a vote. The president is a coward. His approval ratings have crashed faster and farther than Carter's. He'll be gone soon. He's earned one-term status.

Anonymous said...

The president's in bed with the insurance industry? Oh please. What have the Republicans been doing for the past year, while Obama's given them repeated opportunities to participate in health care reform in a bipartisan way? Every time they've voted in lock-step as the Party commanded them to. Serious objections? Well-thought-out alternatives? They want to keep the lobbying and campaign contributions flowing. And running from a vote? Bush used reconciliation twice in his first term -- both times to cram through tax breaks for highest-income Americans. Bush feared Democrats' opposition to that legislation. Which prez - and which party - is on our side? Not rocket science.

Anonymous said...

Again, the last Republican President to try and reform Health Care was Nixon. He advocated every employer offer health insurance. After the Reagan philosophy of American Society, "Me, Myself and Mine", the Republicans are no longer a National Party. That is why they have wackos out there wanting to secede from the Union.

Republican leaders don't give a crap about healthcare. They conned Obama for over a year until he wised up. The bill is far from perfect but it is more than the Republicans will or have ever proposed.

Hey lets give Wall Street our Social Security, remember? Before you yell we it's broke, who lowered taxes and started two ten year wars?

Go to bed old men!

not so casual observer said...



Anonymous said...

Just get it passed whatever measure used...1/7 of the economy needs to be sacrificed because it's choking the other 6/7 of the economy...especially small businesses and any manufacturing or service trying to compete with any foreign company that doesn't have an overpriced underperforming monopoly that stands between doctors and patients.

Anonymous said...

"...foreign company that doesn't have an overpriced underperforming monopoly..."


Anonymous said...


What isn’t being discussed are the negative precedents that are being created by the Democrat attempts to pass this unpopular bill. No matter what happens here Team Obama’s irresponsible legislative actions of bending and breaking long respected legislative norms and rules are opening the door future simple majority rule. This is a breath taking development and reason for real concern. Why no discussion in the media?

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

The reason Scott is that the media is still trying to figure out how we can end two non-declared wars of occupation both of which being financed by IOUs owned by the Chinese.

Christ, Scott give them a chance to catch there breath after the Bush Administration.