House Minority Leader John Boehner has predicted a “very, very hot summer.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bracing for what she calls “the fight of our lives.”
Sleepy, sweltering August, typically a month for congressional beach getaways and temperature-taking back in the district, is shaping up to be the critical month for health care reform, with major battles brewing in the Capitol and on the streets in front of members’ hometown offices.
If ever there was a time for a curtain raiser on an intermission, this is it. So here are five things to watch over the most consequential August recess in recent history:
1. Your move, Karen Ignagni
When your product is hard to sell — and health care reform has proven to be the Edsel in the White House showroom — it’s not a bad idea to single out a bad guy, and fast.
Pelosi did so last week with unusual bluntness, declaring outright war on the health insurance industry as her caucus splintered over the controversial public option. The speaker called insurers “villains” and charged them with “immoral” billing and coverage practices.
The question now: Will the insurance industry, which has tried to keep a low profile while maintaining the proverbial seat at the table, commence a big, mean anti-reform counterattack — à la 1994’s “Harry and Louise” ads?