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December 09, 2009 09:12 PM UTC

Udall, Bennet "Freshman Package" Considered Positive

  • by: Colorado Pols

The Pueblo Chieftain reports:

Colorado’s U.S. Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet joined with nine other freshman senators to introduce a package of health care amendments Tuesday, even as the Senate continued its contentious debate on comprehensive health care reform legislation.

Udall and Bennet, both Democrats, authored pieces of the “freshman package,” which Senate Democratic leaders could bring to the floor for consideration at any time as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushes his colleagues to finish the health care legislation before the Christmas recess.

Udall’s amendment focuses on an independent Medicare Advisory Board, which would be established under the Democratic plan to oversee Medicare pricing and procedures. Udall would give that same board broader authority to make recommendations on how to cut costs and increase efficiency in all health care programs, not just the federal government’s Medicare program…

Similarly, Bennet’s amendment in the freshman package is intended to streamline health insurance procedures. It would require the Department of Health and Human Services to adopt and regularly update a single, national standard for basic electronic health care transactions that occur between insurers and providers.

Not directly a part of the “Grand Bargain” on health reform in the Senate everybody is talking about today, but the “freshman package” of cost-control amendments is generally considered a positive development, supported by the AARP among others–watch for a number of them to be incorporated into the Senate’s final health reform bill, which has been reported to be in need of some cost-cutting componentry.

We haven’t seen a statement yet from Colorado’s Senators regarding the larger compromise on the public option tentatively reached yesterday–it’s possible that their positions on that deal will matter more to the voting public than any of these side proposals, however worthy they may be–we’ll update when they comment. Both Udall and Bennet voted against stiff proposed restrictions on abortion funding yesterday, helping defeat them and winning thanks from pro-choice activists.


20 thoughts on “Udall, Bennet “Freshman Package” Considered Positive

  1. We’ll have to see just what the CBO comes back with next week; but madates are taxes and its not only what goes in and out of the government pocket that counts.

    The actual cost of this Senate proposal could exceed $2.5 trillion – more then 2.3x the earlier official estimates.

    This Senate proposal will impose massive tax increases on Day 1, and it just keeps increasing your taxes in the future.

    Bennet-Udall have brought this ticking tax time bomb out of the closet.  Will Liebermann refuse to set the timer and adjust the national focus?

    We can only pray that continued debate exposes job-killing tax increases, mandate costs to those choosing work over welfare, government subsidized abortions, death panels and grenerous AARP insurance handouts.

      1. our families wealth against Illegal Aliens and Denver’s HS dropout population that ply the roadways and parking lots (popping out windows).

        Now redstate, get back to the diary.  Just what are the “facts” of this Bennet-Udall freshman package?

      2. It’s much easier to give up driving than it is to give up working.  Although I don’t agree with L that mandates are always taxes, for health care I do not support mandates unless accompanied by very heavy subsidies (much greater than the 150% poverty-level subsidy proposed)

          1. Normally, a troll on the internets is someone that posts some inflammatory and insulting rhetoric, and attracts all kinds of responses to that post, both rational or equally vicious.

            Libertad, on the other hand, posts his dispatches from the Political Bizzaro World, and we immediately answer back with posts insulting or challenging HIM, usually on the basis that he’s a freaklin’ loon.

            Congrats, ‘tad. You’ve become the speed bag of ColoradoPols, a poster that ANYONE can beat up on a number of legit reasons.

    1. See ballooning of deficits and debt while Rs were in complete control.  Note squealing whenever looking into contractor waste and graft in Iraq/Afghanistan was proposed.  In fact look into entire cost of both wars.  

      Not to mention that we already do pay for all those who wind up in emergency rooms. We already do pay more for health care than people in any other civilized country because our private insurance system wastes more than any single payer system or any system that demands basic coverage be non-profit.  It creates more levels of bureaucracy than any of those systems

      So the truth is conservatives must strongly support waste, paying more for less and having the maximum number of bureaucrats interposed between people and their doctors.  Those are the characteristics of the system they are fighting to defend.

      1. look at the polls, the democrats are being flushed today, but little lift has come the GOP way.

        The people are not happy with government, their trust is way down and Obama keeps kicking the can down the street hoping for change.  His principles don’t mirror those of the population, he needs to adjust.

          1. Your’s a drives by welfare to drops off a gaggle of folks, then to work, then to the taxman.  Its a managed or planned economic system who’s goal is equality before success or survival.  Control the means of production and the allocation of capital.  You know the gigs: healthcare exchanges, government funded economic development corporations, public-private partnerships, FannieMae, government controlled non-profits….

            The other path is personal responsability and individualism.  Justice and jobs first, then a hand up but not necessarily via the government machine.  Individuals best allocate capital v the central planning committee.  Its unstructured and risky, yet avoids schemes like Fannie Mae and regulator Barney Frank.

            1. as long as we’re already paying the most we get the best. Those of us paying sky high rates with high deductibles are already paying more than the citizens of any other country and getting less.  It’s of very little comfort to us that we are paying these tremendous sums privately rather than in the form of taxes.

              If we can pay a little more in the tax column and a lot less in the private expense column, that’s less over all and we’re better off. Call it socialism if you want. If that’s socialism then so are public police and fire departments and we like those just fine.

              1. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, single payer could be an socialist option where everyone takes a haircut.  The bitch is its massive medicare – head to toe.  Meanwhile, watch for your costs to sky rocket.


                “People who need to buy coverage as individuals and small employers are going to have a lot more in the way of attractive health insurance options, and they won’t have to worry about whether their medical condition precludes them from being covered,” said policy expert Paul Ginsburg, who heads the nonpartisan Center for Studying Health System Change.

                The downside: “Sticker shock is going to come to some.”

                Get ready for a whole new set of trade-offs.

                So it sounds like we are just moving the problem around and throwing government into the mix.

                1. How come it works better for every other modern industrialized nation on the planet,  all of which spend less and have better healthcare for their citizens than we do, than our system works for us? It clearly is highly utilitarian, not utopian at all. No other western democracy has a system as impractical and wasteful as ours.

                  Utopian is another word you don’t understand.  You can’t very well call something that exists and works very well in the real world utopian.  

  2. “There’s no sense of momentum; there’s no sense anything is happening,” said another well-connected Democrat in the state. “I’m not sure anyone is running his campaign, quite frankly.”

    A “well-connected Democrat in the state” could mean someone high-up in the Bennet campaign. What a ridiculous use of anonymous sourcing.  

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