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Health care reform: How Harry Reid could pull off a miracle

By giving ground on tort reform, Harry Reid could meet Republicans in the middle and pass meaningful health care reform for all Americans.

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Public polls about healthcare reform show two things clearly: Most Americans want reform, but they don’t want what President Obama and Congress have prescribed. Senate majority leader Harry Reid is pushing hard to pass a bill before Christmas. To reach 60 votes, he’s tried – so far without success – to find a compromise between Democratic liberals and moderates.

Senator Reid is trying to placate all Democrats in the Senate because he has dim hopes of winning any Republican votes. In his past attempts to lobby Maine’s moderate Republican senators, Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, Reid has come up empty handed and suffered their rebuke.

Actually, there is one way Reid could win over Republican votes, pass meaningful health reform for all Americans – and still try to protect a Democratic majority in Congress.

To pull off that feat, he’d have to give ground on an issue that most Democrats treat like kryptonite: tort reform. Tort reform is crucial because, without it, out-of-control lawsuits and no federal caps on medical malpractice liability will keep driving up healthcare costs and forcing doctors to practice defensive medicine.

Fake compromise

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