Democrats To Crack Down On GOP Obstructionism, Nelson To Propose Stupak-Like Amendment As Early As Today

SenateDebate3After three days of debate without a single vote and with just 22 days until Christmas, Senate leaders of both parties agreed yesterday to vote “on four proposals dealing with two issues: how to guarantee additional health benefits for women and how to squeeze nearly a half-trillion dollars from Medicare over 10 years without adversely affecting older Americans.” [UPDATE: The Vitter amendment reversing the U.S. Preventive Task Force’s mammogram recommendation passed was added to the Mikulski amendment, but has not yet passed. This is a modified amendment that only targets the mammogram decision.]

Democrats may be ready to crack down on Republican obstructionism and speed-up the processes (Republicans, incidentally, are denying that they are dragging out the debate while releasing memos instructing senators on how to drag out the debate). Roll Call reports that leadership is considering tabling the GOP amendments, ‘filling the amendment tree,’ filing motions to limit debate, or “incorporating Democratic proposals into the manager’s amendment or a package of amendments that would be voted on at the conclusion of the debate.”

The goal is to vote on the Senate measure before Christmas, “but leaders are beginning to concede that their goal may be out of reach and are promising to work straight through New Year’s Day if they have to.” Democrats plan to replace the opt-out public option with a watered down trigger proposal from Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) early next week and could vote on an amendment restricting federal funding of abortion by the end of this week. That measure, proposed by Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) could be unveiled as early as today, and will likely resemble the Stupak language in the House bill. “It’s as identical to Stupak as it can be,” Nelson told reporters on Tuesday.

Below is a table of some upcoming amendments filed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:

Number Sponsor Description
SA 2826 Bennet Guaranteeing Medicare Benefits: “Nothing in the provisions of, or amendments made by, this Act shall result in a reduction of guaranteed benefits under title XVIII of the Social Security Act.”
SA 2791 Mikulski Preventive Care for Women: The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) would determine what women’s services would be exempt from co-pays, and the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) would help determine other types of preventative coverage.
SA 2791 Murkowski Preventive Care for Women: Would cover preventative care without co-pays as delineated by “the 2 largest plans (by enrollment) participating in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.”
SA 2859 Snowe, Landrieu, Lincoln Eliminates the bill’s opt-out public option a state’s ability to opt-out of the public plan national plans.
SA 2788 Coburn Transparency: requires CBO score and CRS report 72 hours before any vote on final passage or a conference report.
SA 2823 Coburn Amendment would strip a provision extending more Medicaid funding to Louisiana.
SA 2825 Coburn Bureaucrat Limitation: For each new bureaucrat added to any department or agency of the Federal Government for the purpose of implementing the provisions of this Act (or any amendment made by this Act), the head of such department or agency shall ensure that the addition of such new bureaucrat is offset by a reduction of 1 existing bureaucrat at such department or agency.
SA 2789 Coburn, Vitter, Burr, Hatch Requires members of Congress to enroll in public option
SA 2800 Cornyn Bill would not go into effect until it is certified that it would reduce annual health insurance premiums by $2,500 for the average American family.
SA 2807 Cornyn Eliminates the Medicare Commission.
SA 2808 – ACCEPTED Vitter Would invalidate the recent mammogram recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Task Force.
SA 2837 Sanders, Burris, Brown Replaces existing legislation with a single-payer bill, the American Health Security Act of 2009.
SA 2787 Specter Health Care Fraud: Creates a six (6) month mandatory minimum for those convicted of committing health care fraud under 18 U.S.C. 1347, where the amount of loss is calculated at $100,000 or more.
SA 2793 Dorgan, Snowe, Grassley, McCain, Stabenow, Klobuchar, Brown, Shaheen, Vitter, Kohl, Leahy, Feingold, Nelson (FL) Prescription drug reimportation
SA 2795 Leahy, Reid, Kerry, Rockefeller, Lieberman, Feinstein, Feingold, Wyden, Schumer, Cantwell, Lautenberg, McCaskill, Whitehouse, Burris, Kaufman, Bennet, Franken Antitrust Exemption: Removes health insurers’ exemption from federal anti-trust laws.


CORRECTION: The Vitter amendment was added to the Mikulski amendment, but has not yet passed. The Snowe, Landrieu, Lincoln amendment only strikes the opt-out out of national plans.

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