The Senate Shell Game: Taking Up the Blank Health Reform Bill on the Senate Floor

I know that there are many people who are incredulous that the U.S. Senate can proceed to a blank, shell health care bill next week — a vapor-bill.

Every person knowledgeable about Senate procedure believes that the Democrats are both arrogant and desperate enough to bring up a blank bill on the Senate flooor, and are planning for it and expecting this unprecedented action by the Democrats.

Why would the Democrats do this? They are under strict marching orders from the White House to complete action on the bill before the opposition by the public manifests itself further, before the Governor elections in New Jersey and Virginia and before the October 15th deadline expires by which time they must use the super-cram-down reconciliation procedures.

Furthermore, how can anyone be against something that does not exist? How do you know that what you say is in the bill really is in the bill. It is a slap in the face to the Senate’s role Constitutional role as the body that cools the passions of the day and is the deliberative body.

The concerns of the American people to slow down and get it right — which are a prominent feature of every health care poll — are being given the middle finger.

How about speed the process up and not tell you what we are doing, is the Senate Democratic response.

How much will the bill cost? Good question. CBO has said repeatedly it cannot accurately score a bill without the legislative language, which does not exist.

So, it is really much worse, proceed to consideration of a bill whose legislative language does not exist and we have no accurate price tag.

Here is an updated and more specific discussion by Brian Darling, of how this will happen.

Every radio talk show host and every citizen should call their Senator now and tell them they want 72 hours to review the actual legislative language before the bill goes to the floor, and they want a CBO Score based on real legislative language.