Friday, October 16, 2009

Heathcare news update

From the Republican Whip's Daily Update:

Speaker Pelosi Declares The Moment Of Truth For The Public Option. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday told fellow Democrats the time has come for all members of the party to say where they stand on the government-run health insurance program. Pelosi informed her caucus that she will be asking which of the various public options members can support, or if they cannot support any at all. The Hill

However, Members And Leadership Aides Admit The Public Option Still Lacks The Necessary Votes In The House. Liberals and even some leadership aides suggest the speaker has about 200 votes for a public option tethered to Medicare — not the 218 she needs … “This is becoming a false choice,” said Utah Rep. Jim Matheson, an influential Democrat in the conservative Blue Dog Coalition. “I find it interesting how the discussion seems to be dominated by the public option, but I think there are other top-line issues that will be more important for how some members vote.” Politico

Senate Bill To Shield Doctors Would Add $240 Billion To Deficit. “It’s not fiscally responsible,” Mr. Bayh said. “I could not vote for a bill that raises the deficit by $240 billion, not at a time when we are already hemorrhaging red ink. The physicians’ issue needs to be addressed, but not in a way that increases the deficit.”Mr. Conrad, who is chairman of the Budget Committee, was furious at the possibility that Congress might adjust payment rates for doctors without offsetting the cost. “I don’t agree with just adding that amount to the debt,” Mr. Conrad said, adding, “I won’t vote for it.” The New York Times

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