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President and Congress Meet on Health Care

This post from the National Business Group on Health:

What should we expect from the upcoming televised meeting called by President Obama on February 25th?  The Administration has invited the Congressional leadership and key committee members from both parties, but the meeting is unlikely to break new ground and produce a bipartisan way forward past the current impasse on the health care legislation.

It may be more of an opportunity for each side to showcase their preferred options rather than a chance for real give and take to reach a consensus.  The President pledges to post the Democratic bill online in advance of the meeting and challenged the Republicans to do the same.  However, Democratic leadership continues to meet privately to work out the differences between the Senate and House over provisions like taxing health benefits.  Moreover, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and key Democratic Senators talk openly about using the short cut called reconciliation to pass a bill that would only require 51 votes in the Senate.  At the same time, Republicans have stepped up their criticism of the meeting as political theatre and grandstanding rather than a substantive event.

The meeting may be the last attempt to pass the health care legislation as a whole.  Both the Administration and Congress have moved on to other issues, primarily the economy and jobs and may simply try to pass parts of their bills in piecemeal fashion.

www.businessgrouphealth.org

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February 15, 2010 - Posted by | Federal Government, healthcare | , ,

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