The media still is debating the question of whether health reform is dead or alive. Some publications predict its demise one day, and then get another headline the next line proclaiming its resurrection. It’s appropriate today is Groundhog day, given the regularity of this pattern.
Several dozen health advocates were in Washington, DC, last week, and I think many of us come away with the feeling of that comprehensive health reform will happen. Democratic Congressional Representatives and their Hill staffers were depressed, but committed. With the loss of the 60th vote in the Senate, it took some time to figure out a procedural path to passage–and it still is. Congressional leadership stepped up and Speaker Pelosi has made sure it will continue. At the annual conference of Families USA, many of us watched President Obama’s State of the Union speech, which further energized all of us in the rooom.
The House of Representatives isn’t going to pass the Senate version as is, but will require changes to be made by the Senate through the budget reconciliation process. Some things can be changed, others can’t. But with President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Reid, there seems to be movement forward. Let’s keep the pressure on them!