A lot of pieces moving around the board at once. Here is what I can glean:
* House Democrats remain in a holding pattern. The Senate bill will probably never pass on its own. However, votes most likely already exist to pass HCR as long as the Senate can fix the excise tax and those special deals for Nebraska and Louisiana. Nobody seems to know whether Bart Stupak’s secret abortion army can gum up the works or not; you might as well call conservadems to find out where they stand.
* For better or worse, most action is happening in the Senate. Does Harry Reid have enough votes to pass a modest reconciliation fix? Who knows. The public option has clawed its way out of the grave and is presently stumbling around, slowly gathering co-sponsors. Ezra Klein thinks that might be either a good thing or a bad thing.
* Obama will apparently unveil its own plan (strategy?). Nobody else was consulted, so nobody has any idea what’s in it. We can hope that he finally has a bold strategy to overcome Republican roadblocks. History suggests that Obama will yet again pre-compromise his own agenda to earn bipartisan cred by punching hippies. There’s nothing that we can do about that but
drink heavily wait and see.
* Republicans got nothing. Surprise.
Democrats seem to be working up the nerve to set some sort of plan in motion, probably right after the health care summit on the 25th. I suggest calling before they announce their plan rather than after.
Tell Senators to get behind reconciliation to fix Medicare reimbursement, the excise tax and whatever else the House demands. Might as well ask for a public option if it pleases you. Tell your Congressperson to Pass. The. Damn. Bill. whether or not the Senate eventually reciprocates.
Switchboard: (202) 224-3121.
Guide for first-timers here.