EFCA: A Wedge Issue For Health Care

Reader Chuck Thies, a smart observer, writes to suggest that the Employee Free Choice Act, EFCA, has become a  wedge between Labor and Dems who want health care reform.

Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado is the guy who's shaping the debate into a wedge.  He's saying these days that health care reform is possible if and only if labor and business work together. But if there's a continuing fight over EFCA, business won't play ball, and the cooperation needed to pass health care fails.

"We're going to have to see whether or not there's a consensus that can be reached that makes [EFCA] something that can be passed because right now there isn't something that can be passed," Bennet told the group at New Belgium. He said he's concerned by the hard feelings that are developing on the issue, among organized labor on one side and small-business owners on the other. He said those groups can be allies on many issues, particularly health-care reform, and can't let the EFCA debate splinter relationships. "Temperatures are running high on both sides of this. We need to make sure that no matter how this turns out ... that we've got all hands on deck working on health-care reform because this is the year to get that done," he said.

A disclaimer: Sen. Bennet's brother, James Bennet, is the editor of the Atlantic.