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What Happens in Congress Now?

POSTED: Thursday, October 29, 2009 - 9:23pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:05am

The long path to a health care bill...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has introduced the House version of health care reform. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has introduced the Senate version…

So what happens now?

Both bills aim to do the same thing, but differ in many respects. And from here to the President’s desk is a tortuous path filled with land mines…

Now that the leadership has cobbled together one health care bill out of all the committee bills, the House and Senate must now debate and vote on their respective bills.

Amendments might be added, and language changed, but sooner or later, there will be a vote in each house.

Then they meet in a conference committee to try to merge the two bills that pass.

Then they’ll take the final version back to each house to be either passed or turned down.

If passed, it goes to the President for a signing ceremony…
But then, will Uncle Sam actually allow states to opt out?

"It can impose standards,” says Dr. Bob Peters of TJC, “when there is a good reason to have similar qualities of services from state to state."

Ultimately, there will be inevitable court cases, and states will try to assert the right to say no or yes to being a part of whatever is the new law.

So this argument won’t end with a bill signing.

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