First, it appears Harry Reid can at least move the health care reform bill to the Senate floor – Dems have the votes, for now
It also appears that there will still be a fight for passage. ConservaDems may balk, and our own Sen. Bernie Sanders has said Reid cannot count on his vote for passage if the bill doesn’t go far enough to ensure things like coverage and affordability:
I voted to proceed on health care reform because our current health care system is disintegrating and must be reformed. Forty-six million Americans are uninsured, [it’s actually closer to 50 million now – SG] and 45,000 die every year because they don’t have access to a doctor. We have almost one million Americans going bankrupt because of medically-related diseases, health care costs are soaring and we end up spending almost twice as much per person on health care as any other nation. It is clear that we need real health care reform.
While I voted to proceed to the health care legislation tonight, I have made it clear to the administration and Democratic leadership that my vote for the final bill is by no means guaranteed. In the weeks to come I intend to do everything I can to make this legislation stronger and more effective for working families and taxpayers in Vermont and America and something all Americans can be proud of.
AARP is still not on-board with the Senate version, although they endorsed the House bill (thanks, TPM) – AARP letter to Reid
Blanche Lambert Lincoln, Ben Nelson, and Mary Landrieu are not yet confirmed as being on-board, either. Meanwhile, that twerp Joe Lieberman continues to try to extend his 15 minutes.
Over on the other side of the Hill, the House Financial Services Committee voted to audit the Fed – Voting for transparency at the Fed
While this is a big deal, don’t count on it seeing the light of day. The amendment was proposed by a couple of back-benchers, while heavyweights – like Committee Chair Barney Frank – are worried about getting the political camel’s nose under the tent. DC is VERY respectful of institutions and their privileges, and this would upset some of those.