The newest scaled-down health care bill would extend insurance coverage to 12 million to 15 million people – less than half numbers originally proposed by the House and Senate bills – according to today’s New York Times. The bill might expand Medicare coverage to all low-income non-elderly people, regardless of age, and offer states monetary incentives to expand Medicaid programs. The changes come after House speaker Nancy Pelosi acknowledged yesterday that the original Senate bill would not have enough votes to pass after Tuesday’s Democratic defeat in Massachusetts.
Throngs of patient advocates and consumer groups have urged congressional Democrats not to abandon their health reform bill efforts, despite resistance from Republicans, says today’s Los Angeles Times. Groups like AARP, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, and the American Medical Association stressed the importance of expanding health coverage to the millions of uninsured Americans. “Now is not the time to turn back,” a number of organizations wrote in a joint letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Politico and NPR are worried that the health care bill may indeed collapse, and that President Obama’s suggested approach of handpicking increments of the bill that both parties can agree on will not work. “Many of the pieces of the bills only work in conjunction with other pieces, making picking and choosing problematic,” NPR reports.
Also in health care news:
Cadillac Tax Might Not Be As Bad As Some Think (NPR)
Abandoning Health Care After the Brown Elelection, and Other Washington Nonsense (The Washington Post)
California Democrats Revive Single Payer Health Care (The Washington Post)
UnitedHealth Posts 30% Jump in Profit (Wall Street Journal)