Tuesday, January 26, 2010

ObamaCare Finally Dead?

The January 26, 2010 New York Times reports that some centrist Senate Democrats have nixed the idea of sneaking ObamaCare through Congress using the 51-vote "budget reconciliation" technique.

From the article, "Democrats Put Stop on Health Overhaul":
With no clear path forward on major health care legislation, Democratic leaders in Congress effectively slammed the brakes on President Obama's top domestic priority on Tuesday, saying that they no longer felt pressure to move quickly on a health bill after eight months of setting deadlines and missing them...

...[T]wo centrist Democratic senators who are up for re-election this year, Blanche L. Lincoln of Arkansas and Evan Bayh of Indiana, said that they would resist efforts to muscle through a health care bill using a parliamentary tactic called budget reconciliation, which seemed to be the simplest way to advance the measure.

The White House has said in recent days that it would support that approach.

Some Democrats said that they did not expect any action on health care legislation until late February at earliest, perhaps after Congress returns from a weeklong recess. But the Democrats stand to lose momentum, and every day closer to the November election that the issue remains unresolved may reduce the chances of passing a far-reaching bill.

The gear-shift by Democrats underscored how the health care effort had been derailed by the Republican victory in the Massachusetts special election last week, which effectively denied Democrats the 60th vote they need to be sure of overcoming a Republican filibuster in the Senate...
This makes it increasingly likely that the Congress will attempt some "scaled-back" version at the national level. Plus we'll likely see the political battle shift back to the state level.

Stay tuned...