The follow-up health care bill being considered by the Senate will have to return to the House for final congressional approval, after the Senate parliamentarian determined that two Republican challenges will succeed in stripping out language in the package.
Altering the bill in any way means it has to return to the House side, which first approved the package of changes Sunday, since both chambers must pass identical versions.
Democrats don’t appear worried. Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said the House could easily approve the expected changes. The Senate is expected to complete work on the bill Thursday afternoon, and the House could take it up again the same day — or push it off until Friday.
The package of changes, which is being considered under “reconciliation” rules allowing the Senate to approve it with just 51 votes, is the final piece of the legislative puzzle to the health care reform package signed into law Tuesday. Health care reform is officially enacted, but House Democrats wanted the package of fixes to change the way it’s financed and address other concerns.
We’ll just have to see what happens. A very, very long shot that this will stop the insanity, but it is something.