The Senate passed its greatly flawed health insurance reform bill this morning. This is a key step towards possible progress if the bill can be reconciled with the House bill passed last month. The composition of the conference committee will be crucial and I’m not confident a progressive bill can be merged. If so it goes back to each chamber for reconciliation votes. This is an important step because reconciliation doesn’t allow for filibusters in the Senate. That means obstructionist Democrats become irrelevant. That’s why the composition of the conference committee is crucial: the wrong members will produce a bad bill, good ones can produce a positive bill.