Will Health Care Reform Help or Hinder a Climate Bill?

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It looks like Congress may finally pass health care reform this week. Environmental advocates have been bemoaning the fact that the prolonged health care debate has tangled up action on climate. But could passage of the bill actually do more to screw up the chances of passing climate and energy legislation? Lindsey Graham – the only Republican actively engaging with Democrats on climate – warned yesterday that moving health care without Republican support may ruin hopes for future bipartisanship.

“If they do this, it’s going to poison the well for anything else they would like to achieve this year or thereafter,” Graham said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, warning against using reconciliation to move the bill forward.

Among Republicans, Graham is one of the few that the administration might care about. In addition to working with John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) on a climate and energy package, he’s the basically the lone GOP collaborator on Guantanamo and immigration (though he’s had some harsh words for Obama on that of late, too).

He said, however, that maybe the Obama administration would do well to focus on climate and energy–an area where there is some bipartisan interest in collaboration–before moving to other contentious issues. “This is one issue where the president has been great. He’s saying all the right things to give us a chance to become energy independent, clean up the air and create jobs. But when it comes to health care, he’s been tone deaf, he’s been arrogant, and they’re pushing a legislative proposal and a way to do that legislative proposal that’s going to destroy the ability of this country to work together for a very long time. And that’s not necessary.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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