Saturday, March 20, 2010

What can't be cured must be endured

Just in case anyone is thinking that health care reform can be repealed after the 2010 elections if the Republicans are successful enough:

The Republicans currently have 41 votes in the Senate.
The Democrats currently have 57 votes in the Senate.
There are 2 Independents in the Senate who caucus with the Democrats.

There are 10 Republican Senators up for re-election in 2010.
There are 21 Democratic Senators up for re-election in 2010.
The 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats are up for re-election in 2010.

Let’s assume the Republicans hold all 10 of their contested Senate seats.
Let’s assume the Republicans win all 21 of the Democrats’ contested Senate seats.
Let’s assume that either the Republicans win both of the Independents’ contested Senate seats OR the Independents begin caucusing with the Republicans after the 2010 elections.

The Republicans will then control 64 votes in the Senate.

However, assuming all seats in the Senate are occupied and all members are present, it requires 67 votes in the Senate to override a Presidential veto.

Unless 3 Senate Democrats break ranks, it will not be possible to repeal health care reform after the 2010 elections even under the rosiest possible scenario for Republican gains in that election.

(Thanks to Texan99 whose comment inspired me to finally sit down and do the math.)

1 comment:

Grim said...

It's always good to do the math.

That said, there are two scenarios in which it becomes possible to put an end to this, both of which are reasonably likely.

1) Senate Democrats due for re-election in 2012 watch the decimation of their compatriots, and begin to be willing to 'heed the voice of the people' and work with repeal.

2) The states kill it.

The most likely state option is for it to die in Federal court: Virginia has already promised to sue it. Idaho has passed a law requiring itself to sue to block it if it passes. More than thirty other states are considering such laws.

The depth of that resistance means that there's a third possibility if the Federal courts don't adhere to the wishes of the several states. Thirty-four states is enough to call for a Constitutional Convention.

We're close on that already, by the way: 32 states have submitted such petitions to call for a Constitutional Convention to consider a Federal Balanced-Budget amendment. This will be far more imposing on the states than that; the odds of getting to 34 are not bad.