While most of the media attention has focused on the Obama-Romney race, there will be a number of Congressional races that are extremely important. There are 33 United States Senate races being contested in November. Currently, the Democratic Party holds a 53 to 47 majority over the Republicans. The Senate races this year may prove to be some of the most important in the last few decades. Some political pundits are predicting that the key issue in many of these Senatorial elections will be the health care bill known as the Affordable Care Act.
The states that have Senate seats most in play, at the present time, appear to be Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Virginia and Wisconsin. Those advocating for a Republican majority are campaigning primarily on a “repeal” of what they call Obama Care. Under normal Senate rules it would still require a 60 vote super majority to override a filibuster and repeal the Affordable Care Act. There are some, however, who believe that the simple majority (51 votes) under a budget reconciliation maneuver could in fact repeal the health care bill in its entirety. That would be a blow to ordinary folks in this country.
Of the 60 Democrats and Independents who voted to approve President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, 15 are now up for re-election in November. Based on some recent polling, Republican candidates are leading in Missouri and Montana, whereas other states appeared to be a “toss up.”
Although it is too early to tell which party will have a majority in the U. S. Senate, it is abundantly clear that the health care debate will be an issue. A recent poll shows that 56% of Americans, and that includes this writer, are ready for the health care debate to be over and behind us, and for the country to move forward. But there will be a number of political consultants, with Karl Rove topping the list, who will direct campaigns designed to further divide our nation. But I hope reason will prevail and the campaigns will focus on issues that will help – and not hurt – our nation and make it stronger. That should be the prayer of all Americans.
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