Health Care

Daily Treatment, Revelations Edition
October 29, 2009

The business community is afraid of the public plan. David Williams says it shouldn't be. You'll never guess whose insurance policy pays for abortion services. Read Amy Sullivan to find out. The graphic truth about House versus Senate coverage provisions. Via the office of Rep. Jim Cooper, via Ezra Klein. That ridiculous claim of $700 billion in waste? Not so ridiculous after all. Christopher Weaver explains. And must-read of the day: Brian Beutler has reconstructed the deliberations about the public plan between the White House and Senate Democratic leadership.

Is Bayh Backing Off His Threat?
October 29, 2009

Could Evan Bayh be backing off his threat to join the Republican filibuster of the health care reform bill?

House to PhRMA: No Deal
October 29, 2009

Among the other important distinctions between the new House bill and what the Senate Finance Committee produced is the treatment of the pharmaceutical industry. The Senate Finance bill was true to the deal the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers of America struck with the White House and Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus, as first revealed by the New York Times and Huffington Post. PhRMA vowed to endorse reform and advertise on its behalf.

Health Reform on the Cheap
October 29, 2009

Julie Appleby, at Kaiser Health News, uncovers a worrisome loophole in the Senate Finance legislation: The first year the legislation would take effect, people getting subsidized coverage would be required to pay from 2 to 12 percent of their incomes for insurance. The government would pick up the rest of the tab. People with lower incomes would pay less and those with higher incomes more. But in the second year, it changes.

October 29, 2009

Speaker Nancy Pelosi relays word from the Congressional Budget Office: The legislation’s coverage cost will be $894 billion over 10 years, fully paid for. ... The legislation cuts the deficit by about $30 billion in the first ten-years (2010 – 2019).  CBO has indicated that in the period of 2016-2019, savings and revenues will grow significantly faster than coverage costs. Translation: This bill is fiscally responsible. And, unlike the House's previous effort, it doesn't simply push the deficits into the future.

Early Word on the House Bill (Updated)
October 29, 2009

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi just released the health care reform bill she will introduce on the floor, in hopes of a final vote in the next week to ten days. You can read the text here.

A Reminder About Filibuster Math
October 28, 2009

With Joe Lieberman and, now, Evan Bayh threatening to support Republican filibusters of health care reform, it's worth taking a moment to contemplate what that would mean in terms of majority rule--or lack thereof. By most accounts, there are five non-Republican senators who might support a filibuster if reform includes a strong public option. The five are Evan Bayh, Mary Landreiu, Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, and Ben Nelson. Assume, as a worst case scenario, all five were to follow through on the threat.

It's Not Just the Public Option
October 27, 2009

Topic number one in health care reform right now is the public option--and, in particular, Senator Harry Reid's decision to push a bill that includes an "opt-out" proposal. But Nancy-Ann DeParle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, had relatively little to say about it on Tuesday, when she appeared at TNR's health reform conference. Her keynote address barely touched upon the subject.

Wyden's Choice--And Yours
October 27, 2009

Click here to read Jonathan Cohn's take on the comments made by Nancy-Ann Deparle, director of the White House Office of Health Reform, about the public option at today's TNR health care conference. What good can the public option do if not enough people can access it? That’s the question that Senator Ron Wyden has been raising a lot lately. And he did it again this morning, at TNR's health care reform event.

House Dems Still Coming Up Short
October 27, 2009

Following the Senate’s big news yesterday on the public option, some House progressives have been feeling bullish about the chances for the strong version of the public plan, as I reported yesterday. But they aren’t quite there yet. After a House Democratic caucus meeting this morning, Representative Raul Grijalva said that the House had between 206 and 210 votes to support the strong version of the public option, which would reimburse providers based on Medicare plus 5 percent. “It’s still being contemplated,” he told me this afternoon.