Deal Draws Closer for Reform Bill, White House To Unveil Plan
On Wednesday, House Democrats familiar with the continuing efforts to develop a final compromise between the House and Senate health reform bills (HR 3962, HR 3590) said an agreement is close to being reached, but they stopped short of providing details of the measure or when it would be released, Roll Call reports.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said that although a deal is near, President Obama wants to ensure that Republicans have the opportunity to add their ideas into the bill before it is released (Dennis, Roll Call, 2/17).
Van Hollen said Obama "clearly has an idea about what legislation will be required in order for us to move forward" and that he "wanted to take a moment to revisit these issues with our Republican colleagues" (Norman, CQ HealthBeat, 2/17).
Officials Leak Possible Release Date of White House Plan
Meanwhile, two industry officials familiar with the Democrats' discussions said a White House proposal for reform legislation could be released as early as Sunday, CQ Today reports.
John Rother, director of policy for AARP, and an unidentified union official said they learned of the plans during conversations with administration officials involved with the negotiations. Rother said the bill would be the "White House version of the deal between House and Senate leaders on what they think the bill should look like," adding that it "will in effect be the starting point" for the bipartisan health care summit on Feb. 25.Rother said the White House proposal would not include procedural guidelines for moving forward, adding, "It's not going to be about the process ... [or] about reconciliation" (Armstrong/Wayne, CQ Today, 2/17). 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.