| January 24, 2010 at 03:49 pm
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President Barack Obama, his advisers, and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are now in the process of reevaluating their strategy on health care reform. They are considering several options, including having the house pass the bill already passed by the senate, trying to pass a more limited bill, starting over, putting health care on hold for two or three months, and other options. The surprise victory of Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts election to fill the senate seat of the late senator Edward Kennedy is a main cause in this rethinking. His victory reduces the senate Democratic majority from 60 seats to 59 seats-including two independents who vote with the Democrats. 60 votes are needed to stop a filibuster and bring up a vote on the bill. Republicans have vowed to filibuster to stop passage of the current health care plan. There are problems with each option the Democrats are considering. Starting over would delay health care reform until late this year. Many House liberals do not like the bill passed by the Senate and may not support it. If Democrats just try to pass a pared down health bill they may look like they are retreating can not effectively govern even with a large majority. There are no easy options for the Democrats on the health care issue and any route they choose could have negative consequences for them in the November 2010 congressional elections.