Thursday, March 18, 2010

House Dems Announce $940 Billion Health-Care Bill

At the Washington Post, "House Leaders Announce $940 Billion Health-Care Compromise Bill":

Pushing toward a Sunday vote that could transform the nation's health-insurance system, House leaders announced a $940 billion compromise Thursday that would extend coverage to the vast majority of Americans, cut billions of dollars from Medicare, and impose new taxes on the wealthy and the well-insured.

The proposal, a rewrite of a slightly narrower health-care bill the Senate passed on Christmas Eve, would also significantly expand the federal student loan program, offering President Obama the prospect of victory on two of his most important domestic initiatives after a year of legislative stalemate. The stakes are so high and the outcome so uncertain that Obama canceled a trip to Indonesia and Australia to continue lobbying undecided lawmakers with phone calls and invitations to White House meetings.

"Our international alliances are critical to America's security and economic progress," White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said. "But passage of health-insurance reform is of paramount importance, and the president is determined to see this battle through."

House Democratic leaders hope to approve the Senate bill along with a separate 153-page package of revisions to that bill that House members are demanding. The compromise would extend coverage to an additional 32 million Americans over the next decade by expanding Medicaid eligibility and creating state-run insurance exchanges and federal subsidies for lower-income families who lack access to employer-provided coverage.
Tonight's "Talking Points Memo" predicts passage of the legislation this Sunday, and mentiond at the clip are the latest healthcare findings from Fox News/Opinion Dynamics, "Fox News Poll: 55% Oppose Health Care Reform" (via Memeorandum):

As Americans wait for Congress to act on health care, a Fox News poll released Thursday finds 55 percent oppose the reforms being considered, while 35 percent favor them.

In addition, just over half of voters think House Democrats are “changing the rules” to get their bill passed.

About a third of voters (31 percent) think House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are “playing by the rules” to get health care through, while 53 percent think they are “changing the rules.” Looking at the results by political party, 53 percent of Democrats think their party is playing by the rules, about one in four think they are changing the rules (27 percent) and the rest are unsure (19 percent). Varying majorities of Republicans (78 percent) and independents (57 percent) think House Democrats are changing the rules to pass the bill.

The level of public support for the health care overhaul has remained fairly steady since last July -- 35 percent favor it now and 36 percent favored it last summer. The number opposed -- 55 percent -- is up from 51 percent in January, and from 47 percent last July. Opposition hit a high of 57 percent in December.

Among partisans, the president’s party faithful are alone in supporting the proposed reforms. Sixty-six percent of Democrats favor them, while 53 percent of independents and 88 percent of Republicans oppose them.


Rusty Walker said...

The Massachusetts health care model is a failure. There are long waits for doctors and doctors are leaving the state. At least in Australia, Canada and Scandinavian countries (where the population is small) where they have tried state controlled health care they went through legitimate governmental processes. Obama, Pelosi and Reid’s supreme confidence in themselves is bordering on delusional.