Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On To The Smoke Filled Back Room!

The Baucus bill passed the Finance committee 14-9, with Olympia Snowe as the only Republican voting in favor. As MCJoan explains, this could be a very dangerous development for supporters of real reform:
By voting yes, Snowe remains relevant--the Baucus bill passes with that shiny "bipartisan" sheen that seems still to matter to in Washington. But don't forget that she has her finger on the "trigger"--her trigger that would kill the public option. As BTD says, she's kept the Baucus bill alive, and through it the best chance of a making what now seems inevitable--reform of some kind--as watered down as possible.
And now the negotiations begin:
The Senate Finance Committee’s passage of a health reform bill marks the end of the committee process, but only the beginning of the longer journey to passage. Starting tomorrow, Harry Reid, Max Baucus, Chris Dodd and one or two representatives from the White House will meet in Reid’s office to hammer out the details of merging the two bills.
Both Harry Reid and Obama have signaled in the past that they're willing to do almost anything to keep Snowe on board to give it the label of "bipartisan support". Doing anything to appease Snowe is completely insane as I've said many times here, but I worry that her meaningless vote will be used as a justification to make the combined bill crappier than it would have been otherwise.

In the negotiations over the Senate bill Dodd will support the public option, Baucus will oppose it, and Reid or Obama are the unknowns. It's time to find out which side they're on.

1 comment:

  1. well i for one am enthusiastically waiting the unveiling of whatever hideous atrocity they come up with in the name of keeping snowe on board and thus assuring nominal bipartisanship.