What's Going on With Health Care Reform?
With the victory of centerfold Scott Brown in a special election in Massachusetts, the Democrats have lost their 60-vote supermajority in the...
With the victory of centerfold Scott Brown in a special election in Massachusetts, the Democrats have lost their 60-vote supermajority in the Senate. This puts the entire health care reform bill in jeopardy.Scott Brown seems happy to brag about Massachusetts's 98 percent insured rate, which the state enjoys thanks to its own, popular, federally subsidized, public insurance program, but he still ran as the guy who would kill health care reform for the rest of the country. And indeed he might.But not necessarily. This piece from Timothy Noah at Slate provides a great roundup of ways health care reform can be saved. None is very likely, but the best shot might be the "House surrender" option.
A surrender strategy would have the House adopt the Senate bill as is. That would mean giving up not only on these concessions but on concessions that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has already made on the Senate's behalf, such as the labor-negotiated limits on the tax on "Cadillac" health plans.If the House passes the Senate bill as is, then the Senate wouldn't have to vote on the bill again, and so Brown wouldn't get a chance to disrupt things. The problem, of course, is that this would require some Congressmen to abandon the things they fought for in the House bill.Things are moving ridiculously quickly though. If you want to get current, read Ezra Klein.What does Massachusetts want Brown to do?
Work with Democrats on health care reform rather than torpedo it.