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What's next with healthcare? A handy legislative guide explains the steps

Capitol Dome

The arguments for and against the healthcare legislation pending in the House and Senate are well known. But what about the process that is sure to captivate Washington for many weeks to come?

It may sound wonky, but understanding the process is key to following the events about to unfold in the Capitol. We were reminded of this basic fact recently when Noam Levey, one of our colleagues in Washington, produced a handy guide to what was headlined “The long road ahead.” Long, indeed.

Now that the Senate has voted (60 to 39) to begin debate on its version of healthcare legislation, here are the likely next steps in the Senate. Levey's guide is more readable and useful than your old text from Civics 101. You might want to bookmark this one:Pharmacy


Once debate begins on Senate bill, lawmakers from both parties will be allowed to offer amendments

When expected: Starting Nov. 30 through Christmas or beyond

Votes required: Subject to negotiation, with 60 likely for more contentious amendments


Required to end a Republican filibuster and move to a vote on the bill

When expected: Just before Christmas, though possibly later

Votes required: 60


Would send the Senate bill to a conference committee, where it would be reconciled with the House healthcare bill that passed Nov. 7.

When expected: Just before Christmas, though possibly later

Votes required: 51


Would end GOP filibuster of the conference report that combines the House and Senate healthcare bills

When expected: Sometime in January

Votes required: 60


Assuming House approval, would send the legislation to President Obama for his signature

When expected: Sometime in January

Votes required: 51

-- Steve Padilla

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Top photo credit: AFP/Getty Images. Bottom photo credit: Reuters.

Comments () | Archives (2)

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I don't know whats going on in healthcare reform outy in California, or in Washington, but listen to this story out of New Jersey. Governor Corzine just lost the election to get re-elected as Governor and I was just released from a psychiatric hospital named Ancora Psychiatric Hospiutal in Hammonton NJ-near Atlantic City, a state psychiatric hospital. The state placed me in a house that is up for sale and in foreclosure paid the rent for 2 months and they expect me to pay the money back. My name is Kenny Costello, I live at 5 Bloomfield Lane, Willingboro, NJ 08046, my cell phone number is 609-817-2136. Can you have a reporter give me a call and print my story. The townsahip clerks office confirmed for me that the house went into foreclosure before October and the state just dropped me off here last week and there is a for sale sign out in front of the house. Please print this story in tomorrow mornings paper.

I only want my government to be strong militarily and guard us against foreign enemies, we'll take care of our own health care and the environment!!!!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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