Obama Will Urge House to Send Him Health Bill

Ramped up State of the Union indicates Senate-skipping strategy
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2010 11:20 AM CST
President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign stop for Democratic senate candidate Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – The White House has essentially accepted the reality of a Scott Brown win in Massachusetts and is orchestrating some health care reform “ping-pong,” Nate Silver writes, urging the House to vote on the Senate bill as it stands so it can go straight to President Obama’s desk and avoid the bare 59-seat majority in the Senate. Silver sees the earlier-than-expected State of the Union as a chance for Obama to sell the plan to House Dems, and also espouse a populist economic policy for the new Senate makeup.

A quick turn to fiscal issues would make the use of reconciliation an easier sell in the new Senate, Silver writes on FiveThirtyEight. When it comes to health care, of course, it is unclear that votes actually exist in the House for the Senate version, but Dems have two things going for them: First, the “Senate's bill is closer to what some Blue Dogs in Congress had wanted in the first place.” And second, “the party will not do itself any favors by having passed a health care bill through both chambers, only to see it implode.”

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