Ping Pong Health Care
ssMickey Kaus argues that the Democrats have a “secret weapon” that could get the health care bill passed:
People in the know in Washington appear to have already considered and dismissed the “ping pong” option–the possibility that if the Senate finally passes a compromise health care bill, Pelosi’s House might simply vote “yes” on the exact same bill, avoiding the need for a “conference” to reconcile the House and Senate versions and instead sending the bill directly to the President for his signature. But from outside Washington, out here in the real America, this “ratification” route still looks awfully appealing–especially this week.
He understands that this is extraordinarily unlikely for political reasons but figures that the House could be persuaded to go along if it was presented as “Senate version or no version.” And it would preclude another round of being held hostage by Olympia Snowe and Joe Lieberman.
It’s an interesting option but it ain’t gonna happen — mostly for the very reasons Kaus hopes it will. A goodly number of Democrats in both the House and the Senate are voting Yes for the bill before them precisely because there’s zero chance that they’ll be passed into law. It’s easier to get dicey legislation through the House, of course, but would a majority vote to go with an unpopular Senate version? I can’t imagine.