Health care: Pelosi's next move?
The House speaker could decide the future path of health reform. What's she going to do?
President Obama's advisors vowed over the weekend to continue pushing for health-care reform. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said that Democrats don't have enough votes to pass the Senate version of the health-care reform bill. But Pelosi says she's still committed to passing health reform, even though, with Republican Sen.-elect Scott Brown vowing to cast the deciding vote to block any compromise, the task has grown far more difficult. What will Pelosi do now? (Watch Nancy Pelosi say she's moving ahead with health-care reform)
Drop it: The Democrats' health-care legislation is "deeply unpopular," says Merv Benson in Prairie Pundit. People are already angry at the prospect of higher costs and mandatory insurance — as the Massachusetts vote demonstrated. By trying to come up with a more acceptable package, President Obama and Nancy Pelosi "are just keeping the anger alive.""New Hampshire unhappy about Democratic health care"Think smaller, and break up bill: "Democrats need to recalibrate on health-care reform," says Scott Lehigh in The Boston Globe. They wanted to muscle through comprehensive health-care reform, hoping that the public would grow to love it. But Scott Brown's surprise victory made that impossible, so their best bet now is to do what President Obama has suggested, and "coalesce" around elements most people agree on, such as prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions."Breaking up the healthcare bill"
Pelosi should just call a vote: "This really is crazy. The finish line is right there," says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly. All Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats, including liberals who say the Senate version doesn't go far enough, have to do is accept that they won't get everything they want, then the path to a landmark breakthrough is clear. "Pass. The. Damn. Bill.""Pelosi says she lacks the votes"
If Pelosi doesn't accept defeat things will get worse: If the Democrats are smart they'll go back to Square One, says Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. Using procedural measures to force something through now will make the pain worse. "Even with massive majorities and a filibuster-proof caucus, they could not jam down a massive government intrusion into the private sector through Congress. They overreached" — maybe next time they'll try a more bipartisan approach.
"Pelosi announces that she can’t pass Senate ObamaCare bill"
.........................................SEE MORE OF THE WEEK'S COVERAGE OF HEALTH CARE• Is Obamacare really dead?• Health care: Shutting out the GOP?• The GOP's big health care 'blunder'• 15 best health-care jokes of 2009