Health Care Reform Push Moving Too Fast?

Gary Fields of the Wall Street Journal gave an update on the health care reform bill earlier yesterday.  On Sunday, key senators said they would like to slow down President Obama’s pace of overhauling America’s health care.  Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said on CNN’s State of the Union that Obama chose a difficult time to fix one of the country’s toughest sectors noted, “In other words, we’re in a recession.”

Lieberman also pointed out that since Obama’s inception, Americans “are very worried about their jobs, about the economic future.  They’ve watched us add to the debt of this country.  We’re projected to run a $1.8 trillion deficit this year.” He suggested that a lot of the concerns at town hall meeting across the country are stemming from a struggling economy, and that Obama should be patient and wait for the economy to improve. 

Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) concurred with Lieberman and said Sunday that because of the issues outlined by Lieberman, President Obama should “…postpone the decision” on health care reform. 

If any plan is pushed through, Senator Lieberman would like to see more public support.  He also stressed that it would be a mistake to push through a bill that the public is so heavily against.  In addition, Lieberman said, “It’s just not good for the system, frankly, and it won’t be good for the Obama presidency.”

Recent strategies within the Democratic Party include reconciliation: a rarity in voting on bills, it would allow the Senate to pass a bill with just 51 votes, instead of the traditional minimum of 60.  However, Democrats are backing away from this option. 

On Sunday, Senator Arlen Spector appeared on Fox News Sunday and addressed the issue of reconciliation: “[iIt is] not desirable.  As a very last, last, last resort, if you can’t get anything else, I would consider it.”

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah said Sunday on Meet the Press that reconciliation was not meant to be utilized on a bill that overhauls one-sixth of the U.S. economy and would be a gross “…abuse of the process.”

A bipartisan effort is dimming with each day that passes.  Only time will tell what the final bill, if any, looks like.

To read the entire Wall Street Journal article, click here: Health-Bill’s Pace Prompts Calls for Delay.