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Republicans Still Dubious About Voting For Senate Health Reform Bill

This New York Times article, Little Hope For GOP to Support Health Bill, illustrates the problem with bipartisanship and getting Republican votes. It’s like people haven’t paid attention to the GOP votes against the stimulus bill, against the ACES bill, and against the S-CHIP bill. Why would they vote for the health bill out of the Senate Finance Committee after showing such a consistent pattern of votes against President Obama’s agenda?

And do we really expect them to break form when it comes to health care reform? Not really. And here’s a quote from Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina in the NYT article that explains why it’s a fool’s errand to water down essential legislation for the benefit of a couple of GOP votes, when we might not even get these votes at all.

Asked how many Senate Republicans could sign on to developing Democratic plans, Senator Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, author of a Republican alternative, said: “I think right now, none. Zero.”

This NYT article is perfect in its illustration of the utter pointlessness for the White House and some of Senate Democrats in their begging for Republican votes on the health bill. The White House is looking for three or four Republican votes to give it that "bipartisan" sheen on the health bill. Well, Senator Grassley just smacked the WH down on that.

“This is not going to be a bipartisan bill with just three or four Republicans,” Mr. Grassley said. “This is a bill that gets broad bipartisan support or it is not going to be a bipartisan bill.”

Basically, they’re demanding that there be NO ideas from the Democratic party about the health bill, and that the Republican ideas are the ones that the Senate Democrats should be considering. It’s kabuki theater in this farce of negotiations with a minority party that has been rejected soundly by voters in 2006 and in 2008. Voters have said over and over again that they don’t trust Republicans on issues, namely health care issues, and so why again are we working hand-in-hand with them to promote their lousy ideas for the benefit of "bipartisanship?" Democrats are in the majority in the House, the Senate, and the White House, but they keep on deferring to Republicans in the Senate.

It’s telling how much Senator Baucus defers to Grassley, and it’s like Senator Baucus thinks that Grassley IS the Senate Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, rather than the other way around. The main focus on these Senate Democrats in their search of bipartisanship should be about how they’re refusing to adopt the change that voters want as the polls on health care reform have shown, and are more interested in keeping the status quo.

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