August 11th, 2009
09:27 AM ET
12 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. Pat

    How many people know that President Ford (Republican) tried to implement Universal Health care when he was President, only to be flatly denied by a Democratic Congress?

    This is going to be an expensive bill and even if it's affordable to the American people, it will ultimately be paid for by taxes raised on the American people. Perhaps Rx companies should stop advertising medicine and sending salesmen around to doctors/hospitals trying to pedal their goods. This raises cost of medicine. Lets stop the corrupt insurance companies, the abusers of the system and the Rx issues, then lets talk about Universal Healthcare.

    August 11, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. Mississippi Mike

    Ha. Here's what Congress is stuck with: Either do your real job (regulating spending and taxation) or cram this wildly unpopular, grossly flawed health care bill. If our legislators are smart, which I'm increasingly doubting, they will table health care until the spring and focus on something that doesn't enrage their constituents.

    August 11, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  3. Obama=Trickle up Poverty

    Get these people out of office and soon, they are bankrupting this country at a record pace. They must know their time is limited and they want to spend as much as they can as fast as they can. This isn't Change we can believe in!

    August 11, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. Johnny DC

    There's no need for negotiations. The Liberals know they have a nice majority in Congress, and know that that majority will inevitably shrink in 2012 due to failing polls for both the White House and Congress in general.

    This will ultimately lead to them passing legislation that upwards of 50% of the country loathes. It's the politics of the 2000's unfortunately... it's okay to make 49% of the country irate, as long as you get reelected. Nobody cares about legislation that appeals to all anymore.

    August 11, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  5. Terry from Texas

    Our elected representatives in Congress are doing a superb job of taking care of their careers. I'm sure they will all be re-elected by their naive constituents. Certainly my Congressman, who has contributed nothing to this debate, will be reelected by my neighbors. I will vote for him too - the alternative is to vote for a Conservative. Any Congressman is better than a Conservative Congressman. My Senators – Hutchison and Cornyn – will do their best to make sure that nothing changes, ever, in any way.

    These folks have been in Congress, many of them, for decades. During that time, apparently, none of them has given any thought to how America's health care system might be improved. They have no ideas ready to go and no ability to act in a timely way. They speak to us in meaningless cliches. Their goal is to anger no one. They are for the changes that no one opposes. They are busy trying to figure out what kind of change that might be.

    August 11, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  6. JDM

    It is about time they do thier jobs. If they can not handle the JOB, leave the check, health care and life time pension on the table and GO! The money these people make and they complain about the hard choices they make. Tell that crap to a teacher, policeman, fireman or the unemploy. August recess, sounds to much like a grade school lunch break. Congress is really getting on my nerves.

    August 11, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. rich

    People need to start talking about their experiences with insurance companies. They need to talk about how the insurance companies have denied their claims based on pre-existing conditions. They need to talk about how they are going bankrupt because they got sick. I also find it interesting how people are easily scared by rich people. Why do you think rich people and insurance companies are fighting so hard to stop health care reform. It is because of the size of profits they are making from health insurance. Don’t take my word for it look up the profits from health insurance providers. Educate yourself! Don't believe all the scare tactics. I used to work at an insurance company and trust me they have people dedicated to looking through medical records to deny claims based on pre-existing conditions. If people would like information about what everything means in their health policy they can call a health insurance advocate. I encourage people to call an advocate and then tell me if you are one illness away from bankruptcy.

    August 11, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  8. tjaman

    I don't think we have a Congress so as to make really _easy_ decisions. These people should be working hard day in and day out to serve the best interests of the People (and not just the people who give them lots of money). If that means they've got a lot of work ahead of them, that's just fine. That's what they've got committees for.

    August 11, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. AXH

    Congress better listen up, the American people are tried of electing these individuals to higher office only to have them forget who sent them there. Congress works for the people!

    Every individual whether you support or are against this reform has the right to speak up and be heard. Calling those who oppose it un-American is well down right un-American Madame Speaker!

    Stop healthcare reform before it further bankrupts this country!!

    August 11, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. Bette Childress

    The democraps better stick it to the taxpayers of the US right away, because they are outta there next year. Some 'uniter' we got in the white house, huh?

    August 11, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  11. Keith in Austin

    Tax and spend! The Democratic Credo.

    August 11, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Boon

    They are right about one thing and that bipartisanship is lost, gone, history. When the President the rest the Democratic clan recklessly name call people that have opposing views it is splintering society even more. I am in disbelief the man of UNITY is this tone deaf but partisanship is going to undermine his future agenda.

    August 11, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  13. Four and The Door

    Congress has definately heard from their constituents. The message was simple. The economy is in no shape to do an expensive health care program and Americans are not willing to accept a low quality health care plan. This plan only makes health care in America more expensive.

    Fix the economy first and then make health care efficient enough to provide greater access without pulling down the economy with it. It's easier to just spend the money now and let future generations deal with the costs, but they've been taking the easy way out too often this year. It's time to do things right.

    August 11, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Melissa

    Give us National Health Care. No more kissing the butt of the corrupt Corporations so they can rob us blind. One of the reasons for gvt existence is to protect its people, even if it means protecting them from each other. Allowing greedy corporations to make money off whether we live or die is NOT protecting us.

    August 11, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. Proud Member..Party of No

    People are finally waking up to what a bunch of frauds, con-men and thieves the democrats in office truly are. First it was the "economic stimulus give-away" which wasn't a stimulus at all but a blatant ripoff of the American taxpayer. Next it was the greatest hoax ever foisted on the world: Global Warming. And now it's this phantom "healthcare crises". There is no "healthcare crisis". Most Americans are just fine with their healthcare. Can some cost-savings measures be implemented? Sure, such as tort reform and no coverage for illegal immigrants...both measures would reduce costs but the idea that there is a "crisis" is just Obama-speak for more income redistribution.

    August 11, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  16. Fort Lauderdale

    The Democrats should drop this thing like a hot potato for their own good. Once they get back to Congress, there will be only 14 months to the 2010 election. If they go into the election with a stronger economy and a chance of reducing the deficit they have a good chance. If the bust the budget with overpriced and underfunded health care reform and and a new round of bloated budget spending, they will be ejected from their seats by us. After Watergate, I remember one of the participants quoting on TV:

    "O Cromwell, Cromwell, Had I but served my God with half the zeal I served my king, he would not in mine age Have left me naked to mine enemies."

    William Shakespeare

    That is a good one for Congress to remember too.

    August 11, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  17. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Won't make any difference. The libs want to tax the last of us out to complete the destruction of the country. I am now considered un-American by the government I served and pay taxes to. It looks like the dope smoking, Oprah watiching non taxpayers have won doesn't it. I am certain I will be called before the Obama death squad very soon.

    August 11, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  18. sabrina

    Lets get health care reform and the restrictions or competiion to the insurance companies that run this nation. Do people not realize that the insurance companies dictate to all, including the banks, to whom they are the banks. The insurance industry already has other plans for purchase, mostly it is less for more, you have no idea how much it will break you if you have a serious event. When you have a serious problem you will find the cost will force you to deplete savings and probably going inot debt and lose all. Most that are opposed are either profitting from insurance companies or they are consumers that do not pay anything and are relying on the same bunch that lead us into this economic disaster. The rich never worry, they only know that they are protected and someone else can pay so they can keep, it is the name of the game. It should not be called healthcare reform, it is how the insurance industry is trying to scare people so they can keep their higher then ever profits.

    August 11, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Bob in Pa

    That's the problem at the heart of this debate, spending !
    Spending our money that won't be earned for 20-30 years.
    These Congressman and our Presidents don't know how to stop.
    It's time to reform and cleanup our existing programs and laws, not create new ones.

    You whip our Federal government into tip top shape Mr. Obama, and I will support your efforts 2 years down the road to start some health care reform. That's the kind of change that America deserves. Slow, well planned, and efficient.

    August 11, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  20. Pat F

    According to Dick Durbin, "democracy" means meekly accepting whatever crap the Democrats dish out.

    Even though there is not one scintilla of proof that the meetings represent anything more than real constituent anger, this garbage continues to pour forth from the "party of the people". Believe me, if there was one drop of proof, it would be trumpeted from every street corner. Do you really think that if this was ANOTHER "vast right wing conspiracy", that not a single shred of evidence would exist? Not one person would have gone on TV and "told their story" – not one letter, not one email, nothing???? Wake up and smell the coffee – the people have spoken, and they say NO!

    August 11, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. worriedmom

    and Mr. Durbin has the gall to label anyone disagreeing with WH health reform policies "The Mob" Has he forgotten where he comes from???
    Speaking your mind is part of the Democratic process. He sure has no problems when people speak to agree with him!

    I guess the Democrats and Libs are floored to realize that yes, people are actually reading the bill (since our Congress won't) and questioning this invasion and takeover of people's private lives.

    I am all for health reform but not this type!!! Start with clearing up the fraud, if you want health insurance for the uninsured, work with those people and stop trying to give my hard earn tax money to pay for Illegal's. Democrats (not all) but most are selling their souls for votes!!

    August 11, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  22. Rick in OP

    The simple truth is that all of these programs require massive amounts of spending of money we do not have. So the question then becomes do you want to raise taxes in the midst of a weak economy and cause a double-dip recession? That sounds very much to me like playing a game of political Russian roulette.

    August 11, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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