I like Senator Feingold.
|U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold told a large crowd gathered for a listening session in Iron County last week there would likely be no health care bill before the end of the year - and perhaps not at all.
It was an assessment Feingold said he didn't like, but the prospect of no health care legislation brought a burst of applause from a packed house of nearly 150 citizens at the Mercer Community Center.
"Nobody is going to bring a bill before Christmas, and maybe not even then, if this ever happens," Feingold said. "The divisions are so deep. I never seen anything like that."
Feingold reiterated his appraisal a bit later.
"We're headed in the direction of doing absolutely nothing, and I think that's unfortunate," he said when asked about the plight of uninsured Americans.
The Mercer session was spirited but civil - as Feingold himself accurately described it - with most people focused squarely on the health care issue, followed by the deficit as a runner-up concern.
During the discussion, Feingold said he could not declare whether he would support a health reform bill until he has actually seen one, and he said he would then seek out the opinions of Wisconsinites. The Senate recessed in late July with a deadlocked Senate Finance Committee unable to finish work on a bill.