After Finance Vote, 'Now Comes the Hard Part'
By Ben Pershing
In a health-care debate that has often been as fast-paced and only slightly more interesting than watching paint dry, all sides agreed that Tuesday's Senate Finance Committee vote to approve reform legislation was a monumentally momentous milestone.
"We are now closer than ever before to passing health reform," President Obama said. "After months of relentless courting and suspense," Olympia Snowe decided to vote for the Finance panel's bill, the New York Times reports, and "remarks silenced the packed committee room, riveted colleagues and thrilled the White House." With just a hint of sarcasm, the Wall Street Journal editorial board writes, "These are the days of miracles and wonders," mocking the idea that creating a new entitlement program would somehow reduce the cost of health care.
Get ready for lots of headlines that say, "Now Comes the Hard Part" (and expect to see the same headline again before the House and Senate bills go to conference.) Harry Reid is now in charge -- sort of. "The notion that anyone is now actually in control of this process is an illusion. But to the extent that anyone's hand is on the tiller, it is Reid's," Time observes. Jonathan Cohn writes out a list of the top ten priorities he believes negotiators should fight for as the reform bill progresses through the Senate.
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