Nancy Pelosi and Louise Slaughter have come up with a parliamentary maneuver -- "deem and pass" -- reeking of evasiveness and trickery that Democratic members are going to have to embrace. But it gets better! The point of "deem and pass" is to allow representatives to vote directly only on the reconciliation "fixes" rather than on the Senate health care bill (which will be deemed to be passed if reconciliation passes). But the reconciliation "fixes" make the Senate bill even more politically unattractive.
Here's what Democrats will be asked to vote for Sunday (thanks to Keith Hennessey for his useful list):
* Additional tax increases, on top of the ones in the Senate bill. The reconciliation bill raises the Medicare payroll tax by 0.9% to a combined employer-employee 3.8% for individuals with income over $200K and couples over $250K, and, beginning in 2013, creates a new 3.8% tax on some capital income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, and rents for those individuals and families.
* Even deeper cuts to Medicare Advantage, which will mean fewer and less attractive Medicare Advantage plans available to seniors.