Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm Afraid to Look...

...but on the other hand, according to the Times, the Democrats say they have the votes to pass health care reform. I'm really curious what they gave Ben Nelson (or threatened him with) and whether they persuaded Snowe or Collins to come on board.

Before you start protesting about the many, many problems, take a look at what Krugman has to say about it: he's not overjoyed, but if this doesn't pass, it'll be the 2020s before anything passes. Yep, we can continue to have 35 million people without health insurance (and thus without consistent and decent access to health care), or we can accept and build on the Rube Goldberg machine that is the current bill. So: Pass it!

(And we should think about some serious reform of the Senate. The U.S. Constitution does not require a supermajority to pass legislation, but between the ideological polarization of Congress, and especially the Senate, and rule changes over the last 40 years, there's a de facto requirement of 60 votes. Consider the history of California under our rule for a supermajority to pass budgets: do you want the whole country to look like my fine state?)

(And yes, I do think it stinks that, as usual, access to abortion is being further thrown under the train to pass this. What Ben Nelson got in addition to that is more federal money to expand Medicaid in Nebraska - that I like just fine.)

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