MAJORITY RULE ISN’T SCARY…. By now, just about everyone involved with the debate over health care reform knows what has to happen– regardless of the order of events, the House has to approve the Senate proposal, the Senate has to approve improvements through reconciliation, and the White House has to keep things from spiraling out of control (or dying from neglect).
And while policymakers continue to talk behind the scenes about how to get from here to there, Chris Frates reports that President Obama’s meeting on Thursday with Democratic leaders raised an unfortunate wrinkle.
Perhaps more interesting was the discussion about whether Dems should try to pass reform using reconciliation. There is a concern that the maneuver will be viewed by the public as an attempt to change the rules mid-game, which could hurt Democrats politically, the source said. And reconciliation would require the same kind of dealmaking that Democrats used to pass the Senate bill….
It’s hard to overstate how foolish this is. Republicans have effectively broken the political process, and they don’t seem the slightest bit worried about how their reckless and unprecedented tactics “will be viewed by the public.” And yet, some Dems are still afraid of their own shadow.
What’s being proposed here is that the Senate hold a vote on improving an already-passed heath care bill. If a majority of the Senate likes the changes, it’ll pass. “Majority rule” need not be considered controversial by anyone — on the Hill or anywhere else.
Reconciliation is not new, and it’s been used repeatedly by Republicans. It’s not unreasonable to anticipate GOP attacks, but they’re going to attack anyway, no matter what Dems do, and these attacks are easy to respond to.
This isn’t complicated. Democratic policymakers have a choice. They can either:
(1) deliver on health care reform, energize the base, prove to the nation they can govern, and help the millions of Americans who are counting on them to succeed; or they can
(2) fail miserably and tell the nation, “Well, we could have succeeded, but we were afraid Republicans might yell at us about the use of a fairly common Senate procedure.”
For the love of God, pass … the … damn … bill.