Monday, October 12, 2009

Leap of Faith on #HealthReform

The Senate Finance Committee will pass the health reform bill tomorrow and send it to the full Senate. However, it will be close and the deal could fall apart as it moves along. The Hill has a great piece on the dilemma it faces:
"Several members of the Senate Finance Committee will have to make leaps of faith if the panel is to approve a healthcare reform bill on Tuesday.
Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) got a big boost in the form of a favorable score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) last week, but it did very little to assuage the skeptics on his panel."
This is true, but it may have moved the ball far enough down field to get within scoring range. Certainly the bill will pass mostly along partisan lines. If Sen. Olympia Snowe (R Maine) refuses to go along, then it will make it more difficult for those who are wanting bipartisanship to win the day to support the efforts.
"It’s likely Baucus will have the votes. Committee chairmen generally don’t schedule a vote they won’t win, and at least two of the three senators are likely to make a leap Tuesday in the hope the bill will improve as it moves forward."
To strengthen the spine of the Blue Dogs, especially in the House, and the more vulnerable Senate Democrats, they will need the moderate Democrats and Republicans to back the bill or it could have some repercussions in the 2010 election.

My prediction - Snowe, Rockefeller and Wyden all vote to send it to the floor and maintain their ability to be key players in the negotiations ahead.