Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hurry Up On Health Care Bill

Health Care legislation is still on a fast-forward track, at least in the House. This creates a dilemma for Democrats as two very different bills are underway in the House and Senate. Neither have any support from Republicans, and the measures such as the public option and surtax that are likely to be included in the House bill probably will not be accepted in the Senate. The Democrats have full control of the both chambers of Congress, yet are deeply divided on core elements of health care reform creating an odd circumstance where there is a big rush on a bill that has yet to find any consensus.

From the Hill Pelosi wants House to pass healthcare bill ‘within weeks’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to make final decisions this week on the healthcare reform bill that will hit the House floor, but some centrists in the lower chamber want her to hold off until the Senate Finance Committee acts.

Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) push to decide issues like how to pay for the bill and the shape of the “public option” means that this week will be crucial for healthcare in both chambers.

It also makes it more likely that the House bill will include an income surtax on the wealthy and a public option more to the liking of liberals in her caucus.

“That’s where the caucus is,” said a Democratic leadership aide.

During an event in Philadelphia on Monday, Pelosi said the House will pass a healthcare reform bill “within weeks.”


The Speaker last week publicly reaffirmed her support for the surtax and the public option. In a leadership meeting last week, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) spoke up strongly in favor of the surtax, though he and Pelosi have disagreed on its parameters.


Pelosi Still Rushing Health Care Bill