Monday, January 25, 2010

Which way is the wind blowin?

Not clear, but every day in which it is not clear what the plan is regarding health reform is that much closer to no bill at all. Ezra Klein writing about reconciliation to clean up the deals (Nebraska, Louisiana, delay in tax on high cost insurance for Labor) with House passing the the Senate bill. This is process wise doable, but not clear about the political will.

NY Times Prescriptions blog with several pieces. One on the differences in states and how that affects their view of reform (rate of uninsured from ~5% in Mass, to 1 in 4 in Texas). Another on a group that was created in 1950s to deliver care in remote parts of the world that now spends 60% of its money providing care in the US.

An interesting political strategy memo about health reform and past attempts, and I think his point 1 about the reality of the problems of the system is spot on.

Politico has one Dem rep saying we can't run having passed nothing and need to step up, with another saying we need to scale back.

Finally, a Dem congresswoman from New Hampshire saying that the female members would have done a bipartisan deal last Fall if they could have just sent all the men home. And Debbie Wasserman Schulz talking up a pared down bill in this clip. I suspect my mother would agree.

State of the Union may be the last hurrah: will the Pres say the House SHOULD pass the Senate bill? Or will he declare that dead and chart a course for a pared back bill?

Passing the Senate bill is the by far the best policy option. And politically, I think it greatly increases the chances that the Dems keep the House. Put another way, if they run having passed nothing, they are likely toast. If nothing passes and it is another generation before we are back to will not be good.

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