Some Dems Worry Health Bill Will Come Up Short On Savings
The New York Times: "As health care legislation moves toward a crucial airing in the Senate, the White House is facing a growing revolt from some Democrats and analysts who say the bills Congress is considering do not fulfill President Obama's promise to slow the runaway rise in health care spending. ... The debate underscores a fundamental tension inside the White House between cost-containment idealists and pragmatists."
"Senator Susan Collins, the Maine Republican whose vote the administration is courting, convened a news conference on Monday with Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a member of the Republican leadership, to spotlight her concerns over cost containment. Ms. Collins said she had been meeting with a group of moderate Democrats who shared her views" (Stolberg, 11/9).
Democratic leaders in the administration and Senate have favored the pragmatic approach to keep health reform legislation moving, the The New York Times reports in a second story. "But if the flexibility shown by party leaders on issues like abortion and the proposed government-run insurance plan has kept the legislative process on track, it has also left many liberals off balance and risked alienating the party's base as the midterm elections approach" (Nagourney and Herszenhorn, 11/10).
Republicans are continuing to argue that the bill will actually drive up costs, The Washington Times reports. They say "the health care bill includes two dozen programs whose funding is listed as 'such sums as may be necessary.' That amounts to legislative jargon, they said, for 'We'll bill you later'" (Dinan, 11/10).
For at least some people, the bill could easily increase costs, The Wall Street Journal reports. "The bill would limit how much insurers can vary premiums based on the age of the person buying the policy. The narrower the range, the lower the premiums for older people, a help to those who currently pay some of the highest rates for insurance and often need coverage the most. But such a limitation tends to raise premiums for younger folks, who are sometimes reluctant to buy coverage" (Mathews, 11/10).