Just Pass the Damn Bill!


I’m a big fan of Steve Benen over at The Washington Monthly. Here’s his latest post in it’s entirety. I couldn’t agree more!

I have no idea whose advice would be most likely to influence congressional Dems on health care reform, but Paul Krugman was recently named the most influential commentator in the nation, so here’s hoping his message gets through: “Stop whining, and do what needs to be done.”

A message to House Democrats: This is your moment of truth. You can do the right thing and pass the Senate health care bill. Or you can look for an easy way out, make excuses and fail the test of history.

Tuesday’s Republican victory in the Massachusetts special election means that Democrats can’t send a modified health care bill back to the Senate. That’s a shame because the bill that would have emerged from House-Senate negotiations would have been better than the bill the Senate has already passed. But the Senate bill is much, much better than nothing. And all that has to happen to make it law is for the House to pass the same bill, and send it to President Obama’s desk.

Right now, Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House, says that she doesn’t have the votes to pass the Senate bill. But there is no good alternative. […]

[S]ome Democrats want to just give up on the whole thing. That would be an act of utter political folly. It wouldn’t protect Democrats from charges that they voted for “socialist” health care — remember, both houses of Congress have already passed reform. All it would do is solidify the public perception of Democrats as hapless and ineffectual.

 Americans have been waiting for this for a century. The top domestic policy priority of the Democratic Party for generations is right there in front of them, just waiting for a single roll-call vote.

House passage of the Senate bill would help millions suffering under the dysfunctional status quo. It would prove that Democrats can deliver on their agenda. It would take advantage of a once-in-a-generation opportunity and be a historic achievement. It would steer clear of electoral suicide that would cost Democrats’ their majority and leave the country much worse off.

The solution is so goddamn obvious it’s literally unbelievable that Dems aren’t rushing to embrace it.

Pass. The. Damn. Bill.

Pass. The. Damn. Bill.

Pass. The. Damn. Bill.

Steve Benen

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