Excerpt from this morning’s NY Times:
The election left Democrats in Congress scrambling to salvage a bill overhauling the nation’s health care system, which the late Mr. Kennedy had called “the cause of my life.” Mr. Brown has vowed to oppose the bill, and once he takes office the Democrats will no longer control the 60 votes in the Senate needed to overcome filibusters.
There were immediate signs that the bill had become imperiled. House members indicated they would not quickly pass the bill the Senate approved last month.
…The Senate seat held for nearly half a century by Mr. Kennedy, the liberal lion of the Senate, will now be held for the next two years by a Republican who has said he supports waterboarding as an interrogation technique for terrorism suspects, opposes a federal cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions and opposes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants unless they leave the country.
But, from another article on the Times:
Mr. Brown, as a state senator, voted in favor of the Massachusetts universal health-care law in 2006 – when the state became the first in the nation to pass such a far-reaching overhaul to guarantee coverage for nearly every state resident and to require everyone in Massachusetts to obtain insurance.
Mr. Brown said the health care bill currently before congress is “not good for our state.” While said that all Americans should have health care, the federal government should incentivize individual states to tailor a plan for its citizens.
“I believe everyone should have insurance, I initially have to look out for our state. And when we’re already going to be paying higher fees with our plan and then pay higher fees for a plan that doesn’t work for us, I think we can do better,” Mr. Brown said.
Original post follows:
Tuesday: Do One Thing.
What happens Tuesday in Massachusetts.
The outcome of America’s direction on Health Care will come down to One Vote: that of Massachusetts.
Ted Kennedy, the lion of liberalism whose passion for health care for the poor and all Americans was unmatched for decades, passed away some short while ago. At stake—now—is his Senate seat, where Health Care stands to pass because the Democrats have a fool-proof 60 vote majority. But lose even one seat—this seat—and universal health care (what’s left of it, an admittedly imperfect bill that will nevertheless grant coverage to 30 million more Americans who sorely need it, whatever idealistic Progressives and right-eous self-enthusiastic Libertarians say)
So we have to win this seat. Tell your friends in Massachusetts we’re counting on them. Post this link to their Facebook Wall. Email them. Make a call. Tell them to vote for a path forward. Because none of us wants to retreat into the Dubya era—which if Rush and Hannity and Fox and Beck have their say, will be our way.
BOSTON — President Obama swooped into Massachusetts on Sunday in an attempt to rescue the flailing candidacy of Martha Coakley, the Democratic Senate candidate in a special election on Tuesday that will determine whether the party will preserve its 60-vote majority in the United States Senate and keep alive its health care agenda.
“If you were fired up in the last election, I need you more fired up in this election,” Mr. Obama said, speaking over the loud applause of a packed basketball arena at Northeastern University. “Understand what’s at stake here Massachusetts. It’s whether we’re going forwards or backwards.”
The Democratic Party deployed its full political arsenal here for the final 48 hours of the battle between Ms. Coakley, the Massachusetts attorney general, and Scott Brown, a Republican state senator, to fill the seat of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy.
As the race lurched to an unpredictable finish, Republicans worked to capitalize on an uneven campaign by Ms. Coakley and a strong air of dissatisfaction with Washington. Senior Democrats conceded on Sunday the real prospect that Ms. Coakley could lose the race, but they hoped Mr. Obama’s visit would rally the Democratic base.
The president did not explicitly say that the overhaul of the nation’s health insurance system was at stake in the election…