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The Final Push

We are in the defining final weeks for federal health reform, and the path before us is clear; first pass the Senate bill as-is in the House and then create a package of budgetary fixes requiring only majority support in the Senate. House members are reluctant to pass the Senate bill before action is taken on the smaller bill, but this is the sole option as a reconciliation bill can only amend existing law. As such, House Representatives are asking for assurance from a majority of Senators that the reconciliation process will be aggressively pursued.

That goal was apparently reached today as the 50th Senator to indicate support for the reconciliation process was achieved. A CBO score of the smaller bill’s legislative language is expected this week, which should allow Representatives to indicate their final stance.