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National Dems Tepid on Health Reform

National Dems Tepid on Health Reform

April 24, 2008

This is either really smart or really dumb. From The Hill: Dems Hedge on Healthcare.

Congressional Democrats are backing away from healthcare reform promises made by their two presidential candidates, saying that even if their party controls the White House and Congress, sweeping change will be difficult. ...

“We all know there is not enough money to do all this stuff,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), a Finance Committee member and an Obama supporter, referring to the presidential candidates’ healthcare plans. “What they are doing is … laying out their ambitions.” ...

Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a member of Senate Democratic leadership and a key Hillary Clinton ally who also sits on the Finance Committee, said he is “not sure we have the big plan on healthcare. ... Healthcare I feel strongly about, but I am not sure that we’re ready for a major national healthcare plan,” Schumer said. ...

Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.), a Clinton supporter who sits on the House Ways and Means Committee, said “the money is not necessarily there right now” to enact the plans and said calls to end the war in Iraq might consume Washington’s attention. ...

Senate Finance panel Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said the groundwork is already being laid through hearings, but projected an uphill battle ahead. “If they try to solve all the problems, it’s going to be difficult,” Baucus said.

Ouch!

(Update: see comment for a 180-degree reversal clarification from Sen. Rockefeller, and this report on SEIU's response.)