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Public Option Still Dead... At Least For Now

March 25, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Some liberals have been pushing Democrats to include a public option in the reconciliation bill for health care (H.R.4872). The party's response: a public option can't be included because doing so would complicate things by forcing the House to re-vote on the updated version of the bill. So what's going to happen now that the House has to re-vote on the bill anyway?

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GOP Reconciliation Objection Thrown Out

March 23, 2010 - by Eric Naing

The GOP yesterday was handed the first defeat in what is likely to be a series of battles over the reconciliation health care bill (H.R.4872) when the Senate parliamentarian threw out a Republican challenge to the bill.

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Health Care Reconciliation Bill Summary

March 18, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

The full text of the Reconciliation Act of 2010 has been released, and we're hustling to covert it into HTML and get it online for easier digging, commenting and permalinking. We'll have that in a matter of hours. In the meantime, I recommend you read this summary as prepared by the House Rules Committee that describes in plain English how the bill would amend the Senate health care bill and how it would affect current law. Summary posted below the fold.

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CBO Score of Revised Health Care Bill Leaks

March 18, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Our long national nightmare is finally over. The Congressional Budget Office's score of the amended Senate health care bill has finally leaked. According to the CBO, the final package will cost $940 billion and will reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the first ten years and possibly $1.2 trillion over the next ten years.

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Ironically, the legislative maneuver chosen to protect on-the-fence House Democrats from the political fallout of voting for the Senate health care bill (H.R.3590) could actually derail it. Conservative outrage over a plan to have the House pass the bill with a self-executing rule now has lawmakers arguing over process rather than policy.

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House Democrats are are considering three paths that would lead to a vote on health care by the end of the week. Two of the options would result in the Senate bill (H.R.3590) becoming the law of the land pending a successful vote, while the third option would kick responsibility for making the bill law over to the Senate.

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As Health Care Winds Down, Immigration Emerges

March 12, 2010 - by Eric Naing

As Democrats were wrapping up -- or so they thought -- the health care bills last winter, two hot button social issues threatened to derail everything: abortion and immigration. With Democrats once again at the health care finish line, abortion has already resurfaced and now immigration has reemerged.

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Good News for the Dems

March 12, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

Nobody know for sure what the Parliamentarian will rule, but Politico Pulse reports that sources are telling them something very different from what Republicans were claiming yesterday:

But according to reporting by POLITICO’s David Rogers, the accounts aren’t accurate and misconstrue what the Senate parliamentarians have said. That is that reconciliation must amend law but this could be done without the Senate bill being enacted first. “It is wholly possible to create law and qualify law before the law is on the books,” said one person familiar with situation.

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Roll Call cites “senior GOP sources” as saying the Senate parliamentarian has indicated that President Obama will have to sign the Senate health care bill (H.R.3590) into law before the Senate can act on a reconciliation fix amending the bill.

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All the health care buzz has centered around the budget reconciliation process, but Republicans are starting to realize that the truly important part of the process is whether the House can pass the Senate health care bill (H.R.3590).

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Health Care Endgame In Congress Starts This Week

March 4, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Democrats are hoping that this week marks the beginning of the end of their long and tortured effort to pass a health care reform bill.

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The Republicans have opened fire on using the budget reconciliation process but a former Congressional official who knows reconciliation well says it's neither.

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Coming off a much-hyped health care summit, the Democratic plan for passing health care reform legislation is slowly coming into focus: first have the House pass the Senate bill (H.R.3590) then change it through reconciliation.

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Reconciliation Is More Common Than You Think

February 24, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Republicans have recently taken to referring to the reconciliation process as the “nuclear option” for health care but if you look at its recent history, you'll find that reconciliation isn't the unprecedented event that the nickname suggests. As a quick refresher, the budget reconciliation process allows senators to pass a bill related to revenues and the budget with only 51 votes - or 50 votes and the vice president's tie-breaking vote. A must-read story from NPR today quotes Sen. John K...

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Reid Supports Public Option Reconciliation Plan

February 19, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Has the final shoe dropped in the recent boomlet of enthusiasm for the public option? Greg Sargent posts a statement from the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [D, NV] offering generic support for passing a public option through the Senate under reconciliation: If a decision is made to use reconciliation to advance health care, Senator Reid will work with the White House, the House, and members of his caucus in an effort to craft a public option that can overcome procedural obstac...

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