Image by elycefeliz via Flickr
Depending on who you ask, health care reform is either dead or on life support. While it's true that the best-laid plans of Congress and the President were a bit...er...derailed by the Massachusetts election, Nancy Pelosi is a bit smarter than the average bear. Moreover, it would be terrible politics to let health care reform die after it's passed the Senate and the House once.
Two scenarios have the greatest chances of advancing the bill to President Obama's desk. The House can pass the Senate bill as is, or they can negotiate a deal to pass the Senate bill after certain provisions are cleaned up, like the so-called Cadillac tax that has unions upset, and perhaps even converting the health exchanges to the House flavor, which is national rather than state-based.
We should all heave a collective sigh of relief when it's done. Truly. It is a remarkable accomplishment, imperfect in many ways, and yet an incredibly significant achievement for this President to have wrought in just over a year.
The 100-year timeline of health care reform illustrates just how significant it really is (and how the strategy to defeat it hasn't changed much over the years).