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Health-Care Reform Passes Go, Collects One Republicans

The vote in the Senate Finance Committee was 14-9. Snowe voted with the majority, and no Democrats defected. Health-care reform passes go, collects one Republican. Next comes the merger of the two bills.

By Ezra Klein  |  October 13, 2009; 2:58 PM ET
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After the threats to Olympia Snow's GOP committee positions this week, she should probably be seriously considering a change of party to the Dems. She will NOT be forgiven by the tighty righties, unless she votes against the final Senate bill.

I'm going to do my best to ignore the blather on the shape of the final Senate bill until it's on the floor ready for a final vote, after all the delaying amendments and cut-the-heart-out amendments have been disposed of. This is going to be totally ugly, demeaning, and depressing.

At this stage Obama & Co would dig up O's grandma and sell her by the ounce to get a bill passed in the Senate. Any bill. It makes me sick that Snowe, Lieberman, B. Nelson, Collins, Bayh, Lincoln, Landrieu and other weak-knees hold the balance of power. Even Shakespeare wouldn't touch this for either comedy or tragedy.

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | October 13, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama and Reid could be really sneaky and send the Finance bill to the floor for an up or down vote, then straight to the House for an up or down vote, no conference report. Boy would that ruffle some liberal feathers, yet I'm sure it would be industry's preferred result so there's money behind it.

Posted by: bmull | October 13, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, I wonder if you share Noam Scheiber's fear that Snowe's sign-on at this point will lead to a weaker bill. Otherwise, though, this is a huge deal and a huge event.

Posted by: TheLev | October 13, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Snowe's so worried about maintaining the "low" cost of this bill, but no one seems to mention that the HELP bill's CBO score was even lower (only $611 when the final bill was scored).

It seems like such a sham that the conservative Senators claim to be so concerned about cost and deficits, but then back more expensive options.

Posted by: jnfr | October 13, 2009 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Stop already with the acolades for the
Baucus Caucus, Baucus didn't pass that bill,
Wellpoint did, Wellpoint runs the
Baucus committee. Got it Ezra? the
facts di matter, right Ezra? Oh I forgot
WashPost is part of FOX.!

Posted by: a_c_attlee | October 14, 2009 2:12 AM | Report abuse

So what about the House? Do they wait for the Senate to vote on health care before they do, or do they go ahead and vote on their own bill, now that the Finance Committee vote has made a Senate vote look like almost a sure thing?

Posted by: rt42 | October 14, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

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