Last fall, the buzz of election frenzy predominated newscasts and reporting coverage. Fast-forward a year to find a new President, new Cabinet, and updated Congress and Senate. But, just as last year, there is still a single campaign carrying news waves. And this time the "election"-- for health care reform-- is set to take place in less than a week.
So, mark your calendars and get ready for the showdown.
Health care reform was a major platform of last year's election, championed by Hillary Clinton and debated by Barack Obama and John McCain. The current reform measure making its rounds was drafted by the Finance Committee, which is the last of 5 congressional panels to review it. The Committee has been evaluating hundreds of amendments to the bill. Though the proposed bill is estimated to cost nearly $840 billion over the next decade, it is also projected to reduce the national deficit by $81 billion in the same span of time. And, the legislation would extend health insurance coverage to 29 million uninsured Americans.
And with all of the debate concerning the public option, recent polls find a 61% of voter in support of it.
A parallel bill is winding its way through the House too. That bill holds a higher price tag but also extends coverage to more people and will have a public option.
If you have any of last year's election favors and mementos handy, this may be just the opportunity to bust them out and re-live the excitement and drama of election season. The vote on health care reform is set to take place on the Senate Floor on Tuesday.