Health Care Debate Continues as August Recess Ends

Jonathan Weisman and Janet Adamy provided an update to the health care debate yesterday in the Wall Street Journal…

After a month of heated town hall meetings and nasty exchanges between the right and left, the health care debate is still going strong.  A final bill has yet to be accepted.  However, a number of things could change between now and the artificial September 15 deadline, set by President Obama, for the Senate Finance Committee to come up with a bipartisan bill.  One thing that could happen is nothing at all.

The ‘Gang of Six’ negotiators on the Senate Finance Committee, a group of three Democrats and three Republicans, are no closer to a bipartisan bill than they were before the recess.  The Democrats are claiming the three Republicans refuse to have serious talks about reform.  This is now spurring a last-ditch effort by Democrats, in hopes of persuading the American people, that Republicans are to blame for the stalemate.  They are also hoping that Senator Edward Kennedy’s death will aide them in passing reform. 

A bipartisan bill would be very difficult to hammer out in the next couple of weeks.  People close to the President say he is going to go in a slightly different direction when he addresses the nation sometime in these next two weeks.  Obama will try and lay out exactly what he wants in the final bill. 

The chances of passing the final bill appear to be slim.  Democrats would need 60 votes to pass it, although they could go the nontraditional route of reconciliation and get it passed with a simple majority.  If Democrats do this, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said, “There’ll be a minor revolution in this country”. 

What do you think Obama will do in his next address to the nation?

To read the entire Wall Street Journal article, click here: Democrats Try Tougher Tone on Health Plan