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Ear to the Ground

House Dems Water Down Public Option

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Posted on Oct 28, 2009
Flickr / cometstarmoon

If the point of health care reform is to do something about skyrocketing medical costs, then the House reform bill just got a little more pointless. Although the speaker and other House liberals had hoped to hitch the public option’s negotiating power to Medicare’s wagon, conservative Democrats successfully defeated the idea.

Still, the House bill will include a public option, if weakened. According to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the whole thing will cost less than $900 billion over 10 years, or, to think about it another way, less than what the U.S. spends on defense in just one year, if you include things like the Department of Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. —PZS

Wall Street Journal:

But centrist Democrats say Medicare’s payments are too low, falling far short of the actual costs to hospitals and doctors of caring for patients. Democratic leaders have concluded they don’t have the 218 votes needed to pass a bill tied to Medicare rates.

“After a series of discussions over the last couple of days, we’ve come to realize it’s very tough to get to that point,” said Rep. George Miller (D., Calif.), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and an ally of Ms. Pelosi.

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By Chris R, October 29, 2009 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Nearly 2,000 pages? I’m sure I’ll get the distorted highlights any minute now.

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By Jim Yell, October 29, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is apparent to anyone who listens that for profit insurance cheats their subscribers at every opportunity. The cost of medical care has not gotten cheaper with privitization and every dollar that goes for profit does not go for health care.

We need National Health Care Insurance and price control of what the Healthcare Industry can charge and that includes Pharma.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, October 29, 2009 at 2:04 am Link to this comment

WE THE PEOPLE, the PUBLIC, the Common MAJORITY, need a Public Option for medical care, as there are too many young people falling through the cracks during their college years and when parents lose their jobs and cannot afford to get medical insurance for themselves and their children leaving leaving many college students and children without medical care of which a public option is an absolute necessity.

Conservatives and Moderates on the Left represent big insurance and big pharma instead of the Public that they have been sent to Congress to represent, therefore, WE THE PEOPLE must vote them out at the first available moment.  We can get a bunch of them in 2010 and we must, if the Public Option is left out so that all citizens of this Democratic Representative Republic will be actually represented in Congress.  When the Conservatives and Moderates on the Left are the same as the Conservatives and Moderates on the Right, there is no representative Republic, because all are not represented.

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