‘Stunningly simple’

‘STUNNINGLY SIMPLE’…. This isn’t exactly breaking new ground, but I just liked the way Jonathan Cohn put this.

For all of the panic in Democratic ranks right now, the reality of the situation is stunningly simple. In the span of twenty-four hours, the House of Representatives — the House in which Democrats command a huge majority, in which liberals actually have some sway, and in which leadership actually has power — could put health care reform on the president’s desk for signing.

One lousy vote. One lousy, stinking roll call vote. That’s the only hurdle in the way of health care reform.

Are Democrats really willing to give up now?

This may sound overly-simplistic. It’s not. The House could pass the Senate bill by the weekend, and then take up improvements negotiated over last week through reconciliation. The debate would be done; the bill would be law; the landmark breakthrough would be complete; Dems would have demonstrated their ability to deliver; and policymakers could finally move on to other issues.

“One lousy vote. One lousy, stinking roll call vote.”

Labor isn’t exactly on board with this plan, but Andy Stern, the president of the SEIU, wants the House to do just this — pass the Senate bill, then use the budget reconciliation process to make changes.

Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker, the expert generally credited for coming up with the public option idea, also thinks the House should pass the Senate bill. Another expert, Timothy Jost, made the same case this morning.

Will House Dems deliver? There’s a caucus meeting this afternoon, but by all indications, they’re on the wrong track.