Monday, March 1, 2010

A "big enough" Health Care Bill

In President Obama's State of the Union speech on Jan 27, 2010 he stated:

"... for every success story, there are other stories, of men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from; who send out resumes week after week and hear nothing in response. That is why jobs must be our No. 1 focus in 2010..."

Yet, here we are March 2nd and the focus is still on how to pass the health care bill.

"In a matter of days, we will have a proposal," Pelosi said, pointing to Obama's forthcoming bill. "It will be a much smaller proposal than we had in the House bill, because that's where we can gain consensus. But it will be big enough to put us on a path of affordable, quality health care for all Americans that holds insurance companies accountable."

So how big is big enough? Big enough to get the votes in the Senate?

White House and Democratic sources hasten to add late today that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not mean to suggest the new plan would constitute a retreat from comprehensive health care reform.

Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami said the speaker was trying to say the new Obama health care proposal would take its policy cues from the Senate health bill and the ideas Obama posted online a week ago.

Elshami did not deny Pelosi's comments about a "much smaller" bill could fairly be interpreted as suggesting a step back from the Senate bill. Instead, Pelosi has come to regard the Senate bill itself as "much smaller" than the House bill, Elshami said.

White House officials also said Obama's not dramatically scaling back his proposal. No one was prepared to discuss a price tag, but it appears the ballpark 10-year figure of $1 trillion remains.

The revisions, it appears, will focus on adding GOP ideas on tort reform and selling insurance across state lines

At this point we really don't know what will be in the proposal, we have to wait until Wednesday.

However, last week before the Health Care Summit, I had this post showing the Democrat Senators letter urging Majority Leader Reid to go "nuclear" and pass the bill using budget reconciliation rules. Also noting that a White House spoke person indicating the "new" bill was being written so it could be attached to a budget bill. This makes me extremely uneasy and add to that again another Nancy Pelosi quote:

But top Democrats are signaling that that may be the price to pay for a historic piece of legislation that could fundamentally reshape the health care industry.

Asked Sunday what she says to members afraid of losing their seats in November, Pelosi said, "We're not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress. We're here to do the job for the American people."

Now as frustrating as this is please remember Health Care Reform was suppose to have been a done deal before August break, then by Columbus Day, then by Thanksgiving, then it sort of passed but had to go into reconciliation. Then, let's not forget Scott Brown. We have met Health Care Reform every step of the way, now can we make until Easter Break with out a vote. Please pray for time!

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