Thursday, October 29, 2009

The House Health Reform Proposal

Here it is. It includes a public option:

Paving the way for a crucial vote on healthcare legislation in the next two weeks, the compromise unveiled by House Democratic leaders would create a nationwide government-run insurance plan but omit what many liberals consider the key to cost control.

According to senior lawmakers and aides, the so-called public option in the new compromise would not dictate what the plan can pay hospitals, doctors and other providers. Instead, the federal government would have to negotiate rates with providers, much as private insurers do.

Pelosi and her lieutenants made that concession in hopes of winning over conservative Democrats. Many of those lawmakers fear that payments based on lower Medicare rates -- the formula Pelosi originally supported -- would not be enough to sustain providers in rural areas.

Senior Democrats said that the concession represented real progress.

"Most of you all thought the public option was dead," said Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez), chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and a Pelosi ally. "Rumors of its death were greatly exaggerated."

The bit about the abortion coverage will be fought over endlessly as we all know:

The House bill also will include a complex mechanism for limiting the use of taxpayer subsidies for abortion services: Insurance companies that offer abortion coverage would be required to segregate funds received from consumers from subsidies provided by the federal government.

That provision has come under fire from many lawmakers who are opposed to abortion rights, and Democratic leaders continue to work on ways to resolve the issue, according to one senior aide who requested anonymity when discussing the negotiations.