Navigation Links
Lawmakers Getting Closer to Health Care Reform
Date:1/14/2010

Bill would expand coverage to 30 million uninsured Americans, seek to control soaring costs

THURSDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- An agreement in principle on the landmark overhaul to the U.S. health care system could come as early as Friday, lawmakers said Thursday.

The agreement in principle, which would cover major issues such as how to pay for health coverage and how many Americans could receive it, would then go to the Congressional Budget Office for its estimates. Only after the budget office reviews the proposal can the House of Representatives and Senate take a final vote and send the bill to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Specific issues, including whether taxpayer funds would cover abortions, would be resolved later, the Associated Press reported.

"We're shooting for tomorrow," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) told reporters Thursday. "We hope to have the whole thing, as much as we can have [for the budget office] to be able to start working."

Following months of heated debate, negotiations picked up speed Wednesday, when lawmakers met from midmorning until early evening at the White House, trying to iron out differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill. Negotiations resumed at the White House Thursday, and Rangel made his prediction after speaking with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other Democratic leaders, the AP said.

The plan would expand coverage to more than 30 million people who lack insurance, prohibit insurers from denying coverage to those with existing medical conditions, and attempt to control soaring health-care costs.

A major obstacle -- a proposal to tax high-value medical plans -- was apparently resolved in private negotiations with union leaders Thursday, and the tentative settlement was to be put before Congressional leaders later in the day, said union and Democratic officials speaking anonymously, the AP reported.

House Democrats had opposed the tax for union members, which was part of an early Senate version of the bill. But Obama -- based on a consensus of economists -- favored the tax as a way to encourage workers to take less expensive coverage, thereby driving costs down, the news service said.

Details of the preliminary agreement were not made public, the AP noted.

Karen Davis, president of the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that seeks better health care for all Americans, called word of a pending agreement "very good news."

"It's an embarrassment in the 21st century that people who need medical care can't get it," she said. "We are the only major country without a system for everyone."

Skyrocketing medical costs have hurt increasing numbers of American families, the workforce and the entire health-care system, Davis said. The new bill, which she described as "pragmatic and uniquely American," is a "terrific opportunity to transform the system."

Democrats, explaining the urgency of the health-care negotiations, said more Americans are losing health insurance every day.

"If we do nothing, if, God forbid, this bill crashes and burns, we could have 60 or 80 or 100 million people without insurance," Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.) told The New York Times.

As the health-care reform talks dragged on, from summer into winter, public opinion polls showed that American support for the bill began flagging. Democrats have expressed concern that further delays would give Republicans more time to strengthen their offense against the proposed legislation.

The bill's twists and turns through the halls of Congress have led to many alterations, including the loss of a government-run public option -- considered by some to be one of the better ideas for cutting costs.

More information

For more on health reform, visit the Commonwealth Fund.



SOURCES: Karen Davis, president, the Commonwealth Fund, New York City; Associated Press; The New York Times


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Hospitals and the Coalition to Protect Floridas Drivers Applaud Lawmakers for Reviving No-Fault Insurance
2. 273 Lawmakers Put Kids First
3. AARP CEO Bill Novelli Tells Lawmakers: Controlling Health Care Costs Key to Budget Reform
4. Susan G. Komen for the Cure, State Lawmakers, Breast Cancer Survivors, Celebrities and Activists Call on Legislature to Strengthen Breast Cancer Screening Program for Underserved Women
5. Ad Campaign Urges Pennsylvania Lawmakers to Stop Waffling and Pass Comprehensive Smoke-Free Law
6. California Lawmakers Unveil Legislative Effort on Autism
7. Lawmakers Agree to Ban Dangerous Chemicals in Toys
8. Boycott Prevails in Sham SEIU Vote; Lawmakers and Advocates Join Healthcare Workers in Opposing Forced Union Merger
9. New Years Resolution for Illinois Lawmakers: Fix Broken Health Care System
10. Lawmakers Call for Criminal Probe at Peanut Plant
11. Disabled Veterans Leader Presses Issues with Key Lawmakers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... As health professionals work to improve their approach to healthcare, there is ... than filling out a survey; in many cases health professionals and patients are working ... and research on the importance of active engagement with patients and members of the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board ... become its next President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon ... beginning July 1, 2018 until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading ... Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly ... CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Lori R. Somekh, founder of the ... a national organization of elder law and special needs planning attorneys. “Membership in ElderCounsel ... also provides a forum to network with elder law attorneys nationwide,” said Somekh. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term insurance that covers care for ... a waiver for care if the client has a cognitive impairment diagnosis. , ... care, is often waived, so the benefits from their insurance start immediately,” said Mechell ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/18/2017)... Mich. , Sept. 18, 2017  PMD Healthcare ... Specialty Pharmacy of Kalamazoo, Mich. , ... hub service that expedites and streamlines patient and provider ... PD 2.0, and wellness management services.  ... device used to measure lung function for a variety ...
(Date:9/12/2017)... , Sept. 12, 2017   EcoVadis , the leading platform ... published the first annual edition of its Global CSR Risk and Performance ... evaluated by EcoVadis, based on Scorecard Ratings that analyzed nearly 800,000 data ... ... ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... Sept. 8, 2017 ... MRI Unit coming to Washington DC ... When: Tuesday, September 12 th – Monday, September 18 th ... offering free MRI brain scans to the public.Where:  ... parked at 501 K Street NW, Washington, D.C.What:BTF brings its nationwide initiative, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: