How did that happen?
A few weeks ago, after Scott Brown was elected Senator from Massachusetts, it looked for sure like the latest efforts at healthcare reform would go down in the history books as part of the long list of failed attempts to repair our broken system.
But, like a zombie reaching out from the grave, Obamacare refuses to die, and suddenly the GOP is freaking out that Obama seems to have gotten his game together.
First the numbers: There’s no way the Democrats are getting to 60 in the Senate, so they’re most likely going to do what they can using the so-called “reconciliation” process, which will allow the Senate to pass the measure on a straight, up-and-down, majority vote.
But that’s just part of what’s going on here.
Talking Points Memo has a good play-by-play of healthcare’s rebirth, the basic narrative being: Finally, Obama introduced Obamacare, rather than watch by as the Congress created their own bureacratic stew.
And in a strange way, the political winds now seem to suggest that Democrats desperately need to do something to stop the GOP momentum, rather than just wait out the clock until the November elections. At least this way they can say they stuck with their principals, and motivate their base to come out.
We’d also argue that the administration has been way smarter in its rollout, emphasising upfront things like tax cuts and markets, and other buzzwords that scream responsibility. (Don’t miss: 10 things you must know about the new Obamacare)
Obviously this is no done deal just yet, but it’s way more likely than anyone figured just a couple of days ago.
This InTrade chart of the odds healthcare reform passes tells the story of the post-Scott Brown rebound.:
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