Democrats in the House today will unveil the details of the health reform plan that was hammered out in recent months by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her top lieutenants. While there is a public insurance option, the details of that are a setback for liberals in the party.
The initial leaks about the bill indicated that Liberal Democrats lost on the choices made on a public insurance option, as the Speaker opted for a version that’s favored by moderates.
Liberals wanted the payment system to be linked to Medicare plus 5%. Blue Dogs prevailed by winning a system that would have the federal government negotiate rates with doctors and hospitals.
One interesting item about the difference is that the Medicare rates would have save about $80 billion more. But many rural lawmakers say that’s the problem, that Medicare is stiffing too many doctors, one reason that it’s not accepted by many physicians.
It was not initially clear if today will bring the full text of the bill or not. Some sources said yes, others said no. If it is real text, then there will be a lot of work in coming days trying to figure out what is really in this bill.
This really starts the clock ticking on a vote in the House. Democratic leaders say they want the House to vote by Veteran’s Day, which is November 11.
It will all depend on whether or not the leadership has the votes locked up.
It will also depend on liberals, and whether they will follow through on their vow to oppose a bill that did not have a “robust” public option.
I can see a few of them voting no, but the vast majority will probably knuckle under and still cast an aye vote. But, who knows.
Now the real wheeling and dealing can begin.
Check back later today for some details on what’s actually in the bill.