President Obama says the Senate should not try to rush through health
care reform before Scott Brown, the new senator from Massachusetts,
arrives to deprive Democrats of their filibuster-proof majority.
"People in Massachusetts spoke. He's got to be part of that process."
So what are the alternatives?
- A Scaled-Back Bill The Wall Street Journal's Adamy and Meckler write,
"President Barack Obama suggested he's open to Congress passing a
scaled-back health-care bill, potentially sacrificing much of his
signature policy initiative." What would it take to tempt at least one
Republican to support reform? "A pared-down bill could still restrict
insurance companies from denying care and overcharging customers, but
would likely jettison a mandate requiring everyone buy insurance."
- Pass As-Is, Amend Later
If the House accepts the Senate version word-for-word, it's a done deal
with no further Senate votes needed. Rep. Barney Frank, initially
calling reform doomed, now supports this approach. Washington Monthly's
Steve Benen agrees,
calling it "the most obvious resolution." House Democrats would have to
hold their noses and vote to approve the Senate version, but could
later pass additional legislation to amend it more to their liking.
House Dems would have to be convinced that Obama and Senate Dems will
back them on the later changes.
- House ConservaDems Could Sink it The Weekly Standard's John McCormack thinks
Conservative Democrat Bart Stupak, who voted for the House bill but
opposes the Senate bill for its softer anti-abortion provisions, could
rally enough fellow conservative House Democrats to kill health care
reform. "Pelosi has at best 216 votes right now--and Stupak should be
able to bring along about 10 more of those 216 votes due to the
abortion issue," he writes.
- Temper, Temper Left blogger Matthew Yglesias fumes
at "angry liberal" House Democrat Raul Grijalva, who wants to kill the
bill in order to punish Senators for their more conservative bill.
"Raul Grijalva Flirting With History's Greatest Monster Status," he
writes. "[i]f Grijalva feels the need to take out some anger on the
Senate, he should pass health care then go find a particularly annoying
Senator and punch him in the face. Just--bam!--pop him."
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