House Democrats Say They Will Introduce Reform Legislation August Recess; Obama Administration To Look Into Wellness Programs
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-Calif.) and other House Democrats met with President Barack Obama on Wednesday, promising a health reform bill by the end of July, the AP/Examiner reports.
During a press conference on the White House, Pelosi said, "We promised him that we will have this important legislation on the floor of the House before the August break." Obama responded, "That's the kind of energy and determination that we need...We are not going to rest until we have delivered." No details about the legislation were announced, according the AP/Examiner (Alonso-Zaldivar, AP/Examiner, 5/13.)
In addition, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) on Tuesday said that "by July 31 -- less than three months from now -- the House of Representatives will have passed a health reform bill," CongressDaily reports (Posner, CongressDaily, 5/12).
Administration To Examine Wellness Programs
Following a Tuesday meeting with business executives, Obama told reporters that he has asked his administration to examine the feasibility of programs for federal employees that emphasize wellness, Politico reports. Obama praised the executives for implementing wellness programs -- such as smoking cessation, exercise and healthy diet programs -- that aim to reduce health spending.
In a media release, the White House said that Obama "will direct the Office of Personnel Management to work with the White House Office of Health Reform, the National Economic Council, the Department of Labor and the Office of Management and Budget to examine successful employer wellness and prevention practices that lower health care costs and improve employees' health and to explore the feasibility of developing such a plan for federal employees and their workplaces."
Obama, however, noted that such preventive measures for workers could not solely generate adequate savings to fund universal health care, adding, "There's no quick fix. There's no silver bullet" (Gerstein/Allen, Politico, 5/12).