Republican sees Democrats passing healthcare overhaul
Sarah Palin says on her Facebook page that the healthcare overhaul passed by the U.S. House of Representatives last week should be “Dead on Arrival” in the U.S. Senate.
The House-passed bill, which includes a new government health insurance plan, may not be what the Senate passes. But the far-reaching healthcare reform backed by President Barack Obama is far from dead. At least one influential Republican senator believes Congress will enact sweeping legislation.
“I think a bill is going to pass,” said New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg. In an interview with C-Span’s “Newsmakers” that will air on Sunday, Gregg said Obama has invested too much political capital in his top domestic priority to allow it to fail. Gregg once considered joining the Obama administration, but now has become a major critic of Obama’s proposed healthcare reform and its impact on the country’s mounting debt.
“We’re on an unsustainable path, it is that simple,” Gregg said.
Gregg said he does not see Democrats scaling back the legislation in the face of eye-popping, record deficits. On the contrary, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struggling to muster the 60 votes needed to pass the bill in the 100-member Senate, Gregg sees “more baggage” being added to it in an effort to win votes.
The bill that initially passes the Senate is not likely to include a new government-run health insurance program, Gregg said. But he said the legislation will likely “move to the left” once Senate and the House negotiators meet to work out their differences and develop a single bill. He said he expects the final bill to include some version of a new public insurance option.
Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Senator Judd Gregg in his office)