Health Care Madness: 'Vote-a-Rama' and Crazy Legal Challenges Yet to ComeS

Barack Obama will sign the health care bill this week. But then there's more voting to be done, on the reconciliation package! And this voting will be done in the Senate, which takes its goddamn time. Then: the lawsuits!

Ahem:

During debate, Republicans are allowed to offer an unlimited number of amendments, but those are set aside for a voting marathon after the debate. Senior aides expect the "Vote-a-Rama" to begin Thursday, and Republicans expect to force only enough votes to last through Saturday at the latest.

So. Now there will be lots of fights about the parliamentarian and amendments and budget points of order and at some point some provision or other will be found to be in violation of the Byrd rule and it'll have to be stricken from the bill and then the House will need to vote again, probably. (The funniest part of this will be that in attempting to defeat the reconciliation fixes, Republicans will be voting for "The Cornhusker Kickback," while Democrats vote against it—but, you know, don't expect to see that fact repeated in a slightly misleading fashion in any Democratic campaign ads this year, on account of that miserable party's sad shamelessness deficiency.)

Democrats have been instructed to vote to defeat every amendment, but it'd be pretty funny if Bernie Sanders sneaked the public option in there, right? It might get 51 votes! You never know unless you try!

So. Obama will sign the Senate bill this week, probably. Meanwhile, angry crazy people will demand immediate repeal of everything in the world immediately. Mitt Romney, trying desperately to avoid losing his anointed 2012 nomination at the hands of a delusional and enraged base, promises that he will totally repeal the national version of the thing he did in Massachusetts.

Crazy person Virginia Attorney General Ken "They Are Tracking You Through Your Social Security Number" Cuccinelli has already filed the first of the expected 3-5 Republican state Attorney General lawsuits against the federal government. The suit is about the individual mandate, which does not take effect until 2012, so the suit is actually about "being a crazy person."

"Repeal" is a teabagger fantasy, but we would not be terribly surprised to see the Supreme Court take on the individual mandate at some point in 2016 or so, and if John Roberts is still in charge than we expect they'll rule 5-4 to abolish the Necessary and Proper Clause and shutter the Fed.

And that's why things will not actually get any less crazy for a while. (Maybe ever? This might just be what things are like, now.)

[Pic: Getty]