Eric Pianin

How The Budget Reconciliation Process Works

KHN Original

Democrats, who no longer have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, are weighing the use of a budget rule called reconciliation to pass at least part of the long-debated health overhaul package with a simple majority.

Could Delays Jeopardize Health Overhaul?

KHN Original

Those who want a health reform bill passed by Christmas fear that if that doesn’t happen, there could be a repeat of the brutal August town hall meetings. Others don’t think the situation is so dire and say that Democrats could deliver the bill to Obama by the spring.

Baucus Doubts Public Option Can Get 60 Votes In Senate

KHN Original

Although negotiators are considering various forms of a public option as they try to meld health overhaul bills approved by two Senate panels, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., says it’s unlikely the Senate would approve major legislation this year that includes a pure form of the controversial government-operated insurance program.

Finance Committee Approves Health Reform Bill, Snowe Sides With Democrats

KHN Original

With the support of a lone Republican, Olympia Snowe, the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill that would assure that most Americans would have access to health insurance, end discriminatory insurance industry practices and impose a tax on high-costhealth care plans. The bill will now be combined with the HELP Committee’s bill before a full Senate vote.

Democrats’ Go-It-Alone Strategy

KHN Original

If Democratic leaders and the White House use “reconciliation” budget rules this fall to try to pass health overhaul legislation without Republican support, how would it work?

Democrats’ Strategy to Avoid Filibuster Carries Serious Risks

KHN Original

Congressional leaders are considering invoking rarely used budget rules that would allow a health reform bill to be passed by a simple majority. But the technique could backfire and leave key provisions of the overhaul legislation vulnerable to Republican challenge.