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The Disaster of Obamacare and the Showdown on Cloture

Tuesday, October 13, 2009  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

Yesterday’s stunning news about the skyrocketing cost of health insurance under Obamacare —from the current $13,000 a year in premiums for a family of four to $26,000 a year in one short decade— ought to motivate you to redouble your efforts to stop this bill. The trail of broken promises on this bill ends up trumped by this last one –it will actually drive health care costs way up, not control them. Contrary to what the president has said again and again, it is in fact better to do nothing. A lot better.

Couple that news of the toll on average Americans that the president’s enthusiasms will take with the story in today’s New York Times on the tax bite of the proposed levy on “cadillac health insurance plans” which will in fact fall on “minivan plans” and you have a perfect plan to greatly burden the middle class for decades to come. The cost of your health care will go up as will your taxes, but the quality of your care will go down, as will the number of doctors to provide it. If you are on Medicare, the services available to you will be rationed and your Medicare Advantage premiums will shoot up.

The White House and its allies predictably savaged the study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, but all the counter-noise cannot stop the public from hearing the truth: Obamacare is a massively expensive redistribution of wealth via direct and indirect taxes that will greatly damage Medicare while driving up health insurance costs for Americans who already have insurance all so that some, but far from all, people without health insurance can be provided with marginal coverage. The side effects on doctors and hospitals are well known, but the stampede being organized by the president seeks to simply jam them through.

The Republican effort to stop the big push is ineffective at best. As my new column points out and as Byron York and I laughed over on yesterday’s program, the GOP sent out George LeMieux to make the response to Obama’s weekly radio address this past Saturday. “George LeWho?” you wonder. Our point exactly. Not a confidence-building move by any measure.

Obamacare will get out of the Senate Finance Committee today, and then will be merged with all the other bad ideas on health care that Democrats cling to.

Then Harry Reid will try and force cloture on any bill no matter how incoherent or medicine-destroying its mix of incoherent initiatives and contradictory commands. He will need 60 votes to destroy American medicine and do so at extraordinary cost to the middle class who right now are covered by excellent insurance at significant but not punishing costs.

To get those 60 votes Reid will need one or two “yes” votes from Indiana’s Evan Bayh, Colorado’s Michael Bennet, Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, and Virginia’s James Webb, some of whom will be tempted to vote “yes” on cloture and then try to cover that vote with a “no” vote on the bill.

Every Republican legislator, every conservative commentator, every doctor and hospital professional, and every voter who sees Obamacare as the giant smash-up that it is needs to state again and again that we all know the cloture vote is the vote on Obamacare, and that we will work to defeat any senator who votes yes on cloture.

The contact information for these five and three other Democrats is below. Use it now and urge your families and friends to do the same or start reworking your budget to cut everything else out to pay for the health insurance premium hikes headed your way.


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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