Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Duplicitous Games on Health Care

Here is my take on what Blanche Lincoln is up to on health care. She gave a crucial committee vote to the Bill from Max Baucus. Baucus himself played a cute trick by giving the CBO what was little more than a shell-bill and asked them to run the numbers. CBO said the bill would be close to deficit-neutral, but warned that many provisions of the bill were not filled in.

Baucus and company then waive the CBO results around in order to give the impression that the bill is deficit neutral, knowing all the while that it will be merged with two other senate bills that passed through other committees (but not Senate finance). Language from those bills will be used to fill in the blank spots in the Baucus bill that the CBO commented on. Lincoln et al will then use this fig leaf to say that the bill that THEY voted for was "deficit neutral."

I think Lincoln is hoping for a situation where she can vote-trade.

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