Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Senate Revises the Bill and Sends it Back

Now, health care reform has only to survive a challenge in the Supreme Court and in the national elections of this November.
by Charlie Leck

The health care reform bills passed by the House and Senate are not at all as far reaching in measure as I personally hoped; yet, they do amount to important reform upon which can be built, someday, a real health care program for America.

There are two tactics the Republicans will use in an attempt to yet kill the bill.

First, there is talk of a Supreme Court challenge which will hinge on that part of the bill that mandates individuals to buy some type of health insurance. The question before the court will amount to a contest of that part of the law that takes away an individual’s liberty to choose ‘yes or no’ on the purchase of such insurance. Knowing how erratic and strange this court is, I would never predict that the challenge will not succeed. In fact, it may.

Second, the Republicans will ride this issue hard in the November elections and seek to gain a majority in both houses of Congress so they can legislatively repeal the new law. I would also never predict that this challenge will not succeed. In fact, it may.

Obama will need to do something he hoped to avoid in 2010. He must take to the streets in big cities and small towns, launching a vigorous election campaign on behalf of his Democratic colleagues running for the Senate and the House. The Republican leaders of this fall’s campaign will be familiar. The GOP will trot out lots of old and recognizable faces – from McCain to Mitch McConnell – from Karl Rove to Dick Cheney. We’ll also hear plenty from Sarah Palin and, here in Minnesota, from Michele Bachmann. The conservative radio talk show geeks will be on the attack also. And so will the Tea Party.

There will also be a strong third party movement in many states and it will be interesting to watch the direction that those movements take on a state by state basis. I imagine there will be lots of dampened fingers in the air, trying to determine the direction of the wind.

I bid you adieu for a few days. Friday will find me having my second eye repaired and I’ll be laid up for a while and won’t be allowed to look at a computer screen. I’ll post a blog again on Sunday.

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