The Senate passed its version of the healthcare reform bill by a purely partisan vote — 60 to 39.
The next step is critical in the bill’s progress. Now that the House and Senate have passed different bills either the bills will go to a Committee made up of representatives of both the House & Senate, or the House will take up the Senate bill.
Ultimately the House & Senate must have the same bill in order for it to go to the President. There is little doubt that compromises will be found — i.e. representatives and senators paid off — to get this bill passed in some form. We have already seen the pay off in Nebraska and Louisiana and surely more is coming.
Healthcare in the U.S. will be changed forever — not a good thing. Once the bill is passed, then it will be up to CMS and other government officials to implement. If the implementation of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 is any indication, the implementation of the bill will be far more important than the bill itself. Providers of healthcare services will need to be extra cautious.