Lawmakers are Back from Recess: What Will Happen with Healthcare Reform?
As House Democrats return to work today from their 40-day recess, the Washington Post reports:
[House Democrats] are in almost the exact position they were in when they left the Capitol in late July. Conservatives are still leery of supporting a government-funded, or public, insurance option. Freshman lawmakers from suburban districts remain fearful of increasing taxes for their wealthy constituents to pay for the new measure and await alternatives from moderate Senate Democrats. And progressives, who are demanding the most far-reaching reform since the Great Depression, are still threatening to bring down the legislation if it does not contain a robust version of the public option.
…House Democrats are the canaries in the coal mine for Obama's most important domestic policy issue. As originally planned, the House was already to have passed its health-care legislation, with a far-reaching public option for insurance, based on Democratic votes, as Republicans have lined up in almost unanimous opposition to the House version. Despite their large majority, Democrats faced internal opposition in late July and agreed to delay the vote until late September at the behest of dozens of Blue Dogs and other Democrats worried about the public's view of the legislation.
House Democrats are still expected to take the first step on the legislation, assuming that the frenzy of early August- with the continual image on cable news of Democrats at town hall meetings with angry voters opposed to the proposal- has not solidified opposition within their own ranks.
While Democrat leaders were hoping the August recess would allow Congressman to return home and soothe their constituents’ oppositions towards the bill, Democratic lawmakers instead spent most of August attempting to refute constituents claims about the hazardous consequences this bill will generate.
The Democrats thought they could whip up a 1,000-page bill that the public would blindly follow… Sorry, you’re not going to fool us that easily!