Plan B 2.0: Are Dems Walking Back From The Brink On Health Care?

Congressional Quarterly/Newscom

As yesterday came to a close, there was still a great deal of uncertainty as to what, if anything, House Democrats would do to keep the health care reform ball moving forward. But there were some signs that some progressives had walked back from the brink, and were once again considering their options. And the leading one continues to be…the same Plan B that’s been on the table for a week now: pass the Senate bill through the House, with the promise that it will be fixed later.

“The one thing is–you might be able to get the Senate bill through the House if there were assurances and agreement on what subsequent amendments would be,” Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) said, stepping away from his initial inclination that health care reform was dead. “That’s going to be very tricky, but that’s one possibility.”Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), who has said he favors breaking the bill into chunks and passing them individually, emerged from a meeting with House leadership confident they’d have a deal by the end of the week.

And, according to Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), House progressives’ health care point person, the leadership is talking about Plan B–which just so happens to be what major union groups are throwing their weight behind.

None of this is to say that the endgame is clear. Things could take one of any number of turns. House Dems are meeting right now to figure out just what to do next. But there did seem, at the end of the day yesterday, to be light shining on this particular avenue.