It seems that the President is negotiating a fine line between being too involved in health reform and not involved enough. Yesterday he hosted five governors (Republicans and Democrats) who the administration considers possible allies in the fight for reform. By influencing senators and congresspeople through their governors, the President retains a kind of outsider position, which may be advantageous. Preventing a tax on employee benefits and ensuring the public plan option seem to be the two things most at risk.
It looks as if the Senate Finance Committee will be releasing their draft of the health reform bill right after the July 4th recess. The Senate HELP Committee and the Tri-Committee (Labor and Pensions, Ways and Means, and Health and Education) of the House will continue hearings and mark-up through next week. If things go smoothly, it is still possible there could be floor debates in September and a resulting bill on the desk of the President by mid-October. Things may not go so smoothly and we’ll have to wait a bit longer for revisions to be finished up. Stay tuned right here for the latest updates and what you can do to make sure your concerns are represented.
An article from the Washington Post about why reform is so important, and an overview by Time Magazine. Also, a word from Max Baucus (D-MT, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee). He’s saying what he’s said for…a long time. But are there answers? And finally, and organization pushing representatives in congress to actually read the bills. God forbid.