Here’s what I see going on and, please, correct me if I’m wrong:
Reconciliation is a red herring. Right now, the House is being promised that, if it votes on the Senate bill, the Senate will fix differences between the two bills through reconciliation. So everyone is focusing on whether the Senate will indeed have the votes for reconciliation. That is irrelevant. Once the House, with that carrot dangling before it, votes on the Senate bill that bill will become law. Reconciliation will vanish! Poof. Gone. The thing we need to do is stop worrying about reconciliation in the Senate and start focusing on the House itself.
If you live in a District with a liberal House member, as I do, my suggestion for derailing that Representative’s vote is to taunt that person for selling out to the insurance companies. After all, while government is taking over providing health care, each and every one of us will still be forced to pay big bucks to an “evil insurance company” to pay for that health care. This is a twofer, in other words: a government takeover and an unprecedented corporate boondoggle. Your liberal representative is excited about the government takeover, but the base can still be inflamed over that corporate giveaway.
In any event, that’s the tactic I tried with my Representative, telling her that a “yes” vote on the Senate bill would mean that she’s now owned by the insurance companies. My thinking was that you have to argue with people in terms they understand.
UPDATE: Rush corrects the flaw in my thinking and explains precisely why Lynn Woolsey and others of her stripe are all for this bill, one that ostensibly forces people to buy insurance. Two things: First, the penalty for failing to buy insurance is hugely cheaper than the cost of buying insurance. Second, insurance companies are no longer going to be allowed to play the odds of calculating whether some will get costly illnesses and others won’t. Instead, under the Senate bill, they must sell insurance to people after they get sick. Meaning, as Rush said, it’s not insurance at all. Under this scheme, the only ones who will get insurance are people who are already sick, which will quickly bankrupt the insurance system. Once that happens . . . voila! Public option.