Overhaul Becoming Law, But Senate Work Remains

Today, finally, health overhaul will become a law. But it's not the law.

This morning President Obama is expected to sign the Senate version of the bill passed by they House Sunday night. Mark Memmott at NPR's Two-Way blog will cover it live.

Next up, Senate Democrats will start their push for a raft of fixes their colleagues in the House passed separately.

As with just about everything else on the overhaul front, the consideration and eventual vote on the package won't come easily. Even though the Democrats will use the budget reconciliation route to prevent Republicans from filibustering, the GOP has plenty of fight left.

The Senate will debate the package (for as long as 20 hours), and Republicans are expected to mount attacks in the form of proposed changes. Lots of them. "We'll offer amendments to try to improve on things like eliminating the individual mandate," Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire said on Tuesday's Morning Edition.

Still, the reconciliation process should keep a lid on the things, as our partners at Kaiser Health News explain here. We've never seen a "vote-a-rama," the amendment frenzy that's not subject to time limits under reconciliation, and may have to get a cot of our own to be ready.

All told, the Senate could take a few days to work through all of this. But Easter recess looms, and eventually, the Democrats fix-it bill is expected to pass, and then go to the president to become the law.

If you're still curious about how we got to the point, NPR's Liz Halloran zeroes in on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's dogged pursuit of votes. And the Washington Post's Ceci Connolly has the mother of all tick-tocks laying out the behind-the-scenes politicking that resuscitated health overhaul after the January victory of Republican Sen. Scott Brown Massachusetts.



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