Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Health Care Reform is Dead

Labor is throwing a fuss about the excise tax and has now declared opposition to the Senate bill.

I think this effectively kills the reform effort. Even with Brown's election the house could vote on the Senate bill that has passed exactly as it was written and pass it into law (the ping-pong route). This would obviate the need for an additional senate cloture vote that would be necessary if the bill went to conference, which became increasingly important as of yesterday when the Democrats lost their 60th vote. However, now that labor is opposing the senate bill this makes ping pong route unlikely.

The Senate could try to craft new legislation but it no longer has the 60 votes unless it is able to turn a republican or two. Obviously this raises Olympia Snowe's importance. The important question is will Olympia Snowe be willing to ditch the excise tax and embrace a revenue measure that is likely to pass in the house (such as a surcharge on top-earners). I view this as unlikely.

I still think some bill will be passed that is called health care reform but it will be substantially less ambitious.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Hi,

This is the assistant editor for Hospital.com which is a medical publication offering hospital news, information and reviews. We also cover a wide variety of medical topics, some of these articles being relevant to Health Care reform as you will see from the homepage of our site. We are in the process of updating our health care news section with dozens of articles on the reform and other relevant issues. If possible I would like Hospital.com to be included within your blog roll, offering our information as a resource to your readers and essentially building a relationship between our sites. Please let me know if this addition can be made, Thanks!

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Mary Miller,
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