“Don’t bet against us. We are going to make this thing happen,” said Barack Obama to reporters yesterday when he announced that he expected a Senate Health Plan to come out of Max Baucus’ Finance Committee by the end of the week.
Obama is committed to having this plan out before Congress takes its August vacation (does it dawn on you that these guys take a lot of time off? I guess when you’re collecting from insurance companies and other lobbyists you have to make appearances at their summer gatherings…), and time is running out.
In the House, majority Democrats expect to introduce legislation today that would prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums on the basis of pre-existing medical conditions. Why they don’t get the insurance companies out of the mix altogether with a single-payer system is puzzling to a majority of Americans who would like it… until you look at the millions of dollars of spending on Congressional campaigns as they buy in to control our elected officials.
Another Senate committee – Health, Education, Labor and Pensions – is also expected to complete a partisan bill (the Finance Committee’s bill has been pushing for bi-partisanship as it gave up item after item of necessary revisions to the current health care system) that would create a government-run health plan to compete with private insurers and require employers to provide coverage. This will not attract Republican support… but it is questionable whether Republican support is needed (unless you show the usual whimpery of Harry Reid.)
Today should be an interesting example of performances in the Congressional Circus.