January 22nd, 2010 – The entire complexion of the health reform movement changed with Tuesday’s surprise election of Republican Scott Brown, taking away the 60th vote needed by Democrats to push through their health reform bill. The fact that a Republican won former Senator Teddy Kennedy’s Senate seat in the liberal state of Massachusetts sent shock-waves across the Democratic party.
The loss of the Democrat’s 60th vote in the Senate will likely require a new and hopefully more open debate of the health reform bill unless Democratscan get a Republican to support their bill and provide the required 60th vote. However, given the public’s sentiment about the troubled health reform bill that is very doubtful.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi considered ramrodding the Senate bill through the House before Scott Brown could be sworn into office, but Pelosi did not believe she could find the 218 House votes required.
President Obama and several Senators urged the suspension of any voting on health reform until Senator Brown is sworn into office. President Obama went on to say that he would like the House and Senate to start over and work on a scaled back health reform bill.
A poll on MSN.com this Wednesday that showed that 72% of Americans were opposed to the health reform. Republicans and independent anaylsts fear that the government will not follow through on its own promises for spending cuts which would make the costs of the old health reform bill skyrocket and lead to higher taxes and an ever growing federal deficit.