Clearly, I’m not the only one who thinks that the most obvious solution for health care reform is for the House to pass the Senate bill: The New York Times just published an editorial arguing the same point:
The most promising path forward would be for House Democrats to pass the Senate bill as is and send it to the president for his signature. That would allow the administration and Congress to pivot immediately to job creation and other economic issues. The Senate bill is not perfect, but it would expand coverage to 94 percent of all citizens and legal residents by 2019, reduce the deficit for decades to come, and create pilot programs to move the medical system toward better care at lower costs.
The Times’ editorial also notes the hypocrisy in the Massachusetts Senate election:
What makes this all the more frustrating is that Massachusetts, which adopted its own very similar health care reform in 2006, is a compelling example of both the benefits and popularity of the effort.
A poll taken in Massachusetts after the election by The Washington Post, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that a surprising 68 percent of those who had voted said that they supported their own state’s plan, including slightly more than half of those who had voted for Mr. Brown.
Mr. Brown, who promised to block reform in Washington, voted for his state’s program in 2006 and did not campaign against it this year. Instead, he argued that since Massachusetts’ citizens already have coverage, why should they help pay to expand coverage elsewhere.
That cynical I’ve-got-mine argument doesn’t make a lot of sense — even in Massachusetts. The Senate bill would funnel additional money into the Massachusetts program and federal efforts to rein in costs should ultimately benefit all of the states.