Saturday, January 30, 2010


Ezra is nervous with Rahm Emanuel slowing down health care reform, and I am too. The fact that our ability to use reconciliation expires relatively soon, with the passage of the next budget, is something I wasn't aware of before. Also the issue about how key personnel will be out campaigning later in the year. (On the upside, I'm somewhat encouraged by the fact that Obama spent a fair bit of time talking health care with GOP congressmen. Not because it'll win them over or anything, but because it suggests that he's not running away from it.)

I'm quite attracted to Jonathan Bernstein's view of the whole situation: the House should just step up and pass the Senate bill as well as a reconciliation vehicle, before the Senate acts or gives them any guarantees. Since the reconciliation vehicle is full of goodies, there will be considerable appeal to getting it through the Senate as well. Bernstein argues convincingly that the situation with respect to the reconciliation bill is quite different from climate change legislation and a bunch of other tough votes Democrats have had to make, as the reconciliation vehicle will be sweet rather than bitter. I really hope they can work out their Senate abuse trauma issues in time to see reason and do this, though, and I can't be very optimistic on that front.
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