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A “Yes” Vote On Cloture Crushes Medicare and American Medicine

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Eight Democratic senators stand between the Medicare and the destruction of the senior health care program as well as the ruin of American medicine generally. These eight know the stakes and have written Harry Reid to demand that the Democratic leader slow down the jam down so that they and the public know what they are voting on and what it will cost. They have asked for at least 72 hours and a CBO estimate for any Obamacare bill before a final floor vote occurs, as well as 72 hours and a full CBO score before any vote on a future House-Senate conference report occurs.

These demands are a dodge because any of these eight have the ability to enforce any amount of delay they want via a refusal to vote for cloture whenever that debate-limiting motion is put forward by Reid.

To review: The Senate’s rules provide that it requires 60 affirmative votes to pass a motion ending debate on any legislative proposal. Thus if even one Democrat refuses to go along with this Obamacare jam down that will devastate Medicare, the entire bill halts until and unless that Democrat is satisfied it is a good idea. Thus every Democrat has the individual ability to demand a serious, careful debate and serious, careful budget impact analysis.

Some Democrats hope to protect themselves against the people’s fury at the polls in November 2010 by voting for cloture and then voting against passage, but that won’t work in this hyperattentive new media age.

A vote for cloture is a vote for everything in the Obamacare package that would end up on the president’s desk. Everyone knows this, but some Democrats hold out hope that their genuine responsibility for Obamacare will be obscured by various posed votes. In this sleight-of-hand they hope to be helped by Manhattan-Beltway media elites that will do what they can to obscure accountability on the cloture votes ahead.

But the clear truth is that a vote for cloture is a vote for Obamacare, and not just its ruinous impact on Medicare for seniors and medicine generally but also for the trickery that is obscuring the real and vast costs of the bills and the refusal to allow the American people the opportunity to see and read what it is they are being obliged to sacrifice their health care and benefits for.

So contact all the Democrats below. Contact them early and often and contact anyone you know who lives in their state and ask them to do the same thing. If you are a doctor in their state, your voice is especially important. Tell each one of them to vote no on cloture motions –all of them– and to start over with a genuinely bipartisan reform bill that protects Medicare and which includes tort reform.

And tell them that if they vote yes on any cloture, you will help fund their next opponent and do whatever it takes to defeat them at the polls when next they stand for re-election.

A couple of these senators, like Joe Lieberman and James Webb will not be moved by the prospect of losing their Senate seat but they will be very careful before sacrificing their honorable records to help President Obama achieve a political win that destroys Medicare. Webb especially has built a record of fiery populism that would be laughable if he joins in a jam down that protects trial lawyers with seven figure annual incomes while dramatically cutting back on health care for seniors. Joe Lieberman knows what the bill will really do to seniors. Together these two can stop the whole charade right now. Encourage them to do so.

The rest will care about their jobs, and especially Blanche Lincoln and Evan Bayh who face the public in Arkansas and Indiana in a year. If either votes for cloture, she or he or both of them will be the face of Obamacare at the polls.

Each of these senators needs to hear fromthousands and tens of thousands and indeed hundreds of thousands of Americans that we know a yes on cloture means yes on Obamacare and will assess their records accordingly.


Sen. Blanche Lincoln

DC Phone: (202) 224-4843

Local Phone: Dumas (870) 382-1023, Fayetteville (479) 251-1224, Little Rock (501) 375-2993, Jonesboro (870) 910-6896, Texarkana (870) 774-3106

Link to E-mail

Sen. Mark Pryor

DC Phone: (202) 224-2353

Local Phone: Little Rock (501) 324-6336

Link to E-mail


Sen. Joe Lieberman

DC Phone: (202) 224-4041

Local Phone: (860) 549-8463

Link to E-mail


Sen. Bill Nelson

DC Phone: (202) 224-5274

Local Phone: Orlando (407) 872-7161, Miami-Dade (305) 536-5999, Tampa (813) 225-7040, West Palm Beach (561) 514-0189, Tallahassee (850) 942-8415, Jacksonville (904) 346-4500, Broward (954) 693-4851, Fort Meyers (239) 334-7760

Link to E-mail


Sen. Evan Bayh

DC Phone: (202) 224-5623

Local Phone: Evansville (812) 465-6500, Fort Wayne (260) 426-3151, Hammond (219) 852-2763, Indianapolis (317) 554-0750, Jeffersonville (812) 218-2317, Southbend (574) 236-8302

Link to E-mail


Sen. Mary Landrieu

DC Phone: (202) 224-5824

Local Phone: Baton Rouge (225) 389-0395, Lake Charles (337) 436-6650, New Orleans (504) 589-2427, Shreveport (318) 676-3085

Link to E-mail


Sen. Jon Tester

DC Phone: (202) 224-2644

Local Phone: Billings (406) 252-0550, Bozeman (406) 586-4450, Butte (406) 723-3277, Glendive (406) 365-2391, Great Falls (406) 452-9585, Helena (406) 449-5401, Kalispell (406) 257-3360, Missoula (406) 728-3003

Link to E-mail


Sen. Ben Nelson

DC Phone: (202) 224-6551

Local Phone: Omaha (402) 391-3411, Lincoln (402) 441-4600, Scottsbluff (308) 631-7614, Kearney (308) 293-5818, South Sioux City (402) 209-3595

Link to E-mail

North Dakota

Sen. Kent Conrad

DC Phone: (202) 224-2043

Local Phone: Bismarck (701) 258-4648, Fargo (701) 232-8030, Grand Forks (701) 775-9601, Minot (701) 852-0703

Link to E-mail

Sen. Byron Dorgan

DC Phone: (202) 224-2551

Local Phone: Bismarck (701) 250-4618, Fargo (701) 239-5389, Minot (701) 852-0703, Grand Forks (701) 746-8972

Link to E-mail

South Dakota

Sen. Tim Johnson

DC Phone: (202) 224-5842

Local Phone: Aberdeen (605) 226-3440, Sioux Falls (605) 332-8896, Rapid City (605) 341-3990

Link to E-mail


Sen. James Webb

(202) 224-4024

Link to E-mail.

West Virginia

Sen. Robert C. Byrd

DC Phone: (202) 224-3954

Local Phone: Charlestown (304) 342-5855, Eastern Panhandle (304) 264-4626

Link to E-mail


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