Nancy Pelosi is probably my favorite politician. Not just because she has good values about what policies she supports, but because in a Washington that often seems obsessed with process, point-scoring, ego, and positioning she’s a rare leader who actually puts accomplish things that impact people’s lives in a positive way at the center of what she’s doing. And you see that loud and clear in this statement of her determination to do health reform:
As I said to some friends yesterday in the press, we will go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people for their own personal health and economic security and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit.
Right on. Now she needs the Senate to cooperate. And I think it’s telling that in all the skeptical remarks I’ve heard from Senate Democrats over the past couple of weeks I’ve heard a lot about reconciliation and a lot about timing and a lot about pauses and a lot about this and a lot about that. What I haven’t heard anyone say is “I think looking back 10 or 20 years from now, the country would be better off if we don’t act on health reform.” They’re not saying it because it’s not true, which is why 60 of them voted for Obama’s vision of reform already. Now they need to get the job done. That means agreeing to use the reconciliation process to tweak the legislation they’ve already passed in order to accommodate some relatively minor concerns from the House.