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Message to Democrats: want to commit political suicide? Just say no to reconciliation and health care reform

By       Message michael payne     Permalink
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Democrats in Congress, primarily U.S. senators, have developed very serious sensory system problems; they don't have a vision for America; they do not seem to hear what the American people have been saying; and they don't have the taste for fighting the powerful lobbyists and special interests groups that want to dismantle the American democratic process.

After months and months of debate, disagreement and vacillation, the once very promising health care reform legislation is at the brink of collapse. This much is certain; if the Senate Democrats fail to pass this legislation, critical to the future welfare of millions of Americans, then they will, in effect, be committing political suicide. This will be their final act of betrayal of the American people and the people will respond by throwing many of them out of office later this year.

Passing effective health care legislation should have been a slam dunk; this was the perfect time to finally get it done after many decades during which all attempts failed. President Harry Truman, during his tenure as president in the late 1940's and early 1950's, visualized a universal-type of health care system for Americans.

His feelings on this issue were typified by this statement: "Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and to enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. And the time has now arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and to help them get that protection." A wonderful thought but it went nowhere.

Decades later no reform legislation has been enacted but there has never been an opportunity as promising as the one that is present today. In the elections of 2008 the American people swept the Democrats into office and one of the many issues of importance to them was health care for all Americans. President Obama sensed this and included it in his agenda. So the Democratic Party was presented with a clear mandate to finally get it done.

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Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has taken that mandate and nearly debated it to death. Democrats have now lost their supposed 60 vote majority, one that existed in name only because of Blue Dogs and other conservatives in the party, and there is no chance whatsoever that they can override a certain filibuster by Republicans if they use the usual legislative process.

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But all is not lost and the Senate Democrats still have an ace in the hole; that is, if they can use a part of their sensory systems to actually see it. It is called the Reconciliation Process, a term that by now should be familiar to the many Americans who are concerned about health reform. I won't spend time explaining details of this process but it is a method by which legislation that involves budgetary matters can be passed with a majority vote of 51.

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)
 

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