When the new congressional session starts Wednesday, Missouri will have a new senior senator who hopes for the best from a changed congress. Senator McCaskill says she’s going to be optimistic that compromise will not be the enemy although she hexpects the House to “veer to the extreme right.”  She hopes the Senate can find room int he middle instead of, as she puts it, “shouting at each other from the edges.” 

2011 begins with a major issue from 2010: healthcare.  She doesn’t think the entire package will be repealed in the Senate although she would not be surprised to see the Republican-controlled House try to throw it out. But she says “a lot of us are willing to work on it and make it better.” 

The problem, she says, is that the most popular part of the healthcare reform plan requires the most unpopular part.  The ban on insurance companies refusing to provide coverage to people with pre-existing conditions is the most popular part, she says.  But the requirement that more people be required to provide insurance is the most unpopular part.

 Listen to Sen. McCaskill look ahead mp3 6:56