Reform Backers Get Good News
By Ben Pershing
Two of the drivers of health-care reform in the House and Senate have reason for good cheer Friday morning, as the former got some good news on the price front and the latter is increasingly confident his party will stand with him.
Nancy Pelosi got a welcome report Thursday: The Washington Post writes that the all-powerful Congressional Budget Office has scored a pair of House health-care plans, and both are near the $900 billion price limit negotiators are using as a guide. One measure, using Medicare as a guide for reimbursement rates, would cost $905 billion, and the other, with negotiated rates, would cost $859 billion. (The latter bill would also shift more people onto Medicaid and provide a smaller subsidy for individuals to buy insurance.)
At a party caucus meeting Thursday, Pelosi "told fellow Democrats the time has come for all members of the party to say where they stand on the government-run health insurance program," the Hill reports. "Pelosi informed her caucus that she will be asking which of the various public options members can support, or if they cannot support any at all." A similar discussion happened in the Senate at Democrats' weekly policy lunch, where "liberals went after the Senate Finance Committee bill and made clear they won't roll over for legislation that doesn't include a public option," Politico writes. Newsweek looks at two conflicting polls on the subject, noting that support for the public option varies widely depending on how the question is framed.
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Posted at 8:27 AM ET on Oct 16, 2009
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