Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) says that an agreement was reached with the House, Senate and the White House on healthcare reform days before the Massachusetts special election. He claims that it was only the CBO that held them up from actually passing that ugly thing.
From The Hill:
Sen. Tom Harkin, the chairman of the Senate Health Committee, said negotiators from the White House, Senate and House reached a final deal on healthcare reform days before Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts.
Labor leaders had announced an agreement with White House and congressional representatives over an excise tax on high-cost insurance plans on the Thursday before the special election.
Harkin said “we had an agreement, with the House, the White House and the Senate. We sent it to [the Congressional Budget Office] to get scored and then Tuesday happened and we didn’t get it back.” He said negotiators had an agreement in hand on Friday, Jan. 15.
Sorry but I ain’t buying this. For an entire year, the Democrats totally ignored voters dissatisfaction with healthcare reform and they pushed it forward. The Democrats ignored the Tea Parties, the town hall meetings even the massive march on Washington. Only when it looked like Martha Coakley was going down in flames, did they pay the least bit of attention.
Here is what I think happened. The week before the Massachusetts special election the House Democrats, who are all up for re-election in November, saw with each passing day that Coakley was headed for defeat. They simply grew cold feet and decided to think about their re-election chances instead. Now that Scott Brown has won, those feet remain frozen. Any Democrat with a halfway decent chance of winning their seat back is not going to vote for a bill that the bluest of blue states reject.
I think Harkin tells this tale in order to let the left down gently. Otherwise it would be quite apparent that the Democrats chickened out at the last minute. I think all this chatter about still passing the bill has more to do with avoiding backlash from the far left, than with actually moving forward on the bill.
Read, the rest of Harkin’s statement and let me know what you think.
Via: The Hill