Monday, December 21, 2009

Senate votes cloture in health care, 60-40

In a cloture vote almost strictly along party lines, the Senate passed the motion to move forward on health care around 1 AM Monday morning. No, I did not stay up to watch it. Something like Kevin Jonas’s getting married in the middle of a blizzard sounds more entertaining.

Seriously, the Senate had dropped the public option (about which the President had become lukewarm) and Medicare expansion before age 65, but would give 30 million uninsured the opportunity to buy in through exchanges.

The Senate may take a final vote Christmas Eve. Then the House and Senate must reconcile, just as you learned in civics class, or in Clive Barker’s “Imajica”.

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The Senate version does take care of the pre-existing conditions problem and benefits cap problem, but contains a lot of corrupt pork (for Nebraska and Vermont) and imposes some new taxes (like tanning salons and hugh earners) to increase coverage. It is a bit of a hodgepodge. Politics as usual.

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