Senator Christopher Dodd: Democrats might need a month off from Health reform

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd said today that Democrats may need to take more than a month off from the health care debate to regroup, saying it is up to President Obama to lead the way.

Dodd is the first congressional Democratic leader to suggest such an extended break, signaling that Democrats’ may be much further from a workable endgame strategy than they have suggested in the days since Republican Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate seat and ended the Democrats’ 60-vote majority.

The comments are sure to raise questions about whether Democrats are giving up on reform. A month-long break would almost certainly kill any momentum health reform has left, making it that much harder to pass.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHealth & Medicine--The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentSenate

11 Comments
Posted January 23, 2010 at 11:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Says the man who is about to retire…

January 23, 12:25 pm | [comment link]
2. azusa wrote:

New commandment: Thou shalt have no other Dodds before thee.

January 23, 1:37 pm | [comment link]
3. J. Champlin wrote:

A 2000 page bill full of bad compromises and concessions does not gladden the heart.  Neither does Medicare going bankrupt within eight years or $23,000 in the parish budget to insure one family and one single person.  The opposition to reform has traded on distortion, misinformation, fear, and flat out incoherence—as in, “I’m opposed to a government take over of health care and don’t take away my Medicare!”  This turnaround goes to the question of whether we can still govern when the stakes are high.

January 23, 1:40 pm | [comment link]
4. Sick & Tired of Nuance wrote:

It may not gladden your heart, but it gladdens mine.  I am tired of paying for everyone else’s insurance.  I have a family of 5 and as the sole income earner, it tries my patience sorely to be made to pay for other people that have not been responsible with their own finances, who have in fact been profligate, and that continue to try to pick my pocket each and every payday to finance their poor life choices.  I started out working part time minimum wage.  I have personally lived the life of the working poor for more than a decade of my life.  I have finally worked worked my way up to a decent living and lifestyle and after waiting until we could afford it, raising a family.  I despise limo-liberals stealing my money with the power of government coercion to bribe a particular voting block at my expense!

So, yes, it does make the heart glad that the socialistic health care fiasco is about over and done with.

January 23, 3:55 pm | [comment link]
5. Cennydd wrote:

You’re not alone.

January 23, 4:12 pm | [comment link]
6. Connecticutian wrote:

I am happy to hear this.  And my highest reasonable hope is that the new Senator from Mass will result in serious gridlock; the less they do “for” us, the better off we are.

However, I have to take strong exception to this:
“...it is up to President Obama to lead the way…”

This is an aspect of government in general, and the health “reform” debate especially, that really galls me.  Why is the legislative branch deferring to, even pandering to, the executive branch?  Listen up, Dodd (and Reid, and Pelosi, et al)... you “represent” us, not the office of the President.  If “we the people” understood that, maybe we wouldn’t act like we were electing a king instead of a manager when we visit the polls.

I think our district’s Democratic representative has been hearing more and more, “why did you work so hard for this bill that we told you we don’t want?”  The GOP challengers are already lining up in our district.  My partisan sympathies are rapidly eroding; I mostly want a representative who listens to me… and maybe reads the legislation before voting.

(PS - this year will be the first since I attained voting age that I will be denied the opportunity to vote against Dodd.  I feel robbed, I would have rather he be defeated at the polls.) wink

January 23, 6:31 pm | [comment link]
7. upnorfjoel wrote:

Truth be known, there are a whole lot of lib senators and reps this week who are breathing a sigh of relief that this whole soclialized health care mess has been forced to the back burner.  The voters of Masssachusetts may have saved their careers for them. 
Dodd’s stall won’t be the last, as these guys look for some more convenient ways to get their necks out of the noose that NancyHarryBarry have set up for them.

January 23, 10:39 pm | [comment link]
8. Joshua 24:15 wrote:

The idealist in me would like to see the MA vote (on top of NJ and VA) as forcing the Administration and the liberal Dems to confront their hubris, and after eating some crow, make some SERIOUS overtures across the aisle to the opposition to try to do some more reasoned, incremental healthcare payment reform in a truly bipartisan manner.  Regardless of one’s feelings about Medicare or Medicaid (or the rest of the Great Society programs), LBJ used his experience as a former majority leader to be a deal-broker (IMHO), something that Obama and the Pelosi-Reid axis appear to feel is unnecessary.  Clinton was smart enough to triangulate and work with the GOP on other legislation after the Hillarycare debacle. 

The cynic in me suspects that the liberal wing of the Dem party, Obama included, are so bought into their ideology that they’d as soon let hell freeze over as to even listen to what thoughtful GOP voices might have to say.  If so, then they’re in for a drubbing in November that may make ‘94 look benign.

But, I thank the voters of MA for sending a much-needed reality check to DC.

January 24, 12:43 am | [comment link]
9. ember wrote:

#4—”...as the sole income earner, it tries my patience sorely to be made to pay for other people that have not been responsible with their own finances…”

Would your tune change if you lost your job, as have so many of my friends, and thereby lost your health insurance?

January 24, 2:22 am | [comment link]
10. libraryjim wrote:

ember, I lost my job October 2008, didn’t get another local, full-time job w/benefits until September 2009, and I fully agree with #4.  In fact, I used my ‘down’ time writing to my Representatives urging them to vote against the House version of the Bill.

January 24, 3:00 pm | [comment link]
11. J. Champlin wrote:

This article is about to be retired to page 2 of the blog, the thread is dead, and this comment is pointless, but, oh well.
Kendall’s comment a while back that health care comprises three issues—coverage, cost, and culture—struck me as spot on.  The attempt to address culture was torched by disinformation about “death panels”.  Cost was a casualty of so-called prescription drug coverage seven years back, and was looking to be a casualty of this effort as well.  In part because old-line Democrats focused exclusively on coverage.
But the effort needed to be made!  I’m already paying for the irrationality and irresponsibility built into our health care system.  And we’re all paying for the systemic escalation of costs that, in part, has to do with irrational ways of delivering care—cost and culture again.

January 25, 9:08 am | [comment link]
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