Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Senate Health Reform Bill Unveiling

Later today, Senate Democrats are expected to unveil their health reform bill for debate, which could start as early as this week (pending a procedural vote). Democrats are meeting at 5:00 today to get the results of the Congressional Budget Office's scoring of the bill.

We'll see now if Harry Reid is a master legislator or a legislative masturbator. What kind of public option will there be? How universal the coverage? Other cost savings? Does he have the votes for whatever he's putting forward, at least to get debate started? One strong proponent of the public option, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), isn't so sure there won't be more watering down of the public option to satisfy conservaDems.

At first blush, it looks like "master legislator" is closer to the mark for ol' Harry, though more finessing and reconciliation with the House bill remains. (The bill has a public option with "opt out", would reduce the deficit by $127 billion over 10 years, and cover 94% of the public.) Now if the Dems can just stick to their guns...

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