Abortion, Public Option Questions Remain
The Wall Street Journal: "Abortion was one of the final matters to be resolved in December when the Senate created its version of the health-care bill, with a carefully crafted compromise that left neither side in the debate happy. If a final bill is to clear the House, Democrats will have to find a way to finesse the problem again. One idea being floated involves inserting more-restrictive language later into a spending bill" (Meckler, 2/24).
The Hill: The public option is dead, top House and administration Democrats say. "The move is a clear indication that President Barack Obama and leading Democrats are wary of another intra-party battle on the public option. Last year, Democrats lost valuable time debating the issue, leading to many missed deadlines." Meanwhile, some Senate Democrats continue to work to resurrect it (Allen, 2/23).
Roll Call: On the public option, Hoyer said, "I think the public option can pass in the House, but it's not in the president's proposal. But I think that it is obviously an item the president has decided - he was for the public option, as well - decided is not something that perhaps the Senate can buy" (Newmyer, 2/23).
NPR: One of the components of President Obama's health plan is a feature that was in the Senate overhaul bill but not the House version - the so-called Cadillac tax, an excise tax on high-cost health insurance policies. But even proponents of the excise tax say it may be too weak to do much (Silberner, 2/23).
CongressDaily: "The American Medical Association Tuesday implored President Obama to incorporate medical malpractice reform into discussions at Thursday's bipartisan summit." The AMA said a "bipartisan agreement on alternatives to the current medical liability tort system would send an important signal to patients and physicians that Democrats and Republicans alike are willing to put aside partisanship to control costs and improve patient care" (Edney, 2/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.