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Goodbye, Health Care Reform?

Massachusetts Democratic candidate Martha Coakley

Agggh! According to WGGB and other sources, Republican Scott Brown now leads Democrat Martha Coakley by 53 percent to 47 percent in the special election for U.S. Senator to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). The Associated Press has officially projected that Brown is the winner.

If Brown is elected, he will join with Senate Republicans to block any real health care reform, even the lukewarm half-reforms in the current Senate bill. He will join with them to block any more economic stimulus that might help reduce unemployment.

Of course, from his campaign commercials, we know that Brown has a truck. So you have to say that in his favor. 😦

Things look bad, but all is not lost. At this moment, only about two-thirds of the votes have been counted.

Even if Brown is elected, we still have options. Health care reform could be passed through “reconciliation,” which is when the Senate and the House get together to work out a compromise between the different versions of a bill that they have passed. And at the beginning of the next Senate session, the Democratic majority could restrict the use of filibusters, which let the Republican minority block vital legislation.

So I guess that we’ll see. The votes are still being counted.


Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.

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  1. sauer kraut
    January 20, 2010 at 2:40 am

    51 votes still count as a majority despite Scott Brown’s claims that 41 will stop the measure.

    • Rinth de Shadley
      January 20, 2010 at 2:55 am

      Hi, Sauer Kraut —

      That’s true. It’s why restricting the filibuster is a good idea. It takes 60 votes to stop a filibuster, which means it takes 60 votes to pass any law that the minority is determined to stop.

  2. David
    January 20, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    Rinth, here we will have to disagree. Health care needs reform, and the insurance industry needs someone bigger than itself to regulate it, but it doesn’t have to come at the expense(s) that are being talked about. If the bill is so good, why all the bribery to pass it? Abortion issue aside, why must the President promise a portion of the tax-paying public that they will not have to pay a tax that the rest of us will? I think we need to get real reform in the existing system, but government run health care is not the way to go. They can’t do anything else right, why should we trust them with health care?

    Let them give coverage to those who don’t have it or can’t get it. I’m up for that. But make it real health care, not Viagra subsidy and so on.

    • Rinth de Shadley
      January 21, 2010 at 1:06 am

      Hi, David 🙂

      I’m not very happy about the reform bills either. It seems to me that they would improve things a little. However, they don’t guarantee coverage to everyone and don’t do enough to control costs. America already spends more health care money per person than any other country, but we get worse health care. A public option would help control costs by giving real competition to the insurance companies and negotiating lower drug prices.

      You and my Dad would agree on a lot of things. He’s a doctor and a Republican: that’s how I know Republicans can be good people. 🙂 I agree with one thing he says: ANY reform bill that makes it through Congress is probably going to be a mess just because that’s how the system works.

      So the question is, do we accept a mess that will improve things a little? Or do we reject it and hope for a non-mess that might never come? My first reaction was to reject the mess, but now I think it’s better to accept the mess and get the small improvement. A lot of smart people think I’m wrong about that. You’re one of them.

      • David
        January 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

        I appreciate your thoughtfulness, and your lack of knee-jerk reaction. Your papa must be proud! I am, and I’m not related. 🙂 The biggest ciost in health care, I think, is malpractice protection. If we can limit this expense through torte reform, that would bring the price down greatly. I pay $500/month just to maintain healthcare, and of course there’s co-pays on top of that. I know the system needs work, but I think they should sit down and examine HONESTLY what needs work, and do it step by step without trying to take over. For the record, I’m neither Repub or Dem, though I side with Repubs more. I don’t trust any politician much higher than the president of my home-owners association, because they always have to compromise their ideals in order to get anything done. I think anyone who compromises on some core belief needs to get a backbone…to put it bluntly. Also, I don’t waste my time listening to Rush or Sean, though I like Glenn Beck once in a while. All that talk and no action is a waste to me.

        Thanks for the compliment, btw…:)

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