Sad Day For Health Care Reform
Dropping Public Option !
WASHINGTON — After weeks of secretive talks, a bipartisan group in the Senate edged closer Monday to a health care compromise that omits two key Democratic priorities but incorporates provisions to slow the explosive rise in medical costs, officials said.
These officials said participants were on track to exclude a requirement many congressional Democrats seek for large businesses to offer coverage to their workers. Nor would there be a provision for a government insurance option, despite President Barack Obama's support for such a plan.
The three Democrats and three Republicans from the Senate Finance Committee were considering a tax of as much as 35 percent on very high-cost insurance policies, part of an attempt to rein in rapid escalation of costs. Also likely to be included in any deal was creation of a commission charged with slowing the growth of Medicare through recommendations that would take effect automatically unless overturned by Congress.
"We're going to get agreement here," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee chairman, said Monday. "The group of six really wants to get to 'yes.'"
Obama has outlined two broad goals for legislation he is struggling to win from Congress: expansion of health insurance coverage to millions who lack it, and reining in increases in costs.
Like bills drafted by Democrats, the proposal under discussion by the six Finance Committee members would bar insurance companies from denying coverage to any applicant. Nor could insurers charge higher premiums on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions.
But it jettisons other core Democratic provisions in a reach for bipartisanship on an issue that has so far produced little.
The effort received a boost during the day from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, normally a close ally of Republicans. In a letter to committee leaders, the business group called for the panel to "act promptly, preferably before" the Senate's scheduled vacation at the end of next week. In doing so, the business organization dealt a blow to the Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other GOP lawmakers who have called repeatedly for Democrats to slow down.
Meanwhile, you'll start hearing new rants about a so-called "Co-Op" Plan (baby Public Options in each state) instead of a true, strong national Public Option Plan. Here, Howard Dean quickly explains why this is just another health industry con.
This is turning out to be ABSOLUTELY PATHETIC ! It is unbelievable that so many politicians on both sides of the aisle are so in the back pockets of the lobbyists/corporations that they would all turn their backs on the needs of our country...even going against our President's wishes. This is a sad day in America. President Obama warned us. He said he could not do it alone. It is time for We The People to rally together TO SCREAM OUT IN RECORD NUMBERS AGAINST BOTH the Dems and Repubs who are against us.
This is OUR country and they are supposed to represent US !