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On the prospects for Obama's healthcare reform

I do not pretend to be an expert at handicapping the likelihood of a particular piece of legislation passing in Congress. But it seems to me that the chance of healthcare reform passing Congress via the reconciliation process is quite low. This legislation is unpopular, highly controversial, and extremely divisive. The process by which it is supposed to pass has been denounced repeatedly by Obama himself and by key members of Congress over the past several years. There is no precedent for using the reconciliation process to pass major legislation affecting almost 20% of the economy and every single person in the country.

Even if it were to pass, it will undoubtedly be attacked from several quarters on numerous grounds, some Constitutional, and there will be a furious campaign to recall the legislation.

This goes beyond audacity. It risks what remains of Obama's presidency and it risks the future of the Democratic Party. This is not good for anyone, and for that reason alone it should go down in defeat.

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