Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Health care delays would frustrate Obama

Delay is rarely good for politicians trying to go by legislation. The possibility that Congress might not whole action on a major health care bill this year is another frustration for President Barack Obama and his allies.
Even if it doesn't sink the health care effort, a delay could raise new uncertainties and push other domestic priorities further back. It also would give opponents a chance to pick off nervous Democratic lawmakers eyeing their November 2010 re-election campaigns.
Even some House Democrats with safe seats don't like the plan of voting on a contentious bill until it's clear that the Senate will follow suit.
Obama has swallow one disappointing postponement already this year, when the House and Senate failed to move separate bills before the August recess. Opponents used that calm to rip into the proposed health care changes in raucous public forums.
Democrats are improbable to be caught off guard again if the legislative battle goes past the Christmas-New Year's break. But any delay gives opponents extra time to organize and campaign.


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