Thomas Cheplick, one of our best writers, raises an interesting point
about what could happen next for health care. He presents a scenario where moderate Republicans ally with Democrats in the aftermath of the November elections to "transform" -- read, slightly alter -- President Obama's health care proposals without actually changing anything.
While this is an interesting idea, I have a hard time seeing this
happen. In the Senate, even the Maine girls held firm to the end. I simply don't see where the Democrats would find the base of the "moderate" Republican bloc in the House of Representatives to get something like what you envision through, and there will be no incentive on the part of the president to sign anything that would tweak this plan. When you see polling data like that released last week
, with 50% "strongly" supporting repeal and only 36% opposition, politicians tend to know which side they should be on.
That being said, it remains to be seen what kind of political coalitions could form in the wake of this massive social reform. One thing's for sure: the coalition to restore Congress's own health benefits
is likely to be the only one assured of success.