Obama To Unveil White House Health Overhaul Plan Monday
The New York Times (2/19, Herszenhorn, Pear) reports President Obama “will put forward comprehensive health care legislation intended to bridge differences between Senate and House Democrats ahead of a summit meeting with Republicans next week, senior administration officials and Congressional aides said Thursday.” The President’s plan is expected to be “on the Internet by Monday morning,” but “congressional Democrats…have not yet seen the proposal or signed on.”
“There will be one proposal. It is the President’s,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius explained Thursday, the Los Angeles Times (2/19, Levey) reports. The Times adds that Obama’s plan “will probably offer the most detailed vision yet of where the president stands on a number of contentious healthcare issues that have divided Democrats, including how to pay for a major expansion of medical coverage.”
Roll Call (2/19, Drucker) notes that “a senior Democratic aide said Thursday evening that the bill was assembled without any input from House and Senate Democratic leaders, and cautioned that it should not be viewed as an agreement to reconcile the two chambers’ bills.”
According to the AP (2/19, Babington), “The administration’s stance could set the stage for a political showdown, with Democrats struggling to enact the president’s top domestic priority and Republicans trying to block what many conservatives see as government overreach.” MSNBC.com (2/18, Montanaro) notes that Sebelius also “criticized Republicans for not putting forth any ideas of their own.”
The Hill (2/19, Young) reports that Sebelius said during an MSNBC interview that “the White House is willing to make a push for the public option if Senate Democrats decide to bring it up for a vote.” So far, “18 Senators have signed a letter asking Harry Reid to push for the public option using reconciliation, which would allow Democrats to pass it with just 51 votes.” Bloomberg News (2/19, Rowley, Gaouette) also covers the story.
Boehner Pushes For Starting Over On Health Reform. The Hill (2/18, Young) reported that “House Minority Leader John Boehner doesn’t much like the fact that Democrats continue to piece together an agreement on healthcare reform in advance of a bipartisan summit next week — and mocks their inability to do so successfully.” In a statement to reporters Thursday, Boehner said, “We don’t need a six-hour infomercial for the latest Democratic backroom deal. We need to start over on real health care reforms to lower costs.”
As Medicaid Rolls Grow, Many States Consider Cuts. In a front-page story, the New York Times (2/19, A1, Sack, Pear) reports that “virtually every state is making or considering substantial cuts in Medicaid, even as Democrats push to add 15 million people to the rolls.” States face “relentless fiscal pressure and exploding demand for government health care,” according to the Times.
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