Cato’s Michael Tanner has a great piece in the New York Post questioning why the Senate has to pass health care reform before Christmas. He writes:
Reid’s latest vision not only hasn’t been debated or scored by the Congressional Budget Office, no one except Sen. Reid even knows for certain what’s in it. Even so, Sen. Reid says the Senate must vote on this new package before Christmas. …
This is truly extraordinary. The Senate spent four weeks debating the last farm bill and eight weeks debating an energy bill during the last session. But now a 2,000-page bill that will put the government in charge of one-sixth of the US economy (and some of the most important, personal and private decisions in people’s lives) must be debated and voted on in just three weeks.
Tanner goes on to remind us that most of the legislation’s benefits won’t kick in for years. Clearly there is no policy reason for the Christmas deadline. It’s all about politics: Democrat leaders know that the health care bill is wildly unpopular and that their members are going to face a sea of irate constituents when they get home. They want to lock in their votes now before they can change their minds.
But Democrats also face a real risk here: not only will they be voting for a measure that most people don’t just oppose, but absolutely loath, but they will be doing it explicitly so they don’t have to hear from those that elected them. Think people are angry now? Just wait.