Senate to take up Terry plan?


Weeks ago, Nebraska Congressman Lee Terry proposed that U.S. citizens be able to buy into the same health care option that Members of Congress have.

Now, it seems, Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid thinks it’s a good idea as well.

Terry’s plan…

The Simple Universal Healthcare (SUH) Plan, HR 3937, creates a new health insurance program similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan currently available to the President, Vice President, Members of Congress and all federal employees.

This plan allows business owners and their employees to opt into a large national group with a variety of plans, no exclusion for pre-existing conditions and portability.

Employers will have the same preferential tax treatment for amounts paid for your employees premiums. The plan is 50% of the cost of individual or small group plans.

This is a common-sense approach to our country’s health care dilemma that will greatly benefit you and your employees.

…was voted down in the House.
(Btw, note that it’s the SUH plan? Hmm? Hmm? Husker fans?)

Now, with a “public option” plan seeming to kill any health care re-form, (Ben Nelson and others have said they would filibuster any version of the bill that contained it) Reid has turned to an idea that looks a lot like Terry’s.

The new idea — for the government to create a national health insurance plan similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan — seemed to gather momentum as the weekend went on, and the differences between liberals and moderates on the public option became even clearer.

The plan would be administered by the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the federal plan for members of Congress, and all of the insurance options would be not -for-profit ones offered by private companies.

Many local Dems scoffed at Terry’s plan — and many GOPers may not be happy with the final Senate plan anyway.

But it’s interesting the way this thing winds through the process.

You don’t want to see how sausages are made either…

25 comments

  1. Kyle Michaelis says:

    SS-

    Terry's plan was a "cruel hoax" because it created an exchange that would have been completely unaffordable for the average Nebraska family. Democrats have had the moral courage to include affordability credits that should actually expand access to insurance coverage. And, guess what, they've said how they'll pay for that expanded coverage as well.

    Terry was too much of a coward to offer a real plan for health care reform. And, you can be certain he'll be too much of a coward to vote for the legislation the next time it reaches the floor of the House – no matter how closely it might resemble his own crayon-written joke of a bill.

  2. Street Sweeper says:

    "Moral courage"? Uh huh. THAT's it, Kyle.

    The Dems are scampering to try anything to see if they can get to 60 votes, so they turn to a Republican House member's plan — without even crediting him. (Reminds me of when the OWH won't give us a link!)

    Everywhere I see how the Dems "let the bodies debate" and then offer amendments to make it better. Well, looks like if they had done that with Terry's plan you would have been happy from the start.

    Of course, the Senate will most likely smash it to bits and put a Trillion dollar price tag on it, and call it a Victory Against BIG PHARMA!

    And thanks for reading!

    (And, um, why did you put "cruel hoax" in quotes?)

  3. Kyle Michaelis says:

    "Cruel hoax" was how Tom White rightfully described Terry's proposal.

    As for Terry deserving credit for anything in this potential Senate compromise, that's just plain silly. The Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan was held up as a model for reform by Barack Obama throughout the 2008 presidential campaign. Terry only deserves credit for MORE PLAGIARISM – this time plagiarizing half a reform plan and forgetting the parts that would expand coverage or control costs.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Kyle is a "Cruel Hoax".

    I say that because he has never had a job where he had to pay the taxes, "hoax", he loves so much. Wait until he has graduated and has a job, then a family. Can you imagine the indignation he will have when he looks at his pay stub, and with a good education it should be a good pay check, and realizes he doesn't get to keep what he earned. Then when he buys the stuff he and his family needs he pays more taxes. And, if he should be fortunate enough to be able to buy a house, the taxes he will pay there will just absolutely freak him out. His hard work and effort will require him to pay, and pay dearly. The "cruel" is when he tells his wife and children that he can't buy that video game, or cell phone, because after bills and taxes there is little "discretionary" money left.

    Now all of this out of the window if he tries to open a small business, with employees. As the taxes will come hard right off the bat!

  5. Austin Powers says:

    SS,

    “Cruel Hoax” is in quotes for the same reason that Dr Evil places “Laser” in them. It makes Liberals sound like they are cutting edge on Health Care when really they are cryogenically frozen back in the 1960s when Dr. Evil (LBJ) and other liberals began stealing (or taxing) everyone’s Mojo, money or whatever they could get their hands on under the auspices of the Great Society.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tom White would know…

    Tom White is the epitome of a cruel hoax on the voters in his Legislative district.

    No accountability, in fact, he even voted for less accountability of State Government funds.

    Not really Prolife, unless it isn't babies, but criminals that we are talking about.

    Not really a fiscal conservative since he is all for taking more of people's money for the sin of not living in this state, but being willing to contribute to the tax base significantly through property taxes even though those investors will probably never take a dime in State Government services.

    Kyle, grow up, get a job, and quit pooping in other people's sandboxes.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Oh, and as for Harry Reid not stealing Congressman Terry's health insurance proposal? Kyle is right,Reid did not steal the Congressman's idea, Congressman Terry would NEVER have proposed a health insurance pool that only the government puts money into, he thought all the hullaballoo was about getting people access to a health insurance pool that didn't block people just because they were already sick.

    If you are poor, there is Medicaid-now there's an example of what happens when the government tries to give something away!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Look at anonymous @ 5:52 – a total wet flake. He is depending on the government to increase his income by lowering his taxes. He doesn't look to himself to raise his income by working harder. He believes all his failures in life are a direct result of the taxes he pays. This thinking is for the birds. Even in the most heavily taxed countries men of vision and ambition are able to amass great fortunes, 5:52 would rather sit at home and cry on Leavenworth Street about his 6% sales tax.

  9. Shoe Salesman says:

    Sweeper,
    Terry's idea was a rip-off of proposals that have been discussed for years. In fact, Ted Kennedy proposed it in 1973 – and guess what? the Republicans blocked it back then too.
    Terry's plan was a joke because it lacked any research or substance to support it. He put out a 2-3 page email calling for this to be considered. Ask yourself, what has Terry done since he proposed it? Has he gone over to the Senate to sell it to his moderate Republican colleagues? Has he sought a Republican sponsor to offer his plan as an amendment to the Senate bill? Has he done anything to support his grand plan? No. Why? because it was a not-serious proposal from a not-serious member of Congress.
    It is, as Kyle has pointed out, simply another embarrassing example of Lee Terry's craven style of representation where all that matters is partisan point scoring – the American people be damned. And, its an embarrassing example of another idea Lee stole from someone else.
    Normally I think you have the most thought provoking blog on Nebraska politics. This post however falls far short. Instead of thoughts it has provoked guffaws of the type usually reserved for Terry himself.

  10. macdaddy says:

    I'm not sure that Reid ripping off Terry speaks well of Terry's plan, but with all the BS flying around right now with the Dems flailing around trying to find something, anything, that might pass so they can claim that they "fixed" healthcare, who knows what Reid is actually proposing? It reminds me of 3-card Monte. In the end, the best strategy is to just walk away…or knock over the table.

  11. Anonymous says:

    And how many times did Senator Hagel, or has Senator Nelson, or Johanns, or did Kerry or Harkin or Grassley EVER walk across the street to confer with a Member of the House?

    You know that is not the way it happens in Congress. They are 2 separate rooms within a house that share a fancy courtyard that the Senate built.

    You obviously are just posturing for someone who doesn't have any idea how our federal government works, Hell, he doesn't even understand how our State government works since he was the one that thought our Governor should just make the cuts without consulting or having them voted on by the Legislature.

    Sorry our State's finances got in the way of Tom White making a buck off of somebody in South O, but he is still expected to do the job of the people in his Leg District-whether he wants to, or not.

    BTW, his staff, that the people of Nebraska so handsomely pay, should be held accountable for their time that they collect a paycheck for too. Last time I checked, we did not have a telecommuter Unicameral.

  12. Street Sweeper says:

    Kyle,

    I'll just say that if Terry was following up on an Obama campaign promise, then it's nice to see that at least ONE of THE ONE's promises has been carried out.

    Thanks for reading!
    SS

  13. Shoe Salesman says:

    Anon 707:

    Talk about not knowing anything about how Congress works – your level of knowledge exposes you as a Terry Staffer. "two seperate houses" that "share a courtyard"?? have you ever heard of a conference committee??

    Intersting you'd mention those Senators. Hagel, to his credit, convened meetings with House members all the time. He went over there and testified on his GI Bill of rights for example.
    Harkin has also testified on the House side, on children's nutrition issues. Nelson has testified before the House Armed Services Committee on a few occasions in his role as the chairman of the Senate's military personnel subcommittee. Grassley meets with his house conterparts all the time – not 100% sure he's testified or dome something similar with House committees. As for Johanns, he hasn't been in the Senate very long and I'm not sure he's done much of this type of thing yet but its without question he crosses the Capitol Complex nearly dauly to get over to the RNC for his brainwashing. He did, however, testify before the Democratic Majority when he served as Nelson's stand-in as Secretary of Agriculture. You got any other Senators you want to compare Lee to?

    Your response is typical of Lee's approach to governing. He's the "hands off" congressman. IS he expecting an invitation to the Senate? Did he write to Senate Helath or Finance Committees in support of his own proposal or des he think they read Joe Morton's sychophantic sstories?

    Did notice, however, you didn't touch on the plagiarism. I probably wouldn't have either if I was you. Terry's intellectual thievery exposes his intellectual incapacity. He steals ideas from others – has lobbyists write his speeches for him, flip flops on spending and earmarks, abdicates his authority to Ben Nelson, sleeps on his couch like a teenager. He's an embarassment.
    I don't know Tom White but if he as any electricity in his brain he's a step up from what we have now.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So much defense of your former boss. All of those people were INVITED to the House Committees to testify. It would be inappropriate for a Senator to just decide that he or she should be the topic of the day in the House. It would be just as inappropriate for a House member to go marching into a Senate office as if it were his or her own. If Reid was serious about putting all MOC in the public plan, he would have contacted the office of the House Member that actually dropped the Bill in the House.

    Did he contact Congressman Terry's office? You tell me, you seem to be so smart.

    BTW, quit fat fingering the keys, it makes you look stupid.

    And, your beloved Senator Hagel called all the House Members to HIS office, quite frequently, because he thought he was the most important person in Nebraska.

    that would be why he retired, he wasn't the most important person and was afraid the voters would prove that to him.

  15. Shoe Salesman says:

    Anon 12:59,

    Thanks for pointing out again that you know squat about the Congress and neither does your boss Lee Terry.

    You are correct that Members of Congress are invited to testify at hearings in the other Body. Do you know how that happens? It happens when you have RELATIONSHIPS with members of the other Party or other Body. It happens when you are an actual leader on issues. You don't get invited to share your ideas when they are not serious and not your own – afflictions that both apply to Lee's "ideas."

    We aren't talking about Hagel here – though I agree with your assessment of that guy. We are talking about Lee. Lee who can't seem to get anyone to take him seriously. Lee who can't come up with an original idea. Lee who is left out of the reindeer games – an obvious sore spot for his staff.

    Did Reid contact Terry? No. for two reasons. One, Terry's idea was about as original as one of his floor speeches. Two, he couldn't find the listing for "Terry Lee" in the Congressional Directory!

    Sorry about "fat fingering" the keyboard earlier. Think you could give me the number for Lee's lobbyist-proofreader-speechwriter to work with me on my typing?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Then you feel free to vote for Tom White-who wants no accountability in government and proved it with his vote.

    Or Matt Sakalosky who is definitely the smartest guy at his Church-just ask him, he'll tell you how smart he is while mixing in every quote ever documented my Ronald Reagan (except the not so conservative ones he made early in his acting career and the ones about his views on immigration).

    Enjoy the next election cycle.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Oops, there I go with my fat fingers. Or maybe he was, "my", Ronald Reagan. Maybe I appreciate my elected officials when they don't "cut off their nose to save their face".

  18. Anonymous says:

    If the Dems were smart they'd take the exchange idea and make that the health care law–it is simply absurd (and stupid) of them to keep pushing for a $1 trillion plan that is financed with $500 bil. in Medicare cuts and a like amount of tax increases.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely… just yesterday, Terry voted against the $1 trillion catch-all spending bill–the one that increases agency programs by an average of 10% and contains over 5,000 earmarks.

    Good vote, Lee.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I'd take someone who votes against adding to the debt (like Terry does) versus Tom White (who wants to blow over $1 trillion on a failed gov't health care takeover) any day.

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