Senate Passes Health Care Reform Bill

As expected after the Republicans gave up on delaying the vote until the last possible moment, the Senate passed their health care reform bill early this morning. This was the first time the Senate has been in session on Christmas Eve since 1963.

It is hard to get too excited about this event considering the serious problems in the Senate bill. The question now is whether a better bill can be produced during reconciliation with the far superior House bill. While groups such as the American Medical Association and AARP were pushing for passage of the Senate bill, I suspect that they supported it with such hopes. As bad as the Senate bill is, the status quo is worse . This will at least ensure that the private insurance market survives, enabling those who do not receive coverage from employers to continue to have access to health care coverage.

While they are being vague as to the details, it sounds like the next step will be for Congressional leaders to work along with increased input form President Obama to write a bill which can pass both houses while improving upon the Senate bill. The question is whether they can succeed in writing a better bill which can still receive sixty votes in the Senate. While I previously believed they would attempt to pass a final bill before the State of the Union address,  it is now expected that this will take until later in January or early Feburary to allow Congress to work on a jobs bill first.

Sarah Palin Remains Afraid To Face The Media

Sarah Palin has been avoiding the press since her disastrous attempts at interviews during the 2008 campaign. As most of what she says is fiction, and she is ignorant of even the basic facts related to the major issues of the day, she tries to place herself in positions where she cannot be questioned. Rather than hold press conferences, she posts her ridiculous statements on Facebook. To further reduce the risk of having to face anything other than questions from supporters, she is now even banning members of the media from the nearest thing she has to public events–book signings.