Well, the next step has been taken. The Senate Finance Committee has voted out its health reform bill.
While this has gotten a lot of attention, I don’t really think it the significant step that the media makes it out to be. Certainly, it is interesting in that it managed to get a vote from a Republican senator, after involving three in the process of writing it. However, this is not the final bill, nor even the final Senate bill. There is another bill in the Senate, from the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (the HELP Committee – no kidding!). There will be negotiations to blend these two bills, and that will become the Senate bill.
And then there is the House bill – and in fact there are three of those. HR 3200 has gotten a lot of attention, but it will have to be blended with two others to produce the House bill.
And finally there will be a Conference Committee. The bill produced by the Conference Committee and passed in both Houses in the same form will be the bill that gets to the President’s desk (see, I did pay attention to “Schoolhouse Rock”).
So, keep watching, siblings; and keep writing to your senators and representatives. This isn’t over until it’s over (and, really, it won’t be over until we see it implemented). Keep watching.