Feinstein: “slow down” on health reform; Mass election part of a “sweep across the country.”

By Jonathan Blakely

Jan 20, 2010 1:18pm

ABC’s Z. Byron Wolf reports: Somber Senate Democrats are going into their weekly caucus meeting just off the Senate floor to take stock of their new reality. And the message for some is that they should completely retool their message. California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, for one, said the election of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts shows the fundamental political landscape has shifted and Democrats across the country have to take note, focusing on how to create jobs and keep people in their homes instead of trying to explain the need for sweeping social programs. “I can tell you the situation has changed dramatically. And I think it’s a sweep across the country and I think that the (White House Economic Adviser) Larry Summers’s of the world have to see it, the administration has to see it and we have to see it. And Therefore everything is jobs and the economy and education. People are worried about education,” she said. “You see anger. People are worried. And when they’re worried they don’t want to take on a broad new responsibility,” like health care reform, she said. Feinstein said it is clear that attempts to pass sweeping legislation to address climate change by capping carbon emissions cannot pass this Congress. And on health reform, she implied it might be an issue more easily passed in a better economy. More Feinstein: “I think we do go slower n health care. People do not understand it. it is so big it is beyond their comprehension. And if you don’t understand it when somebody tells you it does this or it does that and It’s not true, you tend to believe it, even though it isn’t true. It’s hard to debunk all of the myths that are out there.” “In my view when people are earning, when their home is secure, when their children are going to school, and they are relatively satisfied with their life and there’s a problem like health care – they want it solved. It doesn’t threaten them. The size of this bill threatens them. And that’s one of the problems that’s got to be straightened out.”

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