News Release: Politics

Sep. 11,  2009

Health Care Debate Centers on Democrats

News Article ImagePolitical scientist and Congressional expert Randall Strahan

As the debate over health care reform continues, President Barack Obama has much more pressing political concerns than a Republican heckler, says Emory political scientist and Congressional expert Randall Strahan.

“There is a serious division within the Democratic party in Congress between liberal Democrats and more moderate Democrats, for both ideological and political reasons, over first, how much the government’s role should expand in the health care sector, and second, how to pay for health care reform,” Strahan says.

“I doubt at this point there will be a full-blown public option. There’s just not enough support for it in Congress, especially in the Senate. The likelihood of bipartisanship support is also limited unless the White House scales back the scope of reform. I expect the details of the final version of this legislation will be hammered out almost entirely within the Democratic Party."

Strahan, a professor of political science, is the author of "Leading Representatives: The Agency of Leaders in the Politics of the U.S. House," published in 2007 by Johns Hopkins University Press. He currently is working on a book about partisanship in Congress.

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