Key Dems Tone-Deaf on Health-Care Bill

A consensus is forming around the axiom that the only way forward is forward.

The problem is obvious: we need health care reform. The solution is obvious: the House passes the Senate bill, and then makes improvements through reconciliation. The mechanism is obvious: one roll-call vote in the House.

The one thing that isn't obvious is how to connect those responsible for solving the problem to the solution.

The pundits want the House to pass the Senate bill. Leading reform advocates want the House to pass the Senate bill. Major union leaders want the House to pass the Senate bill. And now dozens of leading health care policy experts also want the House to pass the Senate bill.

Nearly four dozen of the nation's leading health care luminaries--including Jacob Hacker, the man who brought the public option to light--are urging the House of Representatives to pass the Senate health care bill, and quickly pass a separate bill to modify it: an approach favored by some members of Democratic leadership, major unions, and reform advocates.

In a stark message to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and her health care lieutenants -- Reps. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Henry Waxman (D-CA), and George Miller (D-CA) -- the experts say it's time for the House to act.

Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal. His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."
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