Matt Towery

Tell that to the people in most states, like Sen. Nelson's Florida. Voters there continue to say the recession has negatively affected them. A majority says Florida's economy is either as bad as or worse than it was six months ago.

My bet is that the oh-so-critical-vote in the Senate Finance Committee for a health care reform bill by the lone Republican to do so, Olympia Snowe of Maine, will melt like a snow cone in July before this whole reform movement plays out. Snowe tied her vote to enough caveats to allow her plenty of room to back away from whatever the final bill entails.

Recently, Newsweek extolled the virtues of Vice President Joe Biden. (Biden does seem to be one of the more likeable people in the administration.) The magazine noted that Biden had cautioned President Obama early on that it might not be wise to take on health care reform in his first year in office. That's likely because Biden's deep institutional knowledge of the Senate told him that no matter how excited the Democratically controlled House might get over a health care reform effort, his more moderate colleagues in the Senate would be given pause by being placed in the ultimate political pickle.

As of late this week, the pickle jar was still full of moderate Democratic senators. They continue to praise some form of national health care bill, but one by one, they're all coming to the realization that erasing the potential perils and pitfalls of such legislation may not be possible. They're right. The plan is too ambitious.

No matter how the pundits try to tell us that a significant bill will pass this year, I have trouble buying it. Too many polls in too many states -- states represented by moderate senators -- say that while the notion of health care reform is marginally palatable, the details turn the stomach.

Matt Towery

Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
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