What Scott Brown's Victory Means for Obamacare

Posted: Jan 20, 2010 9:43 AM
Quick read-and-reaction from around the web:

The New York Times

Democrats now face decisions on whether to give up on the health care fight – an approach few lawmakers appear willing to entertain – or perhaps pull together a scaled-back measure and use special procedural rules that would eliminate the need for 60 votes in the Senate. But it is not clear how many of the key provisions of the legislation could be passed under such a procedure.

Sentiment about how to proceed was mixed, with several House lawmakers expressing wariness about accepting a Senate-passed plan due to their deep reservations about it. But top officials said that approach may be the party’s best alternative and most House members said they still believed it was crucial that Democrats pass a plan.

Philip Klein at The American Spectator

Though it may be premature to declare health care legislation dead, one year to the day since he took the oath of office, Obama’s top domestic priority is in critical condition -- and fading fast.

Fred Barnes at The Weekly Standard

ObamaCare is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection. Brown ran to be the 41st vote for filibuster and now he is just that. Democrats have talked up clever strategies to pass the bill in the Senate despite Brown, but they won’t fly. It’s one thing for ObamaCare to be rejected by the American public in poll after poll. But it becomes a matter of considerably greater political magnitude when ObamaCare causes the loss of a Senate race in the blue state of Massachusetts.

Peter Suderman at Reason

As they say, predictions are hard, especially about the future. But I don't see any plausible options for reform supporters. And reform supporters aren't floating any serious possibilities either. For Democrats, it's fourth down, 99 yards to go, they need three touchdowns, and a home run too, but all they have on the field are ping-pong players.
I am not so optimistic as these other Obamacare opponents. Obama and the Dems have gone all-in on this health care bill. They can't afford going back to the drawing board and restarting the whole process in a midterm election year. I think we're going to see vote-buying on the part of Democrat leadership the likes of which have never been seen before. The Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase may be small beans by the time the dust settles on this.
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