Health Reform Act II
Editor’s note: Here is what apparently is going on behind the scenes to try to move health reform forward. From this report it appears that the ‘Health Summit’ is simply political maneuvering, there will still be significant Medicare cuts, and a cadillac tax that will cause health plans to slim down their coverage over time and shift more cost to the consumer.
WHERE IT STANDS – President Obama, House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid are preparing to begin the reconciliation process after next week’s bipartisan White House health care summit. ‘They are coming out of the summit guns-a-blazing and they’re committed to reconciliation,’ said one Democratic insider. All three are dedicated to comprehensive reform, but Reid and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel are cautioning that ‘it’s going to be a heavier lift than a lot of people expect it to be,’ said a senior Democratic official. ‘It’s going to cause political problems.’ Not the least of which is how Democrats pivot to reconciliation, a procedure Republicans view as a partisan ramrod, shortly after Obama hosts the GOP to talk about bipartisan solutions. Right now, Democratic leaders are considering a $200 billion reconciliation bill that includes more affordability subsidies, the union-tweaked Cadillac tax and filling in the gap in seniors’ drug coverage, which would be paid for primarily by additional Medicare cuts and an increase in Medicare payroll taxes above those in the Senate bill, an insider said. Still, Democratic sources stress that neither Pelosi nor Reid know if they have the votes to pass a reconciliation bill. And despite rumors that a House-Senate deal is imminent, a senior Democratic aide said there is virtually no chance it gets done before next week’s summit. That leaves insiders suspecting that Obama will release a set of principals or conceptual language that includes the greatest hits from the House and Senate bills.
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