Published by WallStreetWeather.net
After months of debate and extreme contentiousness, Vice President Biden announced on the Senate floor at 7:16 AM this morning the healthcare bill passed 60 to 39. No Republicans voted for the legislation. A conference committee is already working on merging the House and Senate bills for both chambers to pass a final bill for President Obama to sign.
Pluto is the planetary energy of major transformation. First Pluto begins exposing what is wrong. Then the problem gets deeper until it reaches a critical mass. What is no longer working must die in order for it to be transformed and reborn into something more viable.
Pluto rules life and death issues that society would prefer not to directly deal with in an open and honest manner. As the mythological lord of the underworld, Pluto rules secrets and the occult (meaning hidden). Pluto is power and massive wealth held by the few – the plutocrats. Pluto is corruption and undercover deals. Pluto rules mergers and takeovers, debt, taxes, and insurance. With Pluto in Capricorn from 2008-2024, governments will be transforming these issues.
Venus rules money and the banking system. In the USA chart, Venus rules the sector representing healthcare and employment as well as the sector ruling government (specifically the Administration). These energies reflect that health insurance is largely connected to employment.
Venus conjoins Jupiter in Cancer in the USA chart, and Moon-ruled Cancer presides over the sector of the USA chart representing insurance. During 2009-10 Pluto in Capricorn is opposing Venus and Jupiter (2010-11). The financial system, healthcare system, the deficit, and taxes are the key issues Pluto will be transforming in a huge and profound way during this time.
Pluto first opposed the USA Venus in early March when the Dow and the S&P hit multiyear lows over fears that the government would take over the banks. On May 7 at the time of the second opposition of Pluto to the USA Venus, the government announced the nation’s largest banks had passed the “stress test.”
Mercury turned retrograde that day, reflecting news about an already existing issue. Now the Administration’s focus would turn to healthcare reform. On May 13, with Mercury retrograde, the energies of Capricorn’s ruler Saturn pronounced,* and the Moon (sentiment) in Capricorn, President Obama announced at the White House:
“We've got to get it done this year -- both in the House and in the Senate. And we don't have any excuses; the stars are aligned.”
In “ President Obama Declares “The Stars Are Aligned” For Healthcare Reform This Year,” I explained that Mercury retrograde can be a good time to reattempt what was unsuccessful in the past. Saturn and Capricorn rule history and although my post focused on President Truman’s efforts and the enactment of Medicare in 1965, the quest for healthcare reform goes back to Republican President Theodore Roosevelt who ran again for president in 1912 as a Progressive Party candidate whose platform called for government run healthcare.
As I described in the post, Jupiter and Neptune conjoining in Aquarius** beginning in the spring of this year represented an opportunity for Congress to break down existing barriers and expand healthcare for all Americans. Aquarius represents extremes, and the flip side of Jupiter/Neptune is to spread lies and propaganda through corporate and politically connected special interests disguised as grassroots groups seeking “freedom” from government run healthcare. Republicans decided early on it was more important to make healthcare reform President Obama’s “Waterloo” than cooperate with Democrats in exchange for incorporating tort reform and other ideas Republicans have claimed are important yet have never made any effort to address even when they were the party in power.
Jupiter reflects the hypocrisy displayed by Republicans and “conservative” Democrats who claimed they couldn’t vote for a bill that would further expand the deficit. These are the same members of Congress who don’t care how much of the federal budget is blown on wars (then it gets charged directly to the debt, hidden from the budget). These politicians complain that Medicare and Medicaid spending is out of control, yet they wailed against meaningful attempts in the House and Senate bills to contain medical costs.
Jupiter conjoining Neptune in Aquarius also reflects the intense lobbying by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other religious and anti abortion groups who believe the rights of the unborn are more important than the health of the people who are already here.
Pluto rules abortion. On November 7 as Saturn in Libra began to square Pluto, the House passed a healthcare bill after agreeing to the Stupak Amendment that would prohibit the use of federal subsidies for insurance policies that cover abortion.
Getting the bill passed in the Senate required dropping the public option entirely in order to appease Sens. Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson. Jupiter and Neptune are squaring Lieberman’s Saturn/Mars/Uranus in Taurus, and Nelson’s Sun/Uranus/Jupiter in Taurus. Both men stubbornly cling to rigid beliefs and enjoy being defiant unless they get what they want. Taurus is ruled by Venus, and both Senators have received a lot of money from the insurance industry. Having the Sun conjunct Jupiter in Taurus, Nelson made sure his yes vote brought special perks for Nebraska such as an exemption from paying additional Medicaid costs and a tax exemption for Mutual of Omaha, a political contributor.***
Monday marked the third and final conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune. Republicans kept employing parliamentary maneuvers to delay voting on the bill, with medical doctor Sen. Tom Coburn saying on the Senate floor Sunday that “the American people ought to pray that somebody can’t make the vote tonight.”
Sen. Coburn was alluding to the ailing 92 year old Sen. Robert Byrd who with his Sun in Pluto-ruled Scorpio is strong willed and was determined to vote. Capricorn and its ruler Saturn represent the elderly and historic events. Sen. Byrd has already made history as the oldest and longest serving Senator and member of Congress. When casting his vote this morning, he shouted: “I am casting this vote for my friend Ted Kennedy and am voting Aye.”
Pluto opposing the USA Venus for the third time and the Sun conjoining Pluto and squaring Saturn now reflects the historic significance of the vote despite all the powerful special interests conspiring to kill healthcare reform once and for all. Liberals disappointed with the Senate bill should realize that if it took this much effort just to get this bill passed, it is critical not to lose what has been so elusive for decades by insisting on a public option or other changes to the bill that would not make it through the Senate. Sens. Lieberman and Nelson mean it when they say they will vote against the House making any material changes to the Senate bill. These Senators would be perfectly willing to let the legislation die if they don’t get their way. And if Sen. Byrd transitioned before the bill reaches the President’s desk, the House will be forced to pass the Senate’s version of the bill or end up with nothing.
Liberals who want to hold out for a government option or a “Medicare for All” (single payer) system should remember that Sen. Kennedy said his biggest regret as a legislator was that he didn’t cut a deal with President Nixon for universal healthcare. President Clinton has conveyed the same message to Democrats: take what you can get while you can get it. Abortion opponents taught us the lesson that all you need to do is seed the first piece of legislation and then continue adding to it. Their form of continuous improvement should give encouragement to liberals and progressives disappointed with the Senate bill. As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid remarked the other day, “we had to deal with the art of compromise.”
Libra represents compromise and the process of marrying the House and Senate bills into one piece of legislation. While Saturn represents the status quo and Pluto the interests of the wealthy and powerful, Saturn in Libra squaring Pluto in Capricorn also describes the transformation the healthcare legislation will undergo after it is signed by President Obama to make healthcare equitable and accessible for all Americans.
Libra is ruled by Venus and symbolized by the scales of justice. Venus and Pluto in the sector of the Senate passage chart representing the public is squaring Saturn in Libra in the sector representing the judicial system. Once President Obama signs the legislation, the public will demand changes to the bill that would help consumers get insurance coverage and all the consumer protections enacted now. President Obama can use the powers of government to coerce insurance companies to ease up on medical underwriting, allowing more people into the system before most provisions in the bill take effect in 2014.
The Sun conjoining Pluto and squaring Saturn reflects that the heart of the bill – requiring coverage for all Americans – is delayed until 2014 (2013 in the House version) in order to keep the bill’s cost under $1 trillion and “revenue neutral” to appease the so called deficit hawks. The Sun rules speculation, and with the Sun conjoining Pluto, health insurance stocks have soared as soon as it began to appear that the public option was off the table in the Senate. As Michael at ClickBroker explains, this is a short term gain.
The Sun and Pluto squaring Saturn reflects how heavily regulated health insurance companies will become over time as the government will not be able to subsidize the premiums of millions of Americans at ever increasing cost levels. Saturn’s rings reflect the federal government’s spending limits and need to contain costs. With Saturn less is more. Cost effectiveness measures will be implemented on the medical industrial complex that will not only rein in spending, but end up providing more Americans with more efficient and better care.
During 2010 Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto will be in cardinal signs forming challenging alignments to one another. As the planetary energy of revolutionary change and reform, Uranus in Aries squaring Pluto and key planets in the USA chart will put reform on a fast track. Instead of Americans starting to select health insurance from an exchange in 2014, they could be joining seniors in “Medicare for All.”
Saturn squaring and Pluto opposing the USA Venus and Jupiter reflect that the fear of the government nationalizing complex banks like Citicorp was way overblown. As the AIG experience has shown, it would be impossible for the government to manage an institution as complex as an international bank. However, the health insurance industry is such a simple business model that even the government can handle it efficiently.
*Planets do not really move backwards, but appear to from Earth’s vantage point. Mercury retrograde is a time to rethink and revisit proposals that previously failed. Planets that appear to be motionless in the sky before they station retrograde or direct motion makes the energies they represent more pronounced.
**Jupiter exactly conjoined Neptune on May 27, July 10, and December 21, 2009.
***Berkshire Hathaway was Nelson’s top contributor.
USA: July 4, 1776 5:10 PM Philadelphia, PA
Robert Byrd: November 20, 1917 time unknown
Joe Lieberman: February 24, 1942 time unknown Stamford, CT
Ben Nelson: May 17, 1941 time unknown McCook, NE