Some Senators Think House Health Bill Isn't Tight
If you're thinking the Senate is going to follow the House's lead on health insurance reform, think again.
Some moderate Dems--and one turncoat Independent by the name of Lieberman--are opposed to any insurance bill and will vote against any bill that has such a provision in place. From The Associated Press:
If a government plan is part of the deal, "as a matter of conscience, I will not allow this bill to come to a final vote," said Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut independent whose vote Democrats need to overcome GOP filibusters.
"The House bill is dead on arrival in the Senate," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said.
Democrats did not line up to challenge him. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has yet to schedule floor debate and hinted last week that senators may not be able to finish health care this year.
Nonetheless, the House vote provided an important lesson in how to succeed with less-than-perfect party unity, and one that Senate Democrats may be able to adapt. House Democrats overcame their own divisions and broke an impasse that threatened the bill after liberals grudgingly accepted tougher restrictions on abortion funding, as abortion opponents demanded.
In the Senate, the stumbling block is the idea of the government competing with private insurers. Liberals may have to swallow hard and accept a deal without a public plan to keep the legislation alive. As in the House, the compromise appears to be to the right of the political spectrum.
The Right: Setting the agenda even when they sort of aren't supposed to be able to. Brilliant.