Karl Gallagher (libertarianhawk) wrote,
Karl Gallagher

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So the Dems only have 59 Senators now. I'm already hearing the horror that they won't be able to get anything passed because of the dread filibuster. Y'know, I remember a previous president's first year in office, when his party only had 51 Senators, and went down to 50 before the next election. But they still got things passed. Why? Because they were pushing legislation so popular and urgent that senators were afraid to vote against it lest the voters punish them.

Obama's health care reform doesn't fit in that category. He wants to do a Grand Restructuring of the entire medical system of the country. It's not just opponents of centralization like me who don't like that. It's anyone who's afraid of the status quo being made worse, or thinking the government should focus on higher priorities (say, jobs). So no, he can't get his bill done with 59 senators. It wasn't going to happen with 60 senators either. Not because of the Republicans, but because there were a lot of Dems who didn't want to risk pissing off their constituents.

59 votes is probably still enough to push through a "public option" covering people who can't get health insurance other ways . . . as an option. It's making coverage mandatory and forcing everyone to get their health insurance through a new system that's keeping it from being passed.
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