The House Passage Of Health Care: What It Means

Late last evening, the House of Representatives passed the health care reform legislation by a vote of 220-215, with one Republican vote, a Vietnamese representative from New Orleans, but with 39 Democrats voting with 176 Republicans in opposition.

Winning by only two extra votes than a bare majority, the House leadership celebrated the victory, but it is no guarantee that any health care legislation will pass this year.

Now the Senate will consider its own version of health care reform, but with likely only 57 Democrats supporting it, and Joe Lieberman, the independent, planning to take part in a filibuster with the 40 Republicans, which would prevent any action, unless “reconciliation”, requiring only 50 or 51 Democrats is invoked, which would alienate moderate Democrats and lead to bad blood in the Senate.

Even if legislation was passed in the Senate, it would then have to go to a conference committee to be reconciled with the House bill, and there are many contentious areas of the legislation, including the amended bill in the House banning abortion coverage except for the life of the mother, rape or incest, something bound to be controversial with liberals in both houses and with many women voters and liberal activists who would be against any such amending of the final legislation.

So the Democrats could splinter and their liberal backers could abandon them, but at the same time, if the Republicans continue to stand on the sidelines in total opposition, it could have a negative effect on their fortunes if the bill passes into law, with the likelihood of popular support once it is actually the law of the land.

So both parties are playing with a delicate issue which could affect their fortunes in 2010 and beyond! The long term future of President Obama is also at stake! Never a dull moment!

One comment on “The House Passage Of Health Care: What It Means

  1. David November 8, 2009 9:16 pm

    You spoke very well on this issue, Ron! However, if the Democrats cannot get things passed without worrying about conservative Democrats, who are more like Republicans, I say get rid of them from the party. If that would lead to Republicans coming into office, I would add that what good are the Democrats if they can’t get things passed because of division within their party. Let’s oust the Democrats if they don’t get this passed and usher in a new Era of Good Feelings. Ultimately then the Republican Party would splinter with liberal saboteurs and maybe we’ll get a credible second party in our country that can get something accomplished. I say let’s go for reconciliation and expose the conservative democratic frauds who are blocking progressive legislation intended to look out for the “general welfare” of Americans.

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