Jonathan Chait

Christ, You Know It Ain't Easy

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I've been pointing out that the structural barriers to passing health care reform are very weak right now. Democrats just need 217 of their 255 House members, and 50 of their 59 Senators, to vote for something that nearly all of them have already voted for. The question of whether they can overcome their panic and mutual resentment to do so is a serious one. As I wrote, "By no means is it clear that they'll succeed." But structurally, the hardest part of passing health care reform by far is mustering 60 Senate votes, and they've already done it.

Andrew Sprung translates this as: "Chait makes it all sound so easy." If "easy" means anything stronger than "slightly more likely to happen than not," then no, I haven't said it's easy. Nothing is easy when you're trying to get a panicked, divided Congress to pull together and take action. What I'm saying is that the action itself is rather simple, especially in comparison with the action that it's already taken.

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