Expect An Extremely Long Health Care Debate
Politico has a letter sent by Judd Gregg (R-NH) to his Republican colleagues. It outlines the rights of the minority. There are some amazing potential delay tactics that I was not even aware of. (It is very much worth a read.) If the Republicans are willing to use all the tricks at their disposable to delay reform, and every indication is that they are, they can bring the Senate debate on health care reform to a crawl.
If these first three days are any indication, this is going to be an extremely long debate. The more the Republicans plan to obstruct, the more I think Democrats made a huge mistake not pushing the bill through months ago using reconciliation. I know the excuses were that Republicans would “go to war” if that happened and the bill would end up Swiss cheese. Well, the current bill is full of massive holes because of the insane demands from Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, and Olympia Snowe.
And, on the Republican front, you have Coburn on the Senate floor accusing Democrats of trying to push forward a plan that will cause Americans to die more quickly. It seems like Senate Republicans declared all-out war months ago. If the bill were passed using a common budgetary maneuver (reconciliation, which would only require a simple majority), do Senate Democrats really think that the Republicans can say anything worse about health care reform than “pulling the plug on Grandma” and screaming about rationing?