That's what Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray call the next phase of health-care reform, and they're right. At 2:08 a.m. this morning, the Finance Committee largely completed their work on health-care reform. Now they wait for an updated CBO score, and should be holding a vote early next week. Expectations are that the bill will pass. At that point, health-care reform will be further along, by far, than it has ever been: It will be passed out of every relevant committee, and heading to the floor of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Next come the mergers. The House leadership has to build a single piece of legislation out of the bills crafted by the Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and Labor committees. That should be fairly easy, as those bills are fairly close. The Senate leadership will have a more difficult time crafting its synthesis of the HELP Committee's bill and the Senate Finance Committee's legislation. Rather than uniting the work of three relatively liberal committees, as is happening in the House, the Senate leadership will have to somehow cut a deal between a liberal committee and a centrist committee. The public plan and the affordability measures will be the key questions there, and no one really knows how they'll come out.
Photo credit: By Susan Walsh — Associated Press
October 2, 2009; 2:36 PM ET
Categories: Health Reform
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