Left wing Dems happy with health care reform bill
House Democratic leaders gave members their first glimpse of their version of President Obama’s healthcare overhaul on Tuesday, with liberals leaving the meeting happy and centrist Democrats walking away skeptical.
The outline put forth lacked many of the details that will decide the fate of the overhaul — notably, how the proposal would be paid for. But it made good on the commitment Obama and Democratic leaders made to include a government-run “public option.”
A public option for healthcare insurance is essential for liberals in the caucus. Blue Dogs and New Democrats got less of what they wanted. Most notably, the plan ignores Blue Dogs’ call for a government plan to be a “fallback option,” if reform of private healthcare doesn’t work.
“They’ve made some real steps toward our principles,” said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
“I’ve got my concerns,” said Rep. Betsy Markey (D-Colo.), a centrist lawmaker from a strongly Republican district. “We’ve got to address cost, quality and coverage, with cost being No. 1.”
The Democrats’ healthcare plan was laid out in broad-brush terms Tuesday to Democratic members in their closed-door caucus meeting. It was many members’ introduction to the issue that’s expected to dominate Congress for the summer. . . .
So much for the debate over how to pay for this:
Obama: It's OK to borrow to pay for health care
Obama-proposed budget rules allow deficits to swell to pay for health care plan
Andrew Taylor, Associated Press Writer
On Tuesday June 9, 2009, 8:43 pm EDT
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed budget rules that would allow Congress to borrow tens of billions of dollars and put the nation deeper in debt to jump-start the administration's emerging health care overhaul.
The "pay-as-you-go" budget formula plan is significantly weaker than a proposal Obama issued with little fanfare last month.
It would carve out about $2.5 trillion worth of exemptions for Obama's priorities over the next decade. His health care reform plan also would get a green light to run big deficits in its early years. But over a decade, Congress would have to come up with money to cover those early year deficits. . . . .
Note this joke from Obama:
"The 'pay-as-you-go' rule is very simple," Obama said. "Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere."