Monday, September 21, 2009

Actual News (Perhaps) on Health Care

I read the people who read the amendments so you don't have to:

In a long and interesting post about the amendments filed by Finance Committee Democrats to the Baucus bill, Nick Beaudrot over at Donkeylicious has this to say:
It should be noted that most of the amendments offered by Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln tended to improve the bill (his emphasis).
Nick's a liberal; "tended to improve" is from a liberal perspective. But what's really important here is the indication that Nelson and Lincoln actually want a bill. These two Senators are terribly important; if you told me now that Nelson and Lincoln are willing to vote for a bill that, say, Rockefeller would also vote for, I'd say that health care is going to pass with at least 60 votes. Given Ezra's optimistic take on Snowe's amendments, and I'd make that 61 (and I still think that once it gets to 61 it may well get to 63 or 64).

Lots of details still to go, and the margin is thin enough that anyone could get bent out of shape by some seemingly minor provision and throw a monkey wrench into the whole deal, but I consider this all very good news for those who want to see a significant bill pass. Specifically, if Nelson, Lincoln, and Snowe have some flexibility to vote for a bill somewhat more liberal than Baucus's mark, the bill may be less vulnerable than I feared to (liberal) killer amendments. It may instead be the case that all sixty Dems (and Snowe) prefer a wide range of bills to inaction, in which case we're very, very likely to get a bill signed into law.

(For those more interested in the substance of the thing than the politics, you're just going to have to go through the extremely informative posts linked to above).

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