Washington–President Obama today launched the end game on healthcare reform legislation, saying he wants a vote on the bill in Congress by the end of the month.
At the same time, a healthcare analytical group this afternoon issued an investment note that raises the odds that a healthcare bill will be enacted this year “to slightly above 50%.”
The note, by analysts Ira Loss and Beth Mantz Steindecker of Washington Analysis said that, “Over the past few weeks, it appears that the market has moved up its odds on passage of healthcare reform, but only to a low probability.”
The analysts added that, “We think the prospects are higher…based on our reading of the political tea leaves, some vote counting and our gut instinct.”
The analysts acknowledged that the Democrats currently lack the votes in both the Senate and the House, but said, “We think they will be able to secure the necessary votes needed to enact healthcare reform.”
The analysts said the problem appears not to be in the Senate, but in the House where there are sub-groups of Democrats uneasy with passing healthcare reform.
“Yet, Democrats have so much invested in this that they will be damned if they do, damned if they don’t, come November,” Loss and Steindecker, said.
The way forward is likely to play out over the next four to eight weeks, the analysts said in the note to investors.
While the Democratic leadership is purportedly hoping to wrap up healthcare reform by March 18, when the President departs for Indonesia and Australia, the more likely target date is by March 29, when the week-long Easter recess begins, the analysts said.