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House Democrats Trim $100B from Health Bill

By Paul Kane

House Democrats announced a deal Wednesday afternoon on health-care reform that would allow a key committee to finish its consideration of the $1 trillion legislation on Friday.

Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.) said the deal would cut $100 billion from the cost of the legislation and would not pay health-care providers based on Medicare reimbursement rates, which conservative Democrats say pays rural hospitals disproportionately low rates compared to urban areas.

Rep. Henry Waxman (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said his panel would resume its previously stalled legislative markup of health-care reform legislation Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m.

Conservative Democrats on the panel, who had held up the final deliberation, also announced the deal, contingent on the provision that no final vote on the full House floor take place until September. Four of the seven Democratic holdouts agreed to the deal, giving enough votes for Waxman to pass the legislation from his committee.

By Eric Rich  |  July 29, 2009; 12:43 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform , House  
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I get it. This is a feel-good bill for Congress, not genuine health care reform. George Voinovich was right.

Posted by: tfburke19 | July 29, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Shame, shame, shame. It is time for some Dems to change their party affilliation and stand with their fellow Republicans. How many people will be denied coverage or die from denial of claims before these folks learn???? But of course they have the best coverage money can buy. Shame, shame, shame!

Posted by: gary44 | July 29, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Instead of trimming $100 billion from a badly thought out scheme, why not start anew and craft a better bill? The Democrats seems more concerned with saving face than in doing what's best for the nation.

Posted by: VirginiaIndependent | July 29, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

And who are the last 3 holdouts on the Committee? Blue Dogs need to switch parties so their constituents will know exactly what they are. They are NOT centrist; they are neocons just like the Republicans who have no interest in removing health care from the for profit sector. They have blood on their hands.

Posted by: lrowland | July 29, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse


All this says is what is not going to happen.
What is it that they agreed will happen?

What is it that is supposed to save money and what has been traded away for the savings?

Posted by: shrink2 | July 29, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse


Now they can give Goldman Sachs the 100 billion, so that capitalism survives another week.

Wouldn't want a socialist economy, would we?

Posted by: lichtme | July 29, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

THis just gave the republicans congress in 2010. Blue Dogs turned to yellow dogs by Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | July 29, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Blue Dog Democrats: Democrats who are rolling over for Blue Cross!

Posted by: mountaindonna | July 29, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

So it's a handout to rural communities since payouts are less in the boonies than cities based on Medicare rates.

This is essentially a pork concession to buy votes so Waxman wouldn't have to steamroll his own committee. He should have done it anyway; if the Blue Dogs are so worried about their seat they could have had plausible deniability. Just be sure that they're the last to vote in the House and make sure it gets passed with a public option.

Nothing changes in's so disappointing.

Posted by: theobserver4 | July 29, 2009 1:31 PM | Report abuse

So long as the final reconciliation bill has a single payer national health care plan for all American citizens, I don't care what whiny exclusions the Blue Dogs got.

ACTIONS. We want actions - ignore what Big Pharma and Big Insurance want and give the American people what three-quarters of us want - single payer national health care.

Posted by: WillSeattle | July 29, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The longer the vote can be delayed, the longer people have to be educated regarding the ultimate serious potential of this bill on most Americans.

Keep trimming from this bill until it's extinct, like the dinosaur ideology that implemented it.

Posted by: jagqueenva | July 29, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

So 'jagqueenva', you don't think health care needs reforming? That it's just hunky-dorry that 48 million Americans don't have health insurance?

Do you consider health care to be a 'business opportunity', or a right that all citizens should have access to?

Posted by: critter69 | July 30, 2009 1:02 AM | Report abuse

Isn't it funny ... that in the end ... with the "Blue Dogs" ... its always about THEM and never about US :-(

Posted by: cautious | July 30, 2009 3:37 AM | Report abuse

These clowns must think all are stupidly like "the one", there is NO WAY they could have cut that much so soon. They don't have the BRAINS.

Posted by: otisplumber | July 30, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

WOW...What is that??? $1.00 saved for every $10,000.00 spent. The Health Care Reform Bill stinks. The Government can't run anything efficiently!!!

Posted by: atthun | July 30, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Every facet of America must contribute to the healthcare legislation and that includes conservative Democrats and Republicans including far right Republicans. The healthcare issue has been strapped unto the president’s shoulders as it should. The president has to have broad shoulders in order to weather criticism deserved or not.

In the end if a bill is passed and Democrats whether they be liberal or conservatives and Republicans whether they be moderate or rightwing will be credited with revamping a system that is slowly draining America financially. Let us hope and pray that the legislation that is voted on stabilizes a healthcare industry that is crashing.

Be strong president Obama. Millions of Americans will benefit from your suffering.


Posted by: jimarush | July 30, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

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