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House Reps: Pass the Senate Bill

01.22.10

Paul Krugman:

The fact is that the Senate bill is a centrist document, which moderate Republicans should find entirely acceptable. In fact, it’s very similar to the plan Mitt Romney introduced in Massachusetts just a few years ago. Yet it has faced lock-step opposition from the G.O.P., which is determined to prevent Democrats from achieving any successes. Why would this change now that Republicans think they’re on a roll?

It is centrist.  Fox News and those on the far right (which seems to be the only side of the right anymore) will scream that the radical liberals are pushing socialism onto America.  This is just not true.  The Senate Bill doesn’t have universal health care.  It doesn’t have government-run insurance, instead it actually cuts Medicare.  There is no public option.  Progressives will dislike this bill because it doesn’t do enough; staunch conservatives will dislike this bill because of the individual mandate.  That still leaves a – theoretical – strong majority comprised of members from both parties that should see not only enough good in this bill to pass it, but see just how bad it will be if we don’t.

But like, Krugman says, why would the Republicans bother to play ball now that their Party of No campaign seems to be working.  The Democrats keep buying into the notion of bipartisanship as if they need to do something differently to gain the support of the GOP.  But, that’s the issue: the GOP has made it clear that they will not support anything the Democrats have on their agenda, regardless of policy.

If the Democrats don’t pass the bill, it’s guaranteed failure.  They will cement their status as inept politicians who can’t get anything done even when they hold a 60-vote majority in the Senate.  If they pass the bill, it’s a tossup as to whether or not it’s a success or failure.  But if they don’t pass anything, there is no tossup: it’s game over for the Democrats.  And all of this because one Republican got voted into office in Massachusetts?  Democrats: you still hold a huge majority! Americans voted you into office overwhelmingly because we wanted health care reform (McCain wasn’t offering much at all, and still isn’t), we wanted out of Iraq and Afghanistan (timetables have been set for our departure, McCain was and is for an open-ended war), we wanted accountability on torture (Gitmo has been set to close but that’s a quagmire all its own).  Scott Brown doesn’t change this.  One senator in Massachusetts doesn’t speak for the masses even though the minority on the right want it to.  59 Senators have jobs right now because a majority of Americans, among other things, want health care reform.  To cave to the minority would be to go against the will of the people.

The people have spoken. And they want you to finally do something about it.

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