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Mcjoan wrote about how this was gaining steam yesterday. Right now, there are NO votes in the House for the atrocious Senate bill. It has to be fixed with a reconciliation bill. That's why we MUST support both the Senate bill and the reconciliation bill!

The dual-track reform approach--pass the Senate bill in the House in conjunction with the necessary fixes in a reconciliation package--continues to gain some steam, with even Finance Chair Max Baucus saying that"Reconciliation, I’m guessing at this point, will be part of the solution," [sub req]. It's a potentially complicated approach, but apparently the White House, House, and Senate are still assessing the way forward.

More frommcjoan below:

Add to the mix the bomb throwing Stupak,who has by no means gone away.
   

Stupak & Co. can refuse to go with the White House–supported option of the House approving the Senate bill, which has weaker abortion restrictions. There is a second option that would allow for more bargaining: the House passes the Senate bill with the assurance that budget reconciliation (which would only require 51 votes in the Senate) would follow. As Jon Alter wrote today earlier on The Gaggle, it’s "a messy approach but doable." But since haggling in budget reconciliation would be limited to the budgetary issues, there would likely be little room to change abortion language.

   Stupak has said many, many times before that he won’t support a bill without his amendment. If that would mean the downfall of health-care reform, then so be it. "It's not the end of the world if [the bill] goes down," he told The New York Times a few weeks ago. And this isn’t a Ben Nelson situation, where he’s a lone politician throwing down the gauntlet. Stupak claims—and so far, I haven’t heard any dispute to this—that he has 10 or 11 Democrats committed to opposing the Senate bill’s less restrictive language. Given that the House health-care bill passed with a five-vote margin, this is not a threat to take lightly.

At this moment, we really have no idea if he has that many behind him or if they would be able to attract enough Blue Dogs to scuttle reform. So that's where those smart people getting paid the big bucks to make legislation might have to think of some other options to try to salvage as much as possible from this reform.

In some ways, it makes the Grijalva pass-it-in-pieces approach more attractive. Let Stupak put his amendment on the floor as a stand-alone and see if it passes. There's a great deal that's politically attractive to this approach--forcing the Blue Dogs, ConservaDems, and even so-called moderate Republicans to actually have to vote on stand alone insurance reforms. Want to continue to work for Aetna, Lieberman? Than vote to allow them to continue to deny insurance people because of bogus claims of pre-existing conditions.

Help us CALL Congress today to push for sidecar reconciliation to help fix the Senate bill! The Senate bill cannot pass straight through the House without being fixed as well.

Please CALL the Congressional Progressive Caucus and tell them to push for sidecar reconciliation as the only way to pass the Senate bill!

Please help our progressives FIX the Senate bill by demanding that a reconciliation bill be passed along with the Senate bill! Pick up those phones and call the CPC right now!

Originally posted to slinkerwink on Fri Jan 22, 2010 at 08:36 AM PST.

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