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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Health Reform Differences Narrow

At the end of this important week on the health care front, one thing clear is that the differences between what the House and Senate are likely to vote on are not as large as everyone expected a few weeks ago. Harry Reid’s advancing a public option bill with (it appears) a state opt-out, and the House is going with a public option that will negotiate rates instead of pegging payments to Medicare. Had the Senate gone with a weak trigger or something like co-ops, or the House had insisted on the Medicare peg, it could have caused some very serious problems down the road.
However you happen to feel about the substance of these nuances, anything that steadily narrows the gaps between Senate and House Democrats is a step towards enactment of health reform this year. Or at least that’s how it looks to me from an internet cafe a very long way from Washington.

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