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January 27, 2010

Health Care: It's Not Just Resting, It's Dead

Yes, this is like the 7th or 8th post announcing the death of the monster but it's not like there's going to be a surrender announcement where the Democrats stack their 2,000+ page bills and march off the field.

The latest evidence that all this talk of the House passing the Senate bill and then 'fixing' it through reconciliation is nothing more than talk is that Democratic senators are bailing on the idea and it's no sure thing Harry Reid can even round up the 50 votes he'd need.

Reid’s spokesman, Jim Manley, declined to comment on whether the majority leader believes he can round up 51 votes.

“We are still discussing next steps and options with the House, the White House and our caucus,” Manley said.

Seven Senate Democrats and one independent, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, cautioned that they were wary of using reconciliation to push ahead with health care reform. Some said the maneuver would show Americans that Democrats had not learned from the Massachusetts election.

No, not all 8 are guaranteed to vote no but it looks like Reid is starting with about 51 votes and that means he can only lose one more. Add in the Republicans' threat to use their right to bring up as many amendments as they want on any subject and that number is going down, not up.

On Tuesday House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he thinks Democrats will have a decision by next week on how to proceed. He doubts the White House is going to be very involved.

And Hoyer hinted that Congressional Democrats will, for better or worse, be largely on their own in making those decisions. “I think the president will speak to healthcare,” Hoyer said. “I don’t know what he’s going to specifically say but I would be surprised if he says specifically, exactly how he hopes to get healthcare done.”

Obama has played this, "let them figure it out" thing with Congress on all his major initiatives. How's that worked out so far?

The thing is, Obama is moving on from health care. No, he's not saying it that way but he's clearly made his 'hard pivot' from it to his faux populism, spending freezes and jobs, jobs, jobs. That's hanging congressional Democrats out to dry with an angry base.

Obama isn't and can't come to their rescue, so what's in it for congressional Democrats to keep going on with what is a lost cause? Obama has moved on to something he thinks is more popular, why won't congressional Democrats follow him to what they hope is greener pastures?

To paraphrase John F. Kerry...Who wants to be the last Democratic Congressman or Senator to lose his or her seat for a bill that isn't going anywhere?

It's all over but the shouting and the singing but mostly the singing.

digg this
posted by DrewM. at 12:02 AM

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