At almost midnight last Saturday, the House passed a health care reform bill by a razor-thin margin of 220-215. By the end of the night, almost every Democrat had either been stabbed in the back or thrown under the bus, but the bill passed. Speaker Pelosi relented and passed a bill with a negotiated-rate public option, as well as the highly publicized Stupak amendment restricting federal money from paying for abortions.
Unfortunately for Pelosi, she has major problems:
- Her bill is DOA in the Senate…they don’t like her funding source (tax on millionaires) or her public option.
- Her bill is too expensive (way more than Obama’s target of $900B)
- Her bill doesn’t really bend the cost curve (as compared to the Baucus bill, which discourages expensive health plans)
- Everyone in the House of Representatives hates each other right now.
If the Senate votes on and approves a bill with a weaker public option, it’s unclear if liberal members in the House will approve. However, Senator Reid is going to have trouble getting to 60 votes with any kind of public option at all. It’s really getting more and more complicated every day. Stay tuned…
P.S. The best place to stay caught up on health care reform news is Politico’s LivePulse blog.