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Monday, January 18, 2010

There's No Saving Health Care Reform Now

We may all be getting ahead of ourselves. Scott Brown appears to be cruising and if all indications are correct, he'll win going away tomorrow. If he does, there's no saving health care reform. Newsmax has a story about some of the legislative maeuvers the Democrats might try.

A panicky White House and Democratic allies scrambled Sunday for a plan to salvage their hard-fought healthcare package in case a Republican wins the Senate race Tuesday in Massachusetts, which would enable the GOP to block further Senate action.

The most likely scenario would require persuading House Democrats to accept a bill the Senate passed last month, despite their objections to several parts.

Aides worked frantically Sunday amid fears that Republican Scott Brown will defeat Democrat Martha Coakley in the special election to fill the late Edward M. Kennedy's seat. A Brown win would give the GOP 41 Senate votes, enough to filibuster and block final passage of the House-Senate compromise on health care now being crafted.

None of them will work. Health care is dead if Scott Brown wins tomorrow. Trying to convince the House to accept the Senate's bill is a non starter. Bart Stupak was very clear in the language he wanted regarding abortion. The Senate has no such language.

Beyond that though, this vote is a clear rejection of this package. That's what Brown has been running on. The Democrats aren't that stupid. The leadership may in fact want to throw the party over a cliff to pass health care reform. There are some rank and file that would like to continue to have a job.

Trying to pass health care reform through reconciliation is nearly impossible. It's a legislative trick so complicated that most of Congress itself doesn't understand it. They may in fact get fifty votes in the Senate but that bill would never get the necessary votes in the House.

The simple fact is this. Scott Brown's election in the bluest of blue states is a monumental rejection of the Obama agenda. Chief on top of that agenda is health care reform. The leadership may in fact convince some of the rank and file that reality is really not reality, but they won't convince all.

There's talk that the Democrats will delay in seating Brown in order to have the current occupant, Paul Kirk, vote on health care reform. They can try but it will make them even less popular. In the meantime, it will only take one Democrat to switch. I firmly believe there is one Democrat in the Senate that likes their job more than they like this bill.


AG said...

Scott Brown could win, but he won't win going away. Granted considering the circumstances it might seem like any Republican victory would constitute a victory going away (although its not like Massachusetts has never elected a Republican before considering Mitt Romney), but for Brown to win by more than 5 percent would require a Massachusetts electorate substantially more conservative than the national average. And its not like Brown is running as your garden variety Rockefeller Republican. The man has presented himself as James Inhofe with a New England accent.

Let me tell you what will happen if Brown wins tomorrow: the Senate Democrats will demand the party move to the right (then again they always demand that), the House Democrats will demand Harry Reid's resignation as Majority Leader and replacement with a Senator willing to use reconciliation, and the White House will put pressure on the House to accept the Senate bill.

mike volpe said...

Again, I'm not sure what you're trying to say. I don't know what a Rockefeller Republican is but Brown is pro choice and he voted for RomneyCare. He's not necessarily a down the line conservative.

What you are describing is mass chaos if Brown wins. Are you saying that the health care bill will pass among mass chaos?

What I think will happen is this. Maybe not tomorrow or Wednesday, but soon. There will be one or two Democrats that will say they can't support the current health care reform.

I will go on record and say Brown will win by 5% and more.

Gil said...

When Hillary Care was trying to pass in congress I played a lot of duplicate bridge. 90% of bridge clubs are democrats and hard core democrats at that. I played in tournaments with as many as a couple of thousand players.

I remeber when the Congress swung to the Republicans and these bridge democrat players were all saying the same thing. They did not want anyone messing with their health care which is why they voted Republican even though they were life long democrats.

I never forgot that experience.

The point is that nothing has changed from the Hillary care days. Democrats don't want anyone messing with their health care and democrat children do not want anyone messing with their democrat parents' health care. This is a repeat of the Hillary care blow back.

Brown will win by 8-10 point not only because the independents and republicans don't want a communist takeover of health care but because the democrats don't want it either. It is the democrats who are going to sink Coakley.

For all the polling that is being done, remember no one saw the incredible backlash coming during the Hillary care days. This is no different and the pollsters are still not reflecting the backlash of the democrat voters who want hands off their health care.

Scott Brown wins by 8-10 points.

AG said...

Once again, I'd like to remind Gil that the implication of such a scenario is that Massachusetts had, overnight, become as conservative as South Carolina.

That being said, the ridiculous anticommunist propaganda aside, he has a point: Bush came across as a threat to Social Security and it burned him. In the same way, Obama is seen as threatening Medicare. Add to that the idea that senior citizens of today were the Reagan Democrats of 20 years ago (unlike the senior citizens of the Clinton Era, who were Johnson Democrats in 1964) then you could make a good case that Americans don't want health care reform.

Where I'm really dismayed is that just because Americans don't want health care reform doesn't mean they don't want it.

mike volpe said...

No, you're just not taking into account the excitement from the Reps and total lack of excitement from the Dems. There's still plenty of Dems in Mass but most of them won't be at the polls.