Senate Democrats Have Lost Their Filibuster-Proof Majority With Brown’s Upset Win Over Coakley in Massachusetts Special Election, But if Republicans Think Health-Care Reform is Dead, They’d Better Think Again: Without It, Unemployment Will Remain Stubbornly High — and Could Even Get Worse
Republican senatorial candidate Scott Brown gets a pat on his shoulder from his daughter, Ayla, after winning last November’s Republican primary. Brown, a state senator who was an unknown outside Massachusetts before the race, had an even greater reason to celebrate Tuesday night, when he scored a stunning upset victory over Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley in the special election to serve the remaining two years of the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s term. Brown’s victory robs Senate Democrats of their filibuster-proof 60-vote majority. But if Republicans think they’ve stopped health-care reform in its tracks, they’re sorely mistaken. Without it, companies will not hire back laid-off workers — and the recession will last a lot longer. (Photo: John Thornton/Dover-Sherborn Press)
(Posted 5:00 a.m. EST Thursday, January 21, 2010)
A ‘SKEETER BITES REPORT EDITORIAL
I’m going to be brief and to the point:
If Republicans think they’ve stopped health-care reform dead in its tracks by robbing Senate Democrats of their filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, they’d better think again.
To be sure, Republican Scott Brown’s upset victory over Democrat Martha Coakley in Tuesday’s special Senate election in Massachusetts has put a serious damper on the momentum for health-care reform, but it hasn’t killed it outright.
Democrats might be forced to go back to the drawing board — their current legislation now shot to pieces. But they’re not about to abandon their top domestic priority: Getting the nation’s economy back on track.
And whether the Republicans like it or not, health-care reform is inseparable from economic recovery.
To the contrary, the need for health-care reform will only intensify in the long run by causing unemployment to remain stubbornly high — and perhaps get even worse — prolonging the recession.
Employers have refused to rehire the millions of workers they’ve laid off in part because they can no longer sustain the soaring cost of the health insurance plans they provide their employees.
Stopping health-care reform will give employers no incentive to hire again any time soon — and will likely cause them to lay off still more workers.
That, in turn, will depress consumer spending — which accounts for two-thirds of the nation’s economic activity — and increase personal debt, as bills go unpaid due to loss of income.
Those fortunate enough to keep their jobs will further tighten their belts and cut back on spending, out of fear that they will be next in line to lose their jobs.
Without health-care reform, millions more Americans will be forced to live without health insurance because they can no longer afford it — putting them a serious illness or an accident away from being forced into bankruptcy because they won’t be able to pay their medical bills.
At a time when home foreclosures are still increasing, a rise in medical-related bankruptcies on top of them would deepen the recession — already the worst in 30 years — into a full-scale Second Great Depression.
This is what will happen if Congress fails to enact health-care reform. The Republicans are clearly in denial of this reality. They cover up their eyes and ears to this crisis at the the nation’s economic peril.
We are the only nation on Earth that does not have comprehensive health insurance coverage that each and every one of its citizens can afford. This shameful — I dare say, immoral — status quo is unsustainable.
Health-care reform is an absolute must. There will be no recovery without it. The stakes are that high. The Republicans had better take off their blinders — now.
Eduitor & Publisher
The ‘Skeeter Bites Report
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Copyright 2010, Skeeter Sanders. All rights reserved.