Health Care Bill Moves Forward in U.S. Senate

Monday, December 21, 2009

Whether you support this health care/health insurance reform bill or not, last night was an important moment, as the U.S. Senate - with exactly the 60 votes needed - invoked cloture on a Republican filibuster and moved the bill a major step towards final passage. Personally, I remain conflicted about the Senate bill and most definitely believe the House bill is better. I am hoping that the legislation moves much closer to the House version in conference. The problem is, there's not much (if any) room to maneuver, given opposition by the monolothic "party of no" combined with - as E.J. Dionne calls it - "the ludicrous idea that all legislation requires a supermajority of 60 votes." So what to do at this point? E.J. Dionne advises that "those on the left dissatisfied with the Senate bill should focus their efforts over the next few weeks on getting as many fixes into it as they can." That makes a lot of sense to me. How about you?

P.S. The attitude of Republicans about health care reform is captured by Jim Hoeft at Bearing Drift, with a photo illustrating how many pages the bill is (hahahaha - uh Jim, would you have been happier if the bill had been 1 page, beginning with something like "health care for profit is hereby abolished, to be replaced by a single payer system like in Europe and Canada?") and a remark that Social Security and Medicare are "both entitlements which are bankrupting our country" (I presume that Republicans who feel this way will voluntarily give up their Social Security and Medicare benefits so as not to bankrupt our great nation). So much for abolishing "red America" and "blue America;" instead, 11 months into Barack Obama's presidency, it looks like we're as far apart as ever, on health care and also on climate change legislation and a million other things. Sigh.