August 26, 2009

The health care ball is in Obama's court

With the death of Ted Kennedy, there's no way the Democratic leadership can muster 60 votes to block a Republican filibuster of whatever health care bill comes to the Senate floor. The only way to pass a bill is through reconciliation—forgetting about getting GOP support and passing the bill with a simple 51-vote majority.

Kennedy's death now gives President Obama a historic choice: On one hand, he can vigorously take up the cause of health care reform, make it known exactly what he wants in terms of a reform bill, and use the brief opportunity that exists as the Senate mourns Kennedy to ram a real reform bill through the Congress. (Maybe he should call it the Edward Kennedy Health Care for Everyone Act of 2009?) On th other hand, Obama can continue on in the bumbling manner that's characterized his administration's handling of health care reform (not to mention a raft of other issues). Obama can honor Ted Kennedy's dream of bringing affordable health care to every American, or he can sacrifice that dream to short-term political expediency. Obama can be the president who finally broke the 50-year legislative logjam that's blocked a national health care program since the Truman administration, or he can be remembered as the president who ensured that health care reform has to wait another 50 years.

It's up to you, President Obama. What's it going to be?

Posted by Magpie at August 26, 2009 10:09 AM | US Politics | Technorati links |

While Ted Kennedy has passed away, perhaps the Democratic party will use this as a way to ram through a bill in his name, a legacy to Kennedy's universal health insurance for all motto. Of course, they will have to get the 60 votes in the Senate to block a Republican filibuster. Likely what will happen will be a watered down bill that provides some cost savings to Federal Medicare and Medicaide and perhaps an optional public option to provide low cost insurance and accept all applicants that is volantary. I don't think they will get support to provide additional spending for the millions uninsured today?

Posted by: slim at August 27, 2009 12:06 PM