Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Health Reform Talk Takes A Brief Break

As the Senate prepares to take a final vote on December 24, pass the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and go home for the holidays, the authors of Health Reform Talk also are taking a brief break after today

After a series of procedural votes to move to passage, the Senate leadership agreed to a final vote scheduled for the morning of December 24, which would be the first Christmas Eve session in the Senate since 1963. Unlike earlier procedural votes that needed 60 votes, the final passage of the Senate health reform bill will require a simple majority.

The agreement on the early Tuesday morning vote by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ken.) means that differences between the Senate proposal and the already House-passed bill likely will have to be resolved in a House-Senate conference committee, which would begin to meet in January 2010.

A less likely alternative procedure would be for the Senate to send its bill back to the House for immediate approval without amendments, which would avoid a conference committee and also avoid another struggle to get the 60 votes needed in the Senate for passage.

Health Reform Talk will resume its daily insights into health reform on January 4.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.


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