TPMDCreports that some of the Blue Dog Democrats' opposition to the health insurance reform bill on the House side may change if the final conference report closely resembles the Senate health insurance reform bill. It means that the bill will not be made "better" in the ping-pong conference, and will likely stay conservative. Here's more from TPMDC below the jump:
But for the first time, we're seeing signs that some of the members who opposed the bill the first time around are keeping their options open--even leaning towards supporting the final bill if it closely resembles the Senate package.
Freshman Blue Dog Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) says some positive things about the Senate bill, and is keeping an open mind. Blue Dog Jason Altmire (D-PA) is on the record saying that the Senate bill is stronger than the House bill, and that "a lot" of Blue Dogs might flip their votes from 'no' to 'yes' if the Senate bill prevails in conference.
This is roughly as expected--but we'll let you know if the trend changes in the days and weeks ahead.
What does this mean for the more liberal provisions on the House side? My guesses are that subsidies will not be strengthened, that the state-based exchanges might prevail over the national exchange, and the community rating regulations in the Senate bill might prevail along with the weaker regulations. I'll be writing about this in the week ahead, and why I prefer the more liberal provisions of the House bill over those in the Senate bill, and also on the machinations of the ping-pong conference process with news coming out of the Hill.
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