The much-protested closed-door negoations continue–and the so-called “public option” and “Cadillac tax” remain as contentious issues that could complicate the delicate negotiations between the House and the Senate.
Several officials, speaking on background, have told the Associated Press that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic leaders have already offered to stop pressing for a direct government-run “public option,” in exchange for a new measure to disallow a long-standing exemption of the nation’s health insurers from antitrust regulation, and the creation of a nationwide insurance exchange, instead of the various State-wide exchanges that the Senate measure provides for. Direct government-run health coverage, including “single-payer” health insurance, has been a cherished goal of liberals everywhere, and whether they will willingly give this up remains far from clear. The AP says that not even every prominent Democrat in the House has given up on this option.
The so-called “Cadillac Tax” on high-priced health-insurance plans is another bone of contention, this time with labor unions. The New York Times reported yesterday that labor leaders remain strongly opposed to any such tax, which affects their rank-and-file in addition to ranking business executives. Fox News Correpondent Major Garrett reports that President Obama intends to meet on Monday with leaders of the AFL-CIO and the all-important Service Employees International Union (SEIU), whose members include some of the very health-care workers most likely to find increased employment (or so they think) if a health-care reform bill passes.
I’m on record as saying that taxing Cadillac plans that don’t make people healthier but just take more money out of their pockets because they’re paying more for insurance than they need to, that’s actually a good idea, and that helps bend the cost curve.
So said President Barack Obama in an interview last December. But some say that that statement fails to take into account the simple fact of price inflation for medical services as the real reason for such high-priced insurance plans.
The contentions between House and Senate, and between House Democrats and some of their most consistent supporters, would be bad enough. But in addition, a special election to take place on the very day that the Senate reconvenes, might change the nature of the game.
- Rep Michele Bachman wants ‘House call’ from ordinary citizens
- ‘House call’ draws big crowd on short notice
- Health care reform still might not pass the Senate
- Epic healthcare reform battle in Senate
- Two recent polls spell trouble for Obama health care reforms
- Democrats struggle for 60 votes as Senate healthcare debate begins
- Public option continues to divide Senate Democrats
- Abortion, public option, price might stop healthcare reform
- Public option might be replaced
- CMS actuary warns Senate bill will cost more
- Senator Lieberman not satisfied with Democratic compromise
- White House allegedly orders Reid to deal with Lieberman
- Health care reform coalition might be unraveling
- Nelson accepts provisions–and deal–but Stupak not satisfied
- Senate musters 60 votes for health care bill
- Healthcare reform opponents prepare constitutional challenges
- CBO suggests Democrats are double-counting Medicare savings
- Ten attorneys general may sue over Nebraska HCR deal
- HCR battle shifts to three new fronts
- Nullification of HCR sought in several States
- Cardiologists sue government to enjoin new Medicare rule
- HCR proposal unconstitutional on three grounds
- C-SPAN challenges Congress to televise HCR debate
- C-SPAN flap further embarrasses White House
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