Congressional Caucuses Raise the Stakes on Inclusion of Public Plan
In a joint press conference on Wednesday, leaders of four key Democratic caucuses warned that they will vote against any health care overhaul legislation that does not include a "robust" public insurance plan option, CQ Politics reports.
The groups are the:
- Congressional Progressive Caucus;
- Congressional Black Caucus;
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus; and
- Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.
Together the groups represent more than 120 members of Congress.
Leaders of the groups said that the public plan should be like Medicare and that the legislation should not include any mechanisms or "triggers" that would delay implementation of the public plan (CQ Politics, 6/24).
In a prepared statement, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said, "Usually, [caucus leaders] work behind the scenes to strengthen legislation," adding, "We're careful not to take on our party's leadership, or President Obama. This time, however, is different" (Dennis, Roll Call, 6/25).
According to CQ Politics, the groups' "warning could mean trouble for Democratic leaders, especially in the Senate."
Republicans have rejected proposals for a government-administered plan, but Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) continues to move forward on crafting legislation that would garner bipartisan support, CQ Politics reports.Baucus has indicated that he might consider a system of publicly owned health insurance co-operatives as a compromise to a public plan, which Republicans also oppose (CQ Politics, 6/24). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.