The Big Health Care Question: So Now What?

The Big Health Care Question: So Now What?


So where does the health care debate go from here?

Well first of all The White House believes that this effort will be successful if the President can clearly explain to Americans how health care reform will benefit them.

As for the legislative process, there are two things to watch. How will this Senate Bill morph in the next month or so? The bill will be brought up in the Senate Finance Committee in a couple weeks. Will the bill include a Republican priority of Medical Malpractice reform which the President seemed to somewhat embrace in his speech Wednesday? Also inside the bill there are fees charged to individuals and families who don't sign up for insurance so that may get controversial. Remember, what the President outlined Wednesday night is strikingly similiar to Max Baucus's blueprint in the Senate. That's where the real action is.

In the House, it's expected that they will probably pass a bill with a public option but then what? The Senate bill isn't going to have one so clearly a compromise will need to be forged in any sort of final bill. Here's where it gets tricky because while the President seemed to back off an insistence of a public option during the speech it could be a slightly different story in a few months. Remember this President definitely wants a public option and so watch to see how the President, House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid maneuver this. The idea of a public option compromise is still out there. Don't believe it's not.This idea of a trigger option has been floated out there where a public option would kick in after a few years only if private insurance companies didn't bring down costs sufficiently for customers. That may be something that might be able to generate enough Democratic votes in both chambers to pass even if few Republicans vote for it. Right now the pressure is on Nancy Pelosi in the House to either make sure the liberal part of her caucus get in line and not make trouble for the President on forgoing the public option or conversely, or come up with some other public option alternative that could thread the needle like the trigger option mentioned above.

My sentiments are below.

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