With a decisive win in MA, Scott Brown has taken a Senate seat that was held by Ted Kennedy for decades. Kennedy, of course, is known as the primary supporter and author of the Health Care Reform bill that is currently before Congress.
Now, President Barack Obama and the Democrats, which held the the 60-vote Senate majority that they’ve relied on to push a historic health care overhaul to the verge of enactment, find that they may see Health Care Reform derailed before enactment.
According to MSNBC – Democrats splintered on how to salvage the president’s top domestic initiative even before the results were official. Republicans said don’t bother: The election of state senator Scott Brown sent a message that the health care bill should be scrapped.
Democrats don’t appear to have enough time to resolve differences between the House and Senate bills — and get cost and coverage estimates back from the Congressional Budget Office — before Brown is sworn in. That leaves House Democrats with the unpalatable option of passing a Senate bill that many of them profoundly disagree with.
“There is only one guarantee — that if we don’t pass something the notion of trying to put Humpty Dumpty together again is a real long shot,” said Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., son of the late senator. “If you understand the legislative process, it’s a lot easier to pass something and fix it later.”
So as the days unfold several questions arise:
- Should Health Care Reform be scrapped?
- Should Health Care Reform be revisited and move forward more slowly, but with the intention of passing something?
- Is Brown’s election a broader measure of Obama’s political support?
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