Despite holding the balance of power in the Senate, Reid lost the first fight in a series of upcoming battles Wednesday, when 12 Democrats broke rank and aligned themselves with every single member of a strongly united Republican party, and voted down the so called "doctor fix" that would have added 247 billion dollars to the tag of President Obama's already astronomically priced health care bill.
What is significant about the loss is that it was a surprising illustration of just how legislatively shaky Obamacare is. As Yuval Levin wrote in NRO's The Corner last evening, Reid and the President are facing more than just an increasingly skeptical public:
"The problem for Reid is more than substantive — more than unhappy doctors and an unhappy AMA. The biggest problem is the danger of losing the confidence of his Democratic senators. Passing health-care reform remains an extremely difficult challenge: There are two Senate bills, with very significant substantive differences between them, which need to be combined, voted on, then merged with an even more different House bill, and voted on again. Each of these votes would require the support of just about every (if not indeed every single) Senate Democrat, and each would be a very tough vote for one or another group in their caucus. It is an exercise in serial needle-threading that will call for an extraordinary degree of discipline by the Senate Democrats — a group not known for discipline."