Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Health Care Reform on Track

As the Senate works towards compromise with Blue Dogs, while keeping in mind the House reconciliation process, a bill that continues to improve is evolving acceptably:
"Senators are making great progress and we're pleased that they're working together to find common ground toward options that increase choice and competition," said White House spokesman Reid Cherlin.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that the Democrats had reached a "broad agreement" on the public option portion of the bill, but at least one liberal senator who took part in the negotiations wasn't so sure.

"It goes without saying it's been kind of a long journey," Reid said. "Tonight we've overcome a real problem that we had. I think it's fair to say the debate at this stage has been portrayed as a very divisive one."

Without revealing any details, Reid said the negotiating senators had reached "a broad agreement" that "moves this bill way down the road."

Two Democratic sources said the deal includes a proposal to replace the public option by creating a not-for-profit private insurance option overseen by the federal Office of Personnel Management, much like the current health plan for federal workers, and another allowing people 55 or older to buy into Medicare coverage that currently is available to those 65 or older.
I have always hinted that the best 'competitive option should mirror, if not actually be, the same plan that Fed Employees participate in. This makes it rather difficult for opponents to cackle about it as then they would be questioning the current Federal Employee Benefit system.

Health Care lobbyist, industry insiders, and greedy politicians will have to take a back seat to common sense reform. This bill is shaping up to be more in line with what I had hoped, a competitive option but not necessarily a government run one, along with checks and balances necessary to ensure coverage for as many folks as possbile. It is our duty!


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