Earlier this week it became clear that there will not be a traditional conference, largely because the creation of a conference committee can be filibustered in the Senate. I have heard a few folks say this is unprecedented to 'ping pong' bills back and forth between House and Senate to bypass conference committees....not so. Here is a post describing year end ping ponging in Dec. 2007....just an example.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the bills that passed the House and Senate.
Today there was a meeting at the White House between Speaker Pelosi and the Chairs of the relevant House Committees. This says the President stated he wants a tax on high cost health insurance plans, but that the Speaker is not sold.
Here is what I wrote about the upcoming conference...which will now be an informal conference about 10 days ago. Key issues in addition to the excise tax and abortion that I wrote about between House and Senate will be national insurance exchange or state level exchanges, whether to include House employer mandate, how stringent the individual mandate will be, whether to include an Independent Medicare Advisory Committee.