Friday, March 12, 2010

Majority leader will use reconcilliation to pass health bill

t r u t h o u t has this report about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to use the budget reconcilliation process to pass a health care bill through the Senate. This process allows the Democrats to pass a bill with a 51-vote majority, rather than needing to garner 60 votes to overcome a threatened Republican filibuster. Is this good news or bad news? Commentator Robert Kuttner points out that as long as we have a for-profit healthcare system, costs are likely to continue spiraling out of control, and substantial numbers of people will lack useful coverage. I find myself deeply ambivalent over the question of whether President Obama's bill is better than nothing. It doesn't seem to be clear at this point whether the Senate will even pass a bill with any form of public option. It is oddly comforrting, in the grip of this ambivalence, that my opinions on this subject will have no effect whatsoever on the far-right congressional delegation of my home state, Oklahoma.

There is one thing that I am quite clear about. The various young male progressives out on the 'net who call for the Democrats to "grow a pair of balls" and pass meaningful health care reform are voicing a hope that is patently stupid  The possession of testicles does not qualify someone to help make wise and courageous public policy. We have a genteel sufficiency of testicles in Congress already, thank you very much.

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