Democrats hope to succeed where Teddy Roosevelt failed on healthcare
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who played a major role in writing the legislation now being debated in the Senate, in making the modern day case for healthcare reform cited Roosevelt’s unsuccessful 1912 campaign after he broke away from the Republican Party.
“As in Teddy Roosevelt’s time, we seek protection against the hazards of sickness,” Baucus said. “Of necessity, we seek a system uniquely adapted to American use. And recognizing the daunting task still ahead of us, we pledge ourselves to work unceasingly, to get the job done.”
Roosevelt never saw healthcare coverage for everyone enacted into law. But nearly a century later, Congress seems ready to do what Roosevelt sought and enact healthcare reform that extends medical coverage to most people in the United States.
Republicans stand solidly against the healthcare bill that the Senate is expected to debate for at least three weeks. For those watching it on C-Span don’t be confused by the title of the bill flashed at the bottom of the screen.
The Senate is using as a vehicle for the healthcare overhaul a House-passed bill making sure that military members serving overseas do not miss out on the first-time home buyers tax credit that expires in April.
The Constitution requires revenue measures to originate in the House of Representatives so it is not unusual for the Senate to use a House-passed bill as a vehicle for legislation that includes taxes.
The Senate did not pick the House-passed healthcare bill as the instrument for its version, but instead picked a bill titled “Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act.”
Maybe that will help with wavering Democrats.
Despite the title, the Senate debate will be about the 2,074-page healthcare reform bill that is being offered as an amendment to the tax credit legislation.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jason Reed (Baucus)