Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pelosi For The Win

This is what standing up for real health care reform looks like: (open left)

Following tonight's meeting of the Democratic House caucus, Speaker Nancy Pelosi is ready to bring a health care bill with the "robust" public option (currently defined as a public option with Medicare +5% rates) to the floor of the House.

From The Hill:

Pelosi to bring public option backed by liberals to floor pending caucus approval

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has chosen to put the public option favored by the liberal wing of her party in the healthcare bill that goes to the House floor, pending agreement later Tuesday night by the full caucus, according to two House sources.

Leaders are planning to roll out the bill next week, and are hoping to vote the first week in November.

The plan, called the "robust" option or "Medicare Plus 5" in the jargon that has emerged on Capitol Hill, ties provider reimbursement rates to Medicare, adding 5 percent.(...)

[T]he liberal option saves the most money, according to congressional analysts, by competing with those companies and driving down premiums. A Democratic leadership source said the leaders have received an analysis that shows that both forms of the public option reduce healthcare costs across a 20-year time frame.

This is an enormous step forward for the public option campaign. If the House passes a health care reform bill with the Medicare +5% public option, which now appears likely, the chances of a public option of some sort ending up in the final bill skyrocket.

By going with the stronger, Medicare +5% public option gives the House negotiating room in the Senate for a weaker public option--negotiated rates, Schumer's "level playing field," or the opt-out--to emerge in the final bill. If the House goes into conference committee with a weaker public option, they will have less room to negotiate with the Senate.

Now, if the Senate brings the opt-out public option to the conference committee--and Ben Nelson is now openly supporting the opt-out--the debate won't be whether or not to have a public option, but what kind of public option will end up in the final bill.

The end game of the Blue Dogs and Douche Caucus members are passionately arguing for a more expensive bill would be pretty spectacular.

Huge props to Pelosi for pulling this off.

1 comment:

  1. its no balloon baby but I think this is good news we can all gather around.