President Obama came home from Copenhagen to good news this Saturday: Senate Democrats engineered a compromise to secure the 60 votes they need to pass the Senate health care bill. Tough battles still lie ahead in negotiations with the House, but many experts believe that passing the landmark legislation is within reach.
- House Dems the Next Big Hurdle, writes Mike Lillis at the Washington Independent. "It will likely be House Democrats who will present the next real hurdle to Reid’s bill. Indeed, House leaders have their own ideas about what health reform should look like, and in many areas they differ significantly from the provisions found in the Senate compromise, including the approach to the public option, restrictions on coverage for illegal immigrants, the children’s health insurance program, and even abortion."
- Democrats About to Sign a Death Wish, writes Megan McArdle at the Atlantic. She notes that rank-and-file congressional Democrats are more vulnerable than the leaders, and are bound to be picked off in the 2010 elections. "Democrats are on a political suicide mission...No bill this unpopular has ever before passed on a straight party-line vote. We're in a new political world."
- Proves the Inscincerity of Centrists, writes Paul Krugman at the New York Times. He praises the legislation as "historic," but says that the compromises demanded by Nelson and Lieberman show the insincerity of their concern for cost-cutting. "They like posing as defenders of fiscal rectitude; they like declaring a pox on both houses; but when push comes to shove, their dislike of social insurance, their refusal to consider any government economy measures that don’t involve punishing people with lower incomes, trumps their supposed concern about acting responsibly."
- Liberals Should Take the Bill as a Starting Point, argues Matthew Yglesias at Think Progress. Yglesias, who as a progressive is disappointed with the compromises in the bill, nevertheless takes comfort from the fact that the bill could be modified going forward. He urges frustrated liberals to focus their efforts on winning elections in 2010. "You accept compromises and then keep on working to build more political power".
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