Slightly Less Queasy On Health Care
The House health care bill has been received favorably by advocates and, more importantly, the President:
Today, the Chairs of several Committees in the House of Representatives unveiled their health care reform proposal. This proposal would improve the affordability, availability, and quality of health care and represents a major step toward the our goal of fixing what is broken about health care while building on what works.
Jon Cohn has more. At some point, Obama needs to stop giving favorable nods at the Congress and step hard into this debate. But I feel better about this today than yesterday. Doctors are nodding toward working with Obama, and they are the most respected constituency on this issue. Just getting the AMA to back off and not follow the Chamber of Commerce, wackjob Betsy McCaughey (it's amazing she's running the same shtick from 1993 all over again) and other right-wing groups who want to keep the status quo would be positive.
Igor Volsky has a great comparison of the three bills - the House tri-committee bill, the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate HELP Committee. If we can get it through HELP, two of them will include a public option. Basically it comes down to a freshman Democratic Senator fulfilling Ted Kennedy's lifelong dream:
With Ted Kennedy too sick to come down to DC and make the committee vote, Democrats will need every Senator on the HELP committee to produce a strong bill, a bill that fights for what Teddy Kennedy has been fighting for his entire life. The last holdout is Kay Hagan, who represents a state (NC) that is one of the worst in the country in terms of percent of people without health insurance. The insurance companies are lobbying Hagan against the bill, because they don't like having to compete with a public option. My simple question is this: Teddy Kennedy is too sick to be there, Senator Hagan, so he is relying on your vote for the issue that he has fought for passionately his entire life. Will you betray him to help the insurance companies? You need to make up your mind now.
Sounds like a simple question for Kay Hagan.