Ted Cruz Begins Filibuster That Isn’t Really A Filibuster

Ted Cruz is holding the Senate floor "until I can no longer speak," but he still won't be able to stop the Senate from going forward.

Ted Cruz Senate Floor

Just after 2;40pm EDT today, Senator Ted Cruz took to the Senate floor and said he won’t yield until he’s unable speak. However, for all the theatrics he’s likely to engage in over the coming hours, he’s not going to be able to stop the Senate from going forward on the House Continuing Resolution:

Ted Cruz seized control of the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon, vowing to “speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.”

But Cruz cannot stop a Senate now in motion to eventually return a clean continuing resolution to the House a few days after the upper chamber approves it. By Senate rule, the latest the Senate will take the first procedural vote on a House spending bill that defunds Obamacare is 1 p.m. on Wednesday — a reality Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) broadcast to the world on Tuesday morning when he opened the Senate.

“I want to make sure everyone understands: There is no filibuster today,” Reid said.

In other words, it’s all over save for the theatrics. But Cruz promised to offer plenty of those on Tuesday in vowing to talk on the Senate floor for hours on Tuesday. He seemed unbowed by the reality that many Republican party elders are opposed to his tactic to halt the bill before Senate Democrats can strip out the defund Obamacare language. Joined by Utah Sen. Mike Lee on the floor beside him, the freshman Texas Republican forged ahead despite the fact that Republicans can’t perform a talking filibuster to delay indefinitely the stopgap spending measure indefinitely.

“It is time to make D.C. listen,” Cruz insisted on Tuesday on the Senate floor. “This is a point I intend to make over and over again.”

The Senate is on “auto-pilot” since Reid on Monday set up a series of procedural votes on the House-passed government funding bill, although Cruz and Mike Lee of Utah have maintained they will continue to fight Reid at every turn.

“We are going to vote tomorrow. Under the rules, no one can stop that,” Reid said.

Indeed, the Senate is basically on autopilot right now and Cruz’s speech will have no impact on procedure, which is, after all, the point of a traditional filibuster:

[E]ven if Cruz speaks throughout the night, a vote Wednesday will occur regardless because the Senate is operating on “auto pilot,” as Reid described it Monday. According to a senior Democratic leadership aide, Senate rules dictate that the Senate will automatically adjourn at noon Wednesday then return to session to hold a cloture vote on the motion to proceed, which will require 60 votes.

That’s just the latest development in a day that started out badly for Cruz thanks to Wall Street Journal editorial:

 The freshman Senator’s latest gambit is to pledge to filibuster the bill he asked the House to pass so it never reaches the Senate floor and Mr. Reid can’t strip the House language. But even if that succeeds, which is unlikely, it merely postpones the inevitable unless Mr. Cruz and Republicans want to prevent the Senate from passing any budget at all.

When Mr. Reid does send a budget back to the House, the question is what the GOP does then. If it passes another budget with the defund-ObamaCare provision, the Senate will refuse again, and we are headed toward a partial government shutdown. This won’t be the end of the world, but the politics are treacherous and unpredictable.

When Mr. Cruz demands that House Republicans “hold firm,” he means they should keep trying to defund ObamaCare even if it results in a shutdown that President Obama will blame on Republicans. It’s nice of him to volunteer House Republicans for duty. The supposedly intrepid General Cruz can view the battle from the comfort of HQ while the enlisted troops take any casualties

(…)

The Lee-Cruz strategy, to the extent it’s about more than fund-raising lists or getting face time on cable TV, seems to be that if the House holds “firm” amid a shutdown, then the public will eventually blame Mr. Obama and the Democrats, who will then fold and defund ObamaCare. Or, short of that, Democrats might agree to delay the health-care law for another year past its launch date on October 1.

Miracles happen, but it would rank as one for the ages if Mr. Obama agreed to defund his signature Presidential achievement. A year’s delay would also be a victory, but Mr. Obama knows that punting the law past the 2014 election is risky if Republicans regain a Senate majority.

These columns opposed ObamaCare before it was known by that name, and we may have even been the first to call it by that name. We also don’t need any lectures about principle from the Heritage Foundation that promoted RomneyCare and the individual mandate that is part of ObamaCare. Or from cable TV pundits who sold Republicans on Mitt Romney despite RomneyCare.

The question is how to oppose ObamaCare when Republicans control only one house of Congress. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn points out that the defund and shutdown strategy is giving Mr. Reid an excuse to bust the spending caps and shift public attention away from ObamaCare’s flaws. The only real way to repeal the law is to win elections. Our strategy would be to conduct an island-hopping campaign that attacks the law’s vulnerable parts to help win those elections rather than invade the Japanese mainland.

But we’ve lost this debate, and Generals Cruz and Lee are in charge. If they do succeed and defund ObamaCare, we’ll gladly give them due credit. But if things don’t go well, let’s not hear any excuses about “the surrender caucus” or claims that it would all have worked out if only everyone were as brave and principled as the generals up at HQ.

That’s some pretty harsh language from what is arguably the leading conservative Editorial Page in the country, and it’s likely to provide coverage to others on the right whose criticism of Cruz until now has been muted for fear of being beaten back by the likes of Palin, Hannity, and Limbaugh (who, I’m told is actually on vacation and not on the air this week). If nothing else, it’s likely to pretty much doom Cruz’s efforts to convince his fellow Republican Senators to join him in opposing cloture. Indeed, even as Cruz was planning this move, though, other Senate Republicans were making it clear that they don’t agree with him. In addition to Senators McConnell and Cornyn, who announced yesterday that they would be voting for cloture, Senators Blunt and Hatch have also announced that they are yes votes as well. Combined with other Republican Senators who have expressed opposition to Cruz’s “defund” strategy, it’s clear that Harry Reid already has more than enough votes to invoke cloture on the first vote tomorrow, and most likely on the second vote which will occur on either Friday or Saturday.

Rand Paul lasted 13 hours. Any guesses how long Cruz will last?

Update: Gawker’s explainer is not to be missed, although it is slightly NSFW.

 

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Health Care, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    He has to outlast Rand Paul. That is the entire point of this asinine exercise.

  2. al-Ameda says:

    This is what Cruz lives for, this is why he’s in Washington. He’s not there to constructively engage anyone on any issue, he’s there to tear down or significantly diminish social “entitlement” programs of the federal government. He’s a true believer, he’s not going away any time soon.

    I hope he is wearing a diaper (or maybe not.)

  3. michael reynolds says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I am not convinced he’s a true believer. I suspect he’s just an opportunist. This is all about 2016. He’s going up against Chris Christie and Dexter. I mean, Rand Paul.

  4. Jeremy R says:

    Isn’t Cruz just eating up the limited time his fellow GOP colleagues where going to divide among themselves for their own anti-HCR base-signaling floor rants/theater?

  5. grumpy realist says:

    @Jeremy R: If that’s true, then Cruz is going to emerge from this with a horde of flying axes in the air from his fellow republicans.

  6. john personna says:

    This sounds like a job for … rational inattention.

  7. @michael reynolds:

    Dexter would be a good president. He has a plan for dealing with violent crime that doesn’t require restricting the rights of law abiding gun owners.

  8. Mr. Replica says:

    Rand Paul’s Toupee/Cruz 2016!!

  9. Woody says:

    I’ll say this again, because the Cruz (Not-a-) Filibuster is a perfect example:

    Congressional Republicans have been reduced to characters on a “reality-TV” show to provide the Murdoch/talkradio/rightwing internet with material to work with. It is only the politically-minded that will distinguish between this stunt and an actual filibuster. Certainly, it won’t be portrayed as anything but a filibuster by the media (not only Murdoch’s).

    Fox viewers will see that Character Cruz (portrayed as a Principled Upstart in this episode) is committed to the Noble Cause, and thus worthy of praise. Characters McConnell and Boehner, however, are viewed with suspicion, as they may give in to the evil Reid and Pelosi and fail to find a way to thwart their plan to provide health insurance destroy America.

    Then, they can take on Fox’s greatest creation, Nobama. I understand this character is based on a real-life president.

  10. Ted Cruz seized control of the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon, vowing to “speak in support of defunding Obamacare until I am no longer able to stand.”

    “From where the sun now stands, I will blather no more forever.”

  11. legion says:

    @grumpy realist:

    If that’s true, then Cruz is going to emerge from this with a horde of flying axes in the air from his fellow republicans.

    How is that different from their attitude towards him now?

  12. legion says:

    I absolutely love this stuff. Cruz burnt every bridge with his House party members by abusing the crap out of them to pass this very bill. And then, on realizing that his “silver bullet” legislation could be trivially disarmed by ordinary Senate procedures now has to backtrack and “filibuster” his own idea. This is literally like a basketball coach who tells his star player to just tuck the ball under his arm and _run_ to the basket, and then gets all surprised & indignant when the refs call traveling on him. He – a sitting Senator – basically forgot how the Senate conducts business on a day-to-day basis, and shot both his own feet off.

    This, Republicans, is the New Intellectual Leader of the GOP! This is your future! Ted Motherf*cking Cruz!

    Suck it.

  13. michael reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Hah! I think that’s the thread-winner. I will blather no more forever.

  14. Tillman says:

    @michael reynolds: According to Josh Marshall’s take, he probably is a true believer.

  15. Tillman says:

    Honestly, isn’t this supposed to be a rallying cry for dithering House Republicans who aren’t sure about government shutdown? Or is he just making his stance clear in the coming Grand Old Civil War?

  16. grumpy realist says:

    @legion: Given that he just called his fellow Republicans a bunch of Nazi-appeasers, I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see actual flying metal soon.

    I really wonder what Cruz thinks he is gaining by this. After you burn all your bridges and all your boats, it’s a little hard to create a power base. Unless he honestly thinks that getting sufficient Teahadists behind him is enough to propel him to the White House.

  17. @grumpy realist:

    Unless he honestly thinks that getting sufficient Teahadists behind him is enough to propel him to the White House.

    Even better. They’ll propel him to a lucrative correspondent gig at Fox News and possibly his own radio show.

  18. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. Given the public meltdown Ted Cruz is endulging himself in, I really wonder about his reputation for intelligence. He supposedly argued in front of the Supreme Court? I wonder. One of the first rules you learn as a lawyer is “don’t piss off the judge/jury.” Does Cruz really imagine he will be able to make enemies of all of his fellow congresscritters and for there to NOT be blowback later?

  19. grumpy realist says:

    @legion: P.P.S. That’s the other thing that makes me wonder about his supposed smarts as a lawyer. He didn’t realize the procedural rules of the Senate? Hello? One of the very first thing you do when arguing before a court is to research what the so-called “local rules” are and make damn sure you stick to them. This is no different.

    My feeling is the Cruz ended up in politics because he didn’t have the smarts to actually practice law.

  20. Rafer Janders says:

    @grumpy realist:

    My feeling is the Cruz ended up in politics because he didn’t have the smarts to actually practice law.

    Oh, no, I knew Ted, and he’s very intelligent. It’s just his personality — the fact that he’s a raging entitled conceited jerk — that’s the problem. It’s his personality, not his intelligence, that propelled him into politics and away from the law proper.

  21. grumpy realist says:

    @Rafer Janders: How intelligent is it to assume that you don’t have to follow the rules?

    I think at somepoint being a raging narcississtic jerk ends up having an effect on one’s intelligence. If you can’t learn from errors — or admit that you might have made an error — you’re never going to be able to adapt and get better at things. You’ve got to sell your vision to other people — assuming that you’re the only one that’s right and everybody is stupid isn’t going to get other people to listen to you.

    Cruz has managed to reach the position he has simply because he’s provided material for the conserva-entertainment complex. Being a bomb-thrower is fun, but it only works as long as you actually manage to frighten people. As soon as the world realizes you’re throwing duds, you get classed as “that crazy uncle in the attic.” I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years Cruz ends up hawking used cars on late-night TV.

  22. Rafer Janders says:

    @grumpy realist:

    How intelligent is it to assume that you don’t have to follow the rules?

    Well, that depends. For some people it’s worked out quite well. If you can get away with it, it can be a winning strategy. Trouble is, you have to have a lot of luck, skill and/or charm to get away with it, and Ted is deficient on all three.

  23. al-Ameda says:

    @grumpy realist:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if in a few years Cruz ends up hawking used cars on late-night TV.

    This is America – I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point the GOP offered up a Cruz-Palin (or Palin-Cruz) ticket.

  24. pylon says:

    @Jeremy R: Yup – The Repubs have a set amount of time (as do the Dems). Therefore, by speaking for hours, Cruz just uses the whole portion of Repub time.

    To him that may be a feature, not a bug.

  25. JKB says:

    Classic, all ya’ll don’t see it.

    In 13 months, everyone who voted in the House and 1/3rd of those in the Senate will be facing voters. Voters who will by then have a year of real-world experience with Obamacare. Unless Obamacare turns out to be the next best thing since the iPhone and as fun to interact with, a whole lot of voters are going to be looking for who’s responsible. Not some voter 5 years ago, but a clear vote right before it went online and after “we knew what was in it”, well most of what was in it.

    And few outside the beltway know how the House voted on a dreary budget bill but Cruz is going to be covered and that the House GOP tried to stop Obamacare is going to get mentioned.

    Now, who wants to bet whether Obamacare is smooth sailing over the next 13 months?

  26. Ron Beasley says:
  27. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I am not convinced he’s a true believer. I suspect he’s just an opportunist.

    These are not mutually exclusive.

    As mentioned, I used to know Ted personally, and I can assure you that he means what he says. If it’s an act, it’s an act he’s been putting on continuously every days since he was a teenager. However, Ted is also devoted to self-promotion and to putting Ted first. The true believer and the opportunist are as one in him, two beings that are both equal to and the same as each other.

  28. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    Unless Obamacare turns out to be the next best thing since the iPhone and as fun to interact with, a whole lot of voters are going to be looking for who’s responsible.

    Well, since y’all did us the favor of naming it “Obamacare”, I’m pretty sure who they’re going to hold responsible. Unlike you, I think this is a great thing.

    I only wish the Republicans in the 1930s had been stupid enough to label Social Security as “FDRCare”….

  29. mantis says:

    @JKB:

    Now, who wants to bet whether Obamacare is smooth sailing over the next 13 months?

    I don’t know about smooth sailing (whatever is?), but I will bet that public perception of the law will be much more favorable when all the nonsense predictions wingnuts have been peddling don’t come true.

  30. steve s says:

    If Cruz is a good debater, and since he’s tall and not weird looking, and has Teatard support, it’s entirely possible he could get the nomination.

  31. grumpy realist says:

    @Ron Beasley: so it looks like Cruz has calculated that he can turn over the entire Republican party, topsy-turvey, grab power, piss off the old guard, and come out ahead?

    That’s a hell of an ego. It may make for an interesting dog-fight among the candidates, but I find it difficult to believe that the money-bag-men are going to be willing to put their ca$h behind someone who hasn’t indicated any view towards moderation. Sure, Cruz might be able to scoop up the 27% and get them to the ballot box, but I predict that if Cruz is the nominee 73% of the US will be voting for whoever the other side runs, even if the candidate is a ham sandwich. And I think the money-men know that.

  32. Ron Beasley says:

    @grumpy realist: I couldn’t agree more. Cruz has very little interest in being an actual Senator much less President. He would however like the nomination in 2016 however for all the face time he will get. It’s all about feeding his ego and keeping his face on the TV machine.

  33. mantis says:

    Cruz kicked things off with a bang by comparing failure to defund Obamacare with Chamberlain’s appeasement of the Nazis. Of course.

  34. john personna says:

    @mantis:

    If the screen had a little tally box for donations sent in by frightened little old ladies (and men) it might be interesting.

  35. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    -1 because you lack basic understanding of how Obamacare works.

    Most people, with existing insurance, will see no change.

  36. grumpy realist says:

    @Ron Beasley: Y’know, maybe we could set up something like “Real Housewives of New Jersey” for all the people like Ted Cruz, call it “Real Politicans of the US.” Give them enough camera, facetime, and pseudo-talk shows they can blovitate about, pretend primaries and all that. Fox News can cover them as much as they like. The winner of the “Primary” will end up winning the post of being a talk-show host.

    And those people that actually want to govern and get things done can run in the real primaries.

  37. Tillman says:

    @JKB:

    In 13 months, everyone who voted in the House and 1/3rd of those in the Senate will be facing voters. Voters who will by then have a year of real-world experience with Obamacare. Unless Obamacare turns out to be the next best thing since the iPhone and as fun to interact with, a whole lot of voters are going to be looking for who’s responsible.

    It’ll take more than a year for people to get over ideological preconceptions. The grassroot efforts to keep the public ignorant of its options under Obamacare will extend the period it’d usually take for a healthcare law to become the norm, like Social Security and Medicare.

    Also, ‘next best thing since the iPhone and as fun to interact with’ describes no piece of legislation ever enacted in the history of mankind. Nice of you to set the bar super high in order to justify your inevitable disappointment in the law.

  38. PJ says:

    @JKB:

    Unless Obamacare turns out to be the next best thing since the iPhone and as fun to interact with, a whole lot of voters are going to be looking for who’s responsible.

    If Republicans in Congress actually thought that Obamacare (and I’m sooo happy that Republicans were stupid enough to do what the Democrats would never have done, that is name it after the President) would be the kind of huge disaster then they wouldn’t have held all those votes trying to stop it nor would they be willing to threaten with default if it wasn’t defunded.

  39. wr says:

    @mantis: Last I saw, he was reading Green Eggs and Ham.

    Seriously.

    You know, if he’d been talking for three days straight, his voice was cracking and his knees buckling, this might have been dramatic.

    As it was, it made him look like an idiot.

  40. Todd says:

    I don’t like Ted Cruz one little bit, but this is kind of cool …

    http://www.businessinsider.com/video-ted-cruz-reads-green-eggs-and-ham-defund-obamacare-2013-9

  41. bill says:

    @michael reynolds: i dunno, he’s not making any friends with these kind of quotes!

    “If Obamacare is so wonderful, why is it that its loudest advocates don’t want to be subject to it,” Cruz said, in reference to legislators who want congressional staff exempted from Obamacare.

    @Woody: right, there’s not much character across the aisle i guess? or just nobody talking about anything relevant? or both?

  42. Scott O says:

    @bill:

    Cruz said, in reference to legislators who want congressional staff exempted from Obamacare.

    Great point, except for the fact that congressional staffers aren’t exempted from Obamacare.

  43. Latino_in_Boston says:

    I think Woody is right on with his analysis. This is what the GOP has become.

    It is currently engaged in a futile exercise to stop poor people from getting insurance because they’ve already lost every political means of blocking or repealing the law. So now, we have a freshman from Texas accomplishing absolutely nothing, but looking like he’s doing something. All the while having zero chance that his dickish moves will cost him at all politically since he will not run for reelection until 2018 in a red state. For his trouble he will be considered a hero and a gentleman among the tea party crowd, while those that will actually face a political backlash and are actually trying to pass something will be considered squishes, traitor and “nazi appeasers”.

  44. Rafer Janders says:

    @wr:

    You know, if he’d been talking for three days straight, his voice was cracking and his knees buckling, this might have been dramatic. As it was, it made him look like an idiot.

    Next time, he should wear some pink sneakers. They might straighten his spine.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Are not all debates subject to cloture? Is a filibuster only a filibuster if cloture fails?

  46. JKB says:

    @john personna: Most people, with existing insurance, will see no change.

    Well, the truth will out. But this is not what we are hearing from the unions, Trader Joe’s, etc.

  47. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @JKB: Yeah, what we’re hearing from Trader Joe’s is essentially “why should we provide health insurance for our part-time employees when we can send them off to leach off of Medicade because their income is poverty-level.”

    And guys like Trader Joe’s are the “producer” class. Welcome to newspeak-land. I love your team J… keep up the good work!

  48. Grewgills says:

    @JKB:
    I’ll take that bet. Of course Cruz et al blathering doesn’t count as rough seas. I am talking exclusively about actual real world implementation.
    What would you like the stakes to be? I suggest an open abject admission from the loser that they are entirely and completely wrong in their perception of law and politics and complete deference in all arguments on this site to the winner. Are you game?

  49. Rob in CT says:

    Classic, all ya’ll don’t see it.

    Oh, we see it. We get it, JKB.

    Cruz is setting himself up as the young buck who fought the good fight. He tilted at the windmill. And when it all goes to hell (as Conservatives just *know* it will), he will be a hero. A HERO I TELL YOU!

    We understand the plan. We simply think that it’s mendacious and likely to be less than successful (I don’t actually think the Texas voters who put Cruz in office will tire of him. But I do think his POTUS ambitions will likely take a hit when people notice the ACA isn’t a calamity at all).

  50. Barry says:

    Doug: “Rand Paul lasted 13 hours. Any guesses how long Cruz will last?”

    AFAIK, there are two sorts of filibusters – the ‘Mr. Smith Goes to Washington’ ones, like what Rand did, and the normal one, where some Senator raises his/her pinkie finger to object to cloture. The first lasts as long as a single Senator can speak; the second lasts until 60 Senators can vote. This means that the first is a pure PR stunt.

  51. Barry says:

    @JKB: “Classic, all ya’ll don’t see it.

    In 13 months, everyone who voted in the House and 1/3rd of those in the Senate will be facing voters. Voters who will by then have a year of real-world experience with Obamacare. Unless Obamacare turns out to be the next best thing since the iPhone and as fun to interact with, a whole lot of voters are going to be looking for who’s responsible. Not some voter 5 years ago, but a clear vote right before it went online and after “we knew what was in it”, well most of what was in it. ”

    Bull. The GOP is seeking to delay implementation, at the federal and state level; it if were such a turn-off, they’d make sure that as many voters as possible had experience with it.

  52. Blue Galangal says:

    @bill: he Affordable Care Act includes a provision, first proposed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), forcing members of Congress and their staffs to buy insurance through Obamacare. But it didn’t provide a clear mechanism for them to do so.
    The insurance marketplaces are built for individuals, not employers, and there was concern that the federal government could not continue paying its traditional share of congressional health plans. That would mean the entire cost would fall to members of Congress and their staffs, many of whom would likely flee the institution.
    The Obama administration’s compromise is to permit the federal government to contribute toward employee insurance on the exchanges, but to render those employees ineligible for any tax credits or subsidies.
    “Members of Congress and their staff must go into the exchange,” said an administration official. “No ands, ifs, or buts. They will not be eligible in any way for subsidies or tax credits. But they don’t lose their current employer contribution.”

  53. J-Dub says:

    I remember thinking when I first got my iPhone, “I haven’t had this much fun since the House renamed my Post Office!”

  54. Rob in CT says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    And so we see that an alleged problem with the ACA was manufactured by the GOP and when it was corrected, the GOPers lied about it.

    Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie.

  55. Barry says:

    @Scott O: “Great point, except for the fact that congressional staffers aren’t exempted from Obamacare. ”

    And the fact that members of Congress are exempted from many laws and other features of ordinary life. They get pensions and government-funded healthcare, while most of us get sh*t.

  56. Todd says:

    @Rob in CT:

    I don’t actually think the Texas voters who put Cruz in office will tire of him.

    I think you need to put “Texas voters” in quotes. Ted Cruz was sent to the Senate after winning a low turn-out (just over a million voters) primary run-off. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that Erick Erickson should get more credit (or blame) for Ted Cruz being a Senator than the average (even Republican) Texas voter.

  57. rudderpedals says:

    @Blue Galangal: This is an excellent idea. It broadens the pools and brings a constituency highly motivated to make them work.

    No wonder the reactionaries are losing it.

  58. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    That is a gross misrepresentation of the Trader Joe’s story. Most employees do keep their existing insurance, and a minority of part timers see a change. Even there the company was very ethical. It only dropped company provided insurance for those workers for whom Obamacare was a better deal.

    That is, the only change Trader Joe’s made was to save their part time workers money.

  59. JKB says:

    In the next few weeks, we are going to be where the Obamacare meets the proctology exam. And we’ll either see the diagnostic value or feel very violated. Some may take time to decide which way it went. Others may pop-up, open-eyed. A few may struggle to escape. It is possible after the initial surprise that people will settle into tolerance, try not to think of what is happening and then gratefully take the offered tissue and try to salvage some of their dignity. But it will take a while to see if the new finger wave has any efficacy or not.

  60. legion says:

    @JKB:

    Well, the truth will out. But this is not what we are hearing from the unions, Trader Joe’s, etc.

    You are attempting to dodge your own argument. “Trader Joe’s” doesn’t have health insurance; neither do unions – people do. And they’re seeing improvements nationwide.

    Here’s another important data point – Trader Joe’s doesn’t vote – people do. And your party has been spewing such ludicrous BS about how the economy will be utterly destroyed by ACA that even if it doesn’t achieve anything beyond maintaining the status quo in health insurance rates, it will still be seen by the vast majority of Americans as a huge success compared to the armageddon the GOP predicted. Either way, the Republicans lose – this was the wrong battle to fight “to the death” over, and the wrong generalissimo to lead that fight.

  61. bk says:

    @JKB:

    In the next few weeks, we are going to be where the Obamacare meets the proctology exam

    What is it with you and your fellow Republicans with all of the anal sex metaphors all of the time? Projection?

  62. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    That one was so content-free that I can’t really down-vote it.

    BTW, I’ve heard that under Obamacare we need to get colonoscopies every month! Is that true?

  63. Moosebreath says:

    @john personna:

    “I’ve heard that under Obamacare we need to get colonoscopies every month! Is that true?”

    All performed by a person in a leering Uncle Sam suit!! I saw it on the internet, so it must be true!!

  64. Scott O says:

    @john personna: Totally true, and it will be done by a guy in a funny costume.

    Edit added, beat by 4 seconds

  65. Rob in CT says:

    Right, I looked into the Trader Joe’s story. The company’s explanation is actually that their part timers, since they are part-timers who don’t make a ton, will get a better deal on the exchanges than they would from Trader Joe’s employer-provided insurance.

    Lie, distort, lie, distort…

    Hey, JKB, go ahead and keep comparing getting folks who were previously uninsured/uninsurable health insurance to being violated. Keep it up, chuckles.

  66. Todd says:

    I know this is just “liberal gobblygook” (as are most fact checking sites .. according to those who enjoy being able to make up their own “truth”), but since we’re talking about Obamacare in this thread, it seems relevant:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/sep/24/top-16-myths-about-health-care-law/

  67. john personna says:

    @Todd:

    It is really amazing the crazy stuff that comes out on the email circuit.

    15. Obamacare will question your sex life. Pants on Fire.

    I’m fine with telling my doctor about my sex life. Where else can a Lutheran boast?

  68. Rafer Janders says:

    @michael reynolds:

    I am not convinced he’s a true believer. I suspect he’s just an opportunist.

    I’ve just been talking to some other friends who knew Ted back in student days, and the general consensus was that while he was always a hard core conservative, he was also an opportunist who would say or do anything to advance himself. Luckily for Ted, over the last twenty years or so those two trends have not been at odds; if anything, they’ve complemented each other.

  69. Rick Almeida says:

    @Anonymous:

    Are not all debates subject to cloture? Is a filibuster only a filibuster if cloture fails?

    Short answer: no, not all Senate debates are subject to cloture.

    Longer answer: The Senate is scheduled to adjourn at noon today (Wednesday, 11 minutes from now). A scheduled adjournment can’t be stopped. When it returns to business, there should be a motion to proceed to a vote on the CR passed by the House. That vote can be filibustered, but it looks like the 40 votes aren’t there.

    Once the cloture vote fails, Senators will likely (I am not a Congress specialist, so apologies) offer amendments to the House CR, probably to remove the Obamacare defunding language. There might be other amendments, but eventually a vote on the amended version of the House CR.

    I think. There is a long primer on the filibuster and cloture here.

  70. grumpy realist says:

    I really wonder about the intelligence of these people. Ever heard of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”? What happens when the great disaster doesn’t happen? What then?

  71. al-Ameda says:

    @john personna:

    BTW, I’ve heard that under Obamacare we need to get colonoscopies every month! Is that true?

    John, you’ll have to consult your Death Panel on that one.

  72. michael reynolds says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    That sounds about right. I shouldn’t have said he was just an opportunist. More accurate would be to say that this absurd little show of his is pure politics. He can be sincere and an opportunist simultaneously. Not sure if that makes him more or less heinous.

  73. C. Clavin says:

    I really wonder about the intelligence of these people. Ever heard of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”? What happens when the great disaster doesn’t happen? What then?

    Refer to any post about Benghaziiiiiiii!!!!!!!!

  74. @Rick Almeida:

    One correction. Today’s vote is on a Motion to Proceed to Debate on the House CR. The final cloture vote on the motion to proceed to a vote will be either late Friday or early Saturday

  75. JKB says:

    @john personna: BTW, I’ve heard that under Obamacare we need to get colonoscopies every month! Is that true?

    I doubt that since insurers participating in the exchanges are severely restricting the pool of providers to keep the costs down. That will lead to appointment shortages. No way to do monthly anything when you are on a waiting list that is months long.

  76. JKB says:

    @al-Ameda: John, you’ll have to consult your Death Panel on that one.

    Your “death panel” will not take any input from you as the decision to restrict access to medical services either through outright denial of coverage or limitations on providers creating waiting lists will be made without all the emotional concern over people unnecessarily dying.

  77. Rick Almeida says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Interesting – I can’t find any floor votes on today’s Senate schedule. C-SPAN confirms you’re right – thanks for the correction.

  78. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Both those posts are total insanity, off the senile-conservative email circuit.

  79. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    I’m sorry, are you complaining that the exchanges aren’t going to provide enough care? So you want the government to provide unlimited, unrestricted health care, no matter the cost, all paid for by tax dollars? So you think that unlimited health care is a right to which we’re all entitled and we all get to have someone else pay for it?

    Funny, but this doesn’t seem like it’s quite in line with your previous positions on government spending…or is it just that you like to complain?

  80. Rick Almeida says:

    @JKB:

    Blue Cross / Blue Shield of South Carolina also doesn’t take any input from me about its decisions to deny coverage or set limits. They don’t seem too emotional, either, now that I think about it.

  81. Todd says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    You seem to be forgetting that there’ s a huge difference between the “hard working Americans” who have earned, and thus deserve, “unlimited, unrestricted health care, no matter the cost, all paid for by tax dollars”, and the lazy moochers who obvioulsy haven’t “earned” such a thing … because there must be a reason (some character flaw) which explains why they don’t already have insurance now right?

    >>end sarcasm<<

  82. Rob in CT says:

    restrict access to medical services

    You don’t give a damn about restricting access to medical services.

    Lie, distort, lie, distort…

  83. john personna says:

    “death panels” AND “a waiting list that is months long.”

    don’t feed the troll.

  84. Rob in CT says:

    @john personna:

    Mixed with “it’ll cost too much!” and let’s not forget “the Obamamonster cut Medicare!” (!!)

  85. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    You saw that the rates are out? In 94% of cases the cost will be below CBO projections.

    In other words, starting Tuesday a bunch of people who could not get insurance will be able to get it. And a bunch of people who could not afford it will be able to afford it. And a bunch of people who could afford it but would like to pay less will pay less.

    What are you going to do when people start realizing they’re saving 50 bucks a month or whatever?

  86. Scott says:

    @Rafer Janders: Yes, that has been a core argument: that providing medical care to the uninsured and poor will create shortages of primary care doctors. Of course this is basically saying that the poor and uninsured shouldn’t consume healthcare because it would inconvenience the insured and wealthy. An additional unspoken assumption is that a lot of healthcare is unnecessary.

  87. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    I doubt that since insurers participating in the exchanges are severely restricting the pool of providers to keep the costs down

    So you don’t like this, and would instead prefer that costs…go up?

  88. mantis says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What are you going to do when people start realizing they’re saving 50 bucks a month or whatever?

    He’ll just keep claiming up is down, black is white.

  89. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JKB:

    Your “death panel” will not take any input from you as the decision to restrict access to medical services either through outright denial of coverage or limitations on providers creating waiting lists will be made without all the emotional concern over people unnecessarily dying.

    Hmmmmm, sounds just like my current insurance.

  90. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What are you going to do when people start realizing they’re saving 50 bucks a month or whatever?

    Sign up.

  91. john personna says:

    A good riff:

    What Ted Cruz Doesn’t Understand About Green Eggs and Ham

    It nails the contradiction. If conservatives, like JKB, are so sure Obamacare will be a bad experience, why wouldn’t they let it go through and thereby ruin the reputation of over-reaching progressives for a generation?

    Only if they think people will end up liking the green eggs and ham would they try to stop them from tasting it.

  92. al-Ameda says:

    @JKB:

    Your “death panel” will not take any input from you as the decision to restrict access to medical services either through outright denial of coverage or limitations on providers creating waiting lists will be made without all the emotional concern over people unnecessarily dying.

    That is a harsh, yet extremely accurate, way to characterize a health insurance company.

  93. Moosebreath says:

    @john personna:

    “Only if they think people will end up liking the green eggs and ham would they try to stop them from tasting it.”

    This. It’s has been apparent even since Bill Kristol’s memo on why Hillarycare needed to be stopped that Republicans were afraid national health care would be popular, not unpopular:

    “But the long-term political effects of a successful Clinton health care bill will be even worse–much worse. It will relegitimize middle-class dependence for “security” on government spending and regulation. It will revive the reputation of the party that spends and regulates, the Democrats, as the generous protector of middle-class interests. And it will at the same time strike a punishing blow against Republican claims to defend the middle class by restraining government.”

  94. Grewgills says:

    @JKB:
    Hmmm, no response to my accepting your bet? No counter offer? Are you afraid to put your money where your mouth is?

  95. JKB says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What are you going to do when a bunch of others realize they aren’t saving money and in fact that their rates have gone up? And to all those 19-35 yr olds who will now be forced to pay more for healthcare they didn’t purchase in the first place for care they’ll have no need of?

    O

    On Tuesday, former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama sat down for a discussion about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In the talk at the Clinton Global Initiative, Obama and Clinton dug into the “open enrollment” period beginning October 1st. Clinton noted that the ACA “only works” if health care costs are pooled and a healthy young people purchase health insurance.
    ….
    “We’ve got to have them in the pools,” Clinton continued, “because otherwise these projected low costs cannot be held if older people with preexisting conditions are disproportionately represented in any given state.”

  96. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    I just heard a story. A friend was riding the auto dealer shuttle, and touched on current events. The driver, a young married man, had “messed himself up” and gone to the emergency room, without insurance. He just got a few stitches but now has a $6500 bill he must clear, on his shuttle-driver’s salary, to keep a good credit rating.

    Congratulations on your endorsement of that, as good life planning.

  97. john personna says:

    I think JKB is both a perma-loon and a perma-troll.

  98. Grewgills says:

    @john personna:
    Cruz’s Green Eggs and Ham riff was a rare moment of (unintended) clarity. Maybe someday he will read the last page.

  99. john personna says:

    Jeez, it suddenly occurs … do you know how many young people like to ride fixies without helmets?

    Damn right we require them to buy health insurance.

  100. David M says:

    @JKB:

    You can’t possibly be that oblivious to how insurance works, both the freedom destroying Obamacare as well as traditional employer provided health insurance.

  101. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    And to all those 19-35 yr olds who will now be forced to pay more for healthcare they didn’t purchase in the first place for care they’ll have no need of?

    19-35 year olds don’t get in car accidents? They don’t ride motorcycles or bicycles? They don’t drink alcohol and have accidents while drunk? They don’t break a leg or tear their ACL while playing soccer or basketball or jogging or skiing?

  102. Moosebreath says:

    @David M:

    “You can’t possibly be that oblivious to how insurance works, both the freedom destroying Obamacare as well as traditional employer provided health insurance.”

    Evidence for this proposition, please. I’d stake JKB’s ability to be oblivious of the real world with the best of them.

  103. Rob in CT says:

    @Rafer Janders:

    Just as relevant: 19-35 year olds don’t age?

  104. anjin-san says:

    @ JKB

    they’ll have no need of?

    Even setting accidents aside, you have never known a 19-35 year old who had a serious health problem? Or a relatively minor one that still required medical attention?

  105. JKB says:

    @anjin-san:

    You are correct, they could use a catastrophic illness/injury policy. Oh, wait, those aren’t permitted anymore. But statistically the young and especially males will pay way more in than the actuarial risks justify.

    @Rob in CT:

    Oh, I see, this is a investment in their future. Like Social Security?

  106. Rafer Janders says:

    @anjin-san:

    Even setting accidents aside, you have never known a 19-35 year old who had a serious health problem? Or a relatively minor one that still required medical attention?

    Most serious psychological disorders and mental illness (depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychosis, etc.) generally begin to manifest in adolescence and early adulthood.

  107. Rob in CT says:

    It is indeed a form of social insurance, JKB.

    Young people can get sick, or injured. Even if they do not, they will age and require more medical care. So in the cycle of life things will even out for most folks. This isn’t some assault on young people.

  108. David M says:

    @JKB:

    But statistically…males will pay way more in [premiums] than the actuarial risks justify.

    Wait, there are people willing to defend the idea women should pay more for health insurance? And argue in a public forum that one of the problems with insurance is that men and women might end up paying the same amount?

  109. Scott says:

    But statistically the young and especially males will pay way more in than the actuarial risks justify

    And older people (say 55-65) will pay way less than the actuarial risks justify.

    That is how insurance works.

  110. Rob in CT says:

    @David M:

    Oh yes, of course there are!

    The argument is that men don’t get preggers and stuff so why should they have to pay for all that? Bonus points for a Sandra Fluke reference.

    Another common theme is to compare it with car insurance. Young people, particularly young men, pay higher premiums b/c they get into more (and more serious) accidents. We accept this practice, therefore we should accept men and women paying different health insurance premiums.

    I don’t have a really super strong preference there, except to say that the things that make women more expensive often involve men…

  111. pylon says:

    Hah – now that the actual rates are coming out – and the costs are going down – the anti-universality forces have to come up with different arguments.

    The law will have implementation problems!! Like any other large scale law?

    It impacts freedumm!! Like any other law?

    It makes healthy people get insurance they don’t use!!! Sorta like how school taxes pay to educate others’ kids, municipal taxes pay for roads (even the ones I don’t use) and federal taxes pay for military adventures I don’t like?

    Overall, insurance costs are gerater than medical expenses for the population. That’s how all insurance works. It’s paying a little against the possibility that something expensive will happen. But overall, the premiums exceed the cost – otherwise no profit for insurers.

    Wanna get rid of the insrance cost delta? Fine – but you will have to socialize!

  112. thomm says:

    The ages of 19-35 are also the most common ages for men to develop testicular cancer. A catastrophic policy would do nothing but wipe out savings for that. I didtinctly remember the on staff nurse at my smal,l all male college giving incoming freshmen an in depth, hour long presentation on how to perform a self check an the statistical risk as well as available tratment options as part of orientation week. With how surprisingly common it can be, and how expensive cancer treatments of any sort are (especially if not caught in time, ang goes throughout your abdomen), the birth control coverage expenses to a premium more than likely balance out .

  113. KM says:

    @David M:

    Yep. On Fox and Friends, even!! Gretchen Carlson was NOT amused…

    “Look, it’s not bias, I’m not saying this as a man,” Fox News Medical A-Team contributor Dr. David Samadi told the hosts of Fox & Friends. “They go through a lot of preventive screenings, they give birth, they have the whole mammogram, the Pap smear. Guys, we don’t like to go to doctors, right? Seventy percent of health care decisions are made by women. In my own practice, I see it’s the women who bring the guys, who say, go get screened.”

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/27/fox-news-expert-women-have-the-breasts-so-health-care-should-cost-more-than-men/

  114. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Dude, you might want to check the age range in which most women give birth.

    But I guess you assume they just go out into the fields, dig a trench, squat down, and plop the newborn in. No need of any health care at all.

  115. JKB says:

    @john personna: He just got a few stitches but now has a $6500 bill he must clear, on his shuttle-driver’s salary, to keep a good credit rating.

    Perhaps you could elaborate on how you think Obamacare would ameliorate this problem?

    The individual obviously chose not to purchase even an accident/catastrophic illness insurance policy. So he has no insurance to help him help lessen this sudden expense. But it seems unlikely that he’d purchase an Obamacare policy at what is now projected to be 3 times the current cost of insurance to a young male when he can pay a small penalty. He could then end up in the same situation, receiving care in an emergency room and having to pay the bill to protect his credit rating.

    On the upside, should his trip to the emergency room reveal an ongoing expensive illness, he’d be able to buy into the insurance pool for his future treatments, but he’d still have the cost of that uninsured (small penalty paid to IRS) care he received.

    But it is good that you admit what Obamacare is for. It is a very poor attempt to impose your idea of what people should spend money on on others. To bad, SCOTUS won’t let the penalty simply rise and rise to achieve that through threat of government violence, i.e., forced taking of an individuals money via penalty for failure to purchase insurance.

  116. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Go away troll. You keep arguing that people who actually get insurance pay more than people who don’t get insurance. You can’t do that and then give your uninsured the benefits of good insurance.

  117. JKB says:

    @Scott:And older people (say 55-65) will pay way less than the actuarial risks justify.

    That is how insurance works.

    No, that is not how insurance works. It works exactly opposite of that in fact. Which is why Obamacare isn’t insurance but a forced buying program to transfer wealth from young to the old.

  118. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Good thing young people never become old, because then it might even out!

  119. thomm says:

    Oh…and as someone who was paralyzed at the age of 32 by a blown disk and will be dealing with permanent nerve damage and the attending complications from it (straight cathaters, uti’s, a wound in my foot for over 2 years) while not able to get disability due to returning to work after my injury, even though I haven’t been able to hold a steady job after the foot wound and lack of health insurance due to this. I am looking forward to the exchanges and subsidies so I can get the the long term care I need done right and not put off the treatments I need to stop the reinfections, wound vacs, nursing home stays and iv antiniotics that have been my life since and become a produtive person again. It took over two years and losing just about everything so I could become a charity care patient at my local hospital. Should get my skin graft soon and get back to the real world. Too bad something that would have been taken care of properly a year and a half ago in any other industrialized country had to fester (literally) this long. I have gotten kind of sick hearing basically, “f you, die” from opponents to any idea of universal care in this country when all I have wanted to do was get better and back to work and as much normalcy as I can.

  120. Rafer Janders says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Dude, you might want to check the age range in which most women give birth.

    My gosh, I can’t believe I forgot to include pregnancy and childbirth in my initial list of things that might befall the young(ish). I feel like an idiot for this major blind spot.

    One more argument for why we need a few more women commenting around here…..

  121. JKB says:

    @john personna: Good thing young people never become old, because then it might even out!

    Or when they get older, they pay a higher premium based upon the risk they’ll have a claim. Instead of paying more when they are young, trying to get started in life and have a much lower actuarial risk of filing a claim and therefore lower premiums.

  122. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    See, this is why I say you are a loon or a troll.

    First you argue that the young pay an unfairly high rate to pay for the old, and then you say that the old will pay a higher rate to cover their actual risk.

    That’s a 180 degree reversal from one post to the next.

    Go away.

  123. thomm says:

    @JKB

    Easy…said shuttle driver could have had a basic policy that would have been much easier to afford since a job like that usually does not have a benefit offered, leaving him to the attending mercies of the private insurance policies. Your b.s. high risk policies wouldn’t have covered much of that bill anyway.

    Oh…I just realized you meant how does it fix how he got screwed before it went into effect by the system you support. Now that is a stupid line of arguement…even for you.

  124. JKB says:

    @grumpy realist: But I guess you assume they just go out into the fields, dig a trench, squat down, and plop the newborn in. No need of any health care at all.

    Nothing prevents young women from purchasing health care insurance now. All that Obamacare is doing is raising the rate and imposing a small penalty if she continues to not purchase health care insurance. Should a young woman become pregnant there are already programs to see she gets the pre-natal care and support for delivery when she has no insurance coverage.

    So what is your point other than to misconstrue what I wrote?

  125. JKB says:

    @john personna:

    Or perhaps my response to your implication that the young should pay more today for possibly, maybe lower premiums in the future. You know if in the intervening 20-40 years the law isn’t changed. Whereas, the young could pay lower premiums today, while having lower earnings and low actuarial risk and pay more when they are older, when on average they will have more wealth and also have a higher actuarial risk.

  126. David M says:

    @JKB:

    Young people with lower earnings are going to qualify for subsidies.

  127. john personna says:

    @JKB:

    Under Obamacare the young DO pay lower rates than the old.

    Your trollish argument is that them merely having insurance, and being part of the actuarial game, is a net transfer to the old. Perhaps fractionally, at the margin, but that’s not the main reason for roping them in.

    The main reason to rope in the young is all the unpaid medical care currently given to the uninsured. Money that is written off as bad debt.

  128. john personna says:

    For instance, a 27-year-old living in Dallas making $25,000 could pay as little as $74 a month for the cheapest “bronze” plan after subsidies, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

    But a 60-year-old in Wyoming who makes more than $46,000 a year — too much to get a tax credit — could pay as much as $758 for a similar plan.

    Go away troll.

  129. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    Should a young woman become pregnant there are already programs to see she gets the pre-natal care and support for delivery when she has no insurance coverage.

    AHAHAHAHAHA! HA HA HA HA HA!

    *wipes tears away* Good one, man….good one.

    I suppose those are the same programs that are funded with taxes that you don’t want the government to raise to pay for those programs?

  130. Rafer Janders says:

    @JKB:

    Should a young woman become pregnant there are already programs to see she gets the pre-natal care and support for delivery when she has no insurance coverage.

    Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

  131. JKB says:

    @john personna:

    Perhaps you have poor reading skills, I never said the relative rates would be higher for the young vs the old, but that the rates would be higher for the young compared to the actuarially valid rates.

    Double Down: Obamacare Will Increase Avg. Individual-Market Insurance Premiums By 99% For Men, 62% For Women

  132. Grewgills says:

    @JKB:
    The article you cite claims to compare the cheapest plan in the new exchange with the cheapest plan currently on the market in the states it looks at. Missing from that analysis is what coverage is offered by those plans. The new exchange rates have certain minimum requirements. They are not pure catastrophic care plans with very high deductibles, that were likely the lowest price options previously. Unless coverage is taken into account, which it doesn’t appear to be at first look, then the comparison is fundamentally flawed.

  133. David M says:

    @JKB:

    So, you’re saying that insurance that didn’t cover maternity care and had a $25,000 deductible was cheaper than better, more comprehensive plans? And ignoring the subsidies? Why should anyone care? You’re pretty much pointing out why reform was necessary.