Various items of interest on the Congressional debate over health care legislation.
President Obama met at the White House with doctors who support his push for changes in the U.S. health care system. Many attendees belonged to Doctors for America — website here — grew out of the campaign group, Doctors for Obama. Members overwhelmingly support a public option.
Washington Examiner reports Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has canceled the Columbus Day recess to continue the work on health care legislation: “Senate Democratic leaders had hoped to begin debating a health care reform bill by next week, but that may slip to the following week because one version of the bill is still stuck in the Finance Committee. The panel had planned to vote on a bill by Tuesday, but it is awaiting cost estimates for the legislation from the Congressional Budget Office.”
U.S. News:”Frist Predicts Tax, Premium Hikes With Democratic Health Bill,” based on an interview with the former Senate Republican Leader, Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee:
“A plan that I would support would be a plan that would bring in 20 million uninsured, scaled back the benefits toward catastrophic care, and thirdly had incentives for a value-based rather than a volume-based healthcare system,” said Frist, who’s promoting his new autobiography, A Heart to Serve: The Passion to Bring Health, Hope, and Healing. However, he said, none of the current bills meets his requirements. As for the Senate Finance Committee bill, he added, “clearly without amending it, I could not vote for it.” His biggest complaint: “It doesn’t bend the cost curve sufficiently for me.”
The current Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is now on the Senate floor opposing not just the legislation but the process. He says the real focus should not be on the Senate Finance Committee, but on the House/Senate conference committee, which he predicts will move the health-care legislation to the left. The core of the bill is already wrong, he says, based on Medicare cuts, higher taxes, and more government. But the final legislation will be worked out “out of sight” of the American public.
We see The Wall Street Journal opinion section has now created a website with editorials and op-eds on the President’s health care plans (they’re opposed), “The WSJ Guide to ObamaCare.”