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If Brown wins today. The House is not eager to just rubber stamp the Senate’s version of the health care bill:
BTW, did you hear Weiner complain about the 60 votes necessary to bring the Republicans’ bills to the floor when they were in control?The Democrats’ plan is to pass the Senate version in the House without any changes and then make budgetary changes (like the union deal for the Cadillac tax) through a separate reconciliation bill:
Under Pollack’s proposal, the House would take up the Senate bill only after the White House and congressional leaders struck a deal on key issues, such as taxes and the subsidies to purchase insurance. They would incorporate those changes into a separate budget reconciliation bill.The House would pass both the Senate bill and the reconciliation bill, possibly on the same day. The Senate would then take up the reconciliation bill, which would require only 51 votes for passage.”It is eminently doable — and quickly,” Pollack said Monday. “It is the combination of two things that wouldn’t work separately but, when done in tandem, make a lot of sense.”This approach, however, would prevent any fixes that did not have a direct impact on the federal budget, such as changes to language on abortion and immigration and, possibly, even the insurance exchanges. The exchange question could be particularly problematic for House Democrats who have sacrificed the public option in return for the national insurance exchanges under the House bill.”Progressives and conservatives in the caucus won’t go for it,” one aide predicted Monday.
But as Weiner notes he wouldn’t be interested in just signing off on the Senate bill and then wait for a second bill to go through the very slow process in the Senate. Stupak also thinks the House isn’t interested in voting for the Senate bill:
“House members will not vote for the Senate bill. There’s no interest in that.”When the idea was suggested at a Democratic caucus meeting last week, Mr. Stupak said, “It went over like a lead balloon.””Why would any House member vote for the Senate bill, which is loaded with special-interest provisions for certain states?” Mr. Stupak asked. “That’s not health care.”In addition to his concerns on the abortion provisions, Mr. Stupak said the Senate bill did not do enough to improve the quality of health care, and it preserved the federal antitrust exemption for health insurance, which the House bill would repeal.
BTW, another problem with reconciliation is that any changes made would sunset after seven years. Someone might want to make sure the unions know that before they sign off on the deal.