Adam Jentleson (aide to Harry Reid), stated that “this is 2009 and health insurance all over again”.
Yet, attempts to find a bipartisan pathway forward continue to fail.
Baucus declared this week, “Partisan politics have become worse since the days of A.C.A.”
2009 was the year that the model for today’s infrastructure stalemate was laid. In 2009, the template for today’s infrastructure stalemate was set. A few senators from both parties, Republican and Democratic, were empowered to make a deal.
“It was going to be done in a bipartisan way, with a goal of doing like you do other social programs in the United States, like civil rights and Medicare and Medicaid — they all pass with wide bipartisan majorities,” Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, who was then the senior Republican on the Finance Committee, said in a 2014 interview.
In order to pass a bill, Democrats had to have every senator from their party. It meant that the 60 Senators were held together in 2009 to defeat a Republican filibuster. Now, Democrats need all 50 senators to use reconciliation (a budget maneuver) to avoid a filibuster.
“The fact was there were moderate Democrats that were very uneasy about doing healthcare, period, and certainly about doing it in an partisan way,” Mr. Selib said. “The only way to go 60-for-60 was to show Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln and Evan Bayh that we were going to do everything to make it bipartisan, that we were not going to leave anything on the field.”
Mr. Nelson (a conservative Nebraskan) and Ms. Lincoln (an embattled Arkansan), are long gone. But Senators Joe Manchin III in West Virginia, and Kyrsten Snema in Arizona, need the same support.