The Senate just voted down, 47-53, a procedural motion to commence debate on the so-called ‚??Doc Fix‚?Ě bill today. This is important because this procedural vote was Round 1 of the battle over Obamacare, and the liberals lost.¬† The White House and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) wanted the Senate to pass the Doc Fix bill as a means to take $247 billion off the cost of Obamacare and to purchase the support of doctors for the measure.¬† A bipartisan coalition of senators concerned about spending stopped Sen. Reid from bringing Doc Fix to a vote.
The strategy to pass Doc Fix before Obamacare to purchase doctors groups support for Obamacare was documented in the media.¬† The Hill reported earlier this week that ‚??the White House and Democratic leaders are offering doctors a deal:¬† They‚??ll freeze cuts in Medicare payments to doctors in exchange for doctors‚?? support of healthcare reform.‚?Ě¬† This strategy collapsed today when the Senate voted 47-53, well short of the necessary 60 voted needed, to commence debate on the bill.
Many senators voiced policy concerns about a $247 billion new spending bill with no method to cut other areas of the budget to pay for this new spending.¬† Sen. Mike Enzi (R.-Wyo.) said of the vote today, ‚??[T]he majority is trying to add a quarter-trillion dollars in Medicare spending to our nation‚??s deficit this week. Meanwhile, they‚??re working behind closed doors on a healthcare bill that will cut a half-trillion dollars from Medicare benefits to pay for new entitlement programs.¬† That is irresponsible.¬† We need to fix Medicare‚??s problems, like physician payments, before anyone should even think about cutting more money from Medicare to create a new government entitlement program.‚?Ě¬† With the budget deficit for the year at $1.4 trillion, it seems like a terrible time to pass a bill costing hundreds of billions of dollars in new deficit spending.
The secret negotiations in the Capitol on Obamacare including Senators Reid, Max Baucus (D.-Mont.), Chris Dodd (D.-Conn.), White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag and Health Care Czar Nancy-Ann DeParle ordered the Senate to take up and pass Doc Fix to grease the skids for Obamacare.¬† Senators who care about passing on debt to future generations just said no.