Things That Have to Happen Before We Have Health-Care Reform

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No wonder they look sullen.
No wonder they look sullen. Photo: Getty Images

First, the Senate Finance Committee has to pass its bill tomorrow. (Piece of cake.) Then, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has to combine that bill with a more liberal, public-option-containing version passed by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, a merger "so rare" that he's "never attempted it on any piece of legislation — much less one as complex" as this one. (That's not too reassuring.) Reid has to ensure that the new bill will placate both the most moderate and most liberal Democrats. (Yikes.) Once on the Senate floor, it'll have to survive a "barrage of amendments." (Sounds painful.) After that, the Senate bill has to be reconciled all over again with another bill — the one passed by the House. (Oh, right, forgot about them.) And then everyone has to vote on it again. (Maybe those colonists were wrong about the monarchy after all ... )

Dem leader faces tough job in crafting health bill [AP via Google]