What Comes Next For Health Care?
Ed Kilgore's guess:
The President's concluding comments indicated that he wanted to let the summitry marinate for a while, and see if some new progress could be made within four or six weeks. But at that point, he made clear, it would be time to act, which means the House passing the Senate bill and then the Senate and House enacting what would normally be a conference committee report via reconciliation (which, as Democrats kept explaining today, is hardly an unusual procedure for major legislation).
If, as appears most likely, Republicans simply retreat to their "start over" demand, you can expect Obama to unilaterally endorse a few more of "their" ideas (perhaps a stronger interstate sales provision with stronger federal regulation, or something more tangible on medical malpractice reform than grants to states, or maybe one of Tom Coburn's fraud prevention or chronic disease management concepts), and then let the public decide who's been reasonable. Since it would have probably taken that long to work out differences among House and Senate Democrats anyway, nothing much will be lost by this kind of delay, and perhaps the summit will have somewhat disrupted the conservative demonization campaign over the entire legislation.