It’s a win for Obama, but less so for America.
The Senate took a giant step toward passing its sweeping healthcare bill early today, uniting fractious Democrats after months of debate over President Obama's promise to reduce the ranks of the uninsured.
Breaking the Republican filibuster required the votes of all 60 members of the Democratic caucus. The cloture motion, which passed 60 to 40, capped months of work by Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who personally negotiated compromises on big issues such as abortion and taxes, as well as parochial deals for key states and industries.
But with final Senate approval of the bill expected this week, Democrats and the White House were moving to shift the focus from their dozens of concessions -- such as jettisoning a government alternative to private health insurance -- toward the momentous changes they said it would bring: providing insurance access to 31 million more Americans, cracking down on insurance practices, and beginning to curb healthcare cost inflation.
"I wish this bill were different," Assistant Majority Leader Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said on the Senate floor Sunday, reflecting liberals' unhappiness over some compromises with conservatives in the party…
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Like Durbin, I also wish the bill were different.