Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Senators Near Bipartisan Health Deal

Earlier today, I came across a new entry on the Huffington Post asserting that a bipartisan group of Senators are nearing a compromise on health care reform. The compromise is said to exclude several key democratic priorities, but is low on costs, which they are hoping will generate support for the bill. But with a month long recess only a few days away, will these last minute negotiations be successful?

The fiscally conservative Blue Dogs were at odds with the leadership over how to pay providers in a government-run health plan that would compete with private insurance. The House bill models the payments based on Medicare, but the so-called Blue Dogs want a negotiated rate similar to private insurance. Other issues remain sticking points for the Democrats.

"We're not ready to support a bill yet," said Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind., a member of the Blue Dog group, who added: "We'll get there. We are going to pass a health care bill, whether it's now or in the fall remains to be seen."

Without the backing of the 52-member Blue Dogs, it would be difficult for Democratic leaders to pass a bill, especially since no Republican supports the legislation.

"I think there's still a bit of daylight between the positions," said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. "I think the bottom line of Blue Dogs has not been met as of this time."

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