Bil Browning

Could a Brown win in Mass be good for health care reform?

Filed By Bil Browning | January 19, 2010 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics, Politics
Tags: filibuster reform, health care reform, Martha Coakley, Massachusetts, Massachusetts special election, President Obama, reconcilliation, Scott Brown, Senate procedures, Teddy Kennedy

Should liberals be secretly hoping for a Scott Brown win in Massachusetts today? political-hurdle-health-care-reform1.jpgCould a Brown win be good for health care reform?

Air America's Jack Rice makes a good case for why a Brown win could actually help liberals in our quest for quality health care reform. Why?

It would force Democrats to use the reconciliation option - thereby cutting the needed votes from 60 to 51. If you only need 51 votes, you don't have to pander to the likes of Senators Ben Nelson or Evan Bayh and could actually rewrite large portions to make it actual reform - including a public option.

What do you think? Audio of Rice's argument after the jump.

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Probaly as then somebody from the Republicans will have to vote with the Democrates and if the party is on a roll with a big win dont look for any of the remainig Moderates in the Senate to jump ship on this isssue.Also look for Joe to jump ship as he wil be able to with a Brown win as hes not realy happy with the whole thing to.Then with out a public option the whole Health Care reform bill is a waste of time any ways so it would be back to the beginning with the whole thing.

Politics is a contact sport with no rules.

Well its now looks like it wil be Senator Brown so the answer is yes.

The short answer is "NO."

The message of the Massachusetts debacle will be, in the perception of all but the most deluded of us on the left, that Obama moved too far too fast on fiscal AND social issues. Rachel and Chris are blithering on right now about ways to save health care. It's d-e-a-d, along with ENDA, along with any dream of repealing DOMA or DADT. And if Boies/Olson somehow makes it to the SC, it's dead as well. If we're lucky, we'll get back to 2008 sometime around 2020.

Haha, now that I see Brown won I want to say yes. But I know the answer is no, no the Democrats will not use reconciliation to pass health care reform, something they've been unwilling to do even though it's been clear for a year that they need to use it to get a good bill through, not now that they all think Real Americans are teabaggers and they'll lose to neanderthals like Scott Brown if they support health care reform.

The coming months will not be the Democrats' finest hour.

I don't expect much in terms of courage from them. The bill will get further watered down and it may or may not get passed before the midterms.

But I like the idea that Democrats will be forced to make the Senate a majority rules organization! Especially since they never really had 60 votes for anything - there were always some defectors.

The reconciliation process is more limited in what may be brought up before it, it is not a simple blending of the bills, and sending them back to their respective bodies (House and Senate ) for approval. Does anyone (Alex?) know what the rules and limitations are on reconciliation?

This sounds like an article in The Daily Kos yesterday (perhaps it was?).
But the answer is 'no', the Dems won't use reconciliation.
And Pete, the Dems' response to calls for using reconciliation never mentioned the lack of it as an option. So I am assuming reconciliation has always been an option. But one that, for whatever real reason, the Dems were unwilling to take.
It still actually looks like the Dems might try to push thru the senate HCR bill.
Which I think would be the nail in the coffin. Suicide in the name of saving face.
My husband and I live in Boston (with our 4-year old son), and we are very disheartened by Brown's win. Brown was able to portray himself as an 'independent', a politician without a social agenda. Which was far from his profile as a state senator.
But I am more disheartened with Obama and the Dems. Taking a step back and just listenting to a large swath of America, it is easy to hear a lot of fear and anger.
And that is a large part of what happened in Mass yesterday. We have @ 10% unemployment, services and schools are being cut, and there is no sign of any change in the (near/far?) future.
And during this frightening timeframe, Obama and the Dems pushed ahead with a Health Care Reform that became a brutal embarrassment over the ocurse of 8 months. No one on the left or right liked it. In fact, no one in that mythical center liked it either.
For the past 2 months the Dems have just been trying to pass something to save face.
It is bonecrunching sad to live in Mass and see someone like Brown elected.
But it is even sadder to watch this Obama change about.
Only one year ago today so many people were so excited. Now we have an aggressive increase of the war in Afghanistan, we have a horrible HCR bill, we have continued unemployment, foreclosures, etc... - a workerless recovery.
And as a gay man I have to note that it feels like Obama has turned his back on the GLBT community.
But we apparently don't have a Democratic party that has learned anything.
I could never fathom why the Dems didn't use reconciliation. Now anything they do is tainted by Brown's win, and makes them look reactive, even thuggish. (not that I coldn't live with thuggish if it resulted in real HCR...)
Yesterday was a very gray and sad day in Mass, for several reasons.

colby howard | April 5, 2010 12:30 PM

my name is colby howard and i am super gay