Mass. Election Could Seal Fate of Health Reform

Dems' options if Brown wins not looking good
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2010 7:31 AM CST
Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown, R-Wrentham, applauds his supporters at rally in Wrentham, Mass., Monday, Jan. 18, 2010.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
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(Newser) – With polls showing the majority of Americans opposed to the Democrats' health care reform bill, a victory for Scott Brown in Massachusetts today could sound the death of the party's yearlong effort at health reform. If Dems try to proceed with the reforms in the wake of a Brown victory, the GOP will have a strong case that a liberal minority is ignoring the will of voters to push its own agenda, the Washington Post reports.

Democrats are rehearsing options for salvaging reform in the face of a Brown victory—a quick-fix House-Senate reconciliation bill, for example—but all of these either would spark serious turmoil within the party or have other major deficiencies, Politico reports. Dem leaders are putting on a brave face, but privately they're confronting the difficult-to-fathom possibility that a Senate loss in liberal Massachusetts may be what sinks health reform this time around.

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