Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What Anthony Weiner said . . .

Aravosis: Rep Weiner: One Senator is not bipartisanship
From The Hill:
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) said on Tuesday that the Obama administration is "half-pregnant" with health insurers and pharmaceutical companies, which may jeopardize the success of reform.

The congressman -- who is a leading liberal voice in the healthcare reform debate -- said that rumored deals the White House has struck with big pharmaceutical companies and insurers may guide them to abandon key elements of reform, such as a public health insurance option.

"The Obama administration is trying to be, I don't know how to put it, half-pregnant with the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical companies," he told WNYC Radio today. "They're to some degree the source of our problem."

"I think the White House very much wants to have, even if it's just one person, the ability to say that this is a bipartisan outcome," Weiner said. "And my frustration is we are really as a party are flirting with the notion of minority rule here."....

Weiner challenged his party leaders to include the option, saying that Democrats are "perilously close" to failing to pass a healthcare bill that would reduce costs and cover enough uninsured individuals.

"Are we going to plow through this or are we going to keep worshiping at the altar of bipartisanship even when it only means essentially one Senator?"
What's interesting is to see more and more Democrats publicly criticizing the White House approach to health care reform. Will it be enough?
Give the public what it wants  Oct. 20: Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., discusses why more Americans are starting to support the inclusion of a public option in the health reform bill.

Sudbay: With "robust public option," House bill "scores" well
Greg Sargent got a tip from Capitol Hill with some very important news about the House health insurance reform bill:
In another step forward for the public option, I’m told reliably by a source that House leaders have been given a new Congressional Budget Office “score” finding that the evolving House bill — when you include a robust public option — reduces the deficit and is under the President’s cost goal of $900 billion.

The CBO estimate, which is newer than the one reported over the weekend, will likely be discussed at the Dem caucus meeting tonight. This is a step forward because it could make it more palatable to Blue Dogs to support a House bill with a robust public plan, meaning one that reimburses providers at Medicare rates plus five percent.
Max Baucus, Kent Conrad and the Blue Dogs have made a very big deal about the CBO score for the health care legislation. This latest development could, and should, pave the way for a solid reform bill -- with the "robust public option." It saves money. Who can argue with that? Besides the insurance industry lobbyists and their toadies in Congress.

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