The House is expected to vote on comprehensive health care reform Saturday. And conservatives have no excuse for voting against it. Their main concerns have been addressed.
Conservatives have continually complained that committee votes occurred without full cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office. They argued we should not blindly approve legislation that is likely to increase the budget deficit.
Now, the final House bill has been scored by the CBO, and it shows that the bill would reduce the budget deficit. It would cut the deficit more than the Republican alternative that CBO found wouldn’t even increase the percentage of Americans with health insurance.
So if cutting the deficit is your concern, you would vote for Speaker Pelosi’s bill.
Conservatives have also complained that the congressional leadership hasn’t been providing the full text of bills online for the public to review 72 hours before a vote.
On Tuesday, Speaker Pelosi did just that. Seventy-two hours will have passed before Saturday’s expected vote.
So if you were concerned that something insidious was being slipped into the fine print at the last minute, now you have no reason for concern.
However, I have yet to hear a single conservative critic give credit where credit is due, let alone announce that since these concerns have been addressed, conservatives can now happily support the legislation.
Could it be that conservatives only like citing CBO data when it serves their immediate political interest?
I suppose we have 48 hours to find out.
UPDATE: The Weekly Standard is arguing Speaker Pelosi is breaking the 72-hour pledge because there is still some last-minute haggling over side issues — abortion and immigration language in particular, and there won’t necessarily be another 72-hour wait after those matters are resolved. If conservatives want to hag their hat on that, be my guest. Most reasonable people will be satisfied that the actual health care reform is online with ample time for congressional members and the public to review before a final vote.