Can Michael Bennet Fill Edward Kennedy's Shoes When It Comes to Health-Care Reform?

September 30 2009, 1:50 PM
michael_bennet_713Democrats, as everyone who watches Fox News knows, will back down if pushed hard enough. Even when they control the U.S. House and Senate, they have a hard time agreeing, as was once again illustrated in yesterday's Senate Finance Committee vote to kill a plan by Senator Jay Rockefeller to provide publicly funded health insurance to Americans who cannot otherwise afford it. Stepping into these harsh political waters is U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, who yesterday received what The Denver Post calls a "coveted spot" on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. He'll replace recently deceased Senator Edward Kennedy, a fellow Democrat, from Massachusetts on the committee, which is expected to play a key role in crafting the next steps toward health-care-reform legislation, according to the Denver Business Journal. The Post reports that the assignment is probably a reflection of Bennet's connections in the White House and could help give him visibility during a primary challenge from former state House speaker Andrew Romanoff. Romanoff's campaign, and the divisions it has caused among state Dems, is highlighted in today's New York Times. As for those who hold out hope for a public option, Senator Chuck Schumer's milder plan---less controversial than Rockefeller's---will soon come to a vote, writes The Washington Post. But, as Politico points out, the fate of the so-called public option is entirely in the hands of President Obama himself.