The special U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts is causing a stir as Congress hussles to wrap up its landmark health overhaul legislation.
The Health Care Blog’s Matthew Holt, who is originally from Britain, says, “After a resounding Democratic Presidential election win, a terrible recession, and a bruising year of politics, it would be just like America that a crazy election result torpedoes the health care reform bill.”
Hot Air’s Allah Pundit calls President Obama “a guy whose obsession with universal health care has so destroyed his party that a Republican’s on the brink of taking Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat decides to double down for the midterms.”
Bob Laszewski is unhappy with the deal Democrats announced yesterday on the “Cadillac” tax on expensive health plans and thinks it could sway the Massachusetts race: “It will be interesting to see how proponents, or should I say apologists, for this health care effort spin the latest. I would just ask that you please, please, please, not call this mess health care reform.” He continues, saying “This kind of stunt may just be enough to push [the Massachusetts election] over the edge.”
The American Spectator’s Philip Klein looks at the latest poll suggesting a GOP surge: “Another interesting finding in the Suffolk poll … is that it finds 51 percent of those [surveyed] in deep blue Massachusetts say they oppose the Democrats’ health care bill, while 61 percent say they don’t think the federal government can afford to pay for it. It’s quite a stunning development that in the race to fill the seat once held by Ted “health care is the cause of my life’ Kennedy, a majority of those polled now say they oppose the legislation he championed.”
And the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein responds to suggestions that Democrats should not pass reform if the Democratic candidate, Martha Coakley, loses:
Again: The Massachusetts election does not change the fact that a large majority of the Senate is committed to voting for this bill, and that 60 Democrats would be voting for this bill had Ted Kennedy not died of brain cancer.
Brown’s election could change the viability of procedural obstructionism, but not the will of the majority. The idea that his victory somehow makes it unfair for them to pass health-care reform, or is a betrayal of the results of the Massachusetts special election, is strange indeed.