Here are their options:
One, push forward with back room dealing for a bill that could buy off a moderate Republican senator. Two, Bring the Senate bill that was passed on Christmas Eve to the House of Representatives and try to get it passed. Third, drop the bills in their present forms and start from scratch. Fourth, open up the conference committee process of the two health care bills and invite the Republicans.
First, we look at the number one option, back room deal something that will buy a Republican Senator's vote, much like Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska was bought off. I don't really think this will happen, the political fallout of the Nebraska "Corn husk deal" has been tremendous and will definitely be difficult for Ben Nelson to deal with come election time. So finding a moderate Republican stupid enough to crater their career is unlikely.
Second, the option of bringing the Senate bill to the House floor for passage without any changes. This is a tough pill for the House to swallow and the odds of this are slim. There are many moderate Democrats (blue dogs) in the House that will not approve of the Senate bill due to the loose abortion language. Other representatives will not support pushing the cost of this health care reform onto the state budget sheets because the state's budgets are really in no shape to take on this type of load. However, if Health Care reform is destined to happen with this Congress and this Administration, this is how it will be done. The fallout will be a tremendous upset in the November 2010 congressional elections.
Third, drop the health care bills and start from scratch. I wish. They may drop the bill and health care all together. But the odds of starting this process again for 2010 is a pipe dream, every representative in the House is up for re-election this year, they will not want to continue this debate into election season. This reason alone is why President Obama wanted to get health care reform done last year, because he knew this wouldn't play in an election year.
Fourth, open up the conference committee process of the two bills to the Republicans and the general public. Yea-right, there is no way that Congressional Democrats are going to want the Republicans to charge in and save Health Care Reform. If they did, Republicans would shout that they saved Health Care Reform and the Democrats couldn't do it without them.
So, in the end, even though we really need real health care reform, I believe that the Health Care Reform Bill and debate start to wane and go away with an echo of blame from Democrats on the Republicans that they refused to pass Health Care Reform. Same old, same old.