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January 20, 2010

The election of a commoner to the Kennedy dynastic Senate seat changes the tax policy game, especially for health care issues. Martin Sullivan comments at

The health care bill is a tax bill. If the Senate bill were adopted the tax on high-end insurance plans (without the concessions for union members adopted by House negotiators) would become the law of the land. A surtax on high income households included in the original House bill is now out of the question. If health care gets melded into the reconciliation process, the modified House version of the excise tax probably would be the starting point.

Looking beyond health care, the conventional wisdom is that the election of Scott Brown throws the whole Obama agenda into jeopardy. This may be true.

When a Republican can replace Ted Kennedy, it has to give red-state Democrats pause.

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