Devastating shot heard 'round the world from the commonwealth

Isn't it ironic that Ted Kennedy's death resulted in the self-destruction of healthcare reform? When Kennedy first learned of his imminent mortality he should have resigned his Senate office immediately. At that point his coveted Senate seat for 47 years would have been filled by a liberal Democrat. His hubris caused him to believe that only he could see healthcare reform to the finish line. Now, in place of an administration's successful healthcare reform, it is in shambles and eventually will be dead and buried.


Healthcare: How about filibuster busting?

Apparently after his Massachusetts humiliation, President Obama has seen the light and he's heading back to the future ... back to 1992 and that mantra, "It's the economy, stupid."

His peeps aren't saying so, but it looks like they're about jettison healthcare and cave, after telling us that comprehensive reform was vital to the nation and engaging the opposition in a brutal political war.

Now, however they want to couch it, it appears they're preparing to beat a hasty retreat, looking for some face-saving way out while leaving the millions of uninsured to fend for themselves.


HC drama over Kennedy's seat

The Hill's A.B. Stoddard takes viewer questions and comments about the Massachusetts special election to fill the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's (D) seat, and what the potential Republican win will do for healthcare reform in Congress.


Healthcare must survive Massachusetts

For Bay State Democrats, “Plan A” is still to defy media expectations and elect Martha Coakley the next U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

But just in case they don’t succeed, Democrats in Washington have to have a backup plan for healthcare reform. Otherwise, once Scott Brown got to Washington, he’d vote to kill it.

There are four options, two of them totally unacceptable.


Healthcare bill gets worse in a hurry

Barney Frank, the always quotable congressman from Massachusetts, said earlier today that if the Democrat contender for Ted Kennedy’s Senate Seat, Martha Coakley, loses to the Republican candidate, Scott Brown, the president’s healthcare bill is “dead.”

That is probably giving the people of Massachusetts an even bigger reason to vote for Brown.


A contest to end the healthcare debacle

I love football. And I especially love them Dallas Cowboys rolling through the playoffs. But there’s another contest here in the Federal City that’s shaping up to be more smash-mouth than any championship next month. Call it the Super Bowl for healthcare.

The starting rosters for this match-up will only be settled after a special election next week in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Republican Scott Brown is taking on Democrat Attorney General Martha Coakley in what many perceive as a fight not only over who will succeed the “Lion of the Senate,” Ted Kennedy, but also as to whether that successor will continue his legacy and help enact healthcare reform.


If Massachusetts goes Republican, all hell breaks loose with healthcare!

Having worked for the House Democratic leadership and senior Democratic senators, being a serious vote-counter with an occasional dose of Niccolo Machiavelli, I ask: What happens if the Republicans win the Senate in Massachusetts, and might it have the ironic result of reviving the public option and other progressive policies? Here is a scenario I advise senior Democrats to consider, if the Republicans win the Massachusetts Senate race:


Behind closed doors

As broken promises go, the pledge by President Barack Obama during his 2008 campaign to force all healthcare reform negotiations into the public spotlight with C-SPAN cameras rolling is a big one.

With Republicans and C-SPAN's Brian Lamb appealing to the Obama administration to make good on his promise, the president has instead approved the plan by Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to skip a conference committee and negotiate the differences between the bills passed by both chambers in private.


Healthcare: Tax which Cadillac?

The General Motors people have to cringe every time they hear the term "Cadillac insurance.” After all, it is only because of taxpayer billions that GM has so far avoided being flushed down the toilet bowl of history. The last thing the company needs is to be associated with the health insurance corporations that make up one of the few industries held in more contempt than its.


No cure for healthcare reform

A.B. Stoddard takes viewer questions about the future of healthcare negotiations in Congress and whether President Barack Obama is living up to his campaign promises.