Now that President Obama is ceding Congressional passage of health care and 60 is not possible to pass it, except through reconciliation.
Ironically, Scott Brown is the vote the Democrats need to change the game on their health care strategy. He makes it plausible and relevant to the Budget Reconciliation process for a 51-vote reconciliation to include health care. If all you need is 51, the legislation will pass handily.
Finished is the need for Democrats to pull together a coalition of all parties to reach 60 votes and pass a House-Senate compromise. With President Obama's budget sent to Congress Monday, and in it a $150 billion line item for health care reform, signs point to a re-tooled strategy to get health care passed.
In New Hampshire on Tuesday, President Obama held a successful town hall meeting in Nashua, Mr. Brown's back yard. The crowd was a good focus group on the TARP money repayments going to community banks to ease lending for small businesses. But the crowd really moved when health care was the topic.
Obama stated that the bills now pending are the same as those spearheaded by Senate Majority Leaders Daschle, Dole and Howard Baker.
I said it last summer and last year. The time for health care reform is now, on this budget, in reconciliation. The White House should start promoting that strategy and push the ball past the red zone, and Congress past overtime. Score a goal for the American people on what they really want for their economy: comprehensive health care reform.
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