‘Top Line’ — New Momentum for Health Care Reform

Oct 8, 2009 3:09pm

ABC News’ Rick Klein reports: The Congressional Budget Office’s assessment of the Senate Finance Committee health care bill has provided a jolt of momentum to efforts on Capitol Hill — even though the bill won’t look anything like its current form by the time it reaches the floor of the House and Senate. We talked through the politics of health care — and the importance of perceptions — with Politico’s Jonathan Martin on today’s “Top Line” on ABCNews.com. While will change substantially, “it’s about symbolism, it’s about selling this thing, it’s about the idea of progress, and I think if you look at it through that lens it is huge,” Martin told us. “The fact that this thing is below a trillion dollars, it actually saves money — ‘shoots and scores,’ indeed. This is a big deal. . . .  This is a White House and a Democratic Congress that’s looking for victories on health care.” Jonathan Karl, ABC News’ senior congressional correspondent, joined us from Capitol Hill to explain the quest for votes in the Senate and the House. House lawmakers are still taking things slowly, so House members don’t end up too far out in front of senators, and so House leaders can convince conservative Democrats to support a bill, Karl said. The CBO estimate is “definitely a boost of momentum — but we’re a long way from the endgame here,” Karl said. “This could have been a disaster…. But this comes in right in the sweet spot — under $900 billion…. In the rest of the world, that sounds like real money, but it sounds like a bargain in this context.” Watch the interview with Jonathan Martin, with the latest on Afghanistan and the 2009 gubernatorial contests in New Jersey and Virginia, HERE. And see more with Jonathan Karl HERE. (Might Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., end up casting a deciding vote on health care? He said on the Senate floor today, “I will not vote for any bill that does not include a public plan,” per ABC’s Z. Byron Wolf.)  

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