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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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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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Let the endgames begin! The pieces of the process puzzle for finishing health care reform are falling into place. The votes are being whipped. And, after 14 months of national obsession with health care reform, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' statement on Sunday that in one week the health care bill will be "the law of the land," actually seems plausible.

Here's the latest on what to expect this week -- both politically and procedurally -- and when to expect it.

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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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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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In what were thought to be the waning days of the health care reform process, Rep. Bart Stupak [D, MI-1] came out of left field and introduced the issue of abortion to the debate - nearly sinking everything. Now that health care is again inching towards a finish line, Stupak has returned.

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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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More On The Health Care Timeline

March 2, 2010 - by Eric Naing

Voting on health care before the Easter recess has two benefits. First, there's the hope that some Republicans may give up on obstructing the bill – possibly by offering hundreds of politically tricky amendments – so as to not cut into their break. And should health care pass, Democrats could go home to their districts with a major legislative victory under their belts.

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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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The heads of the Pentagon and the Justice Department have urged House leaders to reject any legislation preventing the government from prosecuting alleged terrorists in civilian courts or military commissions. As I mentioned earlier, a bipartisan coalition of Republicans and conservative Democrats are pushing a House (H.R.4556) and Senate bill (S.2977) that would prevent government dollars from being spent on civilian trials for five alleged 9/11 co-conspirators including Khalid Sheikh Mohamme...

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It's a common refrain from Republicans in the year since the $787 billion stimulus became law: trash it in public but accept or even beg for the money for their districts in private.

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If Democrats can't pass a politically popular bill that doesn't rock the boat, what can they pass? A couple weeks ago, Donny highlighted a bill (H.R.3596) that would revoke the exemption the health insurance and medical malpractice industries enjoy from federal antitrust laws. This measure is part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's [D, CA-8] “Plan B” strategy of passing smaller, popular health-care-related bills to build momentum for the big health care reform bill (H.R.3590). The health insur...

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Health Care and Reconciliation

February 11, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] has been busy firming up the groundwork for finishing health care reform through the budget reconciliation process. "This is what the Republicans did to pass their bills, their tax cuts for the rich,” she said recently. But is budget reconciliation actually meant for this kind of thing?

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Health Care Endgame

February 10, 2010 - by Donny Shaw

An aide to Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D, CA-8] outlined an endgame for health care reform to reporters for subscription-only Congress Daily. Politico has posted a significant chunk of the article online. The plan is to use reconciliation to pass a package of conference report-style compromises, than pass the Senate health care and have it signed into law. It' exactly how I explained it a couple weeks ago: 1) House passes a package of changes to the Senate’s health care bill using a budget r...

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