HELP + Finance = Harry Reid's Recess

We know how Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is going to spend his recess: he has to figure out how to match the Senate HELP Committee's plans for health insurance reform with what the Senate Finance Committee is willing to pay. The political semiotics seem simple: In announcing that the Senate simply could not come to an agreement before the recess, Reid is acknowledging that the Finance Committee's draft, which is due on the floor before the recess, isn't going to pay for everything the HELP Committee wants. There is nothing subtle about the institutional politics: Reid made this news on the day after the President explicitly defended his timeline and gave what he considered to be the best argument in favor of reform. The message: you didn't help us last night, Mr. President. Reid knows that the evening news stories on health care will lead with Reid's glum announcement, and then cut to a president who they'll say is "struggling" to convey a sense of urgency. Nothing will doom the chances for health care reform more than the perception that health care is doomed.

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Politics

Just In