Mark Trahant: Debate not over on health reform
"Are we in the final days of the health care reform debate?

“The historic movement to bring real, meaningful health insurance reform to the American people gathered momentum this week as we approach the final days of this debate,” President Barack Obama said in his weekly radio address. “The Senate Finance Committee is finishing deliberations on their version of a health insurance reform bill that will soon be merged with other reform bills produced by other Congressional committees.”

“What’s remarkable is not that we’ve had a spirited debate about health insurance reform, but the unprecedented consensus that has come together behind it,” the president said. “This consensus encompasses everyone from doctors and nurses to hospitals and drug manufacturers.” He listed a Republican governors and out of office politicians as part of that consensus.

But when Congress votes it’s more likely we’ll see something other than consensus. We could call it a “spirited consensus.” There is clearly consensus to do something – but any agreement breaks down when the specifics are spelled out. It’s likely there will not be a single Republican vote in the House and at best only one or two Republican votes in the Senate. That division is both partisan and philosophical. But it’s that divide that represents our biggest challenge as a nation, our ability to govern ourselves."

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A spirited consensus about health care reform (Mark Trahant 10/12)