Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pelosi Wants To Make the Bill More Liberal... the Blue Dogs May Have To Bite Again

Pelosi Seeks to Make Health Reform Bill More Liberal by, Stephanie Condon / Sept 23, 2009

When House leadership brings a final health care bill to the full House floor, it may be more liberal than moderate House Democrats expected, according to reports.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is planning to include in the bill a tax on wealthy Americans, as well as a more robust government-run health insurance plan (or "public option"), abandoning the compromises leaders in a key committee worked out with the moderate Blue Dog Democrats, according to Roll Call.

The original tri-committee health care bill introduced in the House would have raised taxes by 5.4 percent on taxpayers making more than $1 million a year, but some Democrats have opposed the measure.

The original House bill also included a public option that moderates in the House Energy and Commerce Committee made less robust. The Blue Dogs in the committee worked out a deal with committee leaders to make a public option negotiate payment rates with medical providers — instead of dictating them. This is intended to put a public option on a "level playing field" with private insurers. Pelosi, however, reportedly plans to peg public option payment rates to Medicare payment rates.....