What are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they’re not gonna give up the fight, until one of you is dead. — Jim Malone, The Untouchables
We now enter the last — and final phase — of the healthcare reform debate under President Obama. Either the Obama plan is dead (which almost every industry observer expects) — or we get something very close to the Senate bill (which is what I think will happen, see prior post).
The President has released his “new” healthcare plan, which attempts to bridge the gap between the House and Senate bills — the two versions passed by each respective chamber. Later this week begins the President’s live healthcare summit.
In general, Obama’s proposal would make the Senate bill more generous — even though the original bill passed only because Democrats had a filibuster-proof majority at the time (no longer). Conversely, Obama’s proposal generally makes the House bill less generous; but even if the House passes this compromise, it wouldn’t make it past Republican filibuster. No wonder Cowen analyst Christine Arnold calls the President’s proposal “likely irrelevant.”
Still, we’ll be tuning into the President’s summit and hoping for the best.