Reports Gauge The Possible Fallout Of Health Care Failure For Democrats
If the health overhaul fails to clear Congress, there may be lasting implications for Democratic lawmakers and President Barack Obama, The Christian Science Monitor reports. "The layers of devastation would go deep, [observers] say: Failure would disillusion Mr. Obama's progressive base and discourage all the people who worked on behalf of his campaign. It would leave the big Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress in addition to Obama himself open to the charge that they are incapable of leading. It would increase the possibility of a tidal-wave election in the fall midterms" (Feldman, 3/15).
Some Democratic lawmakers who could oppose the legislation may face political consequences whether the bill passes or not, Politico reports. "Labor and progressive leaders are threatening House Democrats who oppose health care legislation with potentially destructive third party challenges in November." In New York, Reps. Michael Arcuri, Michael McMahon, Scott Murphy, and Bill Owens are all vulnerable. Election rules are favorable in that state to challenges from minority parties, allowing candidates to include their names on multiple ballot lines (Smith and Beltrone, 3/15).