Well, it seems we are down to a “tale of two bills”. The Senate version and the House version. Both are now packaged and ready to go to conference committee. It appears that Democrats have gotten their way on most all matters of contention, most specifically the inclusion of a public option in both bills. The Senate version contains an “opt-out” provisions for individual states. This is verbal tokenism as its worst, as no state will be able financially to opt-out of a federally financed program of this magnitude. Certain members of Congress continue to insist that the public option will not cost taxpayers money. Yet when questioned, and force to actually answer a question, they admit that tax payer monies will need to be used to start up the public plan and insurance exchanges – but it will all be paid back they insist. Coming from the biggest deficit spenders in the world, that is hardly reassuring. The House bill unveiled today has now grown into a morbidly obese 1990 pages. Can health reform really require 2,000 pages? Is this really necessary? Isn’t this supposed to be reform, not restructuring? Many members of Congress, those on the left, are thrilled at the possibility of shoving their view of the world down the throats of the American people. Real Health Reform should be about insurance reform mainly. We have outlined options to do that. It is not even clear that the combined House bill even fully addresses the main issues of pre-existing conditions fully. Read the text of that area and see if you agree – there still appears to be ample wiggle room for insurers to deny coverage. Real Health Reform does not require this, just common sense reform which can be written out on a single page, as we have done . . . obi jo
‘‘Affordable Health Care for America Act’’ – http://docs.house.gov/rules/health/111_ahcaa.pdf
Speaker Nancy Pelosi stepped up the pressure on House Democrats on Friday to support her preferred version of legislation that would require the federal government to sell health insurance in competition with private insurers. Her action came amid indications that Ms. Pelosi had not locked down the votes for the proposal, the most contentious element in a bill that would provide health insurance to more than 35 million people, at cost of nearly $900 billion over 10 years. Other provisions of the bill, including enhanced Medicare benefits, could take the total cost over $1 trillion, Democrats said. But they promised to offset the cost and avoid any increase in federal budget deficits.
Pelosi Intensifies Pressure for Public Health Plan – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/24/health/policy/24health.html?_r=1&emc=tnt&#
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, on Thursday unveiled an $894 billion health care package that would provide insurance to up to 36 million people by broadly expanding Medicaid, the state-federal insurance program for the poor, and by offering subsidies to moderate-income Americans to buy insurance either from private carriers or a new government-run plan. House Democratic leaders, citing cost analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, said the bill would reduce future federal deficits by about $30 billion over the next 10 years, meeting President Obama’s demand that the health legislation not add “one dime” to the nation’s indebtedness. Ms. Pelosi and House Democratic leaders have been working on the legislation for months, and the 1,990-page measure they rolled out on Thursday is a combination of bills approved by three separate House committees over the summer.
Pelosi Unveils House Health Care Bill – http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/pelosi-unveils-house-health-ca
In pushing to include a government-run health insurance plan in the health care bill, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, is taking a calculated gamble that the 60 members of his caucus could support the plan if it included a way for states to opt out. Mr. Reid met with President Obama at the White House Thursday to inform him of his inclination to add the public option to the bill, but did not specifically ask the president to endorse that approach, a Democratic aide said. Mr. Obama asked questions, but did not express a preference at the meeting, a White House official said. Mr. Reid’s outlook was shaped, in part, by opinion polls showing public support for a government insurance plan, which would compete with private insurers. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said again Thursday that the House would definitely include a public option in its version of the legislation.
Senate Leader Takes Risk Pushing Public Insurance Plan – http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/health/policy/23health.html?emc=tnt&tntema
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