Obviously, the White House and the President want to move on from the Nobel moment and bring the focus back to the nation’s business. For this weekly address, that means health care reform. The House and Senate will begin merging their versions of the reform bill into one for the final debates and votes on the floors.
It is highly probable that Republicans in the House will not support the bill. Whether the Senate Republicans will follow that lead is TBD. Apparently bipartisanship begins outside elected office as former Senate leaders Bob Dole and Bill Frist, M.D. have voiced support for health care reform. I wonder what kind of health care plans they have since leaving office. Even Libby Dole is on her own now.
(Updated note: Bob and Libby Dole would qualify for Veterans health care benefits as Bob Dole is a veteran.)
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California (an early supporter and an in-law of the late Senator Edward Kennedy – oh, and the state’s benefits are probably drying up) and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (Independent, former Republican) have publicly supported reform. The devil may be in the details on the final bill, but, the idea that there is nearly no current GOP member of Congress or the Senate who openly supports health care reform is a bad sign for the future of the party if this is the road they want to travel. To paraphrase James Baldwin, I guess some people would rather break than bend.