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1 Top 75 percent on Thu Oct 08, 2009 11:21 pm



Health Care Odds Top 75 percent: WH Happy (For Now)

October 08, 2009 8:03 AM

Yesterday's CBO report is the best health care news the WH has had in weeks (even before we know if it was enough to secure Olympia Snowe's vote)

It reinforced a pronounced psychological shift on Capitol Hill -- that passing something this year is a foregone conclusion. The big questions are when, not if, and what the final bill looks like

Even Karl Rove seems to concede the case in this morning's WSJ by pointing out how he thinks passing health care will hurt Democrats.

I'm not prepared to call game over, but odds of passing now seem above 75 percent to me. Here are the big remaining obstacles:

Strong House opposition to the excise tax on cadillac health plans (if you lose the excise tax, do you lose the deficit reduction?).

Lingering disputes over public option (if Snowe votes no on Finance bill will inclusion of co-ops be her reason?) (Will the latest hot idea -- giving states the ability to "opt-out" of a public option -- fly?).

The mismatch between when the tax increases and Medicare cuts start to bite and when insurance exchanges and subsidies start to provide benefits. Can more of the benefits be front-loaded without losing deficit neutrality?

Here's my conversation with Diane on GMA (we covered Afghanistan too):

- George Stephanopoulos

October 8, 2009 in Barack Obama, Health Care |

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