House Speaker Nancy Pelosi intends to present a unified, redrafted health care reform bill next week, the head of the House Democratic Caucus said Wednesday.
Chairman John Larson said the new bill would meld together parts of legislation written and approved in July by the House Education, Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees. But Larson cautioned against people reading this as the last step in a long health care journey for the House.
So, it appears that we'll have health care reform San Francisco style. Already, there's word that Pelosi is backing away from a deal with the Blue Dogs.
Speaker Pelosi is backing away from a deal she cut with centrists to advance health reform, said a source familiar with talks.
Pelosi’s decision to move away from the agreement that was made with a group of Blue Dogs to get the bill out of committee would steer the healthcare legislation back to the left as she prepares for a floor vote."
Pelosi is planning to include a government-run public option in the House version of the healthcare bill.
Putting myself into the shoes of Speaker Pelosi, I can understand what she's thinking. She's on the cusp of achieving her lifelong political ambition. She's about to engineer a massive liberal health care transformation. She will milk it for all it's worth and squeeze out every possible liberal policy point she can get. Why compromise on anything that will only water down her liberal fantasy?
Yet, this is totally politically brain dead. Mara Liasson described this dynamic perfectly. No liberal Congressperson will lose their seat if they vote for a moderate health care reform package. Meanwhile, 90% of the moderates will lose their seats if they vote for a liberal bill.
I understand that every politician wants to fulfill their liberal fantasy but they should all think about their nightmare. Speaker Pelosi is upon hers. She's about to create a bill that will not receive enough support to pass. Crafting a liberal piece of legislation that shuts out the Blue Dogs means that most of them won't vote for it and that means it won't pass.
Meanwhile, on the Senate side, chaos also continues to reign. The biggest news of the day was the dust up between Senator Kyl and Senator Baucus. The real news though happened at the end of the day. Chuck Schumer and Jay Rockefeller plan to present an amendment that will introduce the public option. Now, Baucus has long said that he's taken out the public option because it won't pass. Senator Snowe won't sign on if the final bill has the public option. So, why include it?
The Democrats voted down an amendment that would allow the final bill to be available on line for three days prior to a final vote. Do the Democrats have any self awareness? All those promises of transparency were worthless. This is exactly why people hate politics. All the Democrats do by voting this amendment down is reveal themselves for the duplicitous and opportunistic politicians they are.
Most importantly, the Finance Committee is nowhere near agreement on anything. We can only imagine what will happen when the public option amendment will get voted down. Will the liberals revolt? That's just one minor problem. The bill keeps changing so much the CBO can't score it. Meanwhile, the Democrats are looking to schedule a vote before the CBO has a chance to score it. All of this only creates even more tension to an already tense process. Worse yet, it costs votes. The Democrats will barely pass this as it is and yet all they do is create roadblock after roadblock that will make it even more difficult to pass. It's truly amateur hour right now in the health care debate.