Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For Want of a Nail...

US news this morning is that Teddy Kennedy's Senate seat has gone to the Republicans (h/t Guido).

I'm not sure what to make of this. I've considered myself right-wing. Tory in the UK and, yet, Democrat in the US. I thought Bill Clinton was great, and disliked both Bushes. But for the last couple of years, I've been less convinced... Al Gore going off on an eco-trip, Hillary and Obama's campaigns, a general leftward shift of both parties, the bail-outs and healthcare row...

Losing this seat means that the Democrats no longer have a majority of 60 in the Senate. This, in turn, means that they no longer have a "filibuster-proof" majority to force through legislation. Without that, they need support from the Republicans or Independents to get President Obama's healthcare plans enacted. And to get that support, they will probably have to compromise on the details - or risk the plans being delayed and derailed.

And therein lie some of my doubts. Healthcare in the US seems, except at the very top, to be a shambles. Millions of people, apparently, have no insurance and hence little or no access to healthcare. Private ambulances, billing people for emergency treatment, hospitals and insurers gaming the system... the US definitely isn't a place to get sick. Something needs to be done.

But I'm not sure Obamacare is the right something - and it looks like it's got a lot of troubles now.

- KoW

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home