A progressive New York Democratic Congressman said Monday that President Barack Obama’s compromise healthcare reform proposal didn’t go far enough at the same time that the House Republican Leader said that it went way too far.
Rep. Anthony D. Weiener (D -NY/09), a driving force for a “public option” praised the president for moving forward with legislation, but said that he’s disturbed to see Obama caving on key aspect of the legislation.
“While I’m pleased to see some of the maladies of the weaker Senate bill addressed, this plan still doesn’t include a public option and opts for a weaker state-by-state exchange,” said Weiner. “These two provisions are the most effective ways to control costs and provide choice and competition. These concessions to Republicans are in the hopes of winning their support. This will simply not happen. We need to stop bargaining against ourselves.”
Whle GOP Leader John Boehner accused the president of going against the best interests of the people going into Thursday’s bipartisan summit.
“This president has the crippled the credibility of this week’s summit by proposing the same massive government takeover of health care based on a partisan bill the American people have already rejected,” said Boehner, who called on the president to scrap his proposal and start over from scratch. “This week’s summit clearly has all the makings of a Democratic infomercial for continuing on a partisan course that relies on more backroom deals and parliamentary tricks to circumvent the will of the American people and jam through a massive government takeover of health care. The best way to protect families and small businesses in this time of economic uncertainty is to start over with a step-by-step approach to health care reform focused on lowering costs, and that’s exactly what Republicans are fighting for.”
“The goal of the televised summit is to reach an agreement on healthcare reform in a transparent manner,” said White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer. “The President wants to see a straight up or down vote on healthcare.”
Pfeiffer said that the president has compromsed on a lot, including giving up on a public option, allowing for health insurance companies not to pay for abortions and cuts to Medicare.
“The president continues to support a public option,” said Pfeiffer. “But he believes that it is vitally important that healthcare reform legislation get a straight up or down vote and realizes that won’t happen with a public option on the table – at least not right now.”
“Who are we making concessions to?,” asked Weiner. “Republicans have shown over and over again that they have no interest in real reform. They are the Party of No and the status quo.”
Thursday’s summit at Blair House will be carried live on C-SPAN, streamed live on www.whitehouse.gov/live and likely broadcast on some cable news networks.
The full proposal was posted at http://www.whitehouse.gov/health-care-meeting/proposal at 10 a.m.