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Monday, January 25, 2010


With this Wednesday's State of the Union address drawing near, Democrats have been tight-lipped on what strategy they may use to make a final push for health care reform. The White House and top Democratic congressional leaders, despite losing the seat previously held by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) to Republican Scott Brown, are nonetheless determined to push ahead with broad health care legislation.

Although no formal strategy has been announced, multiple sources, including AP, have reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) will attempt to gather the votes needed to pass the Senate bill by addressing House concerns in a single comprehensive amendment. The Senate would then use a procedural maneuver known as reconciliation (which would only require 51 votes in the Senate) to adopt these House changes.

This modified Senate version will certainly contain dangerous and numerous mechanisms that would lead to rationing. Some of these include - premium price controls, a powerful Medicare cost-cutting board, and numerous grants of "quality" and "efficiency" discretion given to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. A full analysis of the rationing concerns present in the pending Senate bill is available here.

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