Raising Women’s Voices

Senate HELP committee goes to mark-up, others talk about proposals, and the Senate Finance Committee starts to make changes

Posted in Affordability, DC Reform, Health Reform Policy Proposals by raisingwomensvoices on June 17, 2009

The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has started its process of mark-up on the 615 page health care bill that was released about a week ago. There are over 1,000 pages of amendments that senators have put forward. Watch the process live and recorded on C-Span. Already Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Richard Burr (R-NC), and my very own Judd Gregg (R-NH) have questioned the premise of marking up a bill that was (without the key parts of the public option and employer-paid benefits) analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office to cost over $1.3 trillion. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) promises to be patient and a strong leader, taking the place for the time being of Ted Kennedy (D-MA) who is at home taking care of his health.

Everyone has had opinions about the health care policy proposals that have been coming up. Apparently, a few ex-senators have crafted their own ideas of what is fiscally and socially responsible in health care reform. In addition, there are some centrists that have been getting together (the left-leaning Republican Tuesday Group and the right-leaning Blue Dogs) to talk about these issues and maybe come out with proposals of their own. Kathleen Sebelius (the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services) purveys the President’s commitment to a public plan, but also says that it doesn’t necessarily need to be overseen by the government. The Senate Finance Committee is feeling the heat – Democrats are starting work to lower the projected cost of their proposal.

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