Now is NOT the time to point fingers, assess blame, or sit on our hands. Healthcare reform is hanging by a thread, and we here at Daily Kos need to decide how to proceed.
With Scott "Cosmopolitan" Brown now the senate-elect in Massachusetts, Congressional Democrats have a short window to act while they still have 60 votes. The question is, what action should they take?
- Pass the Senate Bill as is, send it to President Obama for his signature, and use reconciliation to improve the bill as much as possible in the next few months.
Advantages: Healthcare Reform, as watered down as it is, gets passed. Obama and the Democratic Party can say that they got something done. The bill would establish a base that can be improved upon with time.
Disadvantages: The Senate HCR Bill is extremely, perhaps fatally flawed. Republicans would campaign on the Dems rushing HCR through before Brown is certified. There are no guarantees that Congress and/or Obama would have the stomach to re-visit this issue and improve the bill.
- Continue to negotiate and try to pass an improved bill ASAP.
Advantages: We could end up with a better HCR bill. Dems would project strength and organization.
Disadvantages: We could still be undecided by the time Scott "I'm not a Teabagger (wink!)" Brown gets certified, and thus lose the 60th vote in the Senate. Dems would project weakness and chaos.
- Scrap the current HCR bills, start over using reconciliation.
Advantages: No need to pretend that Republicans are interested in bi-partisanship. No need to court LIEberman, Ben Nelson, and other conservadems. Can improve certain aspects of HCR as opposed to what's being offered now.
Disadvantges: No guarantees that Dems will have the stomach to re-visit HCR, or to use reconciliation. Certain aspects of HCR can't be enacted by this process. Republicans will campaign to some of the gullible that the Democrats have gone "nuclear".
I'm not sure there's a clear-cut choice; maybe you think there is. What should Congressional Democrats do about Healthcare Reform?
[EDIT: 2/4/10] If you've read the comments, you'll notice that I made a wager with fellow Kossack anothermavoter. I thought that Congress would get a Healthcare bill to President Obama prior to the swearing in of Scott Brown. anothermavoter believed that the swearing in (at?) of Brown would take place first. Guess who won?
That's right, NOT me. That's what I get for banking on the "leadership" of Harry Reid.
So since I honor my bets, and as it's for an outstanding cause, I did in fact just make a $10 donation to the American Red Cross, designated for the relief efforts in Haiti.