In its first vote on health care overhaul, the Senate Thursday narrowly approved an amendment to safeguard coverage of mammograms and preventive screening tests for women under a revamped system.The 61-39 vote on an amendment by Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, would allow the Health and Human Services secretary to require insurers to cover preventive health screenings free of charge.
Under special provisions agreed to prior to the tally, 60 votes were needed to pass the amendment. The margin underscored the fragility of the coalition Democrats are counting on to move forward on President Barack Obama’s signature issue.
Why do we need 60 votes – a filibuster-proof majority – in order to approve something as non-controversial and obviously necessary as mammograms and cancer screening tests?
Why did something as obvious, necessary, and minor barely squeak through this cloth-headed Congress?
How “fragile” is the Democrat “coalition” (between Democrats and Blue Dogs, presumably) when it takes that much effort to pass an amendment this bland?
How “fragile” is our democracy when it takes that much effort to pass an amendment this bland?