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Public Plan Compromise – Abortion Position

Editor’s note: While these articles talk to the agreements that the Democrats are working out on the Public Plan, earlier in the evening Senator Nelson’s amendment on abortion funding did not receive the 60 vote threshhold required. Somehow the media is not widely reporting that. Senator Nelson is saying that without the agreement on abortion he cannot support the health care reform package.



Senate Public Option Compromise Buoys Democratic Healthcare Reform Supporters.


Though details of the Senate Democrats’ public option compromise announced by majority leader Harry Reid are scarce, most media outlets portray the deal as a victory for Democratic “moderates” – and one that makes it much more likely that the reform package will be approved by the Senate in the near term. Due to the late-breaking nature of the announcement, the breakthrough was covered on only one network news broadcast. On ABC World News (12/8, story 3, 1:40), host Charlie Gibson noted, “We haven’t checked in on this healthcare reform debate in about a week or so. … Are the Democrats beginning to get optimistic that they are going to get this bill passed?” Instead of “creating a new government-run insurance program, this new compromise would expand Medicare. It would allow individuals 55 to 64 to buy into the program, and it would also set up a system that would allow ordinary Americans to buy private insurance very similar to that offered to members of Congress.”

        The AP (12/9, Espo) reports, “Additionally, the emerging agreement calls for Medicare to be opened to uninsured Americans beginning at age 55, a significant expansion of the large government health care program that currently serves the 65-and-over population.” Sen. Tom Harkin, “referring to a deal among the negotiators, told reporters he didn’t like it, but added, ‘I’m going to support it to the hilt’ in hopes of securing passage of the health care bill.”

        The New York Times (12/9, A1, Pear, Herszenhorn), on its front page, reports that Reid “refused to provide details,” while “other senators said the tentative agreement would sideline but not kill the ‘public option’ championed by President Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress. Under the agreement,” the Office of Personnel Management “would negotiate with insurance companies to offer national health benefit plans, similar to those offered to federal employees, including members of Congress.” The Times adds that “if these private plans did not meet certain goals for making affordable coverage available to all Americans, Senate Democratic aides said, then the government itself would offer a new insurance plan, somewhat like the ‘public option’ in the bill Mr. Reid unveiled three weeks ago.”

        The Wall Street Journal (12/9, A1, Hitt, Adamy, subscription required), in a front-page article, quotes Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as saying, “What’s becoming abundantly clear is that the majority will make any deal, agree to any terms, sign any dotted line that brings them closer to final passage of this terrible bill.”


December 9, 2009 - Posted by | Federal Government, healthcare | , , ,

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