After devoting much of the last year to crafting comprehensive health reform legislation, the election of Republican Scott Brown in the Massachusetts special election to fill the late Senator Edward Kennedy’s seat has thrown into doubt the fate of these efforts. While just two weeks ago Democratic leaders reportedly were near agreement on a compromise bill reconciling differences between the House and Senate-approved legislation, they are now scrambling to determine if they have the votes to proceed on this issue in the wake of the loss of their filibuster-proof Senate majority. Options discussed publicly, each of which has political challenges, include: having the House simply vote on the Senate-approved measure, which would not require another Senate vote; House consideration of the Senate bill along with House and Senate votes on a companion package of House amendments using a Senate parliamentary procedure known as “budget reconciliation” that would require only 51 Senate votes for passage; attempting to develop a scaled-down bill that can gain bipartisan support; or shelving the legislation entirely. No timetable has been announced for deciding on a strategy, but given the number of lawmakers now advocating a “go slow” approach to the issue, it does not appear that final action on health reform legislation is imminent. Our previous reporting on this issue, including summaries of the House and Senate bills and links to the legislative documents, is available here.