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US President Barack Obama answers a question during a town hall meeting on jobs and the economy at Lorain County Community College, in Elyria, Ohio, January 22, 2010.
The end game finally appears to be here: after a year of debate and several false starts in Congress, Democrats and President Obama have decided that the time is now for health care reform and, marked by the President’s speech this morning, will start the parliamentarian process of passing reform legislation in the face of fierce Republican opposition. Even as the President included Republican provisions aimed at cutting health care costs and preventing fraud, the GOP members of Congress were more determined than ever to derail the reform process—Republicans want the President and Democrats to start over from scratch. So what kind of health care reform are we left with, assuming that the process of “reconciliation” works in Congress, and how poisoned will the political well be after the hostilities?
Elizabeth McGlynn, Associate Director, RAND Health; Distinguished Chair in Health Quality and Senior Principal Researcher
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Louisiana’s 1st District; member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee