19 January 2010

Will today's election seal the fate of health care reform?

In a special election today, voters in Massachusetts will choose a new U.S. Senator who will complete the late Ted Kennedy's term. Unfortunately, it appears to be a very tight race. And, if Republican Scott Brown defeats Democrat Martha Coakley, the Dems will lose their 60th vote in the Senate -- the number needed to stop a filibuster.

This would mean that the health care reform bill would probably need to be watered down even more in order to win the support of Olympia Snowe or another moderate Republican senator if it's to move forward.

Indeed, a Republican win in Massachusetts today could bring virtually all progressive reform to a halt in the Senate.

That is, of course, unless the Dems find ways around the Republican roadblocks. But I'm not convinced that they have the stomach to act so strongly.

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