I am in Washington D.C. at the National Association of Health Underwriters
annual "Capitol Conference". With the President making his final (?) push for passage of the Senate reform bill - calling for a House vote March 18th - it is timely to be at 'ground zero'.
Newly elected Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) was one of our first speakers. He was followed by the somewhat infamous (as in "Corn husker Kickback") Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE). Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) rounded out the morning session. Besides all three speaking at our NAHU event, I was struck by how different they seemed from their media portrayals. Frankly, Senator Brown wasn't all that gifted or charismatic as a speaker. (Although the ladies in the room obvioulsy found him to be pretty hot!) No, his message was just straight talk about being sick of politics as usual. It was I think that
message that got him elected not some slick style.
Senator Nelson displayed a workable understanding of the complexities of health care reform; I particularly liked his comments about preserving the role of the agent/broker in a revitalized system. (Of course, he was preaching to the choir.) Representative Pence was terrific. I think I'd most enjoy having a beer with him. It seemed interesting that with Congress' approval ratings so low, all three came across as honest sincere guys.
Also, all three shared this assessment of "reconciliation"; don't hold your breath! Here's what they said. The Senate has passed a Bill. The House will be asked to pass the same
Bill next week. If they do so - and that is a BIG
if - HR 3590 (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) becomes law when the President signs it. And he surely will.
Those that expect HR 3590 to be changed/fixed after passage are drinking the Kool Aid. Once it is law, it's done.
Just thought you ought to know what the insiders think.
Labels: Pre-Reform Archive Blog