We keep hearing the phrase “it all comes down to the Senate,” and in almost every instance it really does. Joe Biden’s plans for a dramatic and costly overhaul of America’s health care system that would send it further down the road of socialized medicine would have virtually no chance to pass if the Republicans maintain a Senate majority.
The 100-member Senate currently has 50 Republicans and 48 Democrats with two seats remaining to be filled by the Georgia special election on Jan. 5. The Republicans would need to win just one of those two seats to maintain control of the Senate. If Democrats, however, were able to win both seats, than the Senate would be locked in a 50-50 tie with Kamala Harris providing the tie-breaking vote on any legislation.
A GOP-led Senate would never approve of Biden’s health care agenda or many other of his extremely progressive proposals.
Biden has previously stated his desire to create a public health insurance option that would compete against private insurers. Many critics say this would essentially be a path to single-payer health insurance where the U.S. government becomes the insurance agent for us all.
A Republican-controlled Senate also wouldn’t necessarily mean there would be no changes to existing health care law. It would just force the two sides to work together on any legislation. Should the Republicans retain the majority in the Senate, the Democrats would be looking towards 2022 as their next opportunity to flip the upper chamber.