August 11th, 2009
09:27 AM ET
9 years ago

Analysis: Health care will run into spending bills after recess

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Members of Congress will come back from their summer break in September to a plate full of health care reform - that's if they survive the latest rancorous and sometimes violent town hall meetings.

Senators are getting an earful on the subject from constituents. House members, who began their recess a week earlier, also got a head start on hearing from residents in their districts, facing sometimes contentious comments.

But when Congress returns, members will be hard-pressed to continue negotiations and get something done fast.

At the same time, the Senate must pass spending bills before money runs out at the end of the fiscal year: the end of September. The House passed its spending measures before leaving town.

"I think they're going to have a very full plate," said Stuart Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report. "And we know they're going to start with health care, but they're going to have to do appropriations, climate change. ... You can bet there will be a lot of other things are left to be done."

Rothenberg warns that If the economy takes another dip, there will be some pressure for more action in terms of a second stimulus or changes in tax policy.

But he said it's likely that those other issues will be put on the back burner until a health care compromise is in order.

Bipartisanship has long been lost during this 111th Congress, and that could make the negotiations last even longer.

Full story

Filed under: Congress • Health care
soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. aCorNN watchdog

    Pork vs The People........we lose every time

    August 11, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  2. Paul from Phoenix

    THe fact that bipartisanship has been lost falls squarly on two people: Reid and Pelosi. Both should lose their jobs. And Waxman is no better. Not only does he look like a rat, but he acts like a rat as well.

    August 11, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Sam Sixpack

    Bipartisanship is when all the minions are serving the same bunch of fat, greedy, rich crooks.

    August 11, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Paul from Phoenix

    Durbin said the protests "go against the democratic process."

    Funny, i don't recall him saying that about the Iraq war protests.

    August 11, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  5. Kevin in Ohio

    Seems Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will find any way they can to spend, spend, spend more of our money......... while failing to listen to American people.

    August 11, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Elaine

    One of the excellent aspects of the current American health care system is that most people can get immediate help if they become very ill. Not true in places like Canada or the UK, where waiting lines for crucial imaging tests can range in the several months, which can mean the difference between living and dying. USA rates are #1.
    A federally run plan would drive insurance companies, hospitals and doctors into bankruptcy, leaving only the government to provide coverage, often called single payer.

    This "rush, rush, get this thing passed" is being done intentionally to not only gain complete control of our healthcare, but also with the intention to secure an immense voting block for the Democratic Party. If this gets passed, this healthcare government run system will become the largest employer in the country with the largest voting block in the nation and if you were employed under this system, you wouldn't vote yourself out of a job would you?

    That's the problem with a government run system. You cannot go back. Once it's done, it's done.

    August 11, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  7. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    If the hope for bipartisanship is truly gone, and the Senate will take longer to negotiate a compromise, then they should cut their vacation short by two or three weeks and come back to work to get the nation’s business completed. But, it seems like both sides agree on something: The both like exorbitant allotments of time off on the taxpayer dole. As the song says, “Well, that’s the one thing we got.”

    August 11, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. Person in the middle of the country

    I am tired of all the false hatred of health insurance reform. Most of us want responsible, fair, health care and cost for all. Come on......are you really listening.

    August 11, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  9. dominican mama 4 Obama

    They are NOT facing rancorous arguments from their constituents!! COME ON ALREADY!!! They are facing the "rabid opposition" that is being PAID to come and crash these townhall meetings! The average American DOES NOT act like these lunatics. I therefore hope that it is the average American that they keep in mind when they sit down to "water down" the proposal. Hopefully, there'll be something of substance left in the final draft to truly make a difference for the disenfranchised, and the uninsured. Jeez!!

    August 11, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. aria

    The way the paid protesters are disrupting the town hall meetings on behalf of the pharmaceutical industry is just wrong. And it is NOT how the majority of this country feels. It is a publicized few with loud voices.

    August 11, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  11. a health economist

    One thing that never ceases to amaze me from the health care reform debate is how often people say they don't want to have to pay for care for the uninsured. Guess what, people? You're already paying for them.

    Emergency rooms by law cannot refuse to treat someone. It doesn't matter if you are rich or poor, insured or uninsured, you'll get treatment. But those that are uninsured and cannot pay the whole bill (or sometimes cannot pay any of the bill) the ER doesn't eat the lose. They pass it on to all of us who do have health insurance, and that results in our premiums going up. Because that's how things work in a capitalist society. Something eats into your profits, shift it to someone else.

    August 11, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  12. RR

    These town halls are a joke. I'd wager 95% of all members of congress have made up their minds and are using these town halls to sell their position, NOT listen to constituents.

    August 11, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  13. deb0155

    Tell me Senator Durbin how protesting goes against the "democratic process." Isn't that what this country was founded on? Go back to the history books!

    August 11, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Pass the healthcare legislation before allocating money to other places. Congress should have never taken a recess and should have stayed in Washington.

    August 11, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. Lynn

    The U.S. system needs some reform, but let's focus on the areas that need it. Fix what's broken and not what's working. Approximately 85% of Americans are very pleased with their healthcare.

    I for one, needed major back surgery. Once the decision was made between myself and my doctor, the surgery was done in 3 weeks!

    I hear from family friends in Spain that she brings her mom to the states for treatment for Parkinson's. She's been on a waiting list for almost 2 yrs in Spain.

    August 11, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  16. Hugo

    At the same time, the Senate must pass spending bills before money runs out at the end of the fiscal year: the end of September. The House passed its spending measures before leaving town.

    Not to worry, the Senate is under Democratic control, all they know how to do is spend! Shouldn't be a problem for them, if they don't have it, they will just print it or borrow it....

    August 11, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. J.P.

    When they get back from recess, we'll be into 2010 election cycle. Only a fool would push for National DeathCare in an election cycle.

    Obama's National DeathCare will... well... die.
    Dems will be schelacked in 2010 for their "Rush to (Class) War"

    August 11, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  18. Sarah "death panel" palin

    The old mobsters and cnn will not take my health care away

    August 11, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  19. Chris from NC

    As the saying goes, "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." It's time that Congress stops dragging its feet on healthcare and gets something passed and devote the rest of their time to the #1 issue from the '08 election: It's the economy stupid.

    August 11, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  20. Independent

    Grown ups want serious debate about the health care bill not childish stupid ignorant behaviour seen by the white right wing mob

    August 11, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  21. kim

    "Crowley told CNN her answer must be considered in the context of her African trip". what does this mean, does it mean its Ok for her to react this way because she is in Africa or is it trying to stereotype African Men as ones who think less of women?.

    August 11, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. Henry Miller

    It's easy enough to lighten the burden on these poor, overworked, vacationing legislators:

    1. The climate is going to change, or not, regardless of whatever laws they pass. The only purpose of cap-and-trade is to create a sneaky new kind of tax with which government can steal more of the citizen's money. They can just drop that idea.

    2. It's becoming more and more clear that most people don't want government screwing with, and screwing up, health care and, judging from what I've seen lately, trying to cram health care "reform" (read: high costs and taxes and much poorer medicine) down our throats may well result in riots.

    That just leaves appropriations–and cutting out, or at least starting the phase-out of, the prop-up-the-welfare-bums entitlements would simplify that too.

    August 11, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  23. Grahame

    The Republicans and their puppets will stop at nothing to kill any health care bill. They will use any means at their disposal.

    They are just using the 'Swift Boat' method of decrying any advance since their so called power base are the Insurance Companies among diminishing others.

    Here in Canada we have a health care system, while not the best we don't have some insurance company hack telling us if I we quality for medical assistance or not.

    If Obama fails and the Republicans win then I can see a huge influx of Americans coming North.............The True North Strong and Free.

    August 11, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. Mark

    Politicians suck – all of them. The vast majority care more about being reelected than about what's best.

    August 11, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. Alicia

    I am from Pennsylvania. I saw the Lebanon, PA town hall with Senator Specter. I feel he handled things well considering there is no bill yet written.

    I do feel that some people have legitimate questions. Even though I have insurance, I am curious.

    I feel most of these people that get up acting out at these meetings are organized mobs infringing on that constituency. Especially when they say things like they want 'their' country back. The American Indian may beg to differ. Where were these people when the Iraq War spending started to break us?

    August 11, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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