Wednesday, January 20, 2010

After Mass. race, is healthcare reform dead?

Republicans took the Massachusetts Senate seat last night, reducing the majority the Democrats needed to blog GOP filibusters and signaling a bumpy road ahead for Obama’s agenda.

So what does Scott Brown’s win mean for the healthcare reform efforts?
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Brown campaigned on his opposition to the legislation and he promised to kill the bill when he got to Washington. His vote as the 41st Republican senator was just the number the GOP needs to blog the legislation, the LA Times reports.

It’s not entirely clear yet what will happen with the bill. Speaker Nancy Pelosi tried to be optimistic about it, but other Dems said it’s back to the drawing board for healthcare reform, according to the Washington Post.

Perhaps the most obvious option is for the House to pass the bill cleared by the Senate, because the chances are slim that they can salvage “the full scope of the current legislation.” The Democrats could also start over in the Senate with a scaled-back bill, or they could shelve it entirely and only try to pass a few of the popular initiatives in the existing bills. Either way, what looked like a sure-thing to pass is now hanging by a thread.

Perhaps that’s not a bad thing. Even those who want healthcare reform and were at one time very optimistic of real reform will be glad to start over. The legislation has surely been watered down over the months of debate, and in many ways fails to achieve meaningful reform. Sure, it was a step – but maybe it wasn’t the best way to go about healthcare reform? Maybe starting over will yeild a better result in the end?

1 comment:

  1. I don't think the health care 'reform' movement is dead, but it will change considerably. Any legislator who is considering re-election will have to ask themselves whether or not they should abide by what their constituents want (or don't want) or face being voted out of office. If the current majority party wishes to remain in power they will have to do just that. Hence the current "rethinking" of what the health care reform bill should contain.

    Power to the people!