NY Times: Can Real Health Reform Pass?

April 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm Leave a comment

As lead health reporter Robert Pear wrote in yesterday’s New York Times, the possibility of a new health insurance program with a public option may be in danger. This is a dismaying prospect; those who know about the benefits of a public plan need to be heard.

You can read the full article here, below is an excerpt.

“With solid majorities in both houses of Congress, Democrats are tempted to use their political muscle to speed passage of health care legislation with minimal concessions to the Republican minority.

That approach may be the only way they can fulfill President Obama’s campaign promises, but it carries high risks as well.

In the budget blueprint for the coming year, Democrats may resort to an obscure procedure known as reconciliation to clear the way for Senate passage of a comprehensive health bill with a 51-vote majority, rather than the 60 votes that would otherwise be needed.

‘It may be a struggle to get to 60,’ said Senator Jeff Bingaman, Democrat of New Mexico, who is working on the legislation….

A health care bill written mainly or entirely by Democrats would almost surely create a new public health insurance program, to compete with private insurers. It would require employers to provide insurance to employees or contribute to its cost. Employers who already offer insurance could be required to provide more or different benefits, and Congress could limit the tax breaks now available for such employer-provided insurance.”

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Improve Medicare for the Health of Our Country From the Desk of Judith Stein….

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Health Policy Expertise

We provide effective, innovative opportunities to impact federal Medicare and health care policies and legislation in order to advance fair access to Medicare and quality health care.

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April 2009


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