Thursday, September 24, 2009

Is Health Reform Really that Close?

Jay Cost at RealClearPolitics offers an interesting take on where things stand on health care reform - like me, he's trying to figure out just what Nancy Pelosi is trying to accomplish by dissing the Blue Dogs. What I have to ask as well is - how far are Democrats willing to go to pass what is essentially pretty basic reform.

From Cost:
"Some commentators have suggested that the Democrats are pretty close to finalizing a comprehensive bill on health care. But like Mickey Kaus, I am not as certain. Last week, I listed several questions I had about the bill's progress. Here's an update on that post, plus a few extra considerations."

"In other words, the conditions of uncertainty are severe, to say the least. That's why I still have nothing but questions. And as for my prediction for a comprehensive bill about this: I'll put it at 50% with a standard deviation of 25%, for a practical range of 25% to 75%. "

The Democratic party is deeply divided over health reform, it will be difficult to find common ground. Democrats know that they can use reconciliation to pass "Liberal" reform with only 51 votes in the Senate - but can they really get to 218 votes in the House without the Blue Dogs? And, would the Democrats be willing to use reconciliation knowing that it would embolden Republicans and boost GOP chances in the 2010 midterms? The simple fact is, neither the House or Senate have proposed reform so fundamental that it would be worth risking the Democrat's majority status just to pass it. If Democrats really think that they have the votes - they should just swing for the fence and push for single-payer...

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