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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Small Biz Health Care Daily: Stepping Back?

The declared imperative for leaders in Congress over the past year-plus has been passing a big government health care measure as fast as possible. After the Massachusetts Senate race, however, leaders in Congress have had to reassess their timing.

In today’s New York Times, an article (“Democrats Put Lower Priority on Health Care Bill After G.O.P. Victory”) highlighted some key points of where congressional leaders stand:

• Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) now says, “We’re not on health care now… There is no rush.”

• However, Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) “were working to map out a way to complete a health care overhaul in coming months.”

• The use of the budget reconciliation process is opposed by Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Evan Bayh (D-IN), and House leaders say they will not approve the health care bill already passed by the Senate.

• Expectations are for an attempt at a pared-down bill, or passing parts of the larger bill.

While delaying or stepping back from a big government measure would be a positive development, it is clear that the agenda to insert more government into health care is not going away. The fight against GovernmentCare, and its big costs, goes on.

Raymond J. Keating
Chief Economist
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

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