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FiveThirtyEight

Politics

This is interesting — at least for a Slow News Friday:

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, and Representative Boehner:

We are writing to ask that you join President Obama for a bipartisan meeting at the Blair House on February 25 to discuss health reform legislation. [...]

Since this meeting will be most productive if information is widely available before the meeting, we will post online the text of a proposed health insurance reform package. This legislation would put a stop to insurance company abuses, extend coverage to millions of Americans, get control of skyrocketing premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and reduce the deficit.

Emphasis is mine. I have fairly low expectations for the health care summit in general, but the fact that the White House will apparently endorse a specific policy might give the Democrats some badly-needed direction.

The question is — just which policy will it be? The Senate bill “as is”? The Senate bill with a few reconciliation tweaks? The Senate bill with a few reconciliation tweaks and a few bipartisan sops like tort reform? Some significantly scaled down measure? Something totally out of the blue? The language in the announcement is sufficiently vague to as to leave open any of these possibilities.

I have no idea, to be honest. But whatever decision the White House makes may be more important than anything that actually takes place during the Blair House meeting.

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