From press conferences and interviews in Washington, D.C.
If you care about the fate of health reform, you’ll probably be keeping a close eye on the election underway today in Massachusetts. Voters in the Bay State will decide today who will replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy. Until recently, pundits expected that state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) would cruise to an easy victory, keeping the Democrat’s 60-vote majority in the Senate secure. But over the last week, Coakley’s Republican challenger, State Senator Scott Brown, has been surging in the polls.
A victory by Brown could have a big impact on the chances for passing health reform. Speculation has been rampant all weekend about what the Democratic leadership will do if they lose their super majority in the Senate before they can get a vote on health reform. Some options: they could try to pass the existing Senate bill through the House or try to get health reform passed through the reconciliation process (an obscure budget process requiring only a majority vote for passage).
Hear more about this and the items still under debate in the final health reform bill in this week’s edition of the Policy & Practice Podcast.
— Mary Ellen Schneider (on Twitter @MaryEllenNY)