Congress Will Likely Pass Up Climate Change for Health Care

Dems think health bill is easier to pass
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2009 11:13 AM CDT
Then-presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about health-care reform at Exeter Hospital in Exeter, NH, Friday, May 11, 2007.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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(Newser) – Congress returns from recess today with both health care and climate change on its plate, and it’s looking increasingly likely that it will favor the former, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Health-care reform should be first among equals,” says one rep. Though he also expects to “make substantial progress” on climate change, Congress rarely passes two landmark pieces of legislation in one year, and health care currently looks both easier and more appealing.

Climate legislation became an urgent concern when the EPA threatened to regulate carbon if Congress didn’t. But with mid-term elections looming, health care “is a way of delivering major good news to voters,” says a top Blue Dog Democrat. “Climate change doesn’t have a lot of great news in it.” Besides, since Congress has been debating health care for more than a decade: "You don’t have to start from scratch.”