POSTED: Friday, December 25, 2009 - 10:27pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 4:07am
This conference committee has its work cut out...
Both houses of Congress have passed healthcare reform bills, and now the real work begins.
There was a lot of back slapping and high fiving on Christmas Eve when the Senate voted for healthcare.
But the smiles are gone now as everyone wonders how these very different bills can be made one.
The Senate and House both passed healthcare reform bills, and a select group will meet in conference to blend them together into one bill that not only satisfies the conferees, but has a snowball’s chance of passing in both chambers.
This one is tough as the differences in some areas are stark.
The primary disagreement surrounds the so-called public option for healthcare buyers. The House has it, and the Senate doesn’t.
60 Democrats in the house has said they won’t vote for any bill without the option, so the task this committee faces is huge.
Abortion language is slightly different as is the funding mechanism.
So the leadership has its job cut out, but everyone is making hopeful noises at the moment.
In the meantime, Republicans vow to use every parliamentary gimmick in the book to slow down the process.
So the battle lines are drawn, but for the moment, the big roadblocks are being set up by Democrats.